Unknown Facts about Mughals

There are so many mysteries and hidden facts about the lives of Mughal rulers which are still a mystery. The history books are replete with the Mughal life & history, architecture and literature. Mughals were gifted with the artistic skills. The mughals besides being warriors were innovative also. They made planning for good administration, taxes and reforms. Many of the facts about the mughals are not well known such as what the mughals preferred in food? Did they use Ice? What type of spices and meals they liked? In the present treatise you get to know mughal gourmet, their preferences in terms of cuisine, incense and a number of kitchen delicates. They invented biryani, yogurt based curry known as korma and ice cream called Kulfi.

Whether Mughals used Ice?

Ice and ice cream is a liking of the society. Ice is used for making country side drinks, lemonade, Sharvat etc. So far as Mughals are concerned they had a great liking for ice and snow. It is the reason that Jahangeer migrated to Srinagar and Kashmir valley to find a better retreat from the scorching heat of the plains of North India. IN the serene atmosphere he also laid the foundations for world famous Shalimar and Nishant gardens.

Mughals in those days had the swift means of horses used as transportation. By these Arabian horses the ice was transported covered in thick rays of jute from Hindukush to Delhi. Ice was made in cold weather by throwing water into shallow pan and then it was put in deep pits in summers. The same idea was followed while it was brought to the capital of mughals where it was put in deep pits covered lightly with jute bags. Thus this ice procured from long with tedious efforts was considered valuable and used as delicacies of the harem. Mughals devised such pots like the Chinese which can withhold against the hot water. .

How were Mughal Ice Flask?

As the ice was available to the royal mughals, they needed some pots to save the ice. These flasks were made like modern vacuum flasks. Through there was not vacuum technology available. They used to put ice and all around a layer of raw salt, nausadar(Ammonium chloride).

How Portuguese Influenced Mughal Kitchen?

The arrival of Portuguese proved to be a boon for the mughal cuisine. Beforehand red chilies, tomato and potatoes were absent from the dishes, while vasco-de-gama arrived and the Portuguese started arriving and brining many unseen and unheard items in the form of seeds and roots.

As you know the people in North India used black pepper in their dishes to give spicy flavours. Red chillies were absent totally which was missed a lot in the veg and non veg cuisines.

Famous Mughal Drinks

Mughal had passion for flavoured beverages such as Angoor ka Sharbat, Kesar Falood, Ginger lime sherbet. Lady Noorjahan invented the essence of rose and it was used with shervet making. Kewara water was used by the mughal to flavor desserts ice cold shervats, creamy Paneer gravies, ravree etc. Kewara essence was distilled from the male flower of Pandanus flowers. This liquid is similar to rose water. This pandanus is a small tree with many branches and in hindi it is referred as ketaki tree.

How did mughal make homemade Hooch?

Normally the hooch makers used to take juice of pomegranate, grapes, custard appleetc and used to add sugar to it after adding some yeast used to leave the vessel plugged for couple of days, thus used to get a good brew. This is the same process which they used in wine making as the juice is converted into ethanol.They also used countryside liquor like rum which was distilled from molasses. They used to get it delved deep for years to get the best Jahangeer’s age produced some best wine makers of the era.The foreign visitors also bring the best wine from west to the mughal kings and courtiers these gifts were very much relished and rejoiced, Tavernier the European traveller to India during the Mughal reign has recorded how he has brought alcoholic beverages to be used as gift.

The wine making was not deemed good for the society the brewers and distillers stayed out of the towns a class of people called “Kalaars” were the distillers. The state soldiers and functionaries used to visit these areas to enjoy the hooch, apart from their quota of hooch these areas were near to the brothels who also stayed away from the civil society.The brothels were not simply an area inhabited by the prostitutes, these nautch girls were well versed in the art of dance and music and were called upon by the royals to perform.

Paan Culture of Mughals

If you see the period movies set against the back drop of Mughals and the Nawaabs of Auodh then you cant miss the ubiquitous “peek daan” spittoon carried by the personal servants of the nawaabs, The servants drawing the human powered fans ,a paan stand (paan daan )in the hands of the nawaab with his set of favourite paan made ready by the pan walah on duty. The leave of the paan laced with a wash of lime (choona) betel nuts, condiments like cardamom ,cinnamon,gulkand added and finally the tobacco created the magic of Paan ,The nawaab used to have multiple pairs of paan always ready to be relished, the flowing red saliva turning the lips red. Even the ladies of the house delved deep into the habit of Paan with nut cracker always in the hands of the favourite maid of thebegum.

Mughals as Manufacturers

Mughals were the largest manufactures of firearms. This weaponry was made in Lohamandi, Agra and Lahore. They made bronze firearm which was mined in Calicut and Diu.
Similarly they were big manufacture of cotton. The use of cotton gin and spinning where became popular. Thus cotton was exported to the rest of the world.

What are the Famous Mughal Sweet Dishes?

Mughal sweet dishes include Barfi, Kalakand, Garbarjhola, falooda.