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

Salma tries to familiarise her readers with the charisma 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 flavors
Shah Jahan had a special penchant for Mangoes
Naans had been a lavish affair for the Mughals

Rec recipes are historical treasures, and saving them prevents part of the records from being depleted. In her trendy transcreation of the authentic handwritten Persian recipe ebook ‘Nuska-e-Shahjahani,’ renowned meals historian and author Salma Yusuf Husain has taken upon a big venture of bringing a few boisterous Mughal recipes alive. The Mughal Feast: Recipes from the Kitchen of Emperor Shah Jahan, published by 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 with the charisma 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.

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

Husain also tells us that because of the Mughal’s shared friendly relationships with the Portuguese, the imperial kitchens also became aware of the Portuguese favorite chili, which added a revolution of sorts in Indian cooking. The meals have become vibrant, flavourful, and warm. Imports like potatoes and tomatoes additionally changed the face of Indian meals for true. The Mughals added India to various fruits like cherries, apricots, grapes, and melons. Shah Jahan’s unique penchant for mangoes coaxed the imperial kitchens to give you many innovative recipes for mangoes’ usage. 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 their reign, the artwork of cooking rice noticed a unique refinement, giving us some of our favorite pulao dishes like most pulao, sarangi pulao, and more. 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 curating the special Dawat. The formal spreads have been a diverse blend of neighborhood and international favorites, from qormas and kebabs to European cakes and puddings.

Food, however, has been an affair of amusement and delight every day. The kings favored having their meals with their queens or concubines; the menu was deliberate, using a Hakim (doctor) who could ensure the food had some medicinal ingredients. Food was also cooked in rainwater mixed with water from the Ganges and served in silver and gold utensils.

The ebook is divided into seven sections: Naan, Cash, Qaliya and Do Piyazah, Bharta, Zeer Biryani, Pulao, Kebab, and Shirin. The recipes are simplified for contemporary readers. The ebook also includes an index, useful recommendations for cooking, strategies to smooth fish and meat bones, and coloring foods using vegetable juice.

Cooked in the tandoor or on an iron griddle, Mughlai Naans (a general call for bread) was a lavish affair even before Shah Jahan took the throne. In the ebook, you’ll locate recipes for many of these flatbreads. For example, Naan Tunuk—a traditional whole-wheat flatbread also mentioned by the famous historian Amir Khusrao—or something more healthy like Naan Paneer—baked flatbread crowned with cottage cheese. The ebook additionally has recipes for traditional Sheermal and Baqarkhani.

The transcreation also documents the Mughals’ fixation with nuts and dry culmination. They attempted to contain 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 soups, a dish once more native to Central Asia, popularised via the Mughal in India. Lamb is the key ingredient in this one-pot meal, but pulses, bulgers, yogurt, and noodles are also determined way once in a while. Then again, Qualia’s had been special curries, which had been thinner in consistency but sophisticated in terms of spices used and coloration, which changed typically due to turmeric and saffron.

While she lists multiple recipes, we can not see the appearance of 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 flavor of mutton with the sharpness of onion and the refreshing promise of herbs.”

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