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Chandi Ka Warq

Garnish that glitter – In the kitchens of the nawabs, cooks were given unlimited freedom to garnish their dishes. Talented cooks used to reserve precious metals for topping sweets and feast dishes like pulao, kebabs and meat curries, usually with silver leaves. Deep in Lucknow’s chowk- a rhythmic tik- tik- tik signals your arrival at the lane of warqwallahs, the makers of edible silver and gold leaf. Here, in one cubbyhole- size shop after another, patient men carefully hammer small leather books with tabs of precious metal inserted between the pages, until after about three hours- each tab has flattened out into a four- inch – square leaf. The leaves, more delicate than butterflies’ wings, have no taste or odour and only a trace of texture, leaving a fleeting, crumbly feeling on the tongue. Pure silver and gold are not toxic. Infact, with in the healing system of Ayurveda, these metals are recommended as remedies for various ailments, including heart disease. The use of gold and silver leaves as lustrous embellishments for food is especially associated with the Nawabi feasts

Credit : Contributor Member – Mohsina Mirza