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The Mughal Feast: Recipes From The Kitchen Of Emperor Shah Jahan

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by Salma Yusuf Husain
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The Emperor Shah Jahan, best known in Western popular culture for building the Taj Mahal, reigned over the Mughal empire for thirty years and presided over a court that was renowned for, among other things, its cuisine.

Drawing on a manuscript of Shah Jahan’s reign with a title that translates as “The recipes of Shah Jahan,” Indian food historian Salma Yusuf Husain recreates many of the dishes found therein, translating them into modern form, with standardized measures and timing.

Her introduction makes clear that the food of seventeenth-century Imperial court was changing from earlier times. Ingredients such as chilis, potatoes, and tomatoes were arriving and often found their first popularity in the emperor’s kitchens. Given the scope of the empire—it covered much of what is now India, but also Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan—and the Mughals’ connections to Persian culture—there were many other influences evident as well.

This is primarily a recipe collection, interested in highlighting foods that may no longer be common: a thick lamb soup with vegetables and wheat noodles; deep-fried tangerines in lamb gravy; fish wrapped in banana leaves and smoked; grilled goose.

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout reproduce art from period sources.

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