You can now prepare dinner from Emperor Shah Jahan’s original royal cookbook

Did you recognize that the chili you companion with regular ‘Mughlai’ food wasn’t commonplace in the royal Mughal kitchen? And that we learned the artwork of cooking on skewers from the Muslim rulers? Food historian and author Salma Yusuf Husain, who has spent an entire life analyzing Indian food, lately translated Shah Jahan’s cookbook, Nuskha-e-Shahjahani, from Persian to English for The Mughal Feast (Roli Books). We chat with the writer about the finer nuances of the royal Mughal kitchen.

You can now prepare dinner from Emperor Shah Jahan’s original royal cookbook 2

When changed into the original Nuskha-e-Shahjahani compiled, and what changed into its reason?

The handwritten Persian manuscript begins and not using a date of compilation nor the call of the compiler. But it suggests that it turned into compiled in the course of Emperor Shah Jahan’s reign, possibly by one of the cooks of his royal kitchen.
What changed in the method of translating the book?

My know-how of the Persian language and the capacity to study manuscripts helped me translate this cookbook.
Which are a number of the essential strategies and ingredients you observed through this cookbook that has now emerged as mainstream in India?

Cooking on dum or what’s called dum pukht, sluggish cooking, smoking, the making of yakhni, mixing of meat and shaping them on skewers—all of those are techniques we learned from the Mughals. The Muslims’ advent in India between the tenth and 11th centuries resulted in an awesome fusion of culinary traditions. With Indian, Mesopotamian, Persian, and Middle Eastern delicacies, culinary artwork reached its top of sophistication underneath the Mughals.

Moghul emperors had also ended up particularly Indianised, and this e-book includes recipes that deliver mild to that truth. With time, sure Indian dishes and components had been used to create one of a kind flavors. Recipes like bharta, poori, khichdi, besan roti, and a few sweetmeats spotlight these elements. Betel leaves, mustard oil, mishri, Multani mitti, mahua, and Indian culmination, are a few examples of Indian ingredients used in their cooking.
There is no point out of chili? Are there every other mainstream Indian substance that had been now not stated at some point of this time?

There is no point out of chili, even though it got here within the later part of Shah Jahan’s reign. It took longer to be used in culinary delights. There is infrequently any mention of garlic and turmeric too.

How do you believe you studied Mughals modified the face of Indian cuisine?

Mughals introduced a rich gastronomic history to India with them, and this impact is now an exciting part of our food tradition. They added fashion and substance to India’s simple food, making it distinctive and turning cooking into an art–using nuts and saffron, for example. Similarly, using culmination in cooking added out a unique flavor. Apart from this, their hospitality changed into legendary as nicely. They have left at the back of a legacy of food that stays alive even after centuries.

Ahead, Husain stocks some of the recipes from her new book.
Zeer Bryan Paneer (rice with cottage cheese and green gram)

Serves: six to 8

Rice, four cups (1kg)
Cottage cheese (paneer), one cup or 250gm, reduce into ¾ cubes
Wholewheat flour (atta), eight tsp or 40gm
Salt, 8 tsp or forty gm
Yogurt (dahi), ½ cup or 125gm, hung and whisked
Saffron (Kesar), 1.5gm, dissolved in water
Green cardamoms (Choti elaichi), ½ tsp or 3gm, overwhelmed
Onions, ½ cup or 125gm, sliced
Ginger (adrak), four tsp or 20gm, overwhelmed
Cinnamon (dalchini), ½ tsp or 3gm
Cloves (laung), ½ tsp or 3gm
Black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch), 1.5gm, floor
Ghee, 1½ cups or 375gm
Green gram (scholia), ½ cup or 125gm, fresh and washed
Flat bamboo sticks as needed



Mix the wheat flour and salt with water in a bowl to make a thick batter. Cover the cottage cheese pieces with this batter and deep fry till golden brown. Keep aside.


Mix the whisked yogurt with the saffron and 1/2 of the finely overwhelmed cardamom seeds. Apply this combination over the fried cottage cheese portions


Take a wide, thick-bottomed pan, and set up flat bamboo sticks in a criss-cross manner at the lowest.


Remove the cottage cheese pieces from the yogurt combination and place them over the bamboo sticks. Place the onion slices and ginger, cinnamon, cloves, floor pepper, and ¾ cup ghee over the cottage cheese pieces.


Parboil the rice and spread it over the cottage cheese portions. If the rice is a little confusing, sprinkle two tbsp water to make it gentle. Color some rice with saffron and put on one aspect of the pan.


Spread the green gram over the rice.


Heat ¾ cup ghee to smoking factor, and pour around and on top of the rice. Place one cup wheat flour on a pinnacle of the rice, cowl and seal the pan.


Place stay charcoal on the duvet of the pan and place on dum for 5 minutes.

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