Mughlai Cuisine

The Mughlai cuisine became a part of the profusion of Indian foods as early as the 15th century AD. It was introduced to the people of India by the Mughal emperors and has since caught on to become a part of mainstream Indian cuisine. The speciality of Mughlai food is that it is cooked with a range of aromatic spices, nuts, dried fruits, is nutrient-rich and is also extremely satisfying to the palette.

Popularity of Mughlai Cuisine in India

Mughlai food has become such an integral part of the Indian diet that it is now found in several parts of states in the country like Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. You will find this cuisine being offered at all major restaurants and even at local street vendors across the country. Moreover, with its butter-based curries and highly flavoursome sauces, this cuisine has even become an iconic part of Indian cuisine available worldwide.

Let’s take a look at the 10 dishes that make mughlai cuisine so popular in India as well as the rest of the world.

Chicken Korma

Interestingly enough, the Qorma originated from Persia and was adopted by the Rajput chefs in Akbar’s kitchen. Since then it was known as Korma, named after the Rajput tribe Kurma. This dish is one of the most sought-after ones when it comes to traditional Mughlai food because of its indulgence in whole spices, yoghurt and nuts. It is essentially pieces of succulent chicken doused in rich and creamy gravy.

Nalli Nihari

The term Nihari comes from the Arabic word Nahar, which means morning. The dish got this peculiar name because it was consumed by Mughal emperors after their morning prayers. It is made with pieces of mutton meat and bones stuffed with soft juicy bone marrow. This dish is considered the most appetizing one in the popular Mughlai cuisine and can only be enjoyed when cooked using its traditional recipe.

Murgh Malai Kebab

Kebabs travelled from Turkey to India during the end of the 14th century and the Murgh Malai Kebab was considered one of the many culinary feats of the Mughal Empire. It is made with well-marinated chunks of boneless chicken skewered and cooked over an open flame. This Mughlai food is made best with its age-old recipe and is available in Club Mahindra restaurants across India.

Mutton Seekh Kebab

Probably the most popular appetizers in the Mughlai cuisine, the Mutton Seekh Kebab is typically made with minced mutton meat shaped into sausages on skewers. These skewers are then cooked over an open flame. This spicy and tangy kebab is a treat for people of all ages and is best consumed sizzling hot.

Mughlai Paratha

The Mughlai Paratha is one of the many Mughlai foods that have been transformed into a form of popular street food across the country. This popular fast food is a thick stuffed Indian flatbread made of refined flour. It is usually stuffed with a mix of vegetables like onions and tomatoes, herbs like coriander and minced meat. It is available not just at the roadside fast food stalls but also at Club Mahindra resorts across India.

Nargisi Kofta

While the Nargisi Kofta may have some disputed origins, it has become part of a Mughlai chef’s arsenal in India. This dish is made by coating boiled eggs with compacted minced meat and served in a bowl of rich and creamy authentic Mughlai gravy. The Nargisi Kofta is a traditional Mughlai food that is usually consumed on festive occasions.

Galouti Kebab

This popular Mughali food is said to have been created for a Lucknow Nawab who could not chew his food properly. As a result, these kababs are buttery soft and extremely flavourful. Today, the Galouti Kebab is one of the most sought-after street foods in India and is even served at several fine dining establishments. These kebabs can be paired with Mughlai flatbreads like Tandoori Roti, Naan and with Indian flatbreads like Lachha Paratha.


This rice and meat dish is the most popular Mughlai food in India, and since the 16th century, it has been adapted into several local variations. The Lucknowi Dum Biryani and the Hyderabadi Biryani are two of the most popular iterations of this classic Mughlai dish. It consists of fine basmati rice, potatoes, pieces of meat and boiled eggs, all slow-cooked in an airtight pot (or handi) and is served steaming hot.

Rogan Josh

The term Rogan Josh is a Persian word that means clarified butter (ghee) cooked in intense heat. It was brought to India by the Mughals and since then has become a staple in Indian cuisine (particularly in North India). It is generally a meat dish that has soft and juicy chunks of mutton floating in a spicy red curry. You can taste this delightfully rich and mesmerisingly flavourful dish at several of the Club Mahindra restaurants across India.

Shahi Tukda

Ending the list with a classic Mughali dessert, the Shahi Tukda consists of perfectly fried slices of bread coated in sweet thickened milk (Rabri), rose water and clotted cream (Malai). It is topped off with an assortment of nuts and dried fruits, making it one of the most tantalising dishes in the popular Mughlai cuisine. You can get a taste of this unique dessert at many of the Club Mahindra resorts in India.

Since most of the dishes on this list require expertise in the traditional Mughlai recipes, it is best to experience them at renowned restaurant outlets. Club Mahindra has several exquisite dining experiences throughout India that offer a glimpse into the regal Mughlai cuisine. So, the next time when you book your family vacation with Club Mahindra, don’t forget to sample some of these Mughlai dishes that are sure to leave your taste buds yearning for more.


About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.

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