A wedding celebration doubles as inauguration festivities of the new capital; a version of mande ghost might have featured in the banquet line up. B&W photo: Asuf Gunj, Gulbarga, 1880 (© The British Library Board)

WITH HIS CAPITAL NOW SHIFTED TO GULBARGA, the new Sultan sets to work. Bahman Shah’s mission is to consolidate the Southern territories which Tughlaq had held until recently. Starting from his base in Daulatabad, this will be like tracking down culinary influences. For the cuisine of the wider Marathwada region of Daulatabad carries marked influences from its proximate lands: the kokum and coconut of the Konkan coast (a region that Bahman has his sights set on), the Kohlapuri rasas, and the besan-based forumulations of Vidarbha. It also carries select influences from the Eastern regions of Telengana and Warangal – areas which Bahman Shah will advance on immediately. Before that however, and to shore up critical goodwill, he has planned the wedding of his eldest son to the daughter of his Prime Minister. The celebrations last a whole year and see the regular distribution of horses from the Far East, and robes made from gold cloth, satin and velvet. Jewelled sabres are handed out to members of nobility. Large confectionery-dispensing machines are stationed at points on the main streets of Gulbarga; they shower specialty treats into the crowd. In line with tradition, the last day of the year-long celebrations would see  officials, ambassadors and nobility lining up to present Sultan Bahman Shah with the finest presents in their possession. Public and private banquets on the occasion, would feature regional specialties – a version of today’s popular mande gosht would likely have featured in the lineup. It consists of a pungent salan prepared from mutton and select spices (onions, chillies, coriander), paired with a large roti similar to the romali. An undoubted treat for the commoner of Gulbarga, who otherwise makes do with meals of rice, ghee, khichri, and vegetables cooked in butter and milk – as reported by Afanasy Nikitin, a Russian who visited the Bahman kingdom in the 15th Century. His account also mentions that on journeys it was common for people to carry stone pots in which to prepare broth. Incidentally the account of his journey in India was adapted into the 1957 film, Pardesi, starring Mumtaz.

  • A History of the Deccan, by James Dunning Baker Gribble
  • The Journey Beyond the Three Seas, by Afanasy Nikitin
  • Upper Crust Magazine