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Food and Drink Essential to sustain life; near the top of the hierarchy of needs

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Old 08-07-2019, 12:29 AM   #1
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Mughal India

When the Mughals invaded India the warriors kept moving and non-warriors (bureaucrats)were brought in to rule. Emperor Shaw Jahan who commissioned the Taj Mahal, liked food and had a huge kitchen staff so he and his wives and harem ate together each day.

This is one of his recipes as told by Salma Yusuf Husain

AMBA PULAO Serves: 6-8
Sweet and tangy mango lamb rice

Lamb, cut into pieces / 1 kg (2.2 lb)
Rice 4 cups
Ghee 1 cup
Onions, sliced 1 cup
Ginger (adrak), chopped 4 tsp
Coriander (dhaniya) seeds, crushed 4 tsp
Salt 4 tsp
Cloves (laung) 1 tsp
Raw mangoes (kairi) 1 kg (2.2 lb)
Sugar 3 cups
Cumin (jeera) seeds / 2 gm (1/2 tsp)
Black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch) 1 tsp
Cinnamon (dalchini), 2 sticks 1˝ each
Pistachios (pista), fried ½ cup
Almonds (badam), fried ½ cup
Raisins (kishmish), fried ½ cup

1. Make yakhni with the lamb pieces, ghee, onions, ginger, crushed coriander seeds, and salt. Strain the stock and separate the lamb pieces.
2. Add half the mangoes to the stock, and cook until tender. Remove from heat and keep aside to cool. Squeeze the mangoes by hand to extract thick pulp. Strain and keep the mango stock aside.
3. Make a sugar syrup of one-string consistency.
4. Cut the remaining mangoes into pieces, boil in water, and then float in this sugar syrup and cook until tender. Remove from the syrup and keep aside.
5. Add the syrup to the mango stock and parboil the rice in it.
6. In a separate pan, spread the cumin seeds, followed by the lamb pieces. Add the whole spices and 2 tbsp sweet stock; cook on low heat until syrup is absorbed.
7. Spread the rice over the lamb, pour some ghee, and cook on dum.
8. While serving, arrange the mango pieces on the pulao and garnish with fried dry fruits.
Cooking methods as listed above:

Dum literally means ‘breath’. This process involves maturing the prepared dish after the completion of the cooking process. The pot is sealed as tightly as possible with dough or a heavy weight on the lid. This pot is then placed on hot ashes or an iron griddle on very low heat. A few coals are also placed on the lid, if possible. This process allows the individual flavors of the dish to blend into their own juices. The pot should be opened only before serving.

This is a meat stock. Boil meat with or without bones with salt, coriander seeds, onions, and ginger. When tender, separate meat pieces from the stock and keep aside. Strain the stock through a muslin cloth. For 1 kg meat, use 4 cups water if cooked in pressure cooker, or 8 cups if on coal fire. Adjust ingredients according to recipe.

One-string sugar syrup
Boil 2 cups sugar with 2 cups water, and then cook on low heat, adding juice of 1 lemon. When syrup is of one-string consistency, remove. Adjust ingredients according to recipe.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:08 PM   #2
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This sounds delicious. Might as well try it out.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:45 PM   #3
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That one-string sugar syrup used on everything gave me the shakes.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:13 PM   #4
Urbane Guerrilla
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What with the mangoes, that dish may possibly do without that simple-syrup, which is pretty much what that recipe describes. Should leave it the tanginess without getting too sticky-sweet.
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