By Arun Kumar
Washington, June 4 (IANS) Not to be outdone by his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US President Barack Obama intends to create an 'Obama Platter' when he visits India in early November.
"I look forward to advancing our partnership and experiencing all that India and its incredible people and its ancient culture have to offer," he said, speaking at a reception hosted by Clinton for the visiting Indian delegation led by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.
"And I intend to create an Obama platter," he said on a rare visit to the State Department to attend a reception for a visiting foreign minister to demonstrate that US-India ties are among his "highest priorities" and will help define the coming century.
Greeting the gathering of diplomats, officials and prominent members of the Indian-American community with a 'namaste', Obama noted that Clinton is a "great admirer of India and I know the sentiment is shared and returned".
"And I am told one of Secretary Clinton's favourite restaurants in Delhi has added a new item to the menu - the Hillary platter," he said. "This is true," he said turning to Clinton standing by his side and asked: "What does it have - chapati?"
"I am not going to divulge," said an obviously delighted Clinton.
"You should try it, when you go there," someone shouted from the audience to be assured: "I will, I will try this."
Asserting that "relationship between India and the US would be a defining partnership of the 21st century", the president said: "That's why a third of my cabinet has visited India, and not only for the chapatis."
Incidentally, the 'Hillary platter' created July 19, 2009 by Clinton at Delhi's famous Bukhara restaurant has much more than the chapati. The mouth-watering fare includes 'murgh malai kabab', 'seekh kabab', 'paneer tikka', 'tandoori aloo', 'sikandari raan', 'dal bukhara', 'tandoori jinga', 'mixed raita', 'naan and kulfi'.