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Awadh - Cooking and Food
Overview of Awadhi Cuisine History
Most cuisines have a great deal of interesting history behind them. Awadhi cuisine is no exception, and this is what makes this cuisine even more captivating. Not just its taste, but also its history is enthralling, particularly because of the fact that it had once been used to help people Yes, Awadhi cuisine has a history that describes how it was used to help hungry people.
Awadh was a region in which at one point in history there was a shortage of food. A ruler in this land was concerned about this situation, and he then gave orders to his men to cook large amounts of food in huge handis. The food was supposed to be cooked throughout the day in order to serve people whenever they needed to eat. The food contained, meats, potatoes, vegetables, and other important food substances that would provide a whole nutrition. The process involved cooking all the ingredients on a slow flame so that all the juices would be well absorbed into the solid food. This meant that there would be less nutrition less in the cooking process.
Another interesting aspect of Awadhi cooking is that many people believe that this cuisine has evolved due to the use of various kinds of ingredients. Some say that more than 120 spices are used to cook these dishes. However, one chef commented on this belief, and said that there would not be much taste left in the meat after adding so many spices. Particularly referring to the kabab, as it is a well-marinated dish, it is not really soaked and seasoned in so many spices as is commonly believed. However, the taste of such dishes in Awadhi cuisine is such that it might give you that impression.
Awadhi cuisines are popular and taste great. Those who try it will surely want to try it again and again. This is because of the unique tastes that are produced in the dishes prepared using Awadhi styles of preparation.
The Awadhi style of cooking includes cooking food slowly and steadily so that all ingredients are well soaked and cooked into each other. Dum Pukht is a common and popular method used in Awadhi cuisine. While cooking food through this process, you will have to use handis. This is because it allows a great quantity of food to be prepared at once. In addition to this, handis allow a large equal distribution of heat in the process of cooking large quantities. The end result of cooking delicious dishes like Murg Mussallam and Shami Kebab is that there will be a memorable aroma left in the air.
In addition to this, the food cooked through Awadhi style includes the cooking of roti and bread. These may also be chapati, lentils, rice, and vegetables. This largely refers to non-vegetarian and simple food, which tastes great.
Other smaller portions but important parts of the Awadhi cuisine are Pooris and kachoris. These are particularly relished on occasions and festivals. You will even find these available commonly in the market. In addition to them being available in the market, people cook them at home. Therefore, it can be asserted that Awadhi cuisine is a part of home cooked food.
It is the smaller parts of Awadhi cuisine that make it more complete. Its roti, kachoris, and vegetable dishes complete what is left out in such an amazing cuisine. Though its main dishes that are cooked in big handis are overwhelming, Awadhi cuisine cannot be complete without the smaller and integral dishes.
Indian Food Glossary
Finding the ingredients for an Awadhi Recipe is not so easy when you do not know the names of the ingredients. Take time to make a list of ingredients and the name they may be found under at the Local Markets.
- Check out the Indian Food Glossary
Preparation Methods for Awadhi Cooking
Preparation methods are important in any cuisine. This is because it helps to produce a particular taste in the food prepared. In any cuisine that is known for its characteristic taste, you will see that there are particular methods employed. These methods are followed closely in order to produce particular characteristic tastes. Processes that involve marinating meat for instance may be one means of producing characteristic tastes. In Awadhi cuisine, this process too is used. However, not all dishes involve such a step.
The more common step in preparing meals in Awadhi cuisine is the ‘dum’ cooking. This involves a slow and steady cooking process that allows food to really cook well. However, it isn’t simply the ‘dum’ cooking methods that gives Awadhi food its particular taste. There is also the use of spices in the right proportion that creates a unique blend. As opposed to conventional thought, Awadhi food does not make use of a hundred-odd spices to produce each dish. The truth lies in the manner in which the food is cooked on a slow fire. This process allows the juices to be absorbed well into the solid parts. All nutrients are retained in the food through this process.
In addition to the major process of cooking food in Awadhi style, there are also other important processes such as marinating meats in order to produce a delightful taste. This is especially the case with barbecued food that might be cooked in a clay oven of over an open fire.
Fish, red meats, vegetables and cottage cheese may be marinated in curd and spices. This helps to soften the taste and texture of them as well as remove any undesired odors from the fleshy materials. These materials are then grilled using skewers. What goes best with these kababs are rotis or bread that are made of flour according to Awadhi cuisine.
Special Equipment for Awadhi Cooking
There are several kinds of equipment used to prepare Awadhi cuisine. In any cuisine you will normally find a wide range of utensils used. These enable chefs or people who cook at home to cook conveniently and efficiently. Usually, there is a general range of saucers, pots, pans and bowls used, along with spoons and knives. These are the general utensils and equipment used. However, there are other utensils that are very important in order to cook an Awadhi meal conveniently.
In order to cook an Awadhi meal, you need to have a range of utensils that are mentioned above in order to contain your various ingredients you will add to your dish. In addition to these, you will need large boiling vessels, particularly if you are cooking in a large quantity for a number of people. Awadhi dishes are such that they are suited to cooking in large quantities. Let’s say you want to make a meal like the traditional one cooked in large handis. You would need to mix all your ingredients and cook them slowly for a long period in one of these large handis.
Aside from the large handi, you may want to prepare food that requires marinating. For this, some people prefer earthenware. However, stainless steel may do fine as well. In fact it is thought to be hygienic to use stainless steel when soaking foods. You would also require forks for this process and knives as well because cutting and poking holes through meats is important when marinating it. This helps to get the marinating ingredients into the meat as much as possible.
As briefly described above, Awadhi cuisine may use different kinds of equipment to prepare dishes. In addition the ones mentioned above, there might be several more required.
Awadhi Food Traditions and Festivals
Festivals usually are the best times to observe what kinds of foods are available in a cuisine. At times of festivals, the best of foods is usually displayed, and these foods may be presented in traditional fashion as well. In Awadhi cuisine, tradition is most important. So when we talk about Awadhi foods at festival times, they will certainly be prepared and presented the traditional way.
With regard to just sweet dishes that are of significant importance at festival times, Rossogolla to the Payasam are very common. Though these are dishes that are normally available in the South, they are also popular in other parts of the country.
Other than the sweets, there are a number of dishes like crisp parathas, delicious kebabs, and richly flavored meats that make grand eating at festivals. Aside from these, the traditional dishes are also widely available. According to tradition, Awadhi main meals are dishes that are cooked in their own juices on a slow coal or wood flame. This enables the delicious juices to soak their way in to the food being prepared. These dishes are prepared in large handis and are cooked for hours on end. The cooking of large quantities comes form the fact that large quantities of food were required in order to feed many people at one time. This is why, till this day, the same tradition is carried out. It also helps to cater to large celebrations as well such as weddings in which many people need to be catered to.
Though other cuisines may cook in the same fashion as the Awadhis do, the development of the tradition is different for them. It must be asserted that the tradition for the Awadhis has developed with significant reasons behind it.
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