Feb 25, 2024, 09:24 PM IST

This Mughal emperor loved vegetarian foods; his favourite dish was...

Varnika Srivastava

Akbar the Great, also known as Akbar I, was the third Mughal emperor who ruled from 1556 to 1605, succeeding his father Humayun and expanding Mughal domains in the Indian subcontinent.

Akbar married to Harkha Bai. She was the longest-serving Hindu empress of the Mughal Empire. 

Akbar's marriage alliances with Indian families contributed significantly to the Indian influence in the royal kitchen.

Akbar's royal kitchen housed over 400 cooks from India and Persia, serving food in gold, silver, stone, and earthenware dishes, tied in cloths, and daily bringing ice from the Himalayas.

Akbar reportedly kept an exclusive kitchen garden that was irrigated with rosewater to give the produce a fragrant touch, and he was a vegetarian three days a week.

During his time, he liked dishes like Sanbusas or Samosas, a spinach dish with ghee, fenugreek, ginger, cardamom, and clove. 

But he did like navratan qorma and murgh musallam in the non-vegetarian cuisine. 

The Jain monk's teachings on nonviolence had an impact on Akbar. In addition, it is reported that Akbar freed prisoners, outlawed the killing of animals and birds, and abandoned hunting and fishing.

Hiravijaya is reported to have told Akbar: "How could a man’s stomach be a tomb of animals?" creating an aversion for meat eating in mind of Akbar.