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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. It was a shaky throne and Babur was driven out of his homeland by Shaiban Khan, a descendant of Chenghez Khan. He reached the Indian subcontinent, defeated Ibrahim Lodhi in the battle of Panipat in 1526, and established Mughal rule in india.

Babur was a man of simple tastes which reflected his own nomadic pattern of life. He did not enjoy the food of Hindustan. The only thing that he enjoyed in the country was in fact fish. He lamented the fact that the country had no ice and no cooked food in its bazaars. He loved Turkish delights and enjoyed the dishes in Kabul. It is to be noted, however, that old Turkish food was not sophisticated, it was simple and wholesome. Turkish food became exotic during the Ottoman empire. On Babur’s table, you could find fresh vegetables and fruits, meats mixed with cereals, roasted sheep and rice flavoured with saffron, though he missed the breads of Samarkand and Bukhara.

Recipe for Steamed Lamb Savoury (Manty)

Book Review:  The Emperor’s Table: The Art of Mughal Cuisine

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