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 back to Rig Vedic times of the early Aryans, who would conduct elaborate horse sacrifices and such and pieces of meat would be roasted for a meal. These were pre-Buddhist days and meat eating was allowed in Hinduism. Husian, who is a Persian scholar, has now accessed several Mughal texts, including the Ain-i-Akbari, a detailed account of Akbar’s rule (including the accounts of his kitchen; a separate officer was employed to oversee the kitchens) in the 15th century. Sifting through these, Husain manages to give to us interesting portraits of the Great Mughals, their fascination with the arts, including culinary arts, their practices such as drinking only water from the river ganga (held holy by the Hindus, it is said to have purifying properties) in only golden cups. Only the last of the Great Mughals, Aurangzeb was a frugal man. But we may have guessed that from his zealous temperament.
In fact, this is the first book of its kind offering readers not only mouth-watering recipes —ranging from soups and exotic breads to non-vegetarian dishes—but also showcasing the splendor of the Mughal table. The recipes have been selected from original Persian books. They are lucidly explained and easy to follow but have been modified to suit our modern times, tastes and practices.
Author: Salma Husain
Publisher: Roli Books