240 pp paperback with flaps; b&w drawings
ISBN 978 1 897959 46 6
£16 / $20
'Although pretty much every national cuisine might be described as hybrid, mongrel or, that deathlessly fashionable word, fusion, Moghul cooking, practised by the Muslim rulers of India, could put a good case for being the Big Daddy of them all. Samarkand, Persia, Afghanistan and Kashmir were steps in the Moghul progress to Hindustan and beyond, and they cemented their glittering empire over most of the subcontinent by canny enlistment and assimilation of local cultures and potentates. So while hankering for, and then growing, northern fruits like melon, pomegranate, peach, pistachio, walnut and almond, they absorbed into their repertoire the mangoes, jackfruit, coconut, tamarind and glorious spices of their tropical conquest. The results are dishes of great richness and refinement: the pilaus and biryanis, the kebabs and chicken dishes, and the balancing of perfume, unctuousness and stimulating acidity are as enlivening as their much-loved sherbets and lassis. The recipes (from basics to full-blown banquet dishes) are brilliant, clear and enticing, and the lucid commentary helps comprehension.'