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Obama's First State Dinner: The Menu

(CBS/Frank Thorp)
The White House has released the menu for tonight's state dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It is both tailored to Indian tastes and to the predilections of the prime minister, who has reportedly been "described by aides as an abstemious vegetarian." (Abstemious: "sparing or moderate in eating and drinking; temperate in diet.")

Here's the menu, which will be prepared by guest Chef Marcus Samuelsson and White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford. (At left, check out photos from CBS News' Frank Thorp of the table settings for the event.) You'll note the only non-strictly vegetarian option are the green curry prawns:

Potato and Eggplant Salad
White House Arugula w/ Onion Seed Vinaigrette
2008 Savingnon Blanc, Modus Operandi, Napa Valley

Red Lentil Soup w Fresh Cheese
2006 Riesling, Brooks "Ara", Wilamette Valley
Roast Potato Dumplings w Tomato Chutney
Chick Peas and Okra or Green Curry Prawns w caramelized Salsify w smoke Collard Greens and coconut aged basmati
2007 Granache Beckman Vineyards, Santa Ynez, CA

Pumpkin pie tart
Pear tatin
Whipped Cream and Caramel sauce
Sparkling Chardonnay, Thibaut Janisson Brut, Monticello, VA

Petits fours and Coffee
Cashew Brittle
Pecan Pralines
Passion fruit and vanilla gelees
Chocolate dipped fruit

(CBS/Frank Thorp)
More than 300 guests are expected at the black-tie event, which marks marks the first state dinner of Barack Obama's presidency. Among the performers will be Jennifer Hudson, Kurt Elling and A.R. Rahman.

"A dinner of this magnitude is months in the making, takes days of round-the-clock preparations as the night of the dinner approaches and costs taxpayers a pretty penny, estimated as much as half a million dollars," reports CBS News' Mark Knoller. "The government does not disclose the precise cost of such dinners, but they are funded by the budget of the State Department's Office of Protocol."

Compare this Menu to Other Obama Dinners
Mark Knoller: Obama Prepares for First State Dinner
Nancy Cordes and Laura Schwartz Preview the Festivities on "The Early Show"

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