Mughlai food is known for its richness. It is famous for the exotic use of spices, dried fruit and nuts. The Mughals did everything in style and splendor. Since they ate very rich food they reduced the number of intake during the day. Mughlai dishes as they are called have lots of milk and cream with spices to make rich and spicy meal that is the reason why Mughlai recipes are rich in fat, carbohydrates and proteins.
With the advent of the Muslims, India witnessed a definite and indelible mark in its cuisine. The Muslims ruler did everything with panache and extravagance which also got translated into the culinary nuances. The idea of community dining with lavish and extravagant banquets was introduced to India and formed a part of the courtier’s life. Dishes were served in jade, silver and Chinese porcelain. The splendor of the Mughal/Muslim cuisine is reflected in the Muglai Cuisine of India which is the richest and the most lavish in the country. The mutton kebabs were accented with spices, the rice preparation of India were cooked with meat and turned into wonderful biryanis, and mutton roasts were now flavored with Indian herbs, spices and seasonings. Also, Indian dishes were garnished with not so common almonds, pistachios, cashews and raisins.
India was also introduced to leavened breads by the Muslims. At this time the tandoor, the clay oven was created by the royal chefs. The Indian rotis and the leavened breads were merged into Tandoori breads like roti and naan. Meats were now marinated in yogurt and spices and also cooked in tandoors. Both pork and beef were avoided to respect the traditions of both cultures. The idea of concluding a meal with sweet-meats was introduced as the Persian rulers loved sweets. As one of the foremost authority on Mughal cuisine has recently remarked “The Mughlai cuisine has casted the most permanent influence on the similar other regional cuisine like that of Awadh and Hyderabad”.
Until the second decade of 19th century, the city of Awadh was under the Mughal rule put under the charge of a Nawab. Awadhi cuisine is from the city of Lucknow which is the state capital of Uttar Pradesh and the cooking pattern has drawn a considerable amount of influence from Mughal cooking style and bears resemblance to those of Hyderabad and Kashmir. The cuisine consists of both vegetarian and meat dishes which employs the dum style of cooking or cooking over slow fire which has become synonymous with Lucknow.
As opposed to conventional thought, Awadhi food does not make use of hundred-odd spices to produce each dish but a blend of handful but not so common spices. The truth lies in the manner in which the food is cooked on a slow fire. This process allows the juices to be absorbed well into the solid parts. All nutrients are retained in the food through this process. In addition to the major process of cooking food in Awadhi style, there are also other important processes such as marinating meats in order to produce a delightful taste. This is especially the case with barbecued food that might be cooked in a clay oven of over an open fire.
Fish, red meats, vegetables and cottage cheese may be marinated in curd and spices. This helps to soften the taste and texture of them as well as remove any undesired odors from the fleshy materials. They were often cooked on tawa, the flat iron griddle, as opposed to Mughlai influence and bear a testimony to the local influence and convenience. Some of the tawa preparations are, in fact, equally, if not more, famous like tandoori kebabs and tikkas.
Tags: handi, indian curry, gosht, dhokla, kebab, tandoori, chicken, karahi, lentil, desi