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The Muslim Culinary Influence on India
Apart from its awesome monuments, the once-mighty Mughal dynasty also left Delhi with a rich culinary legacy known as Mughlai cuisine.

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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.

Mughlai Recipes

Lamb Recipe - Mughal-style Kheema Masala
45ml/1/3 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2.5 cm/1 in ginger root, finely chopped
2 reen chilies, finely chopped
8 cloves
8 cardamom pods
4 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
5 ml/1 tsp poppy seeds
2.5ml/1/2 tsp black peppercorns
10 ml/2 tsp Mughal-style Garam Masala
1Oml/1/2 tsp ground cumin
20 ml/4 tsp ground coriander (cilantro)
5ml/1 tsp ground turmeric
5 mill tsp paprika
25g/1 oz/1/4 cup ground almonds
1 tomato, skinned and chopped
1.5kg/3 lb minced (ground) lamb
250 milS fl oz/l cup natural (plain) yoghurt
30 ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chilies over a medium heat until browned. Add the cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon, poppy seeds and peppercorns and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring.

Add the garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric and paprika ad cook for w minutes. add the almonds and tomato and mix well.

Stir in the meat, yoghurt and salt, cove r and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender. Garnish with mint and serve hot with rice, Nan and vegetables.

This recipe is a traditional Indo-Pak dish served at special occasions. It can be made with either chicken, beef or lamb. Although time consuming it is rich in flavor and appeals to the sight and smell. Good served with yogurt salad.

4-5 lb chicken cut in small pieces or
3 LBs beef cut into 1-2 inch cubes
2 medium onions sliced thin
6 garlic cloves crushed
3" piece ginger ground
1/2 cup yogurt
1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
5 tbsp. Ajika Biryani Spice Blend
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
2 green chilies chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup oil
1 Tablespoon saffron, dissolved in cup hot milk
5 cups basmati rice

Heat oil in a big pot and add onions. Cook on medium-low heat until golden brown. Remove onions to plate and add chicken to pot, stirring until brown on all sides. Meanwhile, in blender add yogurt 1/2 of cooked onion, and garlic/ginger. Blend and add to the browned chicken. Also add tomatoes, spice blend, 1 Teaspoon of salt and pepper. Cook for 1/2 hour on medium heat. Stir frequently till water is dried up and chicken is tender.

Boil rice in 8 cups of water with 2 Teaspoon salt. Cook approximately 10 minutes, drain the water. In a big oven resistant pot put 1/2 chicken on bottom and then 1/2 of rice. Add 1/2 of the lemon juice, 1/2 of the onion remaining, cilantro and the chilies. Repeat layering. Pour 1/4 cup oil on top along with the saffron/milk mixture. Place in pre-heated oven(350 degrees) with lid on for 1 hour. Serves 10.

Ground Meat with Peas Curry - Kheema Recipe
500 gms Minced Meat (Keema)
250 gms Peas (Matar)
1/2 tsp Turmeric (Haldi)
1 tsp Red Chili Powder (Lal Mirchi)
1 " chopped Ginger (Adrak)
3 Green chilli (Hari mirch)
1 tsp Garam Masala
3 large Brown Cardamom (Elaichi Moti) crushed
1 cup fresh and thick curd Curd (Dahi)
1 pinch of Asafetida (Hing)
4 tblsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)
Coriander Leaves (Dhania)

Heat ghee and fry asafetida.
Add salt, green chillies, turmeric and coriander powder.
Add cardomoms and garam masala and simmer.
Then add a cup of hot water.
Cover and cook till the water dries and peas and keema are done.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with nan or chapatis.

Mughal Meat Recipe
2 Lbs meat
1 big sized Onion (Pyaj)
1 " Ginger (Adrak)
2 tblsp chopped cilantro
2 fresh Green chilli (Hari mirch) slit lengthwise into halves
3 tblsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)
3 - 4 cloves Garlic peeled and coarsely chopped
3 tblsp Wine Vinegar
175 ml warm Water
1 tblsp Tomato (Tamatar) puree

For paste
1 tblsp Sesame seeds (Til)
1 kg Leg of Lamb
1 tblsp Mustard Seeds (Raai / Raee)
1 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
2 tblsp Poppy seeds (Khuskhus)
2 " piece Cinnamon (Tuj/Dalchini)
2 - 4 dried Red Chillies
4 Cloves (Lavang)
10 Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)
2 Brown Cardamom (Elaichi Moti)

Trim off excess fat from the meat and cut into 2 " cubes.
Rub the spice paste well into the meat and leave for marination for 4 -6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Add the salt to garlic and crush to a smooth pulp.
Melt the ghee over low flame.
Add the onions and ginger adjust flame to medium and fry them until the onions are soft.
Add the garlic paste and fry for a further 2 -3 minutes stiring frequently.
Add the meat and cook in the onion mixture until all sides of meat are brown.
Add water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the meat is tender.
Add the puree, green chillies and coriander leaves.
Adjust the flame to medium and cook for 3 - 4 minutes stiring continously.
Remove the pan from the flame and serve hot.

Chicken Kebabs Recipe
500 gms Chicken (cut into pieces)
1 cup Cornflour
1 tsp Garlic (Lasun) juice
2 tblsp Curd (Dahi)
2 cups Clarified Butter (Ghee)
1 Cellophane Bag
1 tsp Ginger (Adrak) juice
1 tsp Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)

Soak chicken pieces in salt, garlic and ginger juice for 12 to 16 hours.
Now put cornflour in the bag with little salt and black pepper.
Add pieces of chicken removed from garlic juice and ginger and vinegar.
Shake the bag well with chicken, cornflour, salt and pepper in it.
Heat the ghee in a pan.
Then gradually add pieces of chicken and fry them till golden brown on high flame.
Continue frying till all the pieces are done.
Server hot with green salad.

Chicken Korma Recipe
1 Chicken
6 tblsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)
4 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
1/4 tsp Saffron (Kesar), soaked in lukewarm milk
3 meduim sized Onion (Pyaj)
2 cups beaten Curd (Dahi)
1/2 " Ginger (Adrak)
8 pods Garlic (Lasun)
4 Green Chillies
4 Cloves (Lavang)
1 " Cinnamon (Tuj/Dalchini)
3 Brown Cardamom (Elaichi Moti)
1 tsp Aniseed (Sauf)
2 boiled eggs
2 -3 Almonds Few Sultanas

First grind ginger, garlic, green chillies, cloves, cinnamom, cardamoms, aniseed to a fine paste.
Now prick the chicken well with a fork.
Mix curd with ground spices and rub it over the chicken.
Set it aside and allow the chicken to marinate for 3 - 4 hours.
Heat ghee, fry bay leaves, add onions and let them brown well.
Add the chicken along with marinade.
Cook on medium flame till nearly done.
Add salt and saffron and fry chicken till the masal begins to coat the chicken and it is well brown.
Pour the chicken in a dish and top it with silver foil.
Also add chopped boiled eggs, almonds sliced and fried sultanas.
Serev with fried rice, nan and paranthas.

Skewer Kebabs - Seekh Kebab Recipe
500 gms Lamb Mince(Keema)
Brown Color
3/4 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Garlic (Lasun) paste
1 tblsp Raw Papaya Paste
1 tsp Ginger (Adrak) Paste
2 tblsp Cashewnut (Kaju)
2 tsp thick Cream (Malai)
2 Onion (Pyaj)
2 tsp Carom Seeds / Thyme (Ajwain)
2 tsp Dried Mango Powder (Amchoor)
2 tblsp Rock Salt (Kala Namak)
3 tblsp Cumin Seed (Jeera)
1 tblsp Dry Ginger (Saunth)
1 tsp Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)
1/2 tsp Nutmeg Powder(Jaiphal)

Wash the keema and put in a strainer and gently press to squeezeout all the water.
Mix all the ingredients to the keema and knead well.
Keep aside for 1 hour.
Heat a gas oven or an electric oven with the skewers.
Take a big ball of the keema mixture and hold a hot skewer carefully in the other hand.
Press the mince on to a hot skewer.
The keema will immediately stick to the hot skewer.
Repeat with left over mince on all the other skewers.
Place the skewers in the oven.
Keep rotating the skewers occasionally.
When cooked, gently remove the kababs from the skewers with the help of a napkin.
Shallow fry the kababs on a nonstick pans in 1 tablespoon oil.
To serve sprinkle some chat masala and lemon juice on the kababs.

Chicken Mughlai Recipe
1 Chicken deboned and cut into pieces
3 Onion (Pyaj) 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 Curd (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 curd 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.
Serve hot.

New Potatoes in Yogurt Sauce - Dum Aloo Recipe
300 gms Potato (Aloo)
4 tblsp Cashewnut (Kaju) soaked in 1/4 cup water
1 tblsp chopped Ginger (Adrak)
1 tsp chopped Garlic (Lasun)
1/2 tsp Black Cumin Seed (Shah Jeera)
1 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
2 chopped Onion (Pyaj)
a pinch of Turmeric (Haldi)
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
2 tblsp chopped Coriander Leaves (Dhania Patta)
1/4 cup beaten Curd (Dahi)
1/4 cup Milk
Oil for frying

Wash potatoes and peel and cut them into 1 inch pieces.
Fry the potatoes to a deep golden brown and keep aside.
Grind cashewnuts, ginger and garlic to a paste in a grinder.
Keep this paste aside.
Heat some of the oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
Add black cumin and bay leaf.
Wait for 30 seconds till cumin seeds stop spluttering.
Add onions and cook on low flame till onions turn soft but do not let them turn brown.
Add turmeric and garam masala. Stir to mix well.
Add the paste prepared earlier. Cook for 1 minute.
Add yogurt and stir fry till water evaporates.
Cook till it dries.
Add milk and about 1/2 cup of water to the gravy.
Boil and simmer for 2 -3 minutes.
Add the fried potatoes and chopped coriander to the garvy and simmer on low flame.
Cook on low flame till the gravy thickens and coats all the potatoes.
Serve hot with nan or paranthas.

250 gms Minced Mutton
2 meduim sized sliced Onion (Pyaj)
1 tsp Garam Masala
4 chopped Green chilli (Hari mirch)
3 skinned and chopped Tomato (Tamatar)
1 cup fresh Curd (Dahi)
A big pinch of Saffron (Kesar)oaked in lukewarm milk
15 Cashewnut (Kaju)
4 tblsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)
1 " long piece Ginger (Adrak)
1 tblsp Coriander Seeds Powder (Dhania Powder)
1 tblsp Turmeric (Haldi)
6 Red Chillies
1 tblsp Cumin Seed (Jeera)
6 cloves Garlic (Lasun)

First grind ginger, corainder seeds, turmeric powder, red chillies, cumin seeds, garlic with adequate quantity of salt to a thick paste.
Now heat ghee.
Fry onions, green chillies, tomatoes till brown and ghee begins to separate.
Add masala paste and simmer for 3 minutes.
Add keema and simmer.
Add beaten curd and a cup of water.
Cook till meat is tender and gravy is thick.
Add garam masala, soaked saffron and cashewnuts.
Cover it with a lid for few minutes.
Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

Chicken Moghlai Masala Recipe
1 Chicken cut into cubes
A pinch of Nutmeg (Jaiphal) Powder
1 cup fresh Cream (Malai)
1 tsp Poppy seeds (Khus-Khus)
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
1 tsp Coriander Seeds Powder (Dhania)
15 Cashewnut (Kaju) crushed
10 Almond (Badam) blanched and crushed
2 Onion (Pyaj) chopped
3 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
6 Garlic (Lasun) pods
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
6 tsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)

Roast little cumin, poppy, fenugreek seeds and grind into powder.
Heat ghee, fry onions and garlic till it is brown.
Add chicken and fry.
Now add powdered masala, salt , coriander powder, bay leaf.
Simmer for 2 -3 minutes.
Add cream, 1/2 cup hot water and cook till water dries.
Add garam masala, nutmeg and cardamoms.
Cover and simmer for 5 minutes on low flame.
Take off from the fire and serve hot with nan or chapattis.

Burger Kebabs - Shammi Kebabs Recipe
500 gms minced Mutton
2 Eggs
1meduim sized chopped Onion (Pyaj)
5 Green Chilly (Hari Mirch) chopped
100 gms Bengal Gram (Chana) soaked overnight
10 pods Garlic (Lasan / Lahsun)
1 tsp Cumin Seed (Jeera)
4 Cardamoms
1 " long piece Cinnamon (Tuj/Dalchini)
1 " long piece Ginger (Adrak)
6 Pepper corns (Kalimirchi)
4 Red Chillies
Clarified Butter (Ghee)

How to make shami kabab:
Boil minced meat in 3 cups of water and a teaspoonful of salt till water is absorbed and meat is tender.
Grind meat into a fine paste.
Take garlic, cumin seeds, cardamoms, cinnamon, ginger, peppercorns, red chillies and soaked gram dal and grind into a fine paste.
Mix both the pastes well.
Now mix well beaten eggs and prepare a uniform dough.
Add finely chopped green chillies and onion to dough and mix well.
Shape the dough into small round flattened balls or kababs.
Heat ghee and deep fry kababs till golden brown and serve hot with sauce or chutney.

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