60 years of US dinners for India




HARRY S. TRUMAN:
October 1949: Truman's dinner with Nehru, India's first prime minister, was notable because it wasn't at the White House. The mansion was being repaired and Truman and first lady Bess Truman had decamped to Blair House, the government guest house across the street.
Five courses were served at Blair to a smaller-than-usual dinner party, including soup julienne; fillet of sole with tyrolienne sauce; roast turkey with oyster dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce; gingerale and peach salad, shredded lettuce, French dressing and toasted Triscuits.



October 1949: Truman's dinner with Nehru, India's first prime minister, was notable because it wasn't at the White House. The mansion was being repaired and Truman and first lady Bess Truman had decamped to Blair House, the government guesthouse across the street.


December 1956: Instead of a lavish White House dinner, Eisenhower went the low-key route and treated Nehru to a Sunday lunch of oysters on the half shell and roast leg of lamb. They were joined by first lady Mamie Eisenhower and Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi, who had accompanied her father. The next day, Nehru and Eisenhower rode together to the president's Gettysburg, Pa., farmhouse for private talks and an overnight stay.


November 1961: At Nehru's request, Kennedy dispensed with the pomp of the customary dinner for dozens and held a smaller, black-tie affair, apparently so the two leaders could continue their talks. Only
about 14 people were at the table. 



March 1966: Johnson held a dinner for Prime Minister Indira Gandhi the year she assumed the office her father had held for 17 years. Dressed in a traditional sari, she enjoyed a main course of sliced pheasant breast


November 1971: Five years after Johnson welcomed her, Gandhi was Nixon's guest at the third White House dinner of the week. Seated at an E-shaped table in the State Dining Room, more than 100 guests were served a French-inspired menu of poached dumpling of pike in puff pastry, supreme of pheasant veronique, asparagus in melted butter and, for dessert, praline mousse and petit fours. 




60 years of US dinners for India

July 1982: For the third White House dinner of Gandhi's tenure, Reagan served seafood neptune, lamb wrapped in golden pastry and frozen black cherry bombe, in the State Dining Room. Gandhi wore a sari in raspberry silk; first lady Nancy Reagan matched her in a sari-inspired, one-shoulder, peach chiffon dress with silver trim. Two years later, in October 1984, Gandhi was assassinated by two of her bodyguards.



September 2000: Clinton toasted a renewed U.S.-India friendship at the largest dinner of his presidency honouring one person, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Nearly 700 people ate in a tent on the South Lawn, beneath crystal chandeliers at tables decorated with hydrangeas, cream china and gold candles. Their feast included a main course of wild Copper river salmon with red kuri squash and rice bean ragout. Dessert included mango and banner lotus, litchis and raspberry sauce, honey almond squares and chocolate coconut



uly 2005: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the honoree at one of the few gala White House dinners during Bush's presidency. The chef paid tribute to India with chilled asparagus soup and lemon creme, pan-roasted halibut and ginger-carrot butter, and basmati rice with pistachio nuts and currants. Chocolate lotus blossoms and a trio of mango, chocolate-cardamom and cashew ice creams were served for dessert.