How Mongols influenced Indian Cuisine?
Mongols in Persian are Mughal and in Hindustani Moghul. I differentiate Mongol influence before the Moghul empire
History of Indian food is peppered with stories of Mongols riding their ponies carrying food supplies in Mashak on the back of the ponies. The Mashak were sacs made from the skins or intestines of horses or goats. Mongols loved their 'White food' , milk. The discoveries of Ice Cream, Yogurt and cheese have been attributed to Mongols. One may NOT agree with these stories as they stand, however they make scientific sense. I remember, during summer, "Bhisti" used to carry cold water in Mashak (goat skin) and sell water in terracotta cups called "Kulhar" on the railway/bus stations as well as in the Bazaars up to 1960s.
Every culture has its own folklore about the origins of Ice Cream . I like the story of a Mongol passing through the rugged terrain of Himalayas on the horseback, carrying "Mashak" (intestines of the goat) filled with fresh cream from Yak's milk. As the horse galloped along, the cream shook, while the temperature dropped below freezing. You guessed it, there was the first Ice cream.
The discovery of Cheese is attributed to Genghis Khan's army. (Genghis Khan means Universal leader, Born as Temujin 1167-1227). They were carrying Yak milk in "Mashak" (intestines of the goat) on the backs of the mares. The rennet imparted from the Mashak to the milk and as the temperatures rose, the Yak milk turned into Paneer.
The discovery of Yogurt 'Khumis' is also attributed to the Genghis Khan's army, the Mashaks were made of goat skin to carry water. The natives filled these Mashaks with milk instead. The warm desert temperatures, turned milk into Khumis by the evening. Later on, Khumis was was used to make alcoholic beverages.
Impact of Mongols on Indian Cuisine was NOT limited to white food.
Pony mounted Mongols used their swords to cut meat by sword into pieces, pierced on the sword and cooked on open fire to make Sheesh Kabobs.
In Farsi Biryani means 'fried before cooking'. Timur (Timur was born as Timur Lenk 1336-1405), another Mongol is credited for bringing this rice dish from Uzbekistan via Afghanistan to India.
Rice Pilaaf has its origins in Afghanistan also.
Another Mongol, Babur would greatly change the Indian Cuisine for generations.
What is Mughalai Cuisine?