The development of mughlai cuisine of North India
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Published: Wed, 17 May 2017
To study the impact of events on the development of Mughlai cuisine of North India and the further scopes to promote food tourism destination. The aim of this chapter is to provide its readers with an overview into the topic of the research. The first section of this chapter would deal with the introduction to the Mughal History, Imperial cuisine and Sultan’s etiquette . The second section would deal with Tourism and its social and cultural impact on a society. The final section would deal with the relation between Food Tourism , culture and foodways.
2.1.1 Mughal Empire
Arab raiders had established their hegemony in Sindh in western India by about AD713 , but the Muslim presence only made itself felt with the raid s of Mohammed of Ghazni from about AD 1000.About AD 1206 the first sultans , those of the slave dynasty , set up rule in Delhi. Eleven of them in successions gave place to two from the house of Balban,
six Khaljis, three Tughlaks (including Muhammad bin Tughlak from AD 1324-51), four Saiyyids and three Lodis, stretching in all for slightly more than three hundred years (Life and condition of people in Hindustan ,1935) .In 1526 the ruler Babar established the Mughal dynasty in India. He followed by Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jhan and Aurangzeb.
The Mughal period was remarkably well documented. Both the emperors Babar and Jahangir were superb diarists and Akbar’s affair were minutely chronicled in the Ain-i-Akbari and Akbar-Name by his court historian Abu Fazal. From the time of Jahangir and thereafter, a series of travelers from Europe left vivid impressionistic accounts of the rulers and the people of India.
To the somewhat ascetic Hindu dining ambience the Muslims brought refined and courtly etiquette of both group of both group and individual dining, and of sharing food in fellowship. Food items native to India were enriched with nuts, raisins, spices and ghee. These included meat and rice dishes (Palao) , dressed meat (Kabab) , stuffed items (Samosas) , desserts (Halva, stewed fruit) and sweetened drinks (Falooda, Sherbet). New dishes enriched the cuisine of the wheat finely grounded meat (Halim, Harisa), or the frozen Kulfi, a rich ice cream of Khoa, or Jalebi. Muslims influenced both the style and substance of Indian food.
2.1.2 The Sultan’s etiquette
Mubarak Ali in his thesis ‘The Court of the Great Mughals’ (1976) has written a great deal to about the dining customs of the Delhi Sultans, which were perhaps unique to Muslims royalty in India.
A certain ritual of formality was observed:
Before the dinners begins, the Chamberlain stands at the head of the dinners carpet (Simat) and performs the bow (Khidmat) in the direction of sultan; and all present do the same. The khidmat in India consists of bowing down to the knee as in prayers. After this the people would sit down to eat, and then they are bought gold, silver and glass cups filled with fine sugar water perfumed with rose-water which they call sherbet. After they have taken the sherbet, the chamberlain calls out Bismillah. Then all begin to eat. At the end of the dinner, jugs of barley-drink (Fuqqa) are brought; and when these have been consumed, betel leaves and nuts are served. After the people have taken the betel and nuts, the chamberlain calls out Bismillah, whereupon all stand up and bow in the same way as before. Then they retire.
Two types of dinners were held in the royal palace,
A private dinners is the one that sultan attends. It is his way to eat along with those who are present and those whom he calls for the purpose , such as the special amir’s- the head chamberlain (amirhajib) , the sultans paternal cousins , Imad-ul-mulk Sartez and master of ceremonies (amir-i-majlis)- and those out of the a’izza (‘The Honourables’) and great amir’s whom he wants to honour and revere. Occasionally, when he is declined to honour any one from among present, he takes a plate, puts bread on it and gives it to him. The latter receives it: and placing the plate on his left hand, he bows with his right hand touching the ground. Sometimes the Sultan sends something from that meal to one absent from it, and the latter too bows like the one present and sits down to eat it along with those that be in his company.
The number nobles attending these private dinners never exceeded twenty. It has been remarked that such long convivialities in the company of nobles served to throw them into Sultans Company, and thus keep them out of trouble.
The public dinners are brought from the kitchen led by the palace officers, who call out Bismillah; and they are headed by the chief palace officer. He holds in his hand a gold mace and is accompanied by his deputy who carries a silver mace. As soon as they enter the fourth gate and those in the council-hall hear the call, all stand up and none remain seated, the sultan alone is excepted. When the dishes are served on the floor, the palace of officers stand up in rows, their chiefs standing in front. He makes a discourse in which he praises the sultan and eulogizes him; then he bows to him and in the same manner bow all those present in the council-hall whether big or small. Their custom is that anyone who hears the call of chief palace officer (naqib-un-nuquba) stops instantly, if walking and remains in his place if he happens to be standing and none can move until the discourse is over.
Then his deputy too makes a similar discourse and bows; and so do the palace officers and all the people in the second time. Then all the people take their seats; and the gate secretaries draft a report informing the Sultan that the food has been brought, even though he is aware of that. The report is handed over to a boy from one of the malik’s son appointed for this purpose and he takes the message to the Sultan who, on reading it, appoints whosoever he likes from among the great amir’s to supervise the seating and feeding of the people.
Mubarak Ali in his book ‘Mughal Darbar” (1993) has stated something about the seating also:
The custom at that point of time was that the judges (Qazis) , orators (Khatibs) and jurists (Shorfa) sit on a carpet (simat) : and then come the sultan relatives , the great amir’s and the rest of the people. But none sits expect at his appointed place; and thus there is absolutely no confusion amongst them. All having then their representative seats, the cup bearer (Shurbdariya) who give the holding in their hands gold , silver, copper and glass vessels filled with refined sugar dissolved in water, which they drink at dinner. Everyone had before him, a set of all the various dishes comprising the dinner, which he eats exclusively; and no one shares his plate with another. When they finish eating, the drink (Fuqqa) is served in pewter tankards; and as soon as the people take it the chamberlains call out Bismillah. At that time the while gathering stands up, and the amir’s supervising the feast bows, and they bow too; then they retire .The dinners were held twice a day – one in the forenoon and the other in the afternoon.
2.1.3 Kings drink
‘Any Muslim who drinks (wine) is punished with 80 stripes, and is shut up in a matamore (cell) for 3 months, which is opened only at the time of meal’. So says the Quran (Chapter 6).
However there is no doubt that drinking was very common among the sultans and the nobility. For the Mughals wine had a strong attraction. Babar had periodic fits of abstinence, when he would break up his flagons and goblets of gold and silver and give away the pieces, only to resume drinking and the use of bhang, after telling himself (P.N. Chopra ,1963, Society and Culture in Mughal India. ).
Akbar, according to the Jesuit Father Monserate, rarely drank wine, proffering bhang. He enforced prohibition in his court , but relaxed rules for European travelers because ‘they are born in the element of wine , as fresh fish are produced in water …and to prohibit them the use of it is to deprive them of their life’ ( J.S.Hoyland and, and S.banerjee 1922, The Cemetery of Father Monserrate). Of his sons, Daniyal and Murad both died young due to excessive drinking. His other son Jahangir was much addicted, but did not drink on Thursdays and Fridays (Nicclao Manucci, Storio de Mogor 1653-1708, trans William Irvine) . However at end of his regime Jahangir would imbibe 20 cups of double distilled liquor daily, 14 during the day and the rest at night (P.N. Chopra ,1963, Society and Culture in Mughal India. ).
Shah Jahan drank but never beyond the limits of decency. The next emperor Aurangzeb was of course strict teetotaler who in 1668 issued severe prohibition order to all his subjects, Hindus and Muslim alike.
To make this liquor, arrack or rice sprit was put into empty barrel that had contained wine from Europe. The dregs of other barrels were also added, together with water and sweet sugar. After eight mounts, the clear liquid tasting something like white wine. Another wine was made by steeping resins in rice sprit for 3 to 4 days, straining and then holding the liquid in an empty barrel for 6 to 8 months; an extract of dates was sometimes added for sweetness and flavour (William Foster, Early Travels in India 1583-1619).
2.1.4 The Imperial cuisine
Babar is said to have lived in India for only 4 ½ years after conquering. He lamented fact that this country had ‘no grapes’ , musk melons or first rate fruits, no ice cold water, no bread or cooked food in bazaars (A.S.Beveridge, trans. Babur-nama, 1922) . He commented most judiciously on the flora and fauna that he first encountered in this new country. He commented that chironji is “a thing between the almond and the walnut, and not so bad” .He also described the fish from Hindustan as very savoury and that they had no odour or tiresomeness (meaning probably lack of bones). But heart Babar remained an alien to Indian food. His son Humayun however was much more “Indianized”. Humayun even gave up animal flesh for some months when he started his campaign to recover the throne, and deciding after some reflection , that beef was not a food for devout (J.S.Hoyland and, and S.banerjee , The Cemetery of Father Monserrate,, 1922).
Akbar did not like meat and took it only seasonally ‘to conform to the sprit of the age'(P.N. Chopra, Society and Culture in Mughal India,1963). He abstained from meat at first of all Fridays, subsequently on Sundays also, then on first day of every solar month, then during the whole month of Fawardin (March), and finally during his berth month of Aban (November). He started his meal with curds and rice, and preferred simple food. One of travelers Father Monserate documented that Akbar’s table was very sumptuous, consisting of more than 40 courses served in great dishes served in great dishes. These dishes were brought into the royal dining hall covered and wrapped in linen cloths, which are tied and sealed, for the fear of poison (J.S.Hoyland and, and S.banerjee ,The Cemetery of Father Monserrate ,1922).
The Ain-i-Akbari describes three classes cooked dishes. In the first, called safiyana, consumed by Akbar’s day of abstinence, no meat was used . The dishes were made of rice (zard-birinj, khushka, khichri and sheer-birinj), wheat (chikhi, essentially the starch of the rice isolated by washing and then seasoned), dhals, palak sag, halwa, sherbet etc. The second class comprised those in which both meat and rice were employed (like Palao, Biryani, Shulla and Shurba), or meat and wheat (Harisa, Halim and Kashk ) .The third class was that in which meat was cooked in ghee, spices, curd, eggs etc. These dishes in due course of time came to be known as Yakhni, Kabab, Do-Pyazza, Musallam, Dampukth, Qaliya and Malghuba. Bread in this time was either thick, made from wheat flour and baked in an oven; or thin, and bake on iron plates using dough of either wheat or khushka. Raw material came from various places; rice from Bharaijj, Gwalior , Rajori and Nimlah, ghee from Hissar , ducks, waterfowls and certain vegetables from Kashmir ,and fruits from across the north western borders as well as from all over the country.
Though Jahangir, unlike his father, enjoyed eating meat, and especially the animals of the chase, he kept his father schedule of abstinence, adding Thursday to them, that being the day of birth of his son Akbar. He banned the slaughter of animals on Thursday and Sundays. He seemed to have left fish altogether and preferred a khichri called lazizan, made of rice cooked with pulses, ghee, spices and nuts on the days of abstinence from flesh . Another of his favorites was Falooda, jelly made from the straining of boiled wheat, mixed with fruit juices and cream (P.N. Chopra, Society and Culture in Mughal India, 1963).
Aurangzeb son of Jahangir on the other hand was a Spartan. Tavernier says that no animal passed his lips: he become ‘thin and lean’ to which the great fasts that he kept have contributed …he only drank a little water ,and ate little quantity of millet bread .Besides that he slept on the ground with only a tiger’s skin over him (P.N. Chopra, Society and Culture in Mughal India, 1963).
Tourism today is one the fastest growing sectors in the global economy. It is also one ofthe largest sectors in the world economy making ever increasing contributions to global output and employment.In 2008, international tourist arrivals grew by 2% to 924 million, up 16 million over 2007. Analysts further predict that the tourist arrivals will touch 1.6 billion by the year 2020. Tourism is one of the largest income generators for an economy and is growing at a very rapid pace. Growth in tourism also translates into indirect growth and impact on miscellaneous other sectors of the economy (Farooquee, N.A. et al (2008) ‘ Environmental and Socio-Cultural Impacts of River Rafting and Camping on Ganga in Uttarakhand Himalaya’).
Service industry has gained extreme potential in the past two decades and is now one of the main industries for social and economic growth of any region. This growth has bought along with itself an increase in the global output and various employment opportunities. One of the important components of the service sector is tourism sector.
The World Tourism Organization defines tourism as “The activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purpose” (Commission of the European Communities et al., 2001). Tourism incorporates both tangible and intangible elements of service sector.
Tourism has evolved over time (six decades approximately) and has been continuing growing and diversifying in order to become the fastest and the largest growing economic sectors in the world. Tourism has been flourishing at an exponential rate thereby promoting and exploring new destinations and in some cases becoming the main driver of the economy. In some the developing countries it is one of the main income generating sector and also the number one in export category there by generating employment on a larger scale. The travel and tourism industry is undergoing a transformation as the significance of this industry is unveiled by most countries.
2.2.2 HISTORY OF VOYAGES AND TRAVELLERS:
Tourism has been evident throughout the ages. It has only taken a major jump in the past few decades and has become a major part of the economy. Ancient age travel was mostly an unconscious affair. Travel was mainly an outcome of trade and other commerce activities. In other words, earlier traveler can be regarded as a merchant looking for goods and products and engaging in trade and commerce. Countries like India and China have attracted travelers from all over the ancient world. This trend continued resulting in exploration of different destinations by the Europeans especially heading towards Indian shores for the sole purpose of trade and commerce. The urge to explore new lands and to seek new knowledge in ancient and distant lands was yet another motive of travellers in subsequent periods. Travelling that took place during the Middle Ages was mostly for religious purposes. The practice for travelling for religious purposes became a well established custom in many parts of the world. Romans were known for travelling during this era and wherever they went, there existed a fine network of roads.
Tourism gained momentum as soon as changes like the mental attitudes towards pleasure, education based travel; increase in disposal income, need for a break from the monotonous work schedule etc took place. For nearly the first quarter of the 20th century pleasure travel was only for the privileged ones of the society having free time in hand as well as substantial purchasing power. Numerous travel associations were formed during this time of the century who organized trips and vacations for middle class and their families. However, it was the 20th century where a change was witnessed in the whole tourism scenario especially from an international perspective for different purposes like health, business, recreation or religious purposes which led governments to issue passports and visas and take initiatives to their citizens abroad. Increase in tourism has been beneficial for the entire world connecting all the destinations to one another.
However, there have been problems associated with developing nations where the government capacity is limited and tourist numbers are increasing. These nations rely highly on tourism and are severely affected when tourism is discouraged on the grounds of criminal activities and safety and security issues. “These issues and many more like the environmental issues have grown as international tourism arrivals have soared to over 800 million annually. By 2020 that figure is expected to be over 1.6 billion” (World Trade Organization, 1997). Despite these factors, tourism development opens doors to various employment opportunities for the developing nations.
2.2.3 IMPACTS OF TOURISM
Tourism is amongst the fastest and most diverse sectors of the economy. It has been a focus of many governments, especially for developing economies, to try and develop tourism as one of the most attractive sectors of the domestic economy. Tourism invariably impacts every region, culture, people, country etc that it touches. These impacts are an intriguing mix of the good and the bad for the region. Governments have to make a trade off between the advantages offered by tourism and the negative impacts brought in by it. Mings and Chulikpongse (1994) have noted tourism’s role as an agent of change, bringing myriad impacts on regional economic conditions, social institutions and environmental quality. The impacts of tourism can be categorized into the following parts i.e. Economic Impacts, Socio-Cultural Impacts and Environmental Impacts.
2.2.3. ECONOMIC IMPACTS:
In most cases, economic benefits lead to the focused growth of tourism as a sector in any country. Today, tourism is one of the world’s foremost sources of export earnings, if global tourism income and international transportation receipts are included. According to Keiko Noji (2001), Governments focus on tourism development as it presents the easy route to accumulating and increasing the foreign reserves, creating jobs and contributing to over all economic growth. Private sector, which brings commercial gain to the country, is a leading force in the tourism industry. In many cases, foreign capital dominates the domestic and international market and tourism expenditure goes outside of the country. There are potential positive and negative impacts of such tourism development.
Tourism helps the host community earn various pecuniary gains in the form growth in the foreign exchange reserves, Gross Domestic Product, growth in regional commercial enterprises and for individuals as well. For e.g. the contribution of Travel & Tourism to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Indiahas been forecasted to remain constant at 6.1% in 2008 to 6.1% in 2018.
Also, Export earnings from international travelers and tourism goods contributed 6.7% of total exports in 2008, and it is anticipated that this will rise to 4.4% of total in 2018 (Source: World Travel & Tourism Council 2008).
188.8.131.52 Employment Opportunity:
Tourism development in a region leads to the more employment opportunities and higher wage rates for men and women and access to better training for employees. Lee (1996) studied the economic effects of tourism in New Zealand and concluded that tourism performed better than most industries in generating employment and tax revenues and performed moderately well in distributing income among household income classes. Cukier-Snow and Wall (1994) also examined tourism employment growth in Bali, concluding an increase in the employment of women. The contribution of the Travel & Tourism Economy to employment “in India is expected to rise from 30,491,000 jobs in 2008, 6.4% of total employment, or 1 in every 15.6 jobs to 39,615,000 jobs, 7.2% of total employment or 1 in every 13.8 jobs by 2018” (Source: World Travel & Tourism Council 2008).
The pluses associated with tourism overpower the negatives it brings with it. However, negative impacts associated with tourism can not be ignored. The employment is often part-time and low paid. The skilled positions are occupied by foreign nationals and therefore there is disparity in the income distribution pattern often associated with leakages.
Tourism creates growth opportunities in a region. It leads to the creation of new facilities, utilities and recreation facilities that would not have been possible or financially viable to provide in the community. Tourist expectations can lead to better service by local shops, restaurants, and other business operators and entrepreneurs. The tourist traffic in a community leads to better facilities such as fire department, police, and health services which also benefits the local residents. However, long-established and conventional services may be forced out or relocated due to competition with tourist interests. Water, power, fuel, and other shortages may be experienced because of increased pressure on the infrastructure.
Other economic impacts of tourism includes expansion of the economic base (i.e., diversification), Inter-sectoral linkage and Multiplier effects, growth of entrepreneurship as products and services can be locally produced by tourism related and other business, creation and growth of infrastructure facilities, betterment of social services and encouragement of regional development in underdeveloped areas.
The most profound impact that tourism has on the host economy is through the development and growth of infrastructure in the domestic country.
2.2.4 SOCIO CULTURAL IMPACTS:
Tourism can be act as either an international peace maker and can help in understanding or it can be a destructive force attacking different cultures, ecology, and local communities (Mirbabayev. B, Shagazatova. M). Thus, development of a tourist destinations and its associated conveniences and benefits require a detailed plan in order to achieve triumph over the negativity associated with it, especially in developing countries where conserving and developing the quality of life of local populations is challenging. The social and cultural implications of tourism necessitate thorough and detailed deliberations, as effects can either translate into long term benefits or detriments to communities. A nation’s culture and social environment is extremely vulnerable and thus it needs protection and preservation, as tourism is an eroding force of modernization. ( Hing. N, Dimmock. K, 1997)
184.108.40.206 Cultural Impacts:
Local culture of a region or country is the focal point for attracting tourists to the region. Though the local sculpture, music, dance, cuisine, clothing, handicrafts and traditional customs, ceremonies and folklore are a source of attraction, tourism can lead to commercialization and misuse of these very assets. This will further lead to the deterioration, degradation and finally the disappearance and the local culture. Some of the customary activities of a region may seem absurd to the tourists may lead the tourists to oppose and derogatory activities against the local culture (Xavier, 2001). Cultural aspects of host regions act as tourist attractors, but are simultaneously vulnerable to acculturation. Though it has a negative impact on the local traditions, various authors have studied that it can assist in the preservation process.
According to a study carried out by Teye, tourism can contribute to greater understanding between North and South Africa by developing cultural tourism which promotes host-guest experiences and not than superficial encounters, (Hing. N, Dimmock. K, 1997). In another case study on the impacts of tourism on the Khajuraho temple in India, it is stated that tourism can bring economic relief and prosperity to local community, with minimal socio-cultural costs. (Hing. N, Dimmock. K, 1997)
220.127.116.11 Social Impacts:
Social interface amid tourists and local community may result in mutual appreciation, understanding, acceptance, awareness and learning. It gives the host community a big boost in confidence and esteem, and reduces prejudices and abolishes preconceived notions and perceptions. Local communities are benefited through contribution by tourism to the improvement of the social infrastructure for example development of roads, parks, museums, health care institutions, internet cafes etc.
Robinson (1999), states that there is no evidence that proves that tourism is bringing different cultures together. Tourism can increase tension, hostility, and suspicion. Tourism has an adverse impact on the traditional practices, the perception of the residents. Unbalanced population structures, displacement of local people, a negative behavior by visitors toward residents and an adverse effect on the overall community life. Various studies have been carried out to determine that an increase in tourism has a direct impact on the increase in crime rate of a destination, as most often tourists are the victims to these criminal acts (McElroy, Tarlow & Carlisle, 2007).
Tourism can and often does lead to problems such as prostitution, alcoholism, gambling and drug trafficking. There are few tourist destinations immune to this problem (Noji.K, 2001). Hence it is extremely essential to promote tourism in the region while ensuring that it provides both incomes as well as generates respect for the local tradition and culture.
2.3 Food Tourism
Food Tourism is all about food as a subject and medium, destination and vehicle, for tourism. It is about individuals exploring foods new to them as well as using food to explore new culture and ways of being. It is about groups using food to ‘sell’ their histories and to construct marketable and publically attractive identities, and it is about individuals satisfying curiosity. Finally it is about experiencing of food in a mode that is out of the ordinary, that steps outside the normal routine to notice difference and the power of food to represent and negotiate the difference.
Folklorist, food scholars and food aficionados have long fascinated by occasions of exploratory eating- instances of eating the new, the unfamiliar, the alien- and by the institutional cookbooks and folklife festivals. These occasions and include variety of food related behaviours and reflect complex network of cultural, social, economic and aesthetic systems as well as individual preferences. The definition of what constitutes adventurous eating is a contextual one that depends on the perspective and motivations of the eater.
The author states that the purpose of food tourism as a framework is to try together the notion of perspective and variety of instances in which a foodways is considered representative of the other. Lucy M Long (2007) defines food tourism as the international as the international, exploratory participation in the foodways another-participation including the consumption, preparation and presentation of food items, cuisine, meal system or eating style considered to a culinary system that no one owns. This definition emphasis on the individual as an active agent in constructing meaning within a tourist experience and it allows for an aesthetic response to food as a part of the experience.
Exploration and internationality define these instances as tourism. Valence Smith (1989) defines a tourist as a temporarily leisured person who voluntarily visits a place away from home for the purpose of experiencing a change. The culinary tourist participates for the purpose of experiencing a change in foodways not merely hunger. Nelson Graburn (1989) proposed that for the tourist to experience is a journey from profane to the sacred as a way to embellish and add meaning to ones life.
The tourist experience offers not only new cultures and new sights, but also a new way of perceiving those sights and these new way eventually enhance an individual. Johan Urry (1990) developed this notion of tourism as quantitative category of experience, defining it as a kind of viewing he refers to as a “ tourist gaze”. This gaze is different from “every day looking” in that it attends to difference . It notices contrast and distinctiveness , it shifts the ordinary action and objects out of the ordinary world enable ling and encouraging viewers to rcognise their power as symbols , entertainment and art.
2.4 Authenticity and Culinary Tourism in Mughlai Restaurants across Delhi and Agra
Food tourism has long been linked with authenticity in Mughlai restaurants across Delhi and Agra. Lifestyle magazines such as Gourmet and Travel & Leisure reveal the connection between food and tourism. On the other side , backpacker guides like the Lonely Planet always include sections on local foods and where to eat while traveling. As these magazines demonsterate food and tourism go hand in hand. But when eating is tourism, a whole new theoretical framework arises. Culinary tourism, the exploration of foreign foodways as a representative of an other provides a framework for interrogating the various intersections between tourism and foodways (Long, 1998). The term authensity has been widely used to study both foodways and tourism, it can also be applied within the frame work of culinary tourism to have a better understanding about social dynamics, particularly the process of identity construction and va
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