Recreating Mughlai cuisine

Delhi’s Mughlai delicacies go back 500 years through the history of West Asian non-veg dishes dating to the 12th century when the Sultanate came into being. Even now, if you travel through the slender gullies of Old Delhi, you’ll discover that there may be much greater on offer than simply chaat.

The 9th edition of the Dilli 6 Food Festival at Okhla gave us a taste of delicacies from the reigns of the Tomars, Sultans, Mughals, and the British to Punjabi, Baniya, and Kayastha delicacies. A lavish buffet unfolded of eighty-plus dishes each day during the competition. Named after the pin code of the Walled City, the annual festival hosted as “Edesia” at Crowne Plaza took one on a culinary tour of Delhi spanning time, dynasties, and generations.

Chef Swaminathan says, “The old city shares an intimate relationship with meals throughout the dynasties that have ruled the mainland: the Pandavas, Tomars, Mughals, and British. The food at Purani Dilli is sumptuously garnished with culinary secrets that have been passed down through generations to make Delhi the meal capital of the United States of America.”

What a menu awaited us at the pageant: Subz-E-Zar, Mahi Subz Posh, Bibi Maryam-ki-Roti, Naan-E-Pista, Sarai-ki-Gosht Biryani, Jahangiri Qorma, Mian-ki-Halim, Prithvi Murgh-ka-Salan, Gosht Lagan Mela, Sunehri Tinda Moti, Simone-ki-Dal, Matar Paneer Neze, Bharta Telai, Dil Bahar Do Piaza and such a lot of greater dishes.

The iconic Paranthe Wali Gali was recreated for visitors to revel in the deep-fried, golden paranthas stuffed with delicious fillings. From mooli, Mirchi, nimbu, gobhi, methi, and matter to papad, blend veg, and mewa stuffing, you call it. Besides the road food, it changed into Matra Kulcha, Aloo Tikki, Golguppa, Dahi Bhalle, Aloo-Puri, Chole Bhature, and Samosa.

Then there had been cakes like Gali Dariba-ki-Jalebi, Feroze-ka-Habshi Halwa, Shafiq Kheer Wale-ki-Kheer, China Ram-ka-Karachi Halwa, Kuremal- ki-Matka Kulfi, Daulat-ki-Chaat, More Lala-ka-Kada Doodh, and Fatehpuri Lachcha Rabri. If you can consume a 36-inch Parantha in a stipulated time, you receive a free motel stay, stated Ranjan Banerjee, the manager who hails from Meerut and brings a whiff of the well-known kababs with him.

Going beyond the festival, it’s worth retelling that within the 14th century, Amir Khusrau wrote that the meal spread (Dastarkhan) of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq consisted of about two hundred dishes. The royal kitchen fed 20,000 human beings daily. In his epic poem, which later got here to be referred to as Mathnavi dar Sifat-e-Delhi on Delhi culture, Khusrau stated: “The royal dinner party covered Sherbet Labor, Naan-e-tanduri, Sambusak, pulao, and halwa’. They drank wine and ate Tambul (betel leaf) after dinner. Khusrau additionally mentions delicious dishes, which include sparrow and quail curry.

The Moorish vacationer Ibn Battuta describes a royal meal on the desk of Muhammad’s father, Sultan Ghiyasuddin, at Tughlaqabad, as a lavish unfold comprising skinny round bread cakes, massive slabs of sheep mutton, spherical dough cakes made with ghee and stuffed with almond paste and honey; meat cooked with onions and ginger; rice with hen topping.

In addition, sambuca, triangular pastries fabricated from hashed meat with almonds, walnuts, pistachios, onions, and spices placed inside a chunk of skinny bread fried in ghee, much like the samosa of nowadays. Sweet desserts and sweetmeat made dessert, and the meal ended with pain. As in step with writer Sadia Dehlvi, in the twelfth century, Sultans who belonged to the warrior clans of Central Asia had to be satisfied with meals that changed into greater approximately survival than sophistication. “The refinement in their cuisine came via interaction with Indian groups and the abundance of the result, greens, and spices available here.

The tables of Qutbuddin Aibak, Iltutmish, and Razia Sultan consisted of meat dishes, dairy products, sparkling culmination, and local greens before Firoz Shah’s Kotla began to be haunted using jinns.” The arrival of the Mughals in the 16th century added more aroma and color to Delhi’s culinary variety. However, Babar’s founder complained about his Afghan fatherland’s lack of musk melons, grapes, and other fruits. His son, Humayun, is credited with bringing refined Persian to impact Delhi’s cuisine after years of exile in Persia following his defeat by Sher Shah Suri.

The fusion of Indian and Persian cooking became known “as Mughal cuisine.” In Ain-i-Akbari, Abul Fazl, Emperor Akbar’s courtier, says that cooks from Persia and diverse parts of India could serve in the royal kitchen. This caused the merging of Turkish, Afghan, Indian, and Persian varieties of cooking. Abul Fazl states that more than 400 cooks from Persia formed the huge kitchen status quo with head chefs, legit tasters, and numerous other staff.


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