During her studies, Husain additionally traveled across significant Asia, consisting of Tashkent, Bukhara, and Samarkand, and observed how noodles and pasta had been additionally gifting within the Mughal kitchen.
When Mughal emperor Aurangzeb deposed his father Shah Jahan and imprisoned him, legend has it that he allowed him to handiest one aspect of his choice for the rest of his life. And Shah Jahan chose chickpeas. “An incredible source of protein, chickpeas can be cooked in many different methods — in soups, chicken, pulao, dal or halwa — that’s how the emperor survived his ultimate years,” says meals historian Salma Yusuf Husain. “But while Shah Jahan turned into the ruler, his astrakhan became a rise up of colors and flavors. Paneer was of seven unique hues, so they turned into kofta and pulao. For example, they used to cook dinner half the rice in fresh pomegranate juice and the alternative half in the water. These varieties were later blended and coated with silver warmth. This turned into for the Yakuti pulao; Yakut manner ruby in Persian,” she adds.
Recipes of such colorful and flavor-wealthy dishes make The Mughal Feast (Roli Books, Rs 1,495), that’s a transcreation of Nuskha-e-Shahjahani, a Persian recipe book relationship back to Shah Jahan’s rule. Divided into eight chapters, it has recipes for an assortment of naans, cash (soups), Aaliyah and do-pizzas, bharta, Zeer biryani, kababs, and different sweetmeats. “Unfortunately, the closing chapter of the manuscript — on murabba and pickles — is lacking; we attempted tough but couldn’t discover it,” says Husain.
Recipes for pulao make the longest chapter, with over 50 types. If for Naranj pulao, orange-flavored lamb curry is cooked in rice, for Zard pulao, sweetened cinnamon-flavored rice is garnished with fried raisins. In Koko pulao, lamb koftas, do-piyazah crammed-bird, and omelet are cooked with rice. “The cooks in the royal kitchen had been aggressive and innovative. You’ll locate loads of nuts and a dry culmination of their dishes; that is what they were given from vital Asia. In India, they found vegetables, grains, and clean fruits. That’s how you can see dishes with elements which include falsa, banana, melon, mangoes, and oranges,” says Husain, adding that the cooks were preparing hundreds of dishes every day, as one couldn’t predict the emperor’s temper. “The food changed into cooked inside the purest of rainwater mixed with water from Yamuna and Chenab rivers that could be saved in the kitchens,” says Husain. He is a postgraduate in Persian language and literature. Her first task worried translating handwritten Persian manuscripts at the National Archives in 1964.