It is regularly said that recipes are ancient treasures, and by saving them prevents part of history from the loss of life. Her modern-day transcreation of the original handwritten Persian recipe e-book ‘Nuska-e-Shahjahani,’ renowned meals historian and creator Salma Yusuf Husain has taken upon a huge assignment of bringing a few boisterous Mughal recipes alive. The Mughal Feast: Recipes from the Kitchen of Emperor Shah Jahan, published via the Roli Books, gives a delightful peek into the wealthy culinary historic past of one of India’s best empires.
Through her informative introduction, Salma tries to familiarise her readers with the mystique of ‘Mughal delicacies,’ which borrowed closely from Turkish, Afghani, and Persian patterns. The Mughal Khansamas efficiently married the overseas impacts with Kashmiri, Punjabi, and Deccan substances. When 1638 Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to Delhi, the newly evolved Shahjahanabad flourished in arts, literature, and architecture. The foodscape of the town also noticed a first-rate transformation during the emperor’s rule. Mughlai cuisine no longer has become a melting pot of numerous cultures, but Shah Jahan became credited with including new spices in the delicacies.
Husain additionally tells us that, seeing that Mughals shared friendly relationships with the Portuguese, the imperial kitchens also became aware of the Portuguese-preferred chili, which introduced a revolution of sorts in Indian cooking. The food has become colorful, flavourful, and warm. Imports like potatoes and tomatoes also changed the face of Indian meals for precise. The Mughals introduced India to a spread of culmination like cherries, apricots, grapes, and melons. Shah Jahan’s special penchant for mangoes coaxed the imperial kitchens to give you many imaginative recipes for mangoes’ usage. The new change in routes and roads facilitated the import of almonds, pistachios, walnuts, apricots, saffron, and fragrant herbs, which determined their outstanding location in Mughal qormas, soups, and rice dishes.
While rice became a staple in Indian families much earlier than the Mughals arrived, the art of cooking rice noticed a unique refinement in their reign, giving us some of our favorite pulao dishes like most pulao, sarangi pulao, and more. In conjunction with being a nostalgic recapturing of the traditional recipes, the Mughal feast is likewise a unique tribute to Khansamas, who, alongside their group, would spend infinite hours curating the unique Dawat. The formal spreads had been a numerous mix of neighborhood and worldwide favorites, from qormas and kebabs to European cakes and puddings.
The daily meals were an affair of fun and joy. The kings desired to have their dinner with their queens or concubines; the menu was planned by a Hakim (physician), who could ensure that the food had some medicinal ingredients. Food was soaked in rainwater mixed with water from the Ganges and braved in silver and gold utensils.
The ebook is divided into seven sections: Naan, Cash, Qaliya, Do Piyazah, Bharta, Zeer Biryani, Pulao, Kebab, and Shirin. The recipes are simplified for the ease of present-day readers. The ebook also comes with an on-hand index, helpful tips for cooking, fishing techniques, softening bones easily, and coloring meals with vegetable juice.
Cooked in a tandoor or on an iron griddle, Mughlai Naans (a usual name for bread) was a lavish affair even before Shah Jahan took the throne. In the ebook, you would locate recipes of a plethora of those flatbreads, such as Naan Tunuk – traditional entire-wheat flatbread that was also referred to through well-known historian Amir Khusrao; or something extra healthful like Naan Paneer – baked flatbread crowned with cottage cheese. The ebook additionally has recipes for conventional Sheermal and Baqarkhani. The transcreation also files the Mughals’ fixation with nuts and dry fruits. They attempted to comprise their bread 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 hard the dominance of atta and maida within the world of bread.
The subsequent section is dedicated to Cash or soups, a dish once more local to Central Asia popularised through the Mughals in India. Lamb often becomes the key component of this one-pot meal, but pulses, bulger, yogurt, and noodles are observed every so often. Qualia’s, alternatively, have been the type of special curries that were thinner in consistency but sophisticated in terms of spices and color, which often turned into turmeric and saffron. While she lists more than one recipe, we cannot make an appearance over the fact that Mughals had respectable expertise of the importance of seasonal and nearby elements: Qaliya amba, candy, and tangy mango-primarily based lamb curry and Qaliya samosa or minced meat in betel leaves served in lamb curry are prime examples. Salma calls ‘Do Piyazah’ a “sensual adventure”; she describes the stylish dish as “stewed meat in a sauce served with rice or bread. The dish blends with the strong flavor of mutton with the sharpness of onion and the clean promise of herbs.”
She takes up the Kebabs, Pilafs, and Biryani within the latter part of the book. It might not be wrong to say that they’re essential to our knowledge of Mughlai delicacies today. Those stellar preparations have stood the take a look at times and feature discovered a following throughout the globe. The Mughal Feast files a bevy of those iconic recipes. Zard Pulao, Narangi (orange) pulao, keema pulao, Mutanjan Pulao (lamb and rice sluggish-cooked in sugar syrup), Falsa Pulao, Imli Pulao, Sheer Pulao, Samosa Pulao! The listing here is eclectic and, for lack of a higher phrase, thoughts-boggling.