The silver twilight of Mughal civilization began with Shah Jahan. Delhi changed into now a sanctuary of an urbane, state-of-the-art court which had taste, even elegance. By early 1730 the city had absorbed numerous factors from neighboring areas and witnessed a mingling of international in addition to countrywide strains and an interchange of ideas, customs, and food.
The Portuguese relationship with the Mughals had already been established a long time lower back, along the change routes. Hence the imperial kitchens, besides Indian components, saw an extra element introduced by using the Portuguese – the chili. The chili becomes very similar to the long pepper, already in use, and therefore did now not appearance too unusual to royal chefs, but had the new taste. Other vegetables like potatoes and tomatoes also appeared at the scene and the food of the Red Fort has become rich in shade, warm in taste, and sundry compared to the bland food of its ancestors. Qormas and qiyas, pulaos and kababs, and vegetables in unique garb, besides European desserts and puddings, decorated the desk.
Cooking and serving meals inside the royal kitchens become a riot of colors, fragrances, experiments, table manners, and protocols. The emperors commonly ate with their queens and concubines, except on festive occasions, when they dined with nobles and courtiers. Daily meals have been usually served by means of eunuchs, however, a complicated chain of command observed the meals to the desk. The hakim (royal health practitioner) planned the menu, ensuring to encompass medicinally useful ingredients. For instance, every grain of rice for the pulao was covered with silver ware, which aided digestion and acted as an aphrodisiac. One account information a Mughal feast given by using Asaf Khan, the emperor’s wazir, during Jahangir’s time to Shah Jahan – although no outsider had ever visible any emperor at the same time as eating except once when Friar Sebastian Manrique, a Portuguese priest, changed into smuggled by way of a eunuch inside the harem to watch Shah Jahan consume his meals with Asaf Khan.
Once the menu turned into determined, complex kitchen personnel – numbering as a minimum a few hundred – swung into action. Since a big number of dishes have been served at each meal, a meeting line of body of workers undertook the reducing and cleaning, the showering and grinding. Food turned into cooked in rainwater mixed with water added in from the Ganges for the pleasant viable flavor. Not handiest the cooking but the way the meals became served is exciting to notice – meals changed into served in dishes made of gold and silver studded with treasured stones, and of jade, as it detected poison. The meals were eaten at the ground; sheets of leather-based blanketed with white calico protected the high-priced carpets. This became called dastarkhwan. It became commonplace for the emperor to set apart a portion of food for the terrible before consuming. The emperor started out and ended his meal with prayers; the dinner party ran for hours as Shah Jahan favored to experience his meals, spending long hours at dastarkhwan.
With the passage of time, indigenization in the cooking style became apparent and certain Indian substances, like Kashmiri Vadi, sandalwood powder, suhaga, betel leaves, white gourd, and Natasha, and end result like mango, phalsa, banana, etc., have been used to provide one of a kind flavors to dishes.