The Mughal-e-Azam food promotion at Daniell's Tavern that I wrote about yesterday has been culled out with dedicated research by Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula, Executive Sous Chef, The Imperial, New Delhi. Chef Pogakula hails from Hyderabad, another reservoir of fine Indian food. Chef Pogakula referred to many ancient Indian texts and hand written recipes that he has procured from authentic sources. Explaining that lamb or mutton was a preffered meat with Mughals, over the years their marination and cooking techniques have been applied to chicken, seafood and vegetables too. Any cuisine has to evolve and adapt to the changing scenarios but Mughlai is one cuisine that requires a certain amount of oil, ghee, butter and cream to be added to get the desired result.
The testament to this is the flaky Mughlai Paratha being served that tasted almost like a dessert. When prodded to tell the secret of it's softness, Chef Pogakula very sweetly said, " Well it has all of these-oil, ghee, butter, milk and cream!" While I would recommend everyone to go sample the fare first hand, Chef was kind enough to share two of his exclusive recipes with Tangy Sorbet.
Mughal food Menu
Murgh Nawabi Beda
Succulent chunks of boneless chicken flavored with royal Indian spices and finished in clay oven
Mutton Kakori kebab
Softest preparation of Mace and saffron infused lamb kebab cooked on skewers
Fresh jumbo prawns marinated with yogurt, chilly and spices and charred in clay oven
Subz Shammi kebab
An ancient preparation of assorted vegetable kebab enriched with dry fruit and nuts
Paaya shorba with kofta
Flavorful broth of slow braised lamb trotters infused with Indian spices and served with meat dumplings
Gosht nalli Nihari
Popular preparation of overnight braised lamb mildly spiced with cardamom and cinnamon
Akbari Murgh masala
Traditional preparation of king’s taste has been popular from the mughal period
Delicately simmered cottage cheese in yogurt and cashewnut gravy, garnished with saffron cream and coriander
Dry preparation of garden fresh cauliflower tempered with cumin, onion and green chilly
Clove scented fragrant preparation of Indian basmati rice with saffron, pistachio and brown onion
Hot Griddle cooked layered flat Indian bread
16 large raw prawns, shell removed and cleaned
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons lime juice
10 ounces plain yogurt
1 Tablespoon ginger–garlic paste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons yellow chili powder
1 teaspoon ajwaini seeds*, lightly toasted
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 teaspoon Garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 Tablespoon toasted graham flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
6 Tablespoons butter–oil mixture for basting
1 teaspoon chat masala, for garnish
1 Tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, for garnish
Combine prawns with salt and 1 Tablespoon of the lime juice. Let sit 30 minutes. Meanwhile combine ingredients for marinade. Let marinade sit 20 minutes to let flavors develop.
Add prawns to marinade. Marinade 2 hours in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 4l. Remove prawns from marinade and thread onto skewers, 2-3 prawns per skewer. Cook in the medium heat Tandoor for about 8-12 minutes, basting from time to time with butter-oil mixture. Remove from Tandoor after prawns are cooked, sprinkle with remaining lime juice, chat masala and coriander leaves. Serve hot.
Subz Shammi kebab
1 cup potato mash.
½ cup black gram
1 onion - very finely chopped.
1 tbsp oil.
1 tsp ginger paste.
½ tsp garlic paste.
2 slices bread - grind in a mixer to get fresh crumbs.
Salt to taste.
¼ tsp dried mango powder.
Crush spices together to a coarse powder.
¼ tsp Jeera.
1" cinnamon stick
2 black cardamom.
1 dry, red chili.
Soak Black Gram in water for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Put Black gram, onion and oil in a pressure cooker. Add powdered spices and 1½ cups water also. Pressure cook to give 1 whistle. After the first whistle, keep on slow fire for 20 minutes. Remove from fire and let the pressure drop by itself.
If there is extra water, dry the Black Gram for sometime on fire. There should just be a little water, enough to grind the Gram to a fine paste.
Grind to a fine paste.
Now add ginger-garlic paste, bread, salt, Potato mash, crushed spices and Dry Mango Powder. Add about ½ cup water for the mixture to bind properly.
Make a small flatten ball of kebab shape with the help of wet hands.
Fry 4-5 pieces in a pan on medium flame till golden on both sides.
Serve Hot With Mint Chutney