The Mughal Feast: Recipes from the Kitchen of Emperor Shah Jahan by using Salma Yusuf Husain

Salma tries to familiarise her readers to the mystique of ‘Mughal cuisine’, which borrowed closely from Turkish, Afghani and Persian patterns. The Mughal Khansamas efficaciously married the foreign impacts with Kashmiri, Punjabi and Deccan elements.


The Mughals successfully intermingled the Persian and Indian flavours
Shah Jahan had a special penchant for Mangoes
Naans had been a lavish affair for the Mughals

It is frequently stated that recipes are historic treasures, and in saving them you are preventing part of records from demise down. In her trendy transcreation of the authentic handwritten Persian recipe e book ‘Nuska-e-Shahjahani’, renowned meals historian and author, Salma Yusuf Husain, has taken upon a big venture of bringing alive a few boisterous Mughal recipes. The Mughal Feast: Recipes from the Kitchen of Emperor Shah Jahan, published by way of the Roli Books, offers a delightful peek into the rich culinary heritage of certainly one of India’s best empires.

Through her informative advent, Salma attempts to familiarise her readers to the mystique of ‘Mughal cuisine’, which borrowed heavily from Turkish, Afghani and Persian styles. The Mughal Khansamas efficiently married the foreign effects with Kashmiri, Punjabi and Deccan substances.

When in 1638, Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to Delhi, the newly developed Shahjahanabad flourished in fields of arts, literature and structure. The foodscape of the city additionally saw a chief transformation in the emperor’s rule. Mughlai delicacies, not simplest have become a melting pot of numerous cultures. However, Shah Jahan changed into credited of including new spices to the delicacies.

Husain also tells us that because Mughal’s shared congenial relationships with the Portuguese, the imperial kitchens also have become aware of the Portuguese favourite chilli, which added a revolution of sorts in Indian cooking. The meals have become vibrant, flavourful and warm. Foreign imports like potatoes and tomatoes additionally changed the face of Indian meals for true. The Mughals additionally added India to a variety of fruits like cherries, apricots, grapes and melons. Shah Jahan’s unique penchant for mangoes, coaxed the imperial kitchens to give you many innovative recipes the usage of mangoes. The new trade routes and roads facilitated the import of almonds, pistachios, walnuts, apricots, saffron and fragrant herbs, which observed their distinguished region in Mughal qormas, soups and rice dishes.

While rice turned into a staple in Indian households plenty earlier than the Mughals arrived; of their reign, the artwork of cooking rice noticed a unique refinement, giving us some of our favourite pulao dishes like most pulao, narangi pulao and extra. The Mughal feast, along with being a nostalgic recapturing of the conventional recipes, is also a special tribute to Khansamas, who along with their team might spend countless hours to curate the special Dawat. The formal spreads have been a diverse blend of neighbourhood and international favourites, from qormas and kebabs to European cakes and puddings.

Each day food, however, has been an affair of amusing and gaiety. The kings favoured to have their meal with their queens or concubines; the menu turned into deliberate by using an Hakim (doctor), who could make sure that the food had some medicinal ingredients. Food became also cooked in rainwater mixed with water from the Ganges and become served in silver and gold utensils.

The e-book divided into seven sections: Naan, Cash, Qaliya and Do Piyazah, Bharta, Zeer Biryani and Pulao, Kebab and Shirin. The recipes are simplified for the benefit of contemporary readers. The e-book also comes with an available index, together with useful recommendations for cooking, strategies to smooth fish, meat bones, and colouring foods the use of vegetable juice.

Cooked in the tandoor or on an iron griddle, Mughlai Naans (a general call for bread) has been a lavish affair even earlier than Shah Jahan took the throne. In the e-book you’ll locate recipes of a plethora of these flatbreads, for example, Naan Tunuk – traditional whole-wheat flatbread that was also mentioned by the famous historian, Amir Khusrao; or something more healthy like Naan Paneer – baked flatbread crowned with cottage cheese. Needless to mention, the e-book additionally has recipes of traditional Sheermal and Baqarkhani. The transcreation additionally documents Mughals’ fixation with nuts and dry culmination, something they attempted to contain their bread too with Naan-e-Badami, Naan-e-Khurma (dates) and Naan-e-Warqi (Shallow-fried bread layered with Pistachios). Then, there’s a Naan-e-Bersani and Naan-e-Jowar challenging the dominance of atta and maida in the world of bread.
(Also Read: Bread Of Delhi: five Kinds Of Bread You Must Try In Delhi)

The subsequent segment is devoted to Cash, or the soups, a dish once more native to Central Asia, popularised via the Mughal in India. Lamb changed into frequently the key ingredient on this one-pot meal, but pulses, bulger, yoghurt and noodles also determined way once in a while. Qalias, then again, had been sort of special curries, which had been thinner in consistency however sophisticated in phrases of spices used and colouration, which changed into typically due to turmeric and saffron. While she lists multiple recipes, we can not see appearance over the fact that Mughals had first-rate know-how of the importance of seasonal and nearby ingredients; Qaliya amba, sweet and tangy mango-primarily based lamb curry and Qaliya samosa or minced meat in betel leaves served in lamb curry are high examples. Salma calls ‘Do Piyazah’ a “sensual adventure”; she describes the fashionable dish as “stewed meat in a sauce served with rice or bread. The dish blends with the robust flavour of mutton with the sharpness of onion and the refreshing promise of herbs.”