The Mughal rulers of India were the ones who migrated from the central Asia in the twelfth Century AD. It is needless to say that along with them, the Mughals brought in with them the delicious cultural array of food which gave the proper taste of their traditional cooking. The Mughal Cuisine has got the essential inclusion of the spices like saffron, cardamom, clove, star anise and cinnamon etc. The Mughal dishes also make intricate use of clarified butter or ghee in all of the dishes, be it based on the rice, on the flat bread or even in the kebab area. One can also find the influence of a lot of dry fruits which are important additions to the Mughal cuisine. Each and every dish of the Mughal cuisines are marked by significant aromas of the traditional spice blends which are used in the slow cooking process. Even the desserts of the Mughal cuisine are marked by the rich use of dry fruits, ghee and rich fatty milk. Mughals, alongside gifting some of the greatest architectural wonders of the country under their rule, they have also gifted India with their traditional delectable. It is also important to know that due to cultural merge of the Mughals along with the native Indians, there emerged a new cooking culture on the face of the country. Specifically, the North Indian style of cooking was excessively inspired from the Mughal process of cooking due to certain similarities in the usage of the spices and process of the cooking. It just took a little time for both the cuisines to adapt to the cooking styles of each other. In fact, the best example can be cited from the very kitchen of Mughal Emperor Akbar who, alongside his native Mughal cook, recruited many Indian people as the cooks of his royal kitchen. It is important to mention that these newly recruited Indian chefs were trained by the Mughal royal chefs. The dishes of this royal cuisine can actually range from super spicy to mild spicy. But one thing is very common, no matter how much bland a food of this cuisine is, it will be rich due to the enriched use of the spices of nearly ten to fifteen variants. It is important to know that these spices create a great difference to the taste of not only the staple rice or wheat variations of food, but the meat dishes can also reach a different platform when cooked with these.
Photo by Edmund Nigel Gall
The details of the food preparation in Mughal kitchen
Mughal cuisine is no doubt the dish for the lavish. But, in the country like India, the Mughal cuisines can be found in every nook and corner of the country, that too in affordable prices. Each and every people of this country are a fan of this mighty and versatile cuisine because of the royal taste it leaves, even after the meal is complete. It is the very aroma of the Mughal cuisine that will leave the foodies into a splitting situation of the tantalized taste buds. The people wait eagerly whenever they get the smell of the Mughal dish being cooked inside a kitchen.
The Mohammedan populations of India are the closest who can cook the Mughal dishes like Biriyani, Pulao, Kebabs, Firni, Halim and Semolina for dessert in the most authentic way. They follow the basic rules by heart when they are cooking in their kitchen. This is the main reason why, the Mughal cuisines have managed to sustain in this secular country for a long time. And believe it or not, people from all religions, and even across the world com e to these Mughal eateries under the enchanting influence of the taste of the spices.
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Alongside spices, ghee, and lots of refined oil, another main ingredient of the Mughal cuisine of India come in the forms of milk, cream and yogurt. Yes, you will find a lot of influence of these dairy products in their food. If you ever get to taste the yogurt based dishes like Burrani, Raita and Kebab chutney, you will come to know that how the Mughals have placed the fermented daity wonder in the deepest corner of their culinary expertise. Kebabs are synonymous to the Mughal cuisine. Kebabs are chunks of boneless thick meat pieces which are marinated with a thick mixture of different spices, curds and herbs for many hours and then grilled on the tandoors. Direct fire cannot take away the original taste of the meats smoked with the spices, rather, the fire tenderizes the meat, and when they are taken out of the fire, the meat pieces become soft, juicy and succulent. Yes, these meaty chunks, even after rigorous grilling can retain the taste. Such is the wonderment of the Mughal cooking technic. Places like Lucknow and Hyderabad are considered to be the hubs of the Mughal cuisine. One can witness the eateries selling the Mughal culinary wonders at every corner of the cities in affordable prices. You will be surprised to see so many different varieties of kebabs, biryanis and other wheat based dishes along with arrays of desserts in all parts of the country. In fact, you will be surprised to know that the common dish of biryani has got blended with the Indian cuisine and now the versatile dish comes in more or less twenty different varieties. Only India can provide such a culinary wonderment to the foodies with a single dish of food. The Mughal foods now, in India, may not be cooked in the imperial kitchens anymore, but the eateries out there who specialize in cooking and selling the dishes to the people gather immense popularity with the people. Even the tourists from other parts of the world indulge themselves in the unparalled taste of the Mughal cuisine and take back home the memories of an unforgettable culinary journey which remain etched with them for the rest of their lives.
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