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A Peek inside Mughal Kitchens

From Pulao to Naan and Kebabs, the food preparations synonymous with the Mughals continue to inform culinary choices as well as imaginations about food practices in contemporary South Asia. Even as debates about authentic “Mughlai” dishes and their religious affiliations rage on, the people who cooked, served, and supervised these meals at the establishments of the courtly elite and in the markets are forgotten when we examine the Mughal past.

In this episode of Cuisines and Cultures, we uncover the history of these rather ignored groups of service providers, through textual and visual sources. Dr Neha Vermani stews a narrative about the knowledge, skills, work ethic, and gender constructs that underpinned the kitchen labour during the Mughal period.

Neha Vermani is a specialist in early modern cultures of consumption in South Asia. She completed her PhD in History at Royal Holloway University of London in 2019. She served as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on Before ‘Farm to Table’: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures project from 2020-2021.

Here’s the recording of the LIVE discussion with Neha Vermani.