Review for "Culinary Delights of the Maharajas: Exotic Dishes from the Princely House of Sailana"

Website design By BotEap.comI was reading a book, a few years ago, in which it was mentioned that food was different from one group or class to another. I didn’t understand it (although it wasn’t fully described here as well) until the moment I was actually reading the book titled “Cooking Delights of the Maharajas -Exotic dishes from the Princely House of Sailana“It was written by His Highness Shri Digvijaya Singh-from the palace of Sailana Y Sailana is a small city present in Madhya pradesh. It was published in the year 1982 in India. It was published by Vakils, Feffer and Simons Pvt. Ltd, Bombay. The price of the book is 400 rupees. The ISBN is 978-81-8462-026-9. The total number of pages is 198.

Website design By BotEap.comBy the time I read the title of the book, I was really impressed for several reasons:

Website design By BotEap.com1. One can be delighted after reading the book and trying to cook the dishes mentioned in it.

Website design By BotEap.com2. The word “The Maharajas“It meant more than one king. I assumed the recipes were different and passed from one generation to the next.

Website design By BotEap.com3. The dishes are exotic by nature.

Website design By BotEap.com4. The recipes will be from the land of Sailana exclusively.

Website design By BotEap.comThe cover was adopted and depicted one of the popular paintings of the royal family of Sailana (although it is not mentioned anywhere in the book). The back of the book gives us the details of the author and his qualities and abilities. The 15th edition of the book was published in 2015. The photograph on the 3rd page shows different types of copper pots used to cook various dishes in the royal kitchens of the city. My attention focused on the beautiful rectangular box intended to hold all kinds of spices and powders. Now I hardly find one available in our country. I wish I had one of them in my possession and add beauty to my kitchen too.

Website design By BotEap.comThe author has dedicated the book to his father, Late Highness. Raja Sir Dilip Singhji of Sailana. You can see the seal of the royal family placed over the photograph of the author’s father. I’ve never seen one in my life! The author recognizes other royal families present in India such as Prince Shivaji Rao Holkar and Princess Shalini Devi Holkar of Indore. The foreword has been written by none other than the late Her Highness Gayatri Devi- Rajmata of Jaipur. According to her, the author is “not only a gourmet, but an excellent cook.” There are a good number of color photographs of various dishes cooked and presented for the royal festivals.

Website design By BotEap.comThe content section is given in detail and these are listed as follows:

Website design By BotEap.coma) 54 recipes made with meat or lamb

Website design By BotEap.comb) 9 recipes prepared with chicken

Website design By BotEap.comc) 10 recipes prepared with fish

Website design By BotEap.comd) 8 recipes made with animal meat after hunting them

Website design By BotEap.come) 21 recipes with different grains such as rice, millet, etc.

Website design By BotEap.comf) 50 recipes prepared from various types of vegetables

Website design By BotEap.comg) 12 varieties of sweet dishes

Website design By BotEap.comI liked the “Preface” section of the book. The secrets of the royal families are given to the readers and the best ones are:

Website design By BotEap.com1. The Maharajas They were connoisseurs of good food (mentioned in the second paragraph).

Website design By BotEap.com2. Fine cooks and better cooks are hired (mentioned in the 2nd paragraph).

Website design By BotEap.com3. There is a separate cook for each recipe (again mentioned in the second paragraph) (I was imagining the total number of cooks present in the royal kitchens. No wonder the royal families of Turkey have dedicated a grand palace to cooks and guides for cooking, chopping vegetables, tasting, orienting other cooks, measuring quantities, etc.).

Website design By BotEap.com4. It was the “status symbol” for kings to show “the most unusual kinds of dishes” to their guests.

Website design By BotEap.com5. The secrets of cooking various recipes were never shared by cooks and were passed down from one generation to the next (usually only from father to son).

Website design By BotEap.com6. Some of the exotic recipes and the process of cooking exotic dishes are lost as they were not passed from one person to another.

Website design By BotEap.com7. The author credits his father for compiling the recipes from the last 100 years. He collected them from various cooks present across the country and had old recipe books in different languages ​​like Sanskrit, Urdu and Persian. He translated some of them.

Website design By BotEap.com8. Cooking is not an art, but it is a scientific process.

Website design By BotEap.com9. The differences present in the different types of spicy powders or masalas are due to the amount used in their preparation in the kitchens.

Website design By BotEap.com10. The author has taken the trouble to share some of the recipes only with his readers (I don’t know about the other recipes and when they would be shared with us).

Website design By BotEap.comIn the “Helpful Tips” section, the author discusses the following points:

Website design By BotEap.comto. He explicitly denies the use of stainless steel and aluminum pots for cooking. They were used just to boil things (oh my gosh, we used these metal utensils for cooking in contemporary times).

Website design By BotEap.comB. The different types of utensils used are:

Website design By BotEap.comdekhchi– type of pot utensil used for cooking meats

Website design By BotEap.comtapeli-Ample utensil used to cook and boil rice and curry

Website design By BotEap.comkadhai-Large deep frying pan.

Website design By BotEap.comPressure cookers: to prepare dishes based on lentils, rice and to tenderize hard meats such as trotters.

Website design By BotEap.comvs. Differences between

Website design By BotEap.comI)bhunao is the process of cooking ground spices in a small amount of oil, at high temperatures and adding small amounts of water after a few minutes

Website design By BotEap.comii) Baghar that is, temper or season

Website design By BotEap.comiii) Dhugar means technical tuxedo

Website design By BotEap.comiv) Dum means to cook over low heat and the utensil is covered with a lid and sealed with batter

Website design By BotEap.comv) Kalia is a curry prepared with water or milk

Website design By BotEap.comsaw) Korma It is a curry prepared with butter or oil

Website design By BotEap.comvii) “make pyaza “ means cooking with some vegetables like cauliflower, peas, potato, etc.

Website design By BotEap.comd) Details were discussed regarding the amounts used to prepare pasta, condiments or to enhance the flavor of a particular dish.

Website design By BotEap.comThe weak points of the book are:

Website design By BotEap.coma) The recipes are not exclusively for Sailana only.

Website design By BotEap.comb) The author mentions other recipes from other regions as well such as Rajasthan, Bhopal, Delhi, Jhabua, Kashmir, Persia, Nepal, Hyderabad, etc. There are 24 in total.

Website design By BotEap.comc) Shared recipes for dishes made with meat from hunted animals are limited to rabbits and wild boar. During those days, the hunting of animals was not limited only to these animals. Recipes for other dishes are not mentioned in the book.

Website design By BotEap.comd) There are other exotic dishes from other royal families of India. Why weren’t they mentioned? I wonder about other dishes from the royal cuisines of Lucknow, Gujarat, Jammu, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Bengal that are worth mentioning in the book (they may be in the footnotes).

Website design By BotEap.come) The sections on recipes for snacks, salads, chutneys, the book is missing curd preparations, pickles and soups. Apart from this, there are several dishes prepared separately in each season. This is not mentioned anywhere in the book.

Website design By BotEap.comf) In the photographs, three to four plates are placed and the book is clicked together. This was not really good. The colors of the plate represent hazy and not very attractive to the eye.

Website design By BotEap.comThe excellent points to highlight in the book are:

Website design By BotEap.coma) The sections are divided according to the themes and sub-themes of the book.

Website design By BotEap.comb) Minutes details about the preparation of the dish have been noted in the recipes.

Website design By BotEap.comc) The meanings of certain words have been given by the author.

Website design By BotEap.comd) Photographs are given in good numbers in the book (although not up to the mark).

Website design By BotEap.come) Some of the rare recipes are shared in the book as lamb ke dahi badas (lamb meatballs placed in the curd), porridge prepared with garlic, etc.

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