Royal Fascination For Food: Items That Mughal Emperors Were Fond of
- Juhi Kumari
Updated : January 20, 2022 05:01 IST
Read on to know about the food habits of each prominent Mughal ruler and get an overview of the delicacies that were popular among the brave emperors of Medieval India.
Mighty Mughals ruled India for over 200 years and bequeathed a great culinary legacy that we are still proud of. Mughlai food is one such bequest that has a history of more than 500 years. When Babur came to India, he was quite impressed and tempted by the country’s multiple cuisines. He gradually improvised the dishes he loved and soon the items begun to be known as a part of the royal kitchen. Here, we will talk about the food habits of each prominent Mughal ruler and give you an overview of the delicacies that were popular among the brave emperors of Medieval India.
Babur was fond of food (fruits and vegetables) from Farghana and Samarkand as he was born in Uzbekistan. And, he was not happy with the fact that India didn’t have plenty of grapes, muskmelon, and few other fruits. He complains about the same in this memoirs called Baburnama. What he truly loved In India was fresh salt-water fishes.
During his reign, a Persian influence was brought to the cuisine of Delhi. One of the favourite foods of Humayun was Khichdi. Humayun’s wife Hamida was the one who gets the credit to introduce the use of dry fruits and saffron in making Mughal food.
Akbar had many wives who brought their cooks with them after marriage in the Mughal Bawarchi Khana. These were from almost all corners of India. They all combined their styles of cooking and came up with various kinds of new dishes that became the emperor’s favourite. In Akbar’s reign, goat meat was added to the menu of the royal kitchen. His wife Jodha Bai is believed to have introduced Panchratna Dal into the Mughal Bawarchi Khana.
Jahangir’s wife Nur Jahan was a connoisseur by nature. This powerful lady used to receive unique drinks as gifts by traders from Europe whenever they used to visit India. She used all these ideas and created rich wines that Jahangir became fond of having.
The fifth emperor of the Mughal dynasty, Shah Jahan was a wise man. He was fascinated by a range of flavorsome spices in India. The ruler was greatly fond of mangoes and his kitchen garden used to be packed with other fruits including plums, pomegranates, melons, etc. Shah Jahan admired the medicinal properties of Indian spices like Haldi, Dhania, Jerra and had instructed his cooks to include these in the daily dishes.