‘Food for thought’ for Australian cricketers

Chandigarh: With the inclement weather playing spoilsport here, it’s time for the Australian cricketers to gorge on the popular north-Indian cuisines like ‘butter chicken’ and tandoori item ‘Raan Dum’, leg of a lamb.

The entire team led by skipper Ricky Ponting has fallen for the Indian food ever since they arrived here on Monday to play the three-day practice game tomorrow before they play the first Test of the two-match series against India at Mohali on October 1.

“Ponting and many other teammates are loving the butter chicken. They want it during the lunch time and many during the dinner time as well,” Neeraj Chaudhry, Food and Beverages Manager of Hotel Taj, where the team is putting up, told a news agency here.

He said even before the players reached here, a note had been sent to them from the team management listing the food preferences of the players.

“Other than butter chicken the players are ordering food which is high in proteins, less fried and good in vitamins and other nutrients,” said Chaudhry, who is also the Taj’s Executive Chef.

Another favourite with the Aussies is tandoori item Raan Dum prepared in ‘Dera’, the hotel’s restaurant, which is known to serve rich Punjabi cuisines that are famous from Lahore to Amritsar.

“The players are just loving it. They are also having Bhatti Ka Murg, a starter and lot of yellow Daal (pulse) with garlic plus they also have lot of fresh fruits,” he said, adding lot of green veggies including spinach besides palak paneer is also high on demand.

“Ponting in particular likes black Daal”, he said.

For the breakfast, the Aussies have cereals, fresh fruits, chicken sausages and fish.

“I like Indian food, it’s very good. Coming to India is always a fantastic experience,” Australian Vice Captain Michael Clarke said during an interaction with journalists here.

On touring India, Australia’s coach Tim Nielsen said, “I honestly believe it’s not just about playing Tests, it’s the whole experience, the travel, the fan following, the heat, the rain, different food, different culture, different ideas.”