Indian food offers so much variety in taste and texture, which is unmatched anywhere else in the world. One of the prime reasons could be attributed to the influence of different cultures that came and mingled with our own.
The result of so much amalgamation and interaction in terms of food preparation style, the spices and ingredients is what we see today. Stunning in its variety and Indulgent like no other food !
Muglai food, offers one of the best examples that was a result of the fusion of different cultures. Indian spices together with the creamy nuttiness of Persian culture, gives Mughlai food a distinctive taste and creamy texture that we all love!
Not only the food, taste and textures but even the names of the dishes, were highly influenced with the inter mingling of cultures. Persian was the official language of the Mughal Empire, because the first Mughal emperor Babur, came from Afghanistan. So, Mughlai dishes have a very distinct inclination towards Persian names. Also, since Mughlai dishes were mainly prepared for the royals; hence lot of attention was paid towards the naming of these dishes – suiting the royal taste.
It is not surprising to understand that even today why the names of some of the Mughlai dishes are so inviting, that you get tempted to try one of the dishes : Mughlai aloo lajawaab, baingan musasalam, sarai-ki-gosht biryani, dil bahar do piaza, naan-e-pista, Jahangiri Korma and several more. Sure the names are tempting and inviting 🙂
The preparation of Mughlai cuisine was very involved with the number of sauces and butter-based curries. Indian spices that were prominently used in these dishes were saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg etc. These spices influenced the taste, and also rendered the all-important aromatic indulgence of these dishes – something we all expect when eating Mughlai food, even today.
Some of the traditional Mughlai flavors include biryani, kebabs, kofta , pulao and tandoor.
One of the most scrumptious dishes from this cooking is kebabs.
Kebabs has earned a special place for itself in north Indian cuisine. Kebab dishes can consist of cut up or minced meat, sometimes with fruits, vegetables, and various other accompaniments according to the specific recipe.
The most commonly found type of kebabs is the shish kebab or sheek kebab, in which meat is grilled on skewers, together with onions and tomatoes. The meat is marinated in a combination of spices and oils, lime juice, curd and other ingredients . The ingredients used for marination and the time it is marinated for, greatly influences the taste of the dish. This marination provides the juiciness to the meat and the tenderness in each bite. After being grilled in the tandoor, the meat turns delicious brown, and becomes soft, tender and succulent.
Another popular dish amongst kebabs are Shami kebab. They are often garnished with lemon juice and served with sliced raw onions as a side salad, and may be eaten with chutney.
Kebabs, though chiefly made from meat, are now also made from vegetables, and paneer.
In spite of the fact that Indian wasn’t the originating point of Kebabs, it has integrated quite well in the Indian cuisine list, and finds a place in majority of food menus. While the fundamental methods of preparation have remained intact in most places, there are several places across India, experimenting with several types of kebabs. The popularity of the kebabs, paved the way for the experimentation, which is resulting in some of the most delicious, flavored and tender kebabs.
Will try to share more details on some of the other flavours of Mughlai dishes in my next write up.
Till then, dig in 🙂