‘Tis the season of lunch in the sunshine. Politicians with houses in Lutyens’ Delhi are making good use of sprawling lawns to hold feasts. The trend started with the annual Christmas lunch hosted by Salman and Louise Khurshid which featured, among other things, prawns from Mangalore and kababs from Moradabad.
As the days became sunnier, this was followed by lunch hosted by P Chidambaram (pongal, dosas and other Tamil Nadu - as opposed to south Indian - dishes), Jaipal Reddy (a huge spread of Andhra food including pesarattu, dosas, fried bhindi that only the Telugus know how to make, gongura, mutton and chicken curry and a huge variety of pickles, rice with tamarind, curd and sambar and several desserts including khubani ka meetha) and Deepender Hooda (Makar Sankranti food, including dal-chawal and jalebi – entirely vegetarian). The last such feast was at Sharad Yadav’s, also vegetarian, featuring delectable, hard-to-find rural food, including bajre ki khichdi and dal-baati. The last two such signature lunches are yet to come: a spread of Maharashtrian and Gujarati food offered by Praful Patel, and Sachin Pilot’s rustic kisan lunch.