Dal, Roti and Manmohan Singh: What Barack Obama Spoke About in Delhi

Former U.S. President Barack Obama is in New Delhi for an event organized by the Obama Foundation.


Former U.S. President Barack Obama said he knows how to cook dal during his ongoing visit to New Delhi. He said he may be the first American president to have a recipe for the dish.

Obama got his dal recipe from an Indian roommate when he was a student. “My keema is also good, and my chicken is ok,” Obama, who is in New Delhi for an event organized by the Obama Foundation, said at another gathering. When the interviewer, journalist Karan Thapar, asked him if he knew how to make chapati, the answer came in the negative. “Chapati is hard,” Obama said.

He narrated an incident of the previous night when the wait staff began explaining the delicacy and its recipe to him, to which he responded saying that they need not explain what dal is because he knew how to make it and had his own recipe for it.

Obama also talked about his friendship with former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He said he was “also great friends” with Singh, when asked about his friendship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Obama said that Singh was a great support in the aftermath of the 2009 financial crisis.

“I like him (Modi)…I think he has a vision for the country…he is making efforts to modernize some elements of bureaucracy. But I was also great friends with Dr. (Manmohan) Singh,” Obama, who also met Modi, said.

During the event, he said, “I know PM Narendra Modi believes in unity of India. My goal here is not to disclose every private conversation I have. I think his (Modi’s) impulses are to recognize Indian unity. I think he firmly believes unity is necessary for the progress of the nation.”

Obama spoke on various things, including bilateral relations between India and the United States. “India and U.S. have much in common. Our two constitutions begin with the same three words – We the people. We share the values of pluralism.”

Talking about terrorism, he said, “After 26/11 Mumbai attacks, we were as obsessed as India with dismantling the terror network. Terrorism of any sort eventually affects everyone.”


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