Jashn-e-Oudh - Chef Sunil Soni

Jashn-e-Oudh – Chef Sunil Soni

But it does not disappoint vegetarians either — what with elaborate how-to-do’s on more than 15 vegetable and lentil preparations, rice dishes, breads and desserts. And to laud Soni’s eye for detail, it speaks at length about ingredients, condiments and even Awadhi terms and techniques.

“Let’s not get Awadi cusine wrong. The vegetarian fare in the region is also a gourmet’s delight. The venial hues of nature and its bounties have inspired the culinary genius of the cooks of this region into creating remarkable recipes for the vegetarian palate,” the chef says.

Soni also has some curious anecdotes. While he says that no other region of India can boast more varieties of pulaos than Awadh, he also feels Briyani is appreciated more in Delhi and Hyderabad — and that the nawabs of the region consider it a poor cousin of their exalted Yakhani Pulao.

Then finally on desserts, he says, the rich, extravagant and highly-decorated sweets of Lucknow that reflect its past glories to this day live up to the maxim that the finesse of a cuisine can be judged by the look and taste of its desserts.

Unlike the grand cuisine he has sought to bring alive, Soni’s motto for bringing out the book – which also has photos of dishes – is simple. “Awadhi food has been universally acclaimed. I now present the recipes of some of these elegant, delicious dishes to the rest of the world.”

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