The Essential Guide to Mughal Weddings: Food and Dessert

2013 Oct 28 - by Shriya
Mughlai wedding menus were surely a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Filled with aromatic spices, heavy creams, and fruits and nuts, Mughlai cuisine was truly meant for royalty! It features richness in texture and exotic tastes from fresh ingredients and spices.

Welcome to Part VII of the Mughal Wedding Series. Check out the full listing:

Mughal Wedding: Introduction

Mughal Engagement/Pre-Wedding Traditions

Mughal Wedding Traditions

Mughal Post-Wedding Traditions

Mughal Bridal Attire and Jewelry

Mughal Groom's Attire

Mughal Food and Desserts - You're here!

Mughal Modern Touches & Inspiration

Mughal cuisines are flavored with colorful and rich spices that are sure to impress your tastebuds!

A Sample Mughlai Wedding Menu:

Appetizers:

Seekh Kabobs (various meats)

Tandoori Chicken/Paneer

Main Courses:

Chicken Mughlai

Shahi Biryani (Lamb or Mutton)

Palak Paneer

Malai Kofta

Naan (fresh from the tandoor, of course)

Desserts:

Badam Halwa

Kheer

Sheer Korma

Main Dishes

A typical Mughal wedding menu would be filled with non-vegetarian main dishes and rice - the Persians really loved their slow-cooked, carefully flavored meats!

Chicken Mughlai is prepared with roasted almonds, cream, and fresh spices - Nigella Lawson's recipe.

While mutton and fish are integrated into Mughlai cuisine, chicken is the most common meat used in many dishes. Chicken Mughlai is famously prepared with heavy cream, roasted nuts, and fresh peppers.

The term "shahi" is a prefix to many Mughlai dishes - and rightfully so! It literally translates to "royal," which is the target audience for some of these elaborate dishes.

Shahi biryani can be made with any meat or vegetable - as long as there is a lot of diversity, flavor, and color!

Biryani, a common Indian and Pakistani rice dish, originated from the Mughal empire - where it was expertly tempered with saffron, nuts, and slow-cooked for hours in homemade clay pots. A regal delight indeed!

Mughlai palak paneer is creamy, savory, and a reprieve from otherwise intense spices!

Mughlai cuisines also featured paneer as a creamy palate-cleanser to savory meats and spicy curries. Palak paneer, as well as modern-day paneer tikka, are originated from ancient Persian paneer kabobs, which were tossed in spices and grilled on an open flame.

Desserts and Sweets

While Mughlai main courses are satisfying and savory, their desserts don't skimp out on flavor and luxury either!

Buttery, sweet badam halwa is sure to please your sugar cravings!

Halwa, a flour or butter-based sweet confection, is commonly served in the Middle East and Southeast Asian in modern-day remains of the Mughal empire. Gajar (carrot) and badam (almond) are common bases for this sugary dish.

Kheer is a rice-pudding that is as versatile as it is tasty! It can be flavored with fruits, cardamom, saffron, or nuts for any combination of deliciousness!

Mughlai cuisine serves as a great inspiration to many South Asian chefs today - and it's an excellent way to treat your guests to luxury at your wedding reception!

Photos courtesy of spiceinfusion.wordpress.com, commonwealthgamesindelhi.blogspot.com, allrecipes.com, flavorsofmumbai.com, and skymetweather.com.

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