The Mughal Feast: a tour thru Shah Jahan’s intricate banquets


New Delhi–Food historian and creator Salma Yusuf Hussain’s “passion for discovering increasingly more about the delicacies of Mughal India” has ended in her contemporary offering: a seminal painting that transports the reader into the heart of the royal kitchens to deliver alive the lavish banquets of Emperor Shah Jahan, during whose time Mughlai cuisine genuinely reached its peak.

Mughlai Cuisine

“I am a publish-graduate in Persian, and my first process turned into translating the correspondence among local Nawabs and Rajas with the British government and also the (1857) Mutiny papers. This gave me the knowledge to read hand-written Persian documents. As my activity become studies-orientated, I went via various catalogs of different libraries. During my research, it happened to me that Mughal emperors who have been correct in maintaining an account in their achievements need to have left behind some documents on meals also,” Hussain told IANS in an interview at the advent of “The Mughal Feat” (Roli Books/Rs 1,495).

“This idea changed into the turning point in my life, and my search started at the concern. I did come upon a handwritten account on the culinary art of Emperor Jahangir’s reign. I translated an entire cook ebook called Alwan-i-neat but could not put it up because of numerous motives.

“At the same time (publisher), Rupa commissioned me to translate a bankruptcy on pulao from Nuskha-i-Shahjahani, and with this, I observed the other manuscript at the difficulty. Pramodji (the Rollei publisher), who is similarly eager to post books with a distinctive flavor, procured this manuscript from the British Library and gave it to me to translate it. The result is earlier than you,” Hussain added.

Thus, “The Mughal Feast” is a loving transcreation (adopting from one language to some other, keeping its motive, fashion, tone, and content material) of “Nuskha-i-Shahjahani,” a cookbook that maps a culinary adventure into the Mughal imperial kitchen, where food becomes cooked with simply the proper amount of spices to decorate the base flavors of the dishes.

The e-book begins with a problematic and alternatively mouth-watering introduction and continues via seven chapters of recipes for Naan, Wash; Kaliya and Do-Piyazah; Bharta; Zeer Biryani and Pulao; Kabab, Harisa, Shisranga and Katharine; and Shiriniha.

How did the cooking malicious program chunk in the first vicinity?

“My mother cooked the excellent of the food for family Dawes. I used to observe her cooking and, at times, also helped her. Here at Curzon Road Apartment (at some point of her stint with AIR), I introduced that little understanding to exercise and advanced it via getting more recipes from buddies and neighbors. I could cook dinner a brand new menu with my cook dinner Gopalji and felt proud while meals were favored via pals for each get-collectively.

“Later in life, when I married an excursion operator, we entertained overseas corporations, pals from hospitality departments, and provided food, which turned into a vow. My husband, being from Lucknow, turned into my first-rate critic. With time, my lifestyle took a specific route. I was given concerned with ITC, and the method of my studies has become extra competitive. With that, every one of my events became bigger, and my desk various with scrumptious delicacies,” Hussain explained.

Hussain, whose books include the award-prevailing “The Emperor’s Table: The Art of Mughal Cuisine” (Roli Books), which obtained the National Tourism Award in 2009, the Best in the World Gourmand Award for culinary records the same 12 months and a history quantity tracing the records of eating and entertainment at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, “Around India’s First Table,” is a great deal favorite.

Hussain, who contributes memories on culinary history to the Urdu phase of the BBC, changed into a food consultant with ITC in making the menu for the Grand Maratha, the Sonar Bangla, and the Grand Central.


Thick sweetened lamb and vegetable soup (Serves: eight-10)


Lamb, cut into medium-sized portions 2 kg
Ghee 2 cups/500 gm
Onions, sliced 2 cups/500 gm
Salt to taste
Ginger (adrak), chopped eight tsp/forty gm
Beetroot (chunder), reduce into cubes 1 cup/250 gm
Carrots (gajar), cut into cubes 100 gm
Turnips (Pahalgam), reduce into cubes 1 cup/250 gm
Cloves (laung) ½ tsp/three gm
Egg white 1
Sugar three cups/750 gm
Juice of a lemon (nimbu) three
Coriander (dhania) seeds, pounded 8 tsp/forty gm
Almonds (Badam), fried, floor to stick five tsp/20 gm
Rice paste 8 tsp/forty gm
Cinnamon (dalchini), floor ½ tsp/three gm
Green cardamoms (Choti elaichi), floor ½ tsp/three gm
Black peppercorn (sabut kali mirch), ground two tsp/10 gm
Spinach (palak) ½ cup/a hundred twenty-five gm
Dill (soya saag) ½ bunch
Saffron (Kesar) ½ tsp/three gm


1. Heat the ghee in a pan; upload the onions and fry until golden. Add half the lamb portions, salt, and chopped ginger; fry till the lamb adjustments color. Add enough water to cook dinner the lamb partially.
2. Now add the beetroot, carrots, and turnips with three cups of water to prepare dinner the beef and greens on low warmth.
3. When the lamb and vegetables are cooked, and as a minimum, 1½ cups water remains in the pan, separate the lamb and vegetables from the inventory and reserve. Strain the stock and mood it with two cloves; maintain aside.
4. Make the best mince of the last lamb pieces. Make a dry do-piyazah (see pg. 218) with the mince and grind to a high-quality paste. Add the white egg and knead right into a dough. Make marble-sized balls of this combination and deep-fry in hot oil.
5. Make a sugar syrup of one-string consistency with lemon juice (see pg. 219). Add half of the syrup to the reserved inventory and convey it to
A boil.
6. Add the pounded coriander seeds, almond paste, and rice paste to the inventory; blend properly.
7. Sprinkle ground cinnamon, closing cloves, cardamom, and black pepper; mix properly. Add the spinach, dill, and lamb pieces; deliver to a soft boil and put off from warmth.
Eight. Transfer right into a serving bowl. Add the final syrup to the organized soup and serve warm garnished with saffron.

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