The famed Awadhi delicacies from Lucknow with its biryani and kebabs has continually found favor with gourmands and has easily overshadowed the lesser known culinary delights of the erstwhile princely kingdom of Rampur, also in Uttar Pradesh. It is only at periodic food fairs of Rampuri cuisine at inns throughout India, like a lately concluded one at Masala Bay, Taj Lands End, Mumbai, that one hears of it and receives to sample this almost forgotten cuisine.
Chef Manjit Gill, company chef, ITC Hotels, elaborates, “The cuisine of Rampur is historically the meals of the Mughals, much like the cuisine of Awadh. However, the function distinction between the 2 is that in contrast to Awadhi delicacies, Rampuri delicacies aren’t always perfumed with components like Nevada, Uttar or rose water. While there’s the use of heady spices like saffron and nutmeg, they may be utilized in diffused portions.”
Promoting Rampuri delicacies despite the fact that he hails from Awadh himself, is some thing Chef Mujeebur Rehman of the Kitchenette Awadh, has taken to, for the closing decade or so, ever for the reason that this delicacy stuck his fancy, and he labored over its nuances with the assist of the royal circle of relatives.
Doodhiya biryani, Mahi seekh kebab, adrak ka halwa, may also upon first look appear to be dishes from the famous Awadhi or Hyderabadi cuisine, but upon tasting those, flavors consultant of the distinct Rampuri cuisine are evident. Perhaps now not as mainstream as the other Mughlai cuisines, Rampuri cuisine, a royal delicacy of India, is equally rich in its culinary background and owes its origins to the khansamah or cooks who used to work inside the kitchens of the royal family.
Executive chef Anirudhya Roy, Taj Lands End, Mumbai, explains, “Rampuri delicacies is a confluence of several cooking patterns starting from Awadhi, Mughlai, and Afghani. Honing creativity, Rampur has presented respite to numerous artists which include Chefs who were able to test and increase new recipes.”
According to Chef Mujeebur Rehman, “Although it borrows from Awadhi, Hyderabadi and Afghani cuisines, it has its very own distinct identification too.” He adds, “Rampuri cuisine has its own changes masala, which is a complicated mixture of about 21 spices and herbs. In Awadhi cooking, we use a variety of first-class powdered spices, whereas right here we use few complete spices only. Onion, is one of the maximum fundamental substances of this delicacies, and they use onion in the diverse bureaucracy — uncooked onion paste, golden onion and from time to time brown onions. Saffron root is one of the uncommon spices which we use in a few Rampuri arrangements.”
Khada or raw masalas, unusual vegetables like doodhi, lotus stem, jackfruit, figs, pineapple khus roots, dal chini, and even amla were a few of the favored components of the Rampuri chefs. Copious amounts of ghee are used while cooking, but the food is less aromatic than the Awadhi delicacies. Clay pots are what they traditionally cooked in, and the procedure turned into gradual and hard.
A meat-in depth delicacies, there’s however an honest amount of chook and seafood too. Mutton Tar Korma, a lamb preparation from the house of the Nawabs, Shab Deg, a kaliya of mutton chops cooked overnight in yogurt and Mehtabi Paya Nehari or lamb trotters stewed with milk and cream, flavored with herbs, are famous cuisine. Nasheela Jhinga or prawns marinated with a mixture of crimson-hot spices, chungezi masala powder and other spices, is a seafood dish. These are generally paired with common bread-like Fitri, Rampuri Naan, and Sheermal. Among rice preparations, Yakhni pulao cooked in mutton inventory is a need-to-have dish.
Interestingly, this cuisine is equally at home with greens. Sabz makhana quality and Dal-e-Mumtaz, a blend of 8 natural lentils from the Rampur region, ananas or pineapple pulao, are not unusual.