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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. He was also adept at astronomy and in geography. Persian craftsmen, especially painters of exquisite miniatures, fascinated Humayun. Some of them followed him to Hindustan and helped found the Mughal school of miniature painting. The earlier period of Humayun’s life was spent fighting. Unfortunately, he had no time to contribute towards culture and cuisine. His time spent in Persia and the lavish hospitality of the Shah made him favour Persian cuisine. As his wife Hamida herself was of Persian origin, Persian dishes replaced Central Asian ones and old Turkish flavours on the emperor’s table. The table was now richer and more varied. Spit-roasted chicken with herbs, koftas of different kinds, lamb cooked in the tandooor and a certain amount of sophistication entered the royal kitchen.

Recipe for Orange-flavoured Chicken Pulao

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

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