CSK’s Suresh Raina at net practice at the JSCA stadium in Dhurwa, Ranchi, on Tuesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
CSK loves CTM. Ask breezy batsmen Suresh Raina or Michael Hussey or Dwayne Bravo what it means. They’ll tell you CTM stands for the delicious chicken tikka masala served by Radisson Blu in Dhoni City.
At present, only Team CSK is enjoying Ranchi’s hospitality. The capital’s only five-star address was packed to the gills till Sunday as Chennai Super Kings, Titans, Brisbane Heat and Trinidad and Tobago padded up there. Then, the last three teams flew out to Mohali to play other CLT20 matches.
But for the Blu chefs, who are adept at rustling up sushi with as much elan as samosa, the culinary preferences of the global bunch of players — Aussies, West Indians, South Africans, Indians — were the real surprise.
“They all seem to love Indian food,” food and beverage (F&B) manager Richard Pereira grinned. “The preferred items are chicken tikka masala, biryani, rogan josh, chicken curry, tandoori chicken, kebabs and dal. And everyone digs Indian sweets such as hot gulab jamuns, rasmalai, barfi and peda,” he added.
In fact, it took Dhoni to do justice to the fruitcake — an obvious western treat — offered by the hotel as part of the dinner on Monday night, when he came with wife Sakshi.
Pereira added the hotel had readied a global platter.
“We have an elaborate spread of Jamaican, Mexican, Spanish, Arabic cuisine. But it seems Indian cuisine scores the most,” he said.
Not wanting to name the celebrity players, Pereira said while those from abroad did love the traditional porridge, sausages and omelettes for a power breakfast, they also invented their own fusion dish. “They wrapped a puri with an omelette and lapped it up,” he said.
“And when it came to the main course, everyone loved the bird. For anytime snacking, Kebab Factory has been the top draw,” he said.
On Tuesday morning, CSK had a scrumptious breakfast of samosas, paranthas, idlis, dosas, chuda matar, chhole bhature and malpua. “But when Tamilian Ravichandran Ashwin wanted upma and vada for breakfast this morning, it was our pleasure to serve him the authentic south Indian staple,” said sous chef Ramchandran Oraon.
For lunch, CSK players, hungry after net practice at JSCA stadium, had a “simple meal” of rice, dal, green vegetables. They also had juices, watermelons and other fruits as well as yoghurts.
Dinner was more meaty, with chicken Hyderabadi and mutton biriyani. For veggies, there were sauteed beans (called poriyal in Tamil) and paneer Nilgiri.
Given a chance, which dish would you like to serve Dhoni?