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HYDERABAD

 

Hyderabad, a city created by the Nawabs of Golconda, has developed its own cuisine over the centuries. This cuisine, aptly called as Hyderabadi Cuisine is a princely legacy of the Nizams of Hyderabad. It is a blend of Mughlai and Persian cuisines, with a great influence of the spices and herbs of the native Telugu food.
The cuisine is special because of the use ingredients that are carefully chosen and cooked to the right degree and time. Utmost attention is given to picking the right kind of spices, meat, rice etc. Therefore, an addition of a certain herb, spice, condiment, or combination of all these add a distinct taste and aroma. The key flavors are of coconut, tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds which are extensively used in many dishes.
Traditional utensils made of copper, brass, earthen pots are used for cooking. All types of cooking involve the direct use of fire. There is a saying in Hyderabad, cooking patiently or ithmenaan se is the key; slow-cooking is the hallmark of Hyderabadi cuisine.
Hyderabadi Cuisine has different recipes for different events, and hence categorized accordingly, like banquet food, for weddings and parties, festival foods and travel foods. The category to which the recipe belongs itself speaks of different things like the time required preparing the food, the shelf life of the prepared item.

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LUCKNOW

 

The cuisine of luck now has its own distinct individuality and identity. The traditional food of luck now was highly patronized by the mughals thus giving it a very royal touch. The royal chefs and cooks were trained to give that distinct royal touch and regal look to anything they cooked. Every detail was accounted for and it was made sure that the food looked fit for the kings. A very high degree of flair and finesse was required to cook the elaborate Lucknow cuisine. Read on about the deliciously famous lucknowi food.
Cooking a meal for the kings required that extra flair and touch of difference and the presentation required that extra eye for detail. The style of cooking was called as dum style. This basically means that food was cooked on low flame. This style is carried on till date. The blending of spices in the right proportion and the right way was also not easy. It is a skill that is acquired through rigorous practice and is something that was practiced by generations to come.

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KASHMIR

 

The history of Kashmir’s traditional cuisine, wazwan, dates back to the last years of the 14th century when the Mongol ruler timur invaded India in 1348 during the reign of nasiruddin Muhammad of the tughlaq dynasty. As a result, there took place a migration of trained weavers, woodcarvers, architects, calligraphers and cooks from Samarkand to the Kashmir valley. The descendants of these cooks came to be known as “wazas”, who are the master chefs of Kashmir. Throughout the history like its culture, Kashmir cuisine has stood high and unrivaled by any other state in India.
In fact, Kashmir is famous for its hospitality. A gourmet’s delight, wazwan is the ultimate name in Kashmir banquet. This royal cuisine of Kashmir has been influenced by Iranian, afghan and central Asian styles of cooking, despite which it has been able to create an identity of its own. Many big names have shown their weakness for this aromatic cuisine. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, is said to have often extended his scheduled visits to the Kashmir valley due to his weakness for the local cuisine.
What makes the Kashmir cuisine special is the detailed preparation and traditional presentation of sumptuous meals, which comprises 36 courses. All this makes ‘wazwan’ a spectacular and royal repast. Seven dishes typically form an inseparable part of the feast – ‘tabakh maaz, Rogan josh, rista, aab gosh, dhaniwal korma, marchwagan korma and ghustaba. Firin and kahwah (green tea)’ conjure delicacies that are rich in taste and texture with mouth-watering aromas.

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PUNJAB

 

Punjab, the land of five rivers and integrated cultural history, is a treasure. For this land of the great gurus not only boasts of ancient monuments but throbs with historical embodiments.
It is no secret that whoever comes to this land of yellow fields with Blue Mountains providing the romantic and picturesque backdrop has never gone back without imbibing the essence of Punjab.
There is no dearth of breathtaking palaces, for Punjab was the seat of royalty, as the imposing quila Mubarak will tell you. Museums galore and so are the religious places with the golden temple offering succour to the mind and soul of any one visiting.
Punjabi people are robust people with robust appetites and their food is like the Punjabis themselves, simple, sizeable and hearty with no unnecessary frills or exotic accompaniments. The Punjabi Tandoori cooking is celebrated as one of the most popular cuisines throughout the world.
Huge earthen ovens are half buried in the ground and heated with a coal fire lit below it. Marinated meat, chicken, fish, paneer, rotis and naans of many types are cooked in this novel oven and the results are absolutely scrumptious!
Punjab has imbibed some aspects of its cuisine from external influences. Connoisseurs of the cuisine say that the gravy component of Punjabi cuisine came from the Mughals.

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RAJASTHAN

 

Land of Princes, as Rajasthan is called, shows off, many a fine gastronomic both within the palaces and outside. The royal kitchens of Rajasthan, the preparation of food was a very complex matter and was raised to the levels of an art form. Thus the ‘Khansamas’ (the royal cooks) worked in the stately palaces and kept their most enigmatic recipes to themselves. Some recipes were passed on to their descendants and the rest were passed on as skills to the chefs of semi states.
Rajasthani cooking was inclined to the war-like lifestyle of the medieval Rajasthan and the availability of ingredients of the region. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred, more out of necessity than choice. Scarcity of water, fresh green vegetables have had their effect on cooking.

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