The Mughal empire gave India, among other things, literature, architecture, music and art.
It also left behind a lasting tradition of Mughal food – food fit for kings.
The last emperor in particular, Bahadur Shah Zafar was known for his love of food. His royal kitchen witnessed food made with dry fruits, herbs and spices. Fresh fruits and vegetables were often prepared with meat, while unusual ingredients like orange blossom, jasmine flowers and pomegranate juice were used in special preparations.
To celebrate this very distinct cuisine, WelcomHotel Sheraton, New Delhi has an ongoing food festival called The Last Mughal – food from the kitchens of Bahadur Shah.
There was an elaborate buffet (lots of choices for both vegetarians and non vegetarians), but here’s a look at what I enjoyed.
The Mahi Badam Qaliya was a rich dish of sole shaped into small balls with a slivered almond centre.
The Murg Dilruba was chicken cooked in yogurt and spices with dry fruits. What was interesting was that the chef told us the chicken was marinated and then cooked in the marinated juices without the addition of anything else.
I really liked the slow-cooked Subz Haleem. Being a strong supporter of the non-vegetarian version of this dish, I myself was suprised by how similar it tasted to the meatier version.
Tursh-e-paneer was a delicate, white almond gravy in which sat melt-in-the-mouth paneer rolls stuffed with dried plums and spring onions.
The Yakhani pulao was a good accompaniment to all the dishes, as was the crispy Garlic naan that was brought to us at the table.
There were also 3 types of raita – beetroot (sweet), cucumber (fresh), and Bhurrani (spicy). All three were distinctly flavoured and very refreshing.
Here’s a look at my plate. As you can see, it was a complete meat feast.
Another dish I enjoyed was the Qeema Hari Mirch, although I thought it looked and tasted like chicken and not lamb as the chef mentioned.
To end, we had a delightfully creamy Phirni – not too heavy and not too sweet. Just right.
If you want to try these dishes and more, here are the deets:
Venue- Baywatch, WelcomHotel Sheraton, New Delhi
Date & Time – Dinner (Buffet)- 15th-21st April
Price- 1750/- plus taxes