Lunch at Manmohan home, written in stone New Delhi, Dec. 21: "Makhmali murgh kebab" is not the sort of legend one would expect to find on a marble plaque. But if the idea was to ensure that the heads of state at Manmohan Singh's table today would never forget the meal, it may have just succeeded. Perhaps it was the name ' India-Asean "commemorative" summit ' that inspired the marble brainwave, but it was clear that New Delhi was sparing no expenses ' and leaving no "stone" unturned ' to make the two-day event a success. So, when nine heads of state and government and a vice-president, with their spouses and aides, sat down for lunch at 7 Race Course Road, each was presented with a palm-size marble tablet in a blue velvet jewellery box. It was the menu card. Intricate artwork adorned its back. The "Ghia ka koftas" and "Aloo gobhis" were embossed on the face, with the declaration: "Your souvenir copy to take back." Sources said the tablet was designed by craftsmen from Rajasthan. Apparently, the marble menu card had made its debut in end-March when Singh and wife Gursharan Kaur hosted Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) leaders and their delegations. "Many of the visitors had then expressed a desire to take the plaque back as a souvenir," a source said. The government, however, had prepared only a few plaques, so just a select few guests could be obliged. This time, a wiser South Block took no chances. Sources said one marble menu card (picture on left) was gifted to each of the 70-odd foreign guests and about 30 Indians ' political leaders and officials ' invited to the lunch. The menu was lighter than dinner fare and contained both vegan and meat or fish dishes, from Pudina muttar kebab to Tawa masala pomfret and Gosht barrah rogini. The desserts included Gajar ka halwa, Kesari phirni and a sandesh selection. Foreign ministry officials wouldn't say how much the marble tablets cost but said it was money well spent. Asean or the Association of South East Asian Nations is a grouping of 10 countries: Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore. The summit was held to commemorate 20 years of India's "Look East Policy" and its dialogue with Asean. What most impressed the guests, apparently, was the cultural event at Rashtrapati Bhavan's Ashoka Hall last evening. It showcased cultural affinities through fusion: Larik dancers from Indonesia performing with Kathak artistes, Dudang Dudang dancers from Brunei swaying with Kuchipudi performers, and Myanmar and Laotian dancers fusing their dance forms. In the audience, apart from the foreign dignitaries, were Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and President Pranab Mukherjee. "The cultural collaboration was aimed at bringing out the common origin shared by Indian and Southeast Asian performing arts," Indian Council of Cultural Relations chief Suresh K. Goel said. Performers from the Philippines and Mizoram danced their different but similar versions of the bamboo dance in tandem, and a Thai troupe performed scenes from the Ramayan. This morning at India Gate, Singh flagged down the Asean car rally that had touched every one of the 10 member nations. The Prime Minister said the event was "imbued with symbolism and content that... highlights that India and Asean... are neighbours". He spoke of "the vision of an Asean-India community where people, goods, services and ideas can travel freely between us", adding that "nowhere will this benefit be more pronounced than in our northeastern states". Lunch at Manmohan home, written in stone - Yahoo! News ****************************** Of course, one does not know know much it costs, but then it is great freebie for the delegates foreign and Indian to take one and munch on!