Ever puzzled what Shah Jahan’s khansamah whipped up for the Mughal emperor? Was it a pulao that made him tick or kebabs? The Mughal Feast: Recipes from the Kitchen of Emperor Shah Jahan, with the aid of Salma Yusuf Husain, delves into a few royal kitchen secrets. A translation of the authentic ebook Nuskha-e-Shahjahani, the e-book is a step in the direction of information on the meal possibilities and the art of cooking within the Mughal generation. Salma, a Persian pupil and food historian, explores the intermingling of traditions inside the imperial kitchens.
Edited excerpts from an interview:
Your current book, The Mughal Feast, is called transcreation. Why so?
This book is a translation of Nuskha-e-Shahjahani written in Persian. It is a transcreation because other than translating, some of the recipes have been recreated.
The e-book includes over 2 hundred recipes spanning naans, do-pizza, kebabs, pulaos, and candies. It is a labor of three years. The book is a literal translation, and no changes had been made to the recipes. Only Chapter 10 is missing; in any other case, all the recipes have been blanketed. There’s additionally a separate page for recommendations.
What makes this e-book special?
Through this e-book, I need to educate the not unusual man on Mughlai food is. What is served as Mughlai cuisine doused in oil and spices is a ways from the refinement that turned into visible in the Mughal kitchens.
Which recipes did you recreate? Are they smooth to comply with?
Most of the recipes are simple, though a few are complicated. The recipes use minimal spices: aside from onions, most effective four or 5 spices are used — ginger, coriander, cinnamon, pepper, and clove. Saffron imparted the aroma, whilst dry culmination introduced to the richness. The royal chefs generally consulted the hakim while developing recipes.
Most of the dishes are mutton-based, though there are some hen ones too. Curd became normally used to tenderize the meat and to feature a bitter flavor. I recreated the amba pulao, Gorak kebab, murgh kebab, Zeer biryani paneer, bharta Shirazi, do piyazah Shirazi, Husaini kebab, and a-e-urus.
The cooking then turned into not wealthy? Was it diffused?
The substances had been rich, but the dishes had been not heavy. Since hakims had also been consulted, the cooking became wholesome. You could say the meals changed into diffused but flavourful. Today, we use cornflour to thicken curries, but the chefs used rice paste remixed with almond paste. There was a play of textures and colors.
In one pulao, the cooked pulao became divided into parts. One becomes colored using pomegranate juice and then tossed in silver foil or vary. Then the two elements have been blended. The deep crimson with silver and the white rice made it visually appealing. In the Naranjo pulao, a yakhni version, the pulao becomes spread out after being cooked. Two oranges had been reducing and hollowed. The shells have been then boiled and have been used as ketosis that has been packed with almond halwa or pistachio halwa. These were then placed atop the pulao and served—a visible deal with and a whole meal.
One instruction that I came throughout became Pakistan-e-quiz, which turned into made with goose. Once the goose changed into cleaned, it turned into rubbed with Multani mitti and buried within the floor for four hours. It was then cleaned over again and rubbed with sandal paste, and then cooked. The fuller’s earth absorbed all of the odor from the wild chicken while the sandal paste gave it a pleasant smell.
In some other instruction called gurak kebab, the fowl turned into filled with almonds and lamb. This turned into then covered in yogurt blended with saffron, earlier than being located over cinnamon sticks to cook. The confluence of flavors is mouth-watering.
Is there any Indian influence on the cooking? What do you believe you studied the missing chapter had?
Another e-book that I am operating on from Jehangir’s time has more Indian impacts. This book on Shah Jahan has quite some vegetarian recipes — kebabs and bharta. We’ve, in reality followed a lot of their techniques, including dum pukht, smoking of a dish, making raitas and kebabs.