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Food of medieval India. Recipes.

 

NOTE: See also the files: India-lnks, Moghul-India-msg, spices-msg, Islam-msg, gums-resins-msg, p-spice-trade-msg, dairy-prod-msg, dates-msg, coconuts-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 18:05:27 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Ancient India

To: mirhaxa at morktorn.com, Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

You might take a look here for an overview of Indian cookery and foods.

/Food Culture in India/ by Colleen Taylor Sen.

http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/GR2487.aspx

It includes a Timeline of Indian Food History and  Historical Overview

and Attitudes Toward Food.

 

Johnnae

 

Linda Peterson wrote:

<<< I got a question from someone and thought I'd throw it out to the

list. What would be typical available foodstuffs of India at the time

of Buddha, ~500BCE?

    Mirhaxa >>>

 

 

Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 19:11:48 -0500

From: "Jim and Andi Houston" <jimandandi at cox.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Ancient India

To: <mirhaxa at morktorn.com>,    "'Cooks within the SCA'"

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

The timeline in Colleen Sen's book is accurate but oversimplified, because

it doesn't differentiate between the regions of India. India is very large

and only became a single country in the last 50 years. There are major

linguistic, cultural and religious differences between North, South, East,

West and Central regions of India.

 

There are some really excellent books available in English about historical

Indian cooking- anything by KT Achaya, Food and Drinks in Ancient India by

Om Prakash, and various translated manuscripts.

 

Madhavi

 

 

Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 19:42:54 -0500

From: "Jim and Andi Houston" <jimandandi at cox.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Ancient India

To: <mirhaxa at morktorn.com>,    "'Cooks within the SCA'"

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Foods written about in the Buddhist Pitakas (5th century BC):

 

Barley, many different kinds and colors of rice, some wheat in the north,

millet in the south, many native pulses including chickpeas

 

Hindus and Buddhists were still eating meat, including cows in some places,

the concept of ahimsa does not take root until 800 years later.

 

Spices include asafetida, mustard seed, ginger, camphor and nutmeg

 

Fruits included coconut, jackfruit, palm, grapes, phalsa, and several kinds

of citrus

 

The Buddha himself wrote in the Lankavatara Sutra: "I enjoin the taking of

food made out of rice, barley, wheat, mudga, masha, masura and other grains,

ghee, oil of sesamum, honey, molasses, sugar, fish, eggs and others, which

are full of soul qualities but devoid of faults; they were consumed by the

rishis of yore."

 

Madhavi

 

-----Original Message-----

I got a question from someone and thought I'd throw it out to the list.

What would be typical available foodstuffs of India at the time of Buddha,

~500BCE?

     Mirhaxa

   mirhaxa at morktorn.com

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 08:11:47 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Ancient India

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I actually own Om Prakash

Food and Drinks in Ancient India from Earliest Times to c. 1200 A.D.

I managed to buy a copy about 5 years ago. I checked and prices for the

1961 edition are about $70 now which is about three times higher than they were then. I think I paid $20ish.

 

Another of his books is more reasonably priced and it's a two volume set

for less than $25--

Economy and Food in Ancient India.

The description says that volume 2 contains

*I. Geographical And Cultural Background; II. Prehistoric and

Protohistoric Age; Food and Drinks; III. (c 1500-1800 B.C. ) Vedic

Period; Iv. (c800-300 B.C. ): Section I: Sutra Period; SEction 2. Early

Buddhist and Jain Works; V. (c. 300 BC and 75 A.d. ): Section I; maurya

and Sunga Period; Section 2. The Epics and the Manusmrti; VI. (c 75 Ad.

-300 AD): The Kusana and Saka Satavahana Period; VII. (c 300-750 AD):

Gupta Period; VIII. (c. 750-1200 AD): post gupta period;

 

That might provide everything the reader wants. The drawback is that it

has to be ordered from India or found on interlibrary loan.

-------

KT Achaya's Indian Food: a Historical Companion is running around $70

now too.Some stores are listing it as well over $120 for the hardback.

Check around because used copies of the paperback are running around $50

on Amazon this am.

 

His The Illustrated Foods of India is due

out in the UK in April 2009. Amazon here in the US says April too so

that may be available here sometime later this year.

  A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food by Achaya is listed at

  Amazon, right now however. It's $35 but they don't have copies in

stock. You'll have to place an order and wait.

 

----

I mentioned Colleen Sen's book because you are more likely to find that volume in an undergraduate or public library at the moment or find it available for interlibrary loan. And there is a bibliography.

We just watched Michael Wood's India on PBS so perhaps there will be

more of a demand for things Indian this year.

 

Johnnae

 

Jim and Andi Houston wrote:

The timeline in Colleen Sen's book is accurate but oversimplified, because

it doesn't differentiate between the regions of India. India is very large

and only became a single country in the last 50 years. There are major

linguistic, cultural and religious differences between North, South, East,

West and Central regions of India.

There are some really excellent books available in English about historical

Indian cooking- anything by KT Achaya, Food and Drinks in Ancient India by

Om Prakash, and various translated manuscripts.

 

Madhavi

 

 

Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2009 21:05:16 -0500

From: "Jim and Andi" <jimandandi at cox.net>

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Cc: maysun at maddcow.com

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Medieval Indian cooking

 

With respect:

 

With respect to Cariadoc, the Nimatnama is not Mughal. The Nimatnama was

written in Mandu, which is in the modern state of Madya Pradesh, by the

last emperor of the Khalji dynasty 30 years before the Mughals invaded.

The Nimatnama is true fusion cuisine from a Muslim Turkic culture which

had been blending with the predominant Hindu culture for almost two

hundred years, as the first Khaljis conquered central India in the

1300s. The food is quite different from the food of the early Mughals.       

 

Selewine, if you are interested in the Byzantine-era cuisines of India,

there are sources available; scant descriptions of feasts, some medical

texts, a few individual dishes. There are other translated Indian

cooking manuscripts but they are much later, such as the Manasollasa.

 

Medieval Indian food is quite exotic. The cooking methods and spicing is

extremely foreign to the average American palate. This could be a

fascinating challenge if you have the time and energy for the research

and recipe testing. Even modern Indian food is difficult to cook well;

though serving modern Indian food at a feast is no different than

serving Kentucky Fried Chicken. It's just as "medieval".

 

Unless you are able to devote a great deal of time to researching and

testing recipes in the few short weeks before your feast, I would urge

you to explore the foods of Byzantine or Roman cuisine instead, which

are better-documented and more approachable to the modern diner.

 

However, if you are interested, please feel free to contact me. I would

be happy to share my bibliography.

 

Madhavi

An Crosaire, Trimaris

 

 

Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2009 17:54:02 -0500

From: "Jim and Andi" <jimandandi at cox.net>

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Medieval Indian cooking

 

What sources other than the _Ain i Akbari_ do we have for the food of

the early Mughals?

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

------------

 

If you have not checked out the Nimatnama, I would sincerely urge you to

do so. It's a completely jaw-dropping parade of decadence, a list of

royal dishes cooked in a very, very wealthy court.

 

I have cooked several dishes from this manuscript for household dinners

and A&S competitions, and I am cooking a feast from it in September.

 

Sources that are translated and easily available? Not many other than

the Ain-i-Akbari. There are a few mentions of food in the Babur-nama and

one scant feast description in the Humayun-nama, written by Gulbadan

Begum. Those quotes are mostly referenced in A Historical Dictionary of

Indian Food by KT Achaya. There are several traveler memoirs referenced

in Food and Drinks in Mughal India by Satya Prakash Sangar, but that's a

difficult book to use, since the author lumps all of the Mughal period

together, and only the first 75 years fall within our period.

 

Madhavi

 

 

Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 21:28:54 -0500

From: "Jim and Andi" <jimandandi at cox.net>

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Medieval Indian cooking

 

I apologize, Huette, for not communicating clearly enough. I will

happily attempt to clear up any confusion between my "rant" and the

reply to Cariadoc's question.

 

The Nimatnama is most certainly not Mughal, which you, as someone who

has obviously read the manuscript yourself, of course already knew. The

first two paragraphs of that email are merely urging Cariadoc to take a

look at the book because I think he would be interested.

 

The third paragraph is about other early Mughal resources. I thought I

had notified the reader to the change of subject by reiterating

Cariadoc's question about other sources.

 

I am quite surprised that you had never come across pre-1600

descriptions for samosas before reading the Nimatnama, there are two

samosa recipes in the Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook, one in the Baghdad

Cookery Book, and another in the Description of Familiar Foods.

 

Madhavi

 

-----Original Message-----

I am sorry, Madhavi, but you have me very confused.  When several people

mentioned the Ni'matnama as Mughal, you went into a rant about how the

manuscript and the people of Mandu were not Mughal.

 

When Cariadoc just asked what other _Mughal_ cookbooks there were other

than the Ain I Akbari, because your rant seemed to indicate that there

were more within period sources, you now have recommended the Ni'matnama

as being a good source for _Mughal_ recipes.  I am sorry, but you cannot

have it both ways.  Either it is Mughal or it is not.  Make up your

mind.  In case you can't remember what you have said, I have included

his Grace's question and your response to him down below.

 

I have used the Ni'matnama several times for various SCA lunches and

banquets.  I was so happy to find that samosas were period and without

the ubiquitous capsicum peppers.  Here is a prime example of a food name

that continues for five+ centuries and changes as the people and their

tastes change.  The same goes for vindaloo from Goa.  It starts out as a

Portuguese pork dish made with garlic and vinegar called Vindalho and

with the introduction of capsicums to India becomes now the extremely

hot pork and peppers dish.  One could serve the dish called Vindalho at

an SCA banquet because it can be traced back to Portugal pre-1600

[according to Madhur Jaffrey] but not Vindaloo.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2010 13:45:52 -0800

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] A not-Mughal Indian recipe

 

At our recent cooking workshop, I tried two of the simpler Nimatnama

recipes. One was all right but pretty dull, but the other I thought

was quite good. Here's the original and my version (second try):

 

[Nimatnama p. 15] Another recipe, for qaliya rice: put ghee into a

cooking pot and when it has become hot, flavour it with asafoetida

and garlic.  When it has become well flavored, put the meat, mixed

with chopped potherbs, into the ghee. When it has become marinated

[!mistranslation!], add water and add, to an equal amount, one sir of

cow's milk. When it has come to the boil, add the washed rice. When

it is well cooked, take it off. Cook other rice by the same recipe

and, likewise, do not make it with cow's milk but put in four sirs of

garlic and whole peppers, and serve it.

 

Ghee 1/2 c

Asafoetida 1/8 t

Garlic 3 cloves

Salt 1/2 t

Meat 1 1/4 lb lamb

Potherbs 13 oz spinach

Whole milk 1 1/4 c

Water 1 1/4 c

Rice 1 1/2  c

 

Slice garlic, melt ghee, add asafoetida, fry garlic in ghee about 20 minutes.

Add meat and spinach, fry about ten minutes.

Add milk and water, bring to a boil. Add washed rice, cook about 25

minutes, let sit five minutes, serve.

 

The only deliberate change was adding salt, which it seemed to need,

judging by the first try. At least one period cookbook explicitly

says that it doesn't mention salt because cooks know to add it, so I

thought that was a plausible interpretation here.

 

According to the Nimatnama translation, 1 sir = 2.5 lbs troy, but I

do not believe that the variant which I didn't make replaces 2.5 lbs

of milk with ten pounds of garlic and whole peppers. My suspicion is

that either the "four" or the "sirs" is a scribal error or

misreading. The interpretation of "sir" isn't very relevant to my

version, since the milk is the only thing for which a quantity is

given.

 

It does imply, if correct, that the original recipe is intended to

make about twice the quantity of mine. That might be useful in making

sense of other recipe from the same source.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 Feb 2010 0:11:21 -0500

From: <jimandandi at cox.net>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Another not-Mughal Indian recipe

 

Sakhran- Nimatnama, p.93

 

Now the method for making sakhran has been written: take good mast, put ground potherbs into it, and strain it through a cloth. Add camphor, musk, cardamom, cloves and rosewater and prepare it with the perfume of flowers. When the flower perfume has been absorbed, throw away the flowers. Then cut up sections of the fruit of bananas very small and put them into it. Put the pulp of twelve bananas into the mast.

 

My redaction:

4 cups plain, full-fat yogurt (do not use low fat yogurt of any variety, only "cream top")

2 cups fresh spinach

8-10 fresh mint leaves

1/4 c fresh dill

8 fresh curry leaves

a few leaves of fresh sorrel

6 bruised cardamom pods

4 whole cloves, bruised

1/4 tsp edible musk

1/4 tsp ground edible camphor

1/4 tsp. rosewater

2 firm yellow bananas

 

Beat yogurt well. Take all fresh herbs and mince finely. Place potherbs in mortar and pound until it becomes a thick homogeneous paste. Add herb paste to yogurt and mix thoroughly. Line a large bowl with a piece of cheesecloth folded over several times or any kind of fine cloth. Dump yogurt and potherb mixture into cloth. Quickly gather the corners and edges and tie with a string. Hang the cloth over the sink for 3-4 hours.

 

Take the yogurt down and dump into a bowl Add all spices and beat thoroughly. Chill mixture. Just before serving, add chopped banana and stir in, and add salt to taste.

 

This is a surprisingly delicious relish, similar to a modern raita. I have never tried soaking flowers in the mixture to imbue it with their essence, as the flowers I know they would have used for this purpose I have not been able to find here.

 

*winking at Cariadoc*

 

Madhavi

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2010 12:28:01 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] A Feast in Shadiabad (Trimaris 25th Year

        Sunday Feast)

 

<<< Menu and a whole lot more information. Enjoy.

http://madhavifeast.wordpress.com/

 

Madhavi >>>

 

It sounds impressive.

 

I couldn't readily tell from the site whether all of the recipes are

from the Nimatnama, or a mix of those and modern Indian recipes that

could be period. If the former, you, or someone, has done a lot of

work. I've done a few Nimatnama recipes, but only a few.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2011 17:17:33 -0400

From: "Jim and Andi Houston" <jimandandi at cox.net>

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] possibly OOP: favorite Indian food recipes

 

I have quite a few period Indian dishes that I have redacted on my SCA

website:

Madhavifeast.wordpress.com

 

These are all my interpretations developed for feast production. I have more

redactions not on the website if you can't find what you're looking for.

 

Madhavi

 

 

Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2011 10:51:38 +0100 (BST)

From: emilio szabo <emilio_szabo at yahoo.it>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Indian food / Nimatnama

 

A source from around 1500: Nimatnama or Ni'matnama

 

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00routesdata/1400_1499/mandu/nimatnama/nimatnama.html

 

E.

 

 

Date: Tue, 02 Apr 2013 21:31:20 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Medieval Indian food

 

On Apr 2, 2013, at 1:14 PM, David Friedman wrote:

<<< I was asking about the other cookbook I thought you said existed.

 

"'Two Culinary works from Medieval Ujjaini The N?imatnama Manuscript of the Sultan Ghiyath Shahi of Mandu (1469 AD to 1500 AD) and Kshemakuthuhalam by Kshema Sarma "

 

Where do I find the second, or information about it? >>>

 

For all that wondered,

Lolimbaraja, Pammi Satyanarayana Sastry, and Kshema Sarma, Vaidy?vatamsah : an adornment to ayurveda, the science of life of L?limbar?ja : with excerpts of ancient cuisine from K?h?ma kut?halam K?h?ma ?arm?, Chowkamba Sanskrit Series, Varanasi 2006

is at

 

http://tinyurl.com/csgcwlu

 

or

 

http://www.printsasia.com/book/vaidyavatamsah-of-lolimbaraja-mallolimbaraja-pranita-with-excerpts-of-8170802032-9788170802037?utm_source=googlebook&;utm_medium=opf&utm_campaign=feed

 

Offer Price 

$ 3.36

 

I haven't located the Kshema Sarma, Kshemakuthuhalam, FRLHT Bangalore, Karnataka 2009 yet.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2013 12:57:47 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Medieval Indian food

 

On 4/2/13 6:31 PM, Johnna Holloway wrote:

<<< For all that wondered,

Lolimbaraja, Pammi Satyanarayana Sastry, and Kshema Sarma, Vaidy?vatamsah : an adornment to ayurveda, the science of life of L?limbar?ja : with excerpts of ancient cuisine from K?h?ma kut?halam K?h?ma ?arm?, Chowkamba Sanskrit Series, Varanasi 2006

is at: http://tinyurl.com/csgcwlu >>>

 

I ordered it and it arrived today. 89 pages, partly sanskrit, partly

English. It includes a fair number of recipes, along with health

comments. I think what it is is a treatise on ayurvedic medicine, or

possibly a dictionary thereof, from one source, with recipes added from

two others. The recipes look usable--a bunch of syrups, but also solid

dishes.

 

So far as I can tell, it doesn't say anywhere what the dates of any of

the three sources are. But a google search found a reference to the

author of the main book, Lolimbaraja, which says he lived in the years

just before 1600--so in period for us, but barely.

 

Another source I found online has a chronology of Indian authors, and

dates the Ksema kutuhala composed by Ksema sarma to 1359, so well in

period for us.

 

The syrups, according to the introduction, are from Paniya kalpavalli. I

haven't located any information on its date.

--

David Friedman

www.daviddfriedman.com

http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 07:47:11 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Medieval Indian food

 

Available here now

http://www.exoticindia.com/book/details/vaidyavatamsah-of-lolimbaraja-IDI602/

 

This page also lists the Table of Contents so people can see what it contains before purchase.

 

Johnnae

 

On Apr 25, 2013, at 3:57 PM, David Friedman wrote:

 

On 4/2/13 6:31 PM, Johnna Holloway wrote:

<< For all that wondered,

Lolimbaraja, Pammi Satyanarayana Sastry, and Kshema Sarma, Vaidy?vatamsah : an adornment to ayurveda, the science of life of L?limbar?ja : with excerpts of ancient cuisine from K?h?ma kut?halam K?h?ma ?arm?, Chowkamba Sanskrit Series, Varanasi 2006

is at

 

http://tinyurl.com/csgcwlu (no longer available through this source.) >>

 

I ordered it and it arrived today. 89 pages, partly sanskrit, partly English. It includes a fair number of recipes, along with health comments. I think what it is is  a treatise on ayurvedic medicine, or possibly a dictionary thereof, from one source, with recipes added from two others. The recipes look usable--a bunch of syrups, but also solid dishes.

So far as I can tell, it doesn't say anywhere what the dates of any of the three sources are. But a google search found a reference to the author of the main book, Lolimbaraja, which says he lived in the years just before 1600--so in period for us, but barely.

Another source I found online has a chronology of Indian authors, and dates the Ksema kutuhala composed by Ksema sarma to 1359, so well in period for us. The syrups, according to the introduction, are from Paniya kalpavalli. I haven't located any information on its date.

>>> 

 

 

Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2016 19:48:02 -0500

From: Sam Wallace <guillaumedep at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] India

 

As promised, I have brief reviews of the Paka Darpana of Nala and

Lokopakara

 

- Paka Darpana (

http://www.exoticindiaart.com/book/details/paka-darpana-of-nala-ancient-book-on-indian-cuisine-NAI245/

)

I bought it from the Exotic India website at a discount off the reasonable

price of $14 including shipping. This book is a scholarly treatment of the

work by Dr Madhlika, giving an alternating Sanskrit transcription and

English translation of the original manuscript.

 

The text is heavily annotated, but there is no bibliography, alas! The

original manuscript is attributed to Raja Nala, King of Nishadha. The work

starts with a rather lengthy intro which features a section on food theory

including a list of foodstuffs and their flavor profiles which segues into

recipes which give reasonably workable explanations of cooking techniques.

The recipe section is about 92 pages in length and contains numerous usable

examples covering a broad range of ingredients.

 

The physical quality of the book is not the best. It is a glue-bound

paperback. My experience with similar editions is that it is unsuitable for

use in the kitchen as the binding will start to deteriorate with normal

reading use alone. I plan on scanning it for use on a cheap tablet that I

have set up on a book stand in the kitchen.

 

- Lokopakara (

http://www.exoticindiaart.com/book/details/lokopakara-for-benefit-of-people-ancient-text-on-indian-agriculture-IDL157/

)

Also bought on sale on the Exotic India site (normally sold for $30), this

book is the 6th publication of the Asian Agri-History Foundations academic

journal. The original is attributed to Chavundaraya II (1025AD) and was

translated from Kannada into English by Valmiki Sreenivasa Ayangarya. This

work is concerned with a variety of subjects, devoting only one chapter to

recipes. That chapter contains about 55 recipes of varying degrees of

detail. The section contains some notes, but is not particularly well

organized in this regard. The commentary section following the translation

is very disorganized. I had to read through it twice before I found any

mention of the chapter of recipes (pp 102-105). There is no logical order

to this section. There are two indices of plant names at the rear of the

volume giving English and binomial names as well as a listing of verse and

page numbers where each is mentioned.

 

- Summary

Though the quality of the physical volume is somewhat lacking in this

edition, Paka Darpana was certainly good value for money spent, containing

a broad range of recipes presented in a well organized fashion. On the

other hand, Lokopakara is a little pricey for an audience that is

specifically focused on recipes that can be taken from it. I was surprised

at the lack of organization in what is purportedly a scholarly publication.

I would recommend this book to a completist interested in the particular

region and time the original hails from, but few beyond that.

 

Guillaume

 

 

Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2016 23:26:37 -0500

From: "Jim and Andi" <jimandandi at cox.net>

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Happy New Year

 

Nazirah,

 

The Westrip book is crap for SCA cooking, unfortunately. She likes to talk

about history but the recipes are straight up modern Moghlai/Mughal.

 

I suggest Food and Drinks in Mughal India as a good tertiary source and

bibliography mine. The date range is broad (it covers the entire Mughal

period) so you have to be very careful but there's a lot of important

information in there.

 

If you don't have it yet, the #1 book to help you is The Historical

Dictionary of Indian Food by KT Achaya. I can't say enough good things about

this book. Buy it. Read it. Love it.

 

For a feast there's nothing wrong with doing a little padding from period

manuscripts linked to the main culture somehow. In other words, if you don't

feel you have enough dishes in the Ain-i-Akbari to fill out a feast then you

could add dishes from the Nimatnama or something Persian.

 

Are you coming to Gulf Wars? I'll be cooking and teaching there.

 

Madhavi

Trimaris

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sca-cooks

[mailto:sca-cooks-bounces+jimandandi=cox.net at lists.ansteorra.org] On Behalf

Of Nazirah Garrison

 

I'm starting with the Ain-i-Akbari, yes.  There have been some "popular"

books whose research provenance I'm unsure of (Salma Hassan's "The Emperor's

Table", and Joyce Westrip's "Moghul Cooking: India's Courtly

Cuisine") that I'm in the process of reading, if not ultimately using them

as source material.

 

Hassan states upfront that she has added spices (particularly, I would

imagine to earlier)  dishes, "for palatability to modern palates", and my

thought there is to cross-reference with Ain i Akbari as to what might have

been plausible in period and what probably wasn't.

 

I haven't gotten Westrip's book yet, so I can't comment there.

 

Of course, with the Ain i Akbari giving no cooking methods, and merely

ingredient lists, I'm stuck in the realms of speculation there, and would

welcome any advice/resources.

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2016 09:40:45 -0600

From: Nazirah Garrison <nazirah.garrison at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] period Indian food

 

And in a case of several shades of disappointing, everything that was in

Husain's book that I could cross reference with the Ain-i-Akbari appears to

have been "adapted" so that the flavor profile is pretty much modern

"Northern India and Pakistan".  The cooking techniques might still be

useful, but I'm rather disappointed with the adaptations themselves.  :(

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2016 12:55:57 -0800 (GMT-08:00)

From: <lilinah at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] period Indian food

 

Nazirah Garrison wrote:

<<< And in a case of several shades of disappointing, everything that was in

Husain's book that I could cross reference with the Ain-i-Akbari appears to

have been "adapted" so that the flavor profile is pretty much modern

"Northern India and Pakistan".  The cooking techniques might still be

useful, but I'm rather disappointed with the adaptations themselves.  :( >>>

 

I had to look back thru the digests to see which book you were talking about. And, yes, The Emperor's Table, has adaptations. I'm not near my library at the moment so i don't recall if it has any original recipes in translation.

 

HOWEVER, Husain wrote another book, which i have. Here's what i wrote about it for my website:

 

Nuskha-e-Shahjahani : Pulaos from the Royal Kitchen of Shah Jahan

translated by Salma Husain

Rupa & Co.: New Delhi, 2004

ISBN 81-7167-989-7

 

Shah Jahan ruled from 1628-1658, so if it is from his reign, it is slightly out of period for the SCA. Unfortunately, the author gives only a scantily historical introduction, one that raises more questions than it answers, in which she never mentions the provenance or even date of the actual manuscript, although she does state that it is written in Persian. Her book includes merely a selection from the cookbook, only 70 rice-based savory and sweet recipes. She chose only pulaos, quboolis, and kichdis - which are all what we modern folks would consider "main dishes". No purely vegetable or fruit recipes and only a couple rice based "desserts" (one which interestingly was known in 15th & 16th c. Persia, possibly earlier, and shows up in late 15th C. and 16th C. Ottoman feasts)

 

Since that time, I have managed to track down references to the manuscript she used. It IS from Shah Jahan's reign, so 2nd quarter of the 17th c., a but later than 1600, the last year of the 16th c.

 

It is mentioned in Charles Ambrose Storey (1888-1968), "Persian Literature. A Bio-Bibliographical Survey", 11 / 3, London, 1977. That book lists thirty entries on cookbooks in the Persian language, of which most come from India and concern Indian cuisine that came from the Mughal period.

 

Nosha-ye (or Nuskha-e) Shah-Jahani, written during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah-Jahan (1628-1657) (Storey 11 / 3, p. 393, No. 661/22), documents the Indian royal kitchen of what is now called the North Indian Mughal cuisine, in which Iranian models and roots in the Safavid era were still clearly visible. This information is from the Encyclopedia Iranica on-line

http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/storey-charles-ambrose

 

When searching for Husain's Nuskha, I found a comments section in which modern Indians discussed some of these recipes (sorry, didn't save the URL from 10 years ago). I had felt they were too modern. But many Indians commented on how odd the measurements were and how unfamiliar with details of the cooking techniques were.

 

I am certain these are actual early 17th c. Indian recipes. If only the whole manuscript were translated!!!

 

I also found this article in Outlook India from 2001 about another translation Husain worked on.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/durbar-entrees/213443

 

It includes some recipes, but again, adapted, and since the originals are not included, i don't know how much.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/royal-recipes/213444

 

Do try to find Nuskha-e-Shahjahani. I ordered it from India, but that was about 8 years ago. I highly recommend using

http://www.bookfinder.com/

to locate new and used books from foreign dealers. It's a meta-search engine of booksellers from all over the world.

 

ADDED: Never mind, it's listed from $300 to $1500 !!!

 

I did find some Indian book vendors who seem to be selling it:

Here it's $7.40

https://www.bookshopofindia.com/search.asp?action1=default&bookid=65590

 

And here it's $5.05

http://bookpecker.com/index.php?main_page=product_book_info&;products_id=11590

 

I'd recommend contacting them and if they still have copies, order it ASAP!

 

Urtatim

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2016 15:29:24 -0600

From: Nazirah Garrison <nazirah.garrison at gmail.com>

To: lilinah at earthlink.net,   Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] period Indian food

 

Thank you for that information -- and the links to the book!  I've put in

an ILL request for the Nushka, as the Indian vendors will probably take a

while to respond to email at this time! :)

 

The Emperor's Table, at least with respect to recipes from the Ain i

Akbari, seems to be heavily adapted; spice proportions, blends, and

techniques seem very similar to the Gujarati Muslim techniques I learned

from my grandmother (not that that's an indication of anything but modern

technique!), which, together with a comparison of ingredient lists, is what

leads me to this conclusion.  I almost feel like doing an in-depth analysis

between the Ain-i-Akbari recipes, the ones in Emperor's table and modern

recipes that don't claim to be anything but!

 

 

Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 00:03:24 -0400

From: Sam Wallace <guillaumedep at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Another Indian Cookbook

 

<<< I found another interesting book on the Exotic India site:

Ksemakutuhalam.... I will provide a review when I get my hands on it.

 

Guillaume >>>

 

My copy of Ksemakutuhalam arrived. It is quite a large volume: 446 pages

plus appendix, intro, bibliography, etc. It has the bibliography right up

front, which saved me from having to dig for it. I already like this book!

 

It is a bit overwhelming in scope, ranging from medical theory, to food

preparation, to proper after dinner behavior. There seem to be plenty of

usable recipes, though some are a bit vague. I also noticed several cross

references between them.

 

Rather than going into detail, let me summarize by saying this is an

encyclopedic work of cookery and related material. The table of contents is

32 pages in length. I have already started marking dishes to try. I

recommend this as a good purchase if you are at all interested in 16th

century India cuisine.

 

I will see if I can type up the bibliography and perhaps add some detail to

this admittedly hasty review.

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2016 11:44:56 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Anything going on ?

 

On 8/25/16 8:42 AM, Nazirah Garrison wrote:

<<< I'm girding loins and gathering strength for the documented Mughal feast

I'm doing in December.  To say I'm a little nervous is an understatement! >>>

 

/Ain i Akbari /and the /Nimatnama/? Or do you have other sources?

 

The /Nimatnama/ is not actually Mughal, but it's only a little earlier

than the Mughals, so plausibly the same cuisine.

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2016 22:24:11 -0500

From: Nazirah Garrison <nazirah.garrison at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Anything going on ?

 

Those are indeed what I'm using, at least as primary sources.  There's a

couple of secondary sources that I can't remember off the top of my head

(and I'm not home right now to check names), but I know that at least one

of them is less rigorous than I'd like!

 

Sara

 

Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2016 20:37:39 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mughal Feast

 

I assume you've tried working from the /Ain i Akbari/. Figuring out what

the recipes are, with an ingredient list but no instructions, is a pain.

Have you tried combining it with the /Nimatnama/, finding in the latter

dishes in the former, thus giving you a recipe plus ingredient

quantities? I haven't, don't know if it would work.

 

 

Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2016 07:55:01 -0500

From: Nazirah Garrison <nazirah.garrison at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mughal Feast

 

Yeah,  my first line of attack has been the /Ain i Akbari/ ingredients

lists, and figuring out recipes based on what I know of period cooking

techniques in the region, and resorting, when needed, to modern

"traditional" techniques. Everything I have right now is "plausibly period"

with justifications.  I never thought to combine it with the /Nimatnama/

recipes, but that seems like it should be the logical next step.

 

 

Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2016 12:06:32 -0400

From: "Jim and Andi" <jimandandi at cox.net>

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mughal Feast

 

The Nimatnama is roughly 100 years earlier than the Ain I Akbari. The Delhi

court in which the Nimatnama was written produced a different fusion cuisine

than the later Mughals- the Nimatnama was written after a much lengthier

time of cultural mixing, plus both the Muslims came from a different place

with a different "home" cuisine, and the regions of India are different with

their own cuisines too. Mughal cuisine survived mostly in Rajasthan around

Delhi,  while the dishes from the Nimatnama can be found in their evolved

forms in Gujarat and Maharashtra- and Afghanistan, weirdly enough.

 

I love the Nimatnama manuscript- I've done one feast out of it and I'm

hopefully doing another this winter. There are hundreds of dishes and even

more importantly, detailed descriptions of *how the cuisine works*. I'm

testing an outdoor kitchen idea this weekend based directly on the paintings

of the Nimatnama.

 

If you really need more dishes to finish your feast than can be found in the

Ain-I-Akbari, I personally would look to mid-to-late 16th century Persian

cuisine to round out a Mughal feast.

 

Madhavi

 

 

Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2016 12:32:42 -0500

From: Nazirah Garrison <nazirah.garrison at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mughal Feast

 

The "evolved" Nimatnama stuff is things I'm familiar with due to a Gujarati

Muslim heritage! :) I had noticed a lot of similarities. I've noticed

similarities between the Ain i Akbari stuff and a lot of Persian stuff, and

I understand the relationship there.

 

I think my biggest issue in rounding out the Mughal feast really is "how to

put the ingredients together", and to a lesser extent, divorcing the dishes

named in the Ain i Akbari from my own cultural "this is what this is" bias.

There's plenty enough within the Ain i Akbari to  do a lot,  imo.

 

I'm thinking research and piecing everything together is in order!

 

 

Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2016 00:16:57 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mughal Feast

 

Should you be interested, there is a description of a feast given by Asaph

Khan for Ambassador Thomas Roe in 1617 to be found in Edward Terry's A

Voyage to East-India.  The description contains the first reference to

potatoes in India.  There is some academic argument as to whether these were

yams or sweet potatoes.  I tend to think Terry knew what he was talking

about and that he was referring to a dark red sweet potato that is grown on

the Deccan Plateau.

 

Bear

 

<the end>



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