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Mon, Apr 08 2019 - 12:35 AM

An Insight into Mughal Culinary and Beverage Habits

Mughal emperor Babur came to India in Search of power and pelf. In Baburnama he wrote about India but he remembered Samarkand, he always compared India with his homeland. Though he was very much troubled by the heat of north India he remembered the fruits especially the muskmelons, ice and grapes. In order to acclimatize himself with India, he made beautiful gardens with flowing water, flowering trees. Such famous gardens still you can visit during your one day Agra tour. His son Human adopted Indian traditions in total.


He loved Indian fruits and Indian food habits as he had to seek asylum in Iran and he was very much impressed and inspired by the Persian food habits and table etiquette. His son Akbar was married to the Hindu wives who brought the cuisine of the desert to the royal kitchen of Mughals. These consorts brought the spices, the flavours all straight from the Rajputana gourmets. Akbar abstained from non-vegetarian food for few days in a week and he personally was very fond of Indian fruits especially mango. All these Mughal Kings relied on river water for their drinking water requirements. Akbar liked the Ganges water while Yamuna water was also liked for drinking purpose and preparation of food.


Just imagine caravan carrying potable drinking water all the way to palaces of Fatehpur Sikri all the way from river Ganga at a distance of more than 100 miles. Apart from cuisine security was another issue. The royal kitchen was very avidly guarded. The menu and ingredients going into the making of royal dishes were carefully selected. The prepared dishes were tasted before being served to the royalty thus ruling out any foul plays. During your Golden Triangle Tour 4 Days, you can see some serving bowls at Taj Mahal museum and other museums of Delhi Agra Jaipur which change colour when they come in contact with the poison. Jahangir was very fond of hunting, the hunt was distributed to the needy and a portion used in the royal kitchen.


The king was very fond of his spirits and relished a few cups of spirits along with a liberal dose of opium. He writes in his biography that he desires nothing more than few ser of and liquor for life. In fact, the king in the state of drunkenness was seen being carried from the royal gate with support. His wife Noorjahan is known to be the epitome of Mughal royalty and style. Shahjahan and Aurangzeb abstained from drinking and Aurangzeb was a vegetarian by choice.  Few of the Mughal emperors in the decadence of the Mughal Empire were extreme boozers. Their indulgence in material pleasures of royal darwar and booze was, in fact, the reasons for the decline of the Mughal empire.

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