Cultural Re-Set Atop Raisina Hill: Droupadi Murmu’s Favourite ‘Pakhala Platter’ Added To Menu!

Bhubaneswar: With Droupadi Murmu assuming the highest constitutional office, the kitchen at Rashtrapati Bhavan has reportedly undergone some changes with quintessential Odisha food – Pakhala along with Sajana Saga (drumstick leaves) and Aloo Bharta (mashed potatoes) – being added to the Raisina Hill’s menu.

Media reports earlier speculated some diversity in the menus on the Hill, not because she is a woman but as India’s first-ever head of state from a tribal community.

The Santhal tribe eats wild meats, fowl, fish and shellfish, besides rodents and insects, but Madam President is a vegetarian and relishes only Satvik food (without onion and garlic). Food lovers, however, are still hopeful that some under-appreciated indigenous cuisines prepared, using roots, tubers, herbs and greens, could come to the forefront with her occupying the highest seat.

Notably, when Murmu was the governor of Jharkhand (2015-2021), she made the kitchen completely vegetarian. She would even drop in at Ranchi Raj Bhavan kitchen to guide the chefs to include a dash of Odisha cuisine for the VIPs on special occasions.

“She is a simple woman of few needs. Her favourite food is Pakhala, a local watery dish made of rice and curd. She is a strict vegetarian, follows the Hindu religion and keeps away from superstitions while keeping faith in the tribal culture,” Rabindra Patnaik, Murmu’s family friend of 40 years and a journalist based in Rairangpur, told The Print.

According to Murmu’s sister-in-law Shakyamuni, the new President enjoys her bowl of ‘Pakhala’ with Sajana Saga and Aloo Bharta. And it will be of no surprise if dignitaries are treated to these simple yet delicious cuisines of Odisha along with some declicacies of the tribal hinterland in future.

It is worth mentioning here that two-three items of Bengali food were added to the state banquets when Pranab Mukherjee was the President of India. South Indian food was on the menu during the tenure of Presidents belonging to the southern region of the country.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.