Nimatnama- The Treasure Trove of Recipes

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There are few cookbooks, in the annals of the history of culinary arts that are as fascinating or even as quirky as the Nimatnama. Imagine a cookbook written by a medieval king dedicated to another king – the King of Cockroaches! But that’s exactly how Sultan Ghiyath Shah of Malwa starts his book of recipes the Nimatnama (which literally translates to ‘the Book of Delights’). He writes ‘O King of Cockroaches please do not eat this, my offering to the culinary world’. A passionate gourmand and food lover, Ghiyath Shah put together a rare compilation of recipes in the 15th century CE and this is one of the few such pieces from that time.
Ghiyath Shah (1469-1500 CE) was the ruler of Malwa at the turn of the 16th century CE. An aesthete and a lover of the arts; music, dance and painting thrived at his court, giving his capital Mandu, the name Shahidabad or the ‘City of Joy’.

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