India – Food & Travel Guide

Archive for June 2009

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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.

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Recipe for Stuffed Bitter Gourd (Dum ke Karele)

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves 4


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: 1 cup

Lemon juice: 1 tbsp

Saffron: 2 tsp

Ground to powder

Brown cardamom: 2

Black cumin seeds: ½ tsp

Black peppercorns: ½ tsp

Cinnamon: 1

Cloves: 3


Slit the bitter gourd lengthwise, remove the seeds and rub salt to remove the bitterness.

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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.

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My Trip to Goa

You wouldn’t think there is either a global recession or an off-season in Goa, crossing the Mandovi in a chartered mini-bus. The vehicle, after all, is just one in a snaking line of several used by hotels to ferry guests to and from the airport.

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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.

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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 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.

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Recipe for Steamed Lamb Savoury (Manty)

  • Preparation time 1 hour
  • Cooking time 40 minutes
  • Serves 4


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 tsp
Yogurt, whisked: ½ cup


Knead a hard dough with wholewheat flour, salt, egg yolk and water.

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