A Vegetarian Mughlai Feast – Chickpea Byriani with Cumin & Coriander Potato Kebabs – #Indianfoodpalooza

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by Sara on March 12, 2012

I am so excited to participate and join my friends Prerna, Barb, & Kathy in a wonderful event called Indian Food Palooza, where bloggers can post their Indian cuisine inspired recipes and most exciting of all, win a gift!! So go ahead and click here to join Prerna, Barb, & Kathy and post the best Indian recipe you got!

I started thinking about what I would make for Indian Food Palooza, actually it was quite easy for me to choose since I grew up in a Pakistani American home. Pakistani cuisine & Northern Indian cuisines are very similar ot I would say the same, after all we were the same country for centuries. My dad’s family lived in Dehli and migrated in 1947 when the two countries decided to be independent.

It’s a little wonder why we are drawn to the delightful cuisine of India, everything about it awakens the senses especially the sensuous aromas, vibrant colors, and fabulous textures are present in every element. Hands down, Indian cuisine is perfume for the nose, relish for the lips, and nectar for the soul.

Aloo Kay Kebab – Cumin & Corriander Potato Patties

I have always been intrigued by the Mughal Empire of India and there Shahi {Grand} cuisine. Mughlai food is especially preferred in Northern parts of the country. Some of the Mughlai dishes have Muslim names such as biryani, pulao, kebabs, kofta. This is suggestive of the strong influence of Muslim cooking style. The Mughals have truly left a long lasting influence on India, which is also reflected in the cuisine of India. Mughlai food occupies a commanding position in the popular cuisines of India.

Mughlai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines, whose origin can be traced back to the times of Mughal Empire. Mughlai cuisine consists of the dishes that were prepared in the kitchens of the royal Mughal Emperors. Indian cuisine is predominantly influenced by the cooking style practiced during the Mughal era. Mughlai food is quite spicy and has a very unique aroma. On eating Mughlai food, one can get a feel of the ground spices. The spices used in the preparation of Mughlai food are easily accessible.

Though, Mughlai food is cooked in all parts of the country, but the best feel of this cuisine can be had only in Delhi, which specializes in the preparation of this royal cuisine. In the 16th century, India was invaded by Mughals, who introduced the exotic spices, nuts and fruits to India. Also, the Indians got an opportunity to learn new techniques of cooking. In the preparation of most of the Mughlai dishes, milk and cream is used liberally. Mughlai Biriyanies, Pasandas, Kormas and Pulao are so enticing and yummy that people usually end up licking their fingers. Source: http://www.culturalindia.net/

So my take on Shahi Mughlai dishes is a vegetarian one, the most popular one is the beloved Biryani. I thought why can’t we have a shahi vegetarian biryani which I decided to use chickpeas instead of chicken or mutton. I think you will agree with me after trying the chicpea biryani recipe that it taste as good as the meat version. Also check out my Easy Peasy Chicken Biryani Recipe!

Mince meat kebabs are very popular in the Mughlai cuisine of India, my vegetarian version was made with mashed russet potatoes and both green & dried aromatic spices. You may serve the Biryani & Kebabs with cucumber raita and mint chutney or  sweet, sour, & spicy tamarind chutney, recipe here.


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

foodwanderings March 12, 2012 at 5:16 am

That biryani and the kebabs look like a feast for for a king. Absolutely delicious Sara!

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen March 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

you got me craving biryani sara and i just had my lunch!

Sara Hafiz March 12, 2012 at 10:52 am

Thank you Kulsum & Shulie! xx

Sumayya Jamil March 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Lovely post Sara! Love the Mughal stories! x

Amir March 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Wow – lovely pictures! Indeed a feast for a Mughal Emperor…Thank you for the recipes, the Biryani looks so scrumptious, and the kebabs mouth watering!

Sara Hafiz March 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Thank u Sumayya & Amir!

Nicole, RD March 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I’ve made byriani once before, but this recipe looks WAY, WAY better…must try! Thank you, and stunning photos!

Ambika March 12, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Love the flavors of this biryani!! Gorgeous photos Sara, the tikkis on the side look perfect.

Prerna@IndianSimmer March 13, 2012 at 3:20 am

There’s no Indian meal complete without a biryani and a mughlai biryani is just to DIE for! Thanks so much for making this and contributing it to the Indian Food Palooza Sara. This looks SO good!

Sanjeeta KK March 13, 2012 at 4:06 am

Oh…that biryani looks so lovely, giving the feel of having an exotic meal with those kebabs!

Meena@HookedonHeat March 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I think adding chickpeas into a veggie biryani instead of just vegetables is a brilliant idea! I often make a chickpea pulao on days we go meatless to bump up the protein content. Your potato kebabs look delicious, can’t wait to try them out soon!

Sam Awad March 14, 2012 at 2:29 am

It was a voyage for me to make the Chickpea Biryani. I’m a single father, and it took a special trip and scavenger hunt in the grocery store to put the ingredients together. Then it is reading the instructions several times to make sure that I bring up the spirit of it while cooking. I was not disappointed. Even the cooking it self was an experience on its own. The boys liked it and were impressed how good of a cook I am. I think I added too much salt, but the boys didn’t think so. In fact they liked the nuts and raisins next to it. The young one objected to tomatoes, but he objects to them in everything. Great dish. Thank you very much.

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 15, 2012 at 2:21 am

That’s quite a feast, now I’m wishing I had some of this for dinner tonight!

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com March 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I want this now! Looks so delish and what a great history into the world of mughlai’s :)

Nupur March 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Hi, first time on your blog. I love it here , quite a few recipes bookmarked. and i just love ur pics..

happy to follow u :)

Rosa March 16, 2012 at 9:47 am

What gorgeous food! I’m drooling.

I love basmati rice and spices, so that biryani is for me. And the potato kebabs looks really tempting.



Karolina March 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Dear Sara, thank you for those amazing recipes! I made both biryani and kebabs yesterday and it made a fantastic dinner! Takes a bit of time, but it so much worth it! Thanks!

Sara Hafiz March 17, 2012 at 12:30 am

Karolina, I’m so glad the recipe turned out good for you! Thanks for visiting and come again! :)

Jamie March 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Beautiful dishes and fabulous recipes. Love both! One of the many things I love about these cuisines is that the vegetarian choices are as fantastic and flavorful as the meat dishes. And yours prove that point. Delicious!

Nadia March 20, 2012 at 1:59 am

I want to dig in – what a beautiful spread. Don’t miss the meat at all with these lovely dishes. :)

Spandana March 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

Looks wonderful!! What a spread!! Delicious!!

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