Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is in India for an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was treated to a lavish dinner on Friday.
An exquisite variety of South Indian cuisine was served at the dinner hosted by PM Modi in honour of the Chinese President in the historic seaside town of Mamallapuram.
The non-vegetarian menu consisted of delicacies such as Malabar Lobster (spiny lobster cooked in Kerala spices), Tanjavur Kozhi Curry (chicken curry from Tanjore region), Karuvepillai Meen Varuval (griddle cooked curry leaf flavoured fish), and Mamsam Biry (Andhra style lamb biry), etc.
Among the vegetarian dishes were Kadalai Kuruma (black gram curry), Keerai Vada (amaranth and lentil galette), Paneer Ghee Roast, Arachavitta Sambar, Poosnikai More Curry (ash gourd stewed in spiced tempered curd), Beetroot Gongura Chop (beetroot and kenaf leaf with South Indian spice mix) and Steam Ponni Rice, etc.
Xi was also served three different types of lip-smacking South Indian desserts -- Ada Pradhaman (rice palettes cooked with jaggery and coconut milk), Kavanarasi Halwa (a pudding made with black rice) and Mukk ice cream.
The first day of the summit commenced on Friday with the country's rich heritage and cultural diversity on full display.
Both Modi and Xi arrived in Chennai earlier in the day for the two-day meet. A red carpet was rolled out to welcome the Chinese President at the Chennai International Airport, even as children in large numbers were seen holding panda soft toys as it is the national mal of China.
While no Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or agreements will be signed during the two-day engagement, Xi and Modi are slated to hold one-on-one and delegation-level talks on the second day of the meet.
The meeting between the two leaders will not have a specific agenda, however, the focus of the meeting will be on improving people-to-people contact and on how to maintain peace and tranquillity along the India-China border.
After the talks, Modi will host a lunch in the honour of the visiting dignitary. Following this, Xi will then proceed to Chennai where he will depart for a two-day state visit to Nepal.
( With inputs from ANI )