Tandoori chicken and tikka masala: Israel PM Netanyahu's 'love affair' with Indian cuisine
After spending 14 months in Opposition, former Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sealed his return to power after winning a clear majority in parliament last week. Following his victory, the Israeli PM's connection with India has come under limelight once again.
Netanyahu's "affair" with India goes back to as early as 1990 when he used to visit an Indian restaurant in Tel Aviv. It was at this restaurant where he developed a liking for chicken tandoori
Reena Pushkarna, owner of 'Tandoori Tel Aviv' - an Indian restaurant in Tel Aviv, recalled the time when they had Israel's longest-serving PM Benjamin Netanyahu as a customer.
While speaking to media, Pushkarna said, "The first date of PM Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu was on this, Table No 8."
She said that 'Tandoori Tel Aviv' is a 40 years old restaurant. "At that time Israelis wouldn't touch Indian food. But we slowly introduced it to Israelis."
"When PM Modi visited Israel, PM Netanyahu told him his 1st date was here along with Sara and that date was so successful that they got married," she recalled.
Reena said that the Israel Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had a takeaway today and revealed what PM Netanyahu ordered from the Indian restaurant.
"PM is having tandoori chicken for lunch today. He loves tandoori chicken, likes everything grilled, loves butter chicken sauce which we make in tikka masala style due to kosher restrictions."
"Netanyahu family doesn't like green coriander," she added.
Talking about the Israeli PM's relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said, "I saw the chemistry between PM Netanyahu and PM Modi. It's a personal relationship between them. It's more trust that works around for the betterment of both people."