The Telegraph
Thursday , January 9 , 2014
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Serves & volleys on food court
- After pothole slip, delicious dishes delight paddlers in national table tennis tourney

Served well, paddlers are dishing out volleys of praises for the hosts.

Miles away from hometowns, most players are feeling at home at the 75th Senior National & Inter-state Table Tennis Tournament being hosted at Patliputra Sports Complex here because of the food served to them over the past two days. They heaped praise on the Bihar Table Tennis Association (BTTA) for delicious dishes.

The menu for players is long but healthy. From conventional chapatis, kadhi chawal, curd, salads, gatte ki sabji, to quirky kebabs and fish delicacies are on the platter to tickle the taste buds of paddlers. The players are loving it.

While having lunch after a match, Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB)’s ace player Neha Aggarwal, hailing from New Delhi, said: “The food is really good here because they taste like homemade dishes. Today’s lunch has my favourite gatte ka sabji, kadhi chawal and mishti dahi.”

Neha prefers vegetarian food. During the daytime, players prefer to eat food rich in protein and vitamin such as chapatis, seasonal vegetables and curd because they have to play matches.

The mentor of Neha, PSPB coach Monalisa Baruah Mehta, said: “We see to that players have low calorie during matches. Their calorie intake per day should be 1,200-1,500.”

Monalisa is the wife of eight-time national table tennis champion Kamlesh Mehta.

Mumbai boy Sanil Shetty, who also represents PSPB, liked the food served here. But he is missing Mumbai’s pani puri, misal pav, and vada pav.

Shetty said: “Some of the players were discussing in the hotel that there is a place in Patna (read Maurya Lok) where vada pav and pani puri are available. If I get a chance to visit the place I shall definitely taste the Mumbai delicacies such as vada pav and pani puri. I shall also look for Bihar’s litti chokha.”

Achanta Sharath Kamal, the former national table tennis champion who generally plays club tournaments in Europe, said he liked the tandoori kebab served in the dinner on Tuesday. Despite hailing from Tamil Nadu, Kamal prefers north Indian food. At times, he misses the homemade pickles though.

Bengal’s Soumyadeep Roy, too, liked the food but missed variations in desserts. “More sweet dishes like dry sandesh would have made the tasty spread tastier.”

Khir, misti dahi and gulab jamun are the desserts being served to the paddlers in the town.

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