Awadhi Cuisine: The Food Sings Regional History

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  • Topic: Cooking, Awadh, Nawab
  • Pages : 2 (864 words )
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  • Published : June 7, 2012
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The History,the food sings.
Cafarvy wrote of Alexandria ‘the city will always haunt you’ a sentiment that can be applied to Lucknow. Lucknow is located in a region called Awadh,which was one of the 12 subas of the Mogul Emperor, Akbar. The word ‘Avadh is derived from the word Ayodhya,the Hindu holy city on the banks of the river Ghagra.Nawab-the plural of the word naib,meaning assistant-was the term given to governors appointed by the mughal emperors all over India to help the in managing the empire.Awadh under the rule of the idiosyncratic nawabs was a heady mix of flourishing arts,literature,sports and most importantly- a culturally evolve lifestyle & exotic cuisines. Clever prime ministers,beauty power begums,eccentric chefs-that’s what Oudh is all about! To think of lucknow is to think of its murgmusallam,makhan malai,paan,kaba.sheermaal,thandai,zarda etc. For one to enjoy mangoes,malihabd is an ideal place.It’s a temple to the mango lovers.Avadhi mangoes’ names ignite fantasies-gulabkhas,husnara,lab-e-mashuk,khas-ul khas etc.People swarm over mango sellers like swarms of bees. An anecdote,well famous here is associated with Mirza Ghalib.the great Indian Urdu poet.He had a weakness for mangoes so much that he used to visit Avadh for dusehri mangoes.Ghalib’s weakness for mangoes was a common talk among his friends.Once an ass while moving looked indignantly at a mango and went ahead. Ghalib’s friends taunted the poet saying that even an ass doesn’t eat mango and then burst into guffaws.A witty Ghalib retorted,’’Yes only an ass does not eat mangoes!” Chowk is one of the oldest inhabited areas of Oudh and the hub of popular avadhi dishes. When Haji Murad Ali (bawarchi),fell off the roof of his house, he lost an arm. He continued perfecting the mixture of shahi galawat & working expertly with one hand so much that the shahi galawat came to be known as tunde kebab!!The chefs who worked in the nawabs’ kitchens were proud of their patronage.An old...
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