The Muslims from western Asia brought their rich artistic and gastronomic culture to India. This influence lasted for more than 400 years and is now part of the fabric of Indian culinary culture.
The two colliding cultures resulted in a magnificent cuisine called Muglai Cuisine. The lamb kebabs were laced with spices, the rice pulaos of India were cooked with meat and turned into wonderful biryanis, lamb and meat roasts were now flavored with Indian herbs, spices and seasonings. Also, Indian dishes were garnished with almonds, pistachios, cashews and raisins. India was also introduced to leavened breads by the Muslims. At this time the tandoor was created by the royal chefs. The Indian rotis and the leavened breads were merged into Tandoori Naans. Meats were now marinated in yogurt and spices and also cooked in tandoors. Both pork and beef were avoided to respect the traditions of both cultures. The idea of concluding a meal with sweetmeats was introduced as the Persian rulers loved sweets.
The great Muslim rulers brought their panache and elegance of living to India's culinary scene. The idea of community dinning and lavish and extravagant banquets were introduced to India. Dishes were served in jade, silver and Chinese porcelain. The splendor of the Mughal/Muslim cuisine is reflected in the Muglai Cuisine of India which is the richest and the most lavish in the country.
Chicken Korma Recipe
2 lbs. chicken breast cubed
2 cups Onion chopped
1 tsp Turmeric (Haldi)
1 tsp Coriander Seeds Powder (Dhania Powder)
1 tsp Red Chilly Powder (Lal Mirch)
1 " long piece Ginger (Adrak) chopped
8 Garlic (Lasun) minced
1 cup yogurt (Dahi) fresh and thick
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
3 tblsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)
5 Almonds (Badam) chopped
10 Cashewnut (Kaju) chopped
Lemon juice to taste
Coriander Leaves (Dhania Patta)
Beat the yogurt and mix chicken pieces with turmeric and salt.
Set it aside for half an hour.
Now heat ghee and fry onions, ginger, garlic till light brown.
Add red chilly powder, coriander and simmer for few minutes.
Add chicken and fry for 5 minutes.
Add 2 cups of hot water and stir well.
Cover and cook till chicken is tender and dry.
Add garam masala and salt.
Mix all the dry fruits and garnish with coriander leaves.
Mughlai Potatoes Recipe
3 cups potato peeled and cubed
4 tblsp Cashewnut soaked in 1/4 cup water
1 tblsp chopped Ginger and 3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Black Cumin Seed, 1 cinnamon leaf, 1/4 tsp. turmeric
2 cups minced Onion
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
2 tblsp chopped Coriander Leaves, 1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup Milk
Oil for frying
Fry the potatoes to a deep golden brown and keep aside.
Grind cashewnuts, ginger and garlic to a paste in a grinder. Keep aside.
Heat some of the oil in a heavy pan. Fry cumin and cinamon leaf. add onions and brown onions.
Add rest of the spices. Cook for a minute, add ginger/garlic/cashew paste. Cook for 1 minute.
Add milk or cream if you want to make it rich and about 1/2 cup of water for the sauce.
Boil and simmer for 2 -3 minutes.
Add fried potatoes and simmer on low till sauce thickens and stews the potatoes.
Baingan Ka Bharta Recipe (Mashed Roasted Eggplant)
1 large eggplant, roasted in the oven on a pan until the insides are soft and the eggplant skin is charred
2-3 tbsp oil
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped or preferably grated
juice of 1/2 lime
salt to taste
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp dry mint,
Remove the charred skin. Sweating helps to remove the skin easily. Mash the eggplant into a pulp.
In a wok or heavy skillet, heat oil. Add the onions, and cook until they become brown. Add the chopped ginger, coriander, cumin and red chilli powders. Add the tomatoes and fry till oil leaves the sides of the pan.
Add the eggplant pulp, lime juice and salt to taste. Stir. Cover and cook on low. Garnish with dried mint.
Seekh or Skewered Kebabs Recipe
2 lbs. finely minced lamb or beef
1 small onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
1 tsp each of red chilli, ground clove, cinnamon, cumin powders
2 tsp each of coriander powder, garam masala
2 fresh green chillis, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp gram flour or besan
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
3 slices white bread
2 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c oil for grilling and greasing the skewers
In a food processor add all ingredients except oil. TKeep the mixture in the fridge, overnight.
Grease skewers. Take some mixture in your hand and form a kebab around the skewer sausage like shaped. Similarly, make more kebabs along the length of the skewer. Work fast, as the meat tends to fall off.
Grill for about 20 minutes or until cooked, brushing with oil and rotating the skewers frequently.
Chicken Hariyali or Palak Gosht Recipe - Spinach Chicken Curry
1 lb chicken, boneless/skinless, cut into chunks
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, minced
1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
Grind to paste1
1/2 cup cilantro/coriander leaves, 1 tsp. fenugreek leaves drym 1-2 green chilies, 1/2 onion, chopped, 3-4 garlic cloves, 1" ginger
Whisk together 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 cup plain yogurt
Grind to paste2
1 bunch spinach, boiled, 8-10 cashews, 1 tbsp white poppy seeds
, 1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp oil or ghee
salt to taste
1/2 tsp kasoori methi, crushed
1/2 tsp garam masala
1. Grind paste 1 . Mix with yogurt & turmeric powder. Marinate the chicken. Cover. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
2. Clean spinach. Wash it several times in running water. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil. As the spinach wilts, switch off the gas. Let it cool down a little. Grind to a smooth paste along with cashews, poppy seeds, coriander seeds.
3. Heat oil in a pressure pan/cooker or handi. Add all cloves and cinnamon.
4. As the spices leave a wonderful aroma, add onion. Saute till golden brown.
5. Add marinated chicken along with yogurt. Saute for 5 minutes. Add crushed black pepper.
6. Now add spinach paste, tomato and 1/2 cup water. Add salt to taste.
7. Pressure cook till 3-4 whistles.
8. Let the pressure drop completely. Open the lid. Let it simmer.
9. Add crushed kasoori methi and garam masala.
For a restaurant taste add 1/4 cup of heavy cream