13 Royal Mughlai Food We Can’t Get Enough Of

Sheer Khurma To Murgh Musallam, 13 Mughlai Dishes That The Mughal Emperors Left Us

Mughlai Food

India has a diverse culture and owing to its rich history. But no one influenced the food of India the way the Mughals did. Most of our favourite meaty dishes are Mughlai delights that have our palates craving for more every time we eat them. These dishes evolved in the medieval times and over centuries have been transformed into the dishes that we know and love today. While we are well versed with the names of some dishes, here are 13 dishes in Mughlai food that you need to try right now:

The Mughal Influence On Indian Food

The term Mughlai Food is associated with a combination of food that originated in the Mughal Kitchens from the time of Babar. In his autobiography, Babarnama, you can find mentions of dishes like kebabs and kormas. While the Mughals were majorly Muslims who do not eat pork and some very few Hindus in the court who do not eat beef, the majority of dishes prepared in the Mughal Kitchens avoided these two types of meat and focussed on lamb and different types of fowls. The influence of Mughlai Cuisines is widely found in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Awadh in itself has a strong Mughal influence and till date, emanates a royal aura in all the food available, even on the streets.

Mughlai Food We Can’t Get Enough Of

1. Haleem (Khichda)

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A minced stew of barley, wheat and meat with the occasional inclusion of lentils, this popular meaty delight has its roots in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The preparation of haleem varies from region to region and is a perfect dish for cold winters.

2. Reshmi Kebabs

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One of the more traditional Mughlai preparations popular in India, the reshmi kebabs get their name from the succulent meat that takes form after being marinated for prolonged hours and being lightly braised. Traditionally, chicken, beef or lamb meat is used to prepare these kebabs, but prawns are good substitutes too for this smooth as silk kebabs.

3. Biryani


Yes, our favourite biryani is also a gift from the royal Mughals. While we link the biryanis to the royal kitchens of the Nawabs of Hyderabad, the origin of biryani has roots in the Mughal Sultanate. This layered concoction with coarse spices, aromatic rice and beautifully cooked chicken.

4. Mughlai Paratha

The famous Bengali Mughlai parantha was actually invented during Jahangir’s reign, wherein an anda paratha was discovered and served with keema to the emperor. It is a square shaped packed paratha and is a meal in itself.

5. Rogan Josh

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One of the signature dishes of Kashmiri cuisines, rogan josh also called roghan gosht is a gift from the Persians and the Mughals. It’s a gravy dish with small chunks of braised lamb cooked in a thick broth of ginger, garlic and onion with other coarse spices.

6. Qeema Matar

This dish is in exact semblance with its name. The qeema matar is a perfect combination of minced meat cooked with peas, which turns out to become a mighty delicious dish. You can eat this with the bread of your choice.

7. Malai Kofta

Mughlai Food

Malai Kofta is a Mughlai dish with creamy and thick gravy with fried paneer koftas. It can be called the Mughal version of cheeseballs, even though there is a huge difference in the gravy and the preparation of the dish.

8. Murgh Musallam

Mughlai Food

Ever tried a whole chicken stuffed with ground spices and coarse vegetables? We are not talking about the Thanksgiving turkey, which is only popular in other cultures. The Mughals left us a royal dish called murgh musallam which has chicken marinated in ginger garlic paste, stuffed with eggs and cooked in spices like saffron to add flavour.

9. Pasanda

Mughlai Food

Originated in the Mughal court, the dish is a popular meal in Pakistan. To cook this dish, the beef or mutton is tenderised by marinating in yoghurt. The yoghurt is also used as a cooking sauce which gives out great flavours and adds substantially to the whole meal.

10. Rezala

A popular white gravy preparation of meat which again took form in the Mughal court. The rezala can be cooked with the meat of your choice and the final dish has a thin broth like gravy with tender juicy meat crowning the meal.

11. Shahi Tukda

Shahi Tukda or double ka meetha as it’s known in Hyderabad is a popular sweet dish. The dish is an Indian pudding sweet made of fried bread slices soaked in milk. It’s is a rich bread pudding with dry fruits, flavoured with cardamom and is a favourite of many people!

12. Sheer Khurma

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The literal meaning of sheer khurma is “milk with dates” in Persian. Sheer khurma is a festive vermicellii pudding specially prepared during Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

13. Shahi Kaju Aloo

Now something delightful for the vegetarians. The rich Mughlai Shahi Kaju Aloo Ki Sabzi is a rich creamy curry prepared with cashews, milk, and curd. You can devour the dish with a plateful of your favourite aromatic rice or your choice of bread.

Hope this list enlightened you about the popular dishes that the Mughals left us and which have now conquered the kitchens of Indian restaurants. Share this list with all your friends who are in love with Mughlai food and make their day.


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