G20 delegates to be served all-vegetarian dinner at New Delhi summit

Dishes popular in different Indian states will be served at the talks

About 200 artisans have created more than 15,000 pieces of tableware for the G20 Summit. Reuters
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World leaders will be served an all-vegetarian meal at the official dinner of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.

New Delhi is to host about 40 global leaders, as well as the heads of international organisations, for the final summit of India's presidency.

No meat or eggs will be on the menu of Saturday's official dinner, which will be served on specially made tableware plated with gold and silver.

The meal will feature traditional vegetarian dishes, as well as others made using millet – a small-seeded grain that has been promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for its high protein content and health benefits.

India grows more than 17 million tonnes of millet grains a year, accounting for 80 per cent of Asia’s production and 20 per cent of global production.

A vegetarian lunch will also be served to the partners of heads of state and officials at the summit.

The dinner will be presented as a thali, with dishes served together on a large plate.

Foods from across the country will be on offer, including south Indian masala dosa – crepes made from ground rice and lentil with a spicy potato filling, Bihar state's litti chokha, balls of roasted wheat dough served with herbed mashed potato or aubergine, and rasgulla – spongy cottage cheese balls soaked in sugar syrup – from West Bengal.

The delegates will also be given samples of New Delhi’ street food, collectively known as chaat.

As many as 200 artisans have created more than 15,000 pieces of tableware with floral and animal motifs that reflect India's cultural heritage.

Most of the pieces are a made of steel or brass and plated with silver. Welcome drinks will be served in gold-plated vessels, according to Iris Metalware, the company that produced the tableware.

About 70 per cent of India’s 1.4 billion population eat meat, but the national diet is predominantly vegetarian.

Mr Modi is vegetarian and leaders and members of his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party have often spoken against eating meat.

Since the party swept to power in the 2014 general election, BJP-led governments in several states have banned the slaughter of cows, considered sacred by most Hindus.

Some officials have also banned the consumption of beef altogether and in some cases removed eggs from the midday meals provided to schoolchildren by state authorities.

Updated: September 08, 2023, 1:26 PM