Washington: Golgappa, pani puri or puchka is making frequent entry into the White House receptions with guests being served with this mouth-watering popular Indian street food.In the last year, it has been served at least a couple of times, the latest being the Rose Garden reception on Monday hosted by President Joe Biden to celebrate the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.

The guests included scores of Asian-Americans and several Indian- Americans, including US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy who played an important role in the fight against COVID-19. So far, only samosas used to appear on the White House receptions menu. However, golgappas now appear to be catching up with the samosas fast. Last year when I was here, there were golgappas/pani puri. This year too, I was looking for them and then suddenly one of the servers brought in the pani puri/ golgappa. That was amazing. The taste was dingy and a little spicy. Perfect! community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria told PTI after attending the AANHPI reception in the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday evening.

A curious Bhutoria met White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford on the grounds of the White House and asked her about the golgappa. I asked her, did you make the golgappas in-house? She

said, yes, we made everything in the White House, he said. There was another Indian item 'Khoya' on the White House menu at the reception, Bhutoria said. It was sweet and made of khoya and they called it khoya. That was wonderful. 

It is good to see in the AANHPI heritage month celebration, representation of all the Asian American communities, food and delicacies, and especially for Indian-American golgappa and khoya, Bhutoria said in response to a question.

Over the last few years, golgappa is increasingly becoming popular in the US because of its mouth-watering taste. A lot of US administration officials, whether the people from the State Department or the White House, have travelled to India many times. I'm sure the counterparts over there say out of all the street foods, you need to try golgappa. I'm sure they have stopped somewhere, taken them on the roadside or whichever of the five-star hotels. After they tested it out, they said, oh, we must serve this in the White House, Bhutoria said. 

That's where we have seen golgappas, during the Diwali party in the State Department. We see it in so many places now, including the Vice President's House, and so many other things, he said.

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