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EVOLUTION OF DUM PUKHT CUISINE

nisar253's picture

Dum biryaniEVOLUTION OF DUM PUKHT CUISINE  


 


A 200 YEAR OLD CULINARY MYSTIQUE

  

"A Famine two hundred years ago, the cooking of food in common woks for the poor, a passing Nawab.........and the birth of a new Cuisine." 

HISTORY OF THE NAME AND CUISINE  

"DUM" means to "breathe in" and "PUKHT" means "to cook".  The cuisine, the origin of which dates back to the 1780's was popular at the time of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah, the erstwhile ruler of the State of Awadh.  This cuisine actually came up by sheer luck when the State of Avadh was hit by a famine and unemployment was high. Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah decreed the never ending construction of a giant edifice, the Bara Imambara, creating unceasing employment. By royal decree too, arrangements were made to provide food.  Enormous containers were filled with rice, meat, vegetables and spices, and sealed. Hot charcoal was placed on top and fires lit beneath, while slow cooking ensured food was available day or night.  The result was extraordinary, for when the containers were unsealed; the splendid aromas attracted even the royal attention. The "dummed" cuisine was now perfected for the royal table. Exotic dishes were evolved, in which flavours and fragrances intermingled, with exquisite results.  Dum Pukht cooking developed in four different centres:                   LUCKNOW                   HYDERABAD                   KASHMIR                   LAHORE The Best cooking wood for Dum Pukht was considered the Chinar, the famous Kashmiri tree.The dishes prepared in this style of cooking has evolved in to one of the finest fine dinning cuisines from South Asia and is represented by it’s own taste and flavour in these four places.

 

Image credit: Ifood.tv

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10 Comments

shantihhh's picture
Very interesting! I am a fan of Awadhi Cuisine as around Lucknow. Dum pukht refers to a slow method of cooking food. “Dum” means steam and “dum pukht” literally means to choke off the steam. The food is placed in a pot, usually made of clay, and dough is used to create a tight seal to prevent steam from escaping. The food is slowly cooked in its own juices and steam, allowing herbs and spices to fully infuse the meat or rice, preserving the nutritional elements at the same time. Grand Master Chef Imtiaz Qureshi, who hails from a long line of Awadhi royal cooks who invented the dum pukht technique is said to be the master of this style of cuisine. I tink he is still at the Sheraton in Delhi. It was his efforts in researching and developing the cuisine from recipes gleaned from ancient manuscripts which fanned the spread of dum pukht cooking and saved it from being confined to the annals of culinary history. Imtiaz Qureshi is also credited with popularising the tandoor style of cooking around the world-but I wonder about that His whole family are considered experts at this style. Pressure cookers, steam ovens and clay pots are all based on principles similar to dum cooking – technology has just taken a different shape. Dum cooking Qureshi-style, however, is done with traditional claypots, tightly sealed with atta dough. Claypots will give a much better flavour to the dum pukht dishes. There is a similiar styke in Provence region of France. You soak a poelon in water, then place ingredients, cover, and seal with dough. The clay is said to draw any bitterness from food whilst keping all the juices inside-making for succulent meats. Spices used in dum cooking include saffron, mace, rosewater, cardamom, cloves and Kashmiri chiles. Since the Nawabs of Awadh were of Moghul descent, there is a strong Persian influence to the cuisine; Indian spices, however, dominate. Hungry yet? Shanti/Mary-Anne
nisar253's picture
Hi Shantihhhi, Kudos to Grand Master chef Imtiyaz , in making Luckhnowi Dum Pukht such a famous cuisine around world.Thanks for your inputs , looks like you are still missing the "Tunde Kababey's" kababs! A great cuisine india has given to world! nisar "If you want happiness for a lifetime,learn to love what you do"
shantihhh's picture
????? Talk to me! Better yet cook for me! Shanti/Mary-Anne
nisar253's picture
If you happened to be in Lucknow do not forget to try "Tunde Kababe". Very famous for it's delectable kababs. "If you want happiness for a lifetime,learn to love what you do"
vikas.kumar's picture
Very interesting. I love food cooked this way.
nisar253's picture
THANKS VIKAS FOR YOUR COMMENT. "If you want happiness for a lifetime,learn to love what you do"
jaiparkash bhatt's picture
i love to have awadhi food and too cook . this is verry intersting and aromatic cuisine in all hotels if some one will ask me what is my fevroute thn definetly i will go with awadhi food
jaiparkash bhatt's picture
i love to have awadhi food and too cook . this is verry intersting and aromatic cuisine in all hotels if some one will ask me what is my fevroute thn definetly i will go with awadhi food
ankit sharma's picture
this is very nice i likeawadhi food
balendar singh's picture
i love awadhi food my femas specal chef nisar