G20 summit: Indian street food, millets on world leaders’ platter

New Delhi: More than 10,000 delegates expected to visit Delhi for the Summit on September 9-10

BY | Sunday, 3 September, 2023

US President Joe Biden and other world leaders gathering for the G20 summit here will get a taste of lip-smacking Indian street food, including flavourful delicacies from Chandni Chowk, and innovative millet dishes.

An elaborate spread of millet recipes has been planned for the world leaders and delegates attending the G20 Summit on September 9-10 at the Bharat Mandapam, showcasing the climate-resistant and highly nutritious coarse grains grown across the country.

During the Summit meeting, the world leaders will also plant saplings of national plants or plant species native to their respective countries as part of efforts to create a G20 Garden in the Bharat Mandapam complex.

In an interview to PTI, G20 India Special Secretary Muktesh Pardeshi said arrangements are also afoot to make the India visit memorable for the spouses of the world leaders through live demonstrative sessions on the rich handicrafts legacy of the country coupled with a shopping experience at the National Gallery of Modern Art.

“Yes, in some innovative manner, there would be an introduction to street food, and local and regional cuisines of India. The chefs are working overtime to finalise the menu, keeping all aspects in mind. But certainly, there will be some exposure,” Pardeshi said in response to a question.

“Delhi is very well known for its street food, particularly the Chandni Chowk area. So, when you visit our international media centre, I am sure you will also get a taste of the street food of India,” he said.

He said all hotels where world leaders and delegates will be staying are competing with each other to come up with innovative millet dishes.

Pardeshi said special attention is being given to the gifts for the visiting leaders and delegates with preference given to handicrafts, textile and painting traditions of the country.

“For world leaders, the prime minister is conscious of the fact that the gift should connect and convey a sense of warmth. We have submitted a list of items — whether they are paintings or handicraft items or carpets — they will be chosen with all care and respect to the visiting dignitary,” he said.

“Our approach is that the gifts should convey a message about our handicraft traditions and culture. When leaders carry an item, they should carry the memory of India,” he added.

On security arrangements for the summit, Pardeshi said the Delhi Police has been coordinating with the advance teams of different countries and their security requirements and concerns have been taken on board.

“We work with delegations, the Delhi Police and other agencies in sharing perspectives and coming up with adequate security arrangements for each and every delegation. So, they are all tailormade according to the threat perception of the world leaders and whatever expectations they have from our side,” the special secretary said.

Pardeshi said more than 10,000 delegates are expected to visit Delhi for the Summit.

“We have identified hotels in central Delhi, Aerocity, Gurugram and some neighbouring areas as VVIP hotels to accommodate world leaders, accompanying delegations and media representatives,” he said.

During the final session of the Summit, a few minutes will be devoted to the symbolic handing over of the G20 Presidency to Brazil, he said.

“Our prime minister is not likely to meet the Brazilian president before November 30, so the ceremonial handover is usually done at the Summit,” Pardeshi said.

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