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Recipes

Mathur food festival at Fire, The Park, New Delhi

Often labeled “sharabi-kebabi” or “adhe Mussalman” (half Muslim) because of their gastronomic adventurousness, the Mathur-Kayasthas have always considered themselves to be sophisticates, well versed in matters cultural—and culinary. Often, in a household, the passion for music (or dramatics and urdu poetry) would only be overshadowed by an interest in food, with dining room conversations routinely […]

Paya, paella and some omlette talk

How to serve up trotters… and the best of eggs… By Anoothi Vishal “By the way, Chandra can now cook the perfect paya,” said uncle-in-law, who can be quite the intimidating editor with a fondness for all things food and French. Chandra is his cook, an affable pahari lady who has withstood perfection in the […]

Recipe for Orange-flavoured Chicken Pulao

Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes Serves 4 Ingredients Rice, parboiled in rose water with ½ tsp saffron: 2 cups Chicken, cut into 8 pieces: 800 g Orange peel, chopped, blanched: ¼ cup Ghee: 1 ½ cups Carrots, grated: ½ cup Almonds: ¼ cup Sugar: 2 tbsp Saffron (kesar): ½ tsp Pistachios, pounded: […]

Cuisine of the Mughals: Akbar (1542-1605)

Akbar (1542-1605) Akbar’s childhood was spent in present day Afghanistan. From his Persian mother, he inherited princely manners, his love for literature and the arts. And from his Turkish father came his fierce energy, his love for war and his ability to command. Later, he learned to absorb what was genuinely Indian. The Ain-i-Akbari, a […]

Recipe for Stuffed Bitter Gourd (Dum ke Karele)

Preparation time: 1 hour Cooking time: 1 hour Serves 4 Ingredients Bitter gourd (karela), washed, skin scraped: 500 g Salt: ½ cup Tamarind leaves: 1 cup Ghee: ½ cup Raisins: ½ cup Almonds, blanched: 2 tbsp Onions, fried: ¼ cup Ginger, chopped: 1 tbsp Coriander seeds, crushed: 1 tbsp Cumin powder: 1 tsp Yoghut, whisked: […]

Cuisine of the Mughals: Humayun (1508-1556)

Humayun (1508-1556) Humayun, the beloved father of Akbar, ascended the throne amidst great festivities in 1530. He had acquired proficiency in the arts and science in his early years. He was very fond of poetry and had great skill in that. He was also adept at astronomy and in geography. Persian craftsmen, especially painters of […]

Cuisine of the Mughals: Babur (1494-1530)

Babur (1494-1530) Babur was born in Ferghana, in Transoxiana, modern Uzbekistan and Tajikistan; a scion of the dysnasty that had reigned undisputed throughout eastern Iran and Central Asia since the time of Timur. At the age of 12, Babur became the ruler of Ferghana, after his father died. It was a shaky throne and Babur […]

Cuisine of the Mughals

Historian Salma Husain’s book brings back the past with its extensive research into Mughal kitchens and the  food habits and recipes of the emperors: Husain is known in India as the original “kebab lady”—having researched into the beginnings of the kebabs and traced their history back, not to the muslim rule in India, but further […]

Recipe for Steamed Lamb Savoury (Manty)

Preparation time 1 hour Cooking time 40 minutes Serves 4 Ingredients Wholewheat flour: 1 cup, Salt to taste Egg yolk: 1 Vegetable oil: 1 tsp For the filling Ghee: ¼ cup Onion, finely chopped: 1 Lamb mince: 300 g Salt to taste Black peppercorns, freshly ground: To taste Pumpkin, grated: 2 tbsp Garlic paste: ¼ […]

In praise of Bengali food

Amit and Amiti, two of my journalist friends, invited us over for dinner at their home this weekend. And what a splendid meal they provided. I know, if you are cooking yourself, the trick is to keep things really simple so that you can enjoy the evening yourself. But given the kind of upbringing I […]

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