Mughlai Indian Cuisine | The History of Mughal Foods

Mughal food is responsible for the subjugation of India

“Aren’t you going to get the groceries today?” keeps saying Ginny [A Bengali word that means “wife”] on the holidays as she wanted to explore the best and most tasteful Mughlai Indian Cuisine and recipe.

With laziness and an unwilling attitude, she (Ginny) set off to the grocery store to get the ingredients she needed.

Even though she could get the stuff off of online shops and markets, she still chose to go physically, ironically.

As a part of my research on food and recipes, today in presenting to you my top picks on Mughal foods and recipes.

As an early excuse, let’s say that the history of Mughal cuisine was picked out in a market.

I won’t be getting into the tale of me scraping out the history today, though. If anyone’s interested in finding out, please mention it in the comment section.

The main literary works from “The Mughal Kitchen” were written by Shawkat Osman.

You might Question how a Bengali became a chef.  How the history of Bengali cuisine came into being. So let us take a look back on how all these happened.

On that note, I want to thank Ginny for sending me to that supermarket, thank God for that.

The History of Mughal Foods

Muslims have traveled into our land in two ways. One, the Arabians came through the waterways for business and trade. They came at a specific time of the year and even left at a specific time. Likewise, they never had any intentions of permanently residing.

The people of our land were introduced to Islam in this way. If we want to see the effect that they had on our cuisine, the vast world of spices and masalas can be taken into consideration.

The Arabs exchanged spices with the Indians and also took back some Pipul, which is also known as Bengal paper.

Moreover, the bananas of this area were a favorite to the Arabs. They cultivated them in Africa and also brought some of the local Tamarinds to Chittagong. They also traded in Saffron strands.

At this stage, the spices industry was total with the Arabs. Later on, the Europeans gave in as well.

Indian Food Culture & Freedom:

Spices and masalas ended up causing the Indian sub-continent its freedom. Likewise, The Europeans saw the weakness as the people of India fought among them, and as a result, they succeeded.

Moreover, more people came over to Delhi in the Sultan age. Back then, the Sunni Shia populations were in conflict.

The Afghan-residing sultans came over and took control of the place, and as the Sunni’s were in power, the Shia’s were tortured. As a result, the Shias escaped to the Bengal and settled there.

Ibn Battuta:

After Ibn Battuta came to the subcontinent, the Muslims started to take over. Warfare was a normal matter. Later, the Mughals came to India and started influencing the public widely.

Persians also had a huge hand on the influence. As a result, slicing and decorating boiled eggs, making pudding from milk and eggs, using onions and carrots were mixed in the culture. Likewise, the Indian culture borrowed a handful from the Persian culture.

King Humayun & Irani Cuisine:

After King Humayun was dethroned, he returned to Iran’s king for help.

The king of Iran proposed that he would give him a large number of soldiers to win back his kingdom under one condition, which was to become a Shia Muslim. King Humayun agreed, and as a result, won back his kingdom.

Along with the soldiers, chefs and artists of Iran also came to India. Likewise, the food of the Irani’s mixed with ours.

Now, the real-talk, what we know as Mughal food is actually just evolved Irani cuisine.

Alright, enough of history, as we will be cooking mutton today, let us talks about it.

In the past, sheep and deer meat were eaten a lot in the Bengal and India. Some would dry it out and eat them, as we say jerky nowadays.

Generally, the meat of the sheep was very smelly, so the people started removing the testicles, which resulted in more odorless Meat.

Black Bengal Goat:

The Black Bengal Goat became a favorite among the people.

King Jahangir of Mughal always had a wish of hunting wild goats and sheep.

Moreover, The Iranians didn’t have any interest in Beef. Likewise, Sheep and Goat meat were their weakness.

There is also a great story on how Biriyani came to Kolkata. When the British sent Wajid Ali Shah from Lucknow to Kolkata, he brought along his wife and chefs.

The British were quite angry about it as it was quite an effort to manage so many people at once.

After he passed away, the chefs he had brought along scattered all over Kolkata and its sidelines.

After The Separation in 1947, a lot of the chefs came to Dhaka and opened restaurants. And as a result, ‘Murgha Polao’ or the ‘Haji Biriyani’ became popular.

As the use of potatoes was popular in Old Dhaka, ‘Kachhi Biriyani’ became another popular dish. That’s how the Mughal cuisine spread out in the Bengal.

Top 10 Mughlai Indian Cuisine [Food]

  1. Hyderabadi Biryani
  2. Seekh Kebabs
  3. Murgh Achaari
  4. Chicken Tikka
  5. Kadhai Gosht
  6. Badshahi Biriyani
  7. Malai Kofta
  8. Kulfi
  9. Badam Halwa
  10. Sheer Khurma

Best Mughlai Indian Cuisine [Recipe]

Mughlai Indian Cuisine

Mughal Tawa Kebab

Since the discovery of fire, people knew that flames and meat were superb duos. The kebab we will be talking about here is the Mughal Tawa Kebab. Give it a try!


  • 01 kilogram of minced Goat\sheep meat.
  • One tablespoon minced ginger.
  • 1 and a half tablespoons of garlic.
  • 2 tablespoons minced green chili.
  • Half a spoon of Black Cumin powder.
  • Half a spoon of Nutmeg powder.

Instructions for cooking:

First, we will mix all the ingredients well. Then we will chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes after covering it. We will round the meat in our hands and shape the kebabs.

After all the meat is turned into patties, we brush a non-stick pan with some ghee and fry all our patties evenly. Done!

[Written by Sanzida Afrin Tanha, Student, USTC]
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