Overview for The Mughal Feast: Recipes From The Kitchen of Emperor Shah Jahan
Mughal cuisine was shaped by all kinds of influences: Turkish, Afghani, and Persian mixed in with Kashmiri, Punjabi, and a touch of Deccan. Each emperor also had his favourites, and Shah Jahan is credited with adding new spices to the cuisine.
Meals in the royal household began with the recitation of the Bismillah-e-Rahaman-e-Rahim – in the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful.
The Mughal Feast is a delightful transcreation of the original handwritten Persian recipe book Nuskha-e-Shahjahani from the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s rule. This cookbook maps a culinary journey into the Mughal imperial kitchen, where food was cooked with just the right amount of spices to enhance the base flavours of the dishes.
The book is divided into seven sections namely Naan, Aash, Qaliya and Do-Piyazah, Bharta, Zeer Biryan and Pulao, Kabab, Harisa, Shisranga and Khagina, and Shiriniha. The book contains a plethora of recipes, ranging from the familiar Shami Kabab and Baqlawa to the more exotic inlcluding Amba Pulao (Tangy Mango Lamb Rice) and Indersa (Sweet, Deep-fried Rice-flour Balls). The book also provides helpful tips for cooking, including methods to clean fish and soften bones, throwing light on the creativity of the Mughal cooks.
Complementing the mouth-watering dishes, Salma Husain’s informative introduction offers an intriguing glimpse into the royal lifestyle of one of India’s greatest empires. This book effortlessly recaptures the nostalgia of Mughal times while remaining a practical guide for the modern reader.
Salma Yusuf Husain (Author)
Food historian and author Salma Yusuf Husain has spent a lifetime studying Indian food and has used her knowledge of the Persian language to explore the history of food from the Mughal era. She has travelled extensively in search of culinary delights from different parts of the world and has worked with celebrity chef Gary Rhodes for a television show and also with South Korean television for a series on Indian food. She is a regular on Indian television for food-related shows and has worked as a consultant with the ITC Hotels.
She has written several cookbooks, including the award-winning The Emperor’s Table: The Art of Mughal Cuisine (Roli Books), which received the National Tourism Award in 2009, and the Best in the World Gourmand Award for culinary history the same year. A recent work of hers is a heritage volume tracing the history of dining and entertainment at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Around India’s First Table. Salma contributes stories on culinary history to the Urdu section of the BBC. She enjoys cooking for her friends and does it with great love and passion.