The Nimatnama Mansucript of the Sultans of Mandu (The Sultan’s Book of Delights)

For my birthday, I received a few books.  One of which was a cooking/court life book.  I was a little hesitant as cookbooks and court books are usually separated into different books.  I am pleasantly surprised, my first run through on recipes yielded at least 8 recipes I want to try this weekend!

The Nimatnuma Manuscript of the Sultans of Mandu

The Sultans Book of Delights

I enjoy this book quite a bit.  There are recipes for different meat dishes, soups, and birds.  There are also recipes for perfumes and what we would call body splashes (which have been rare as hens teeth to find information on).  There are recipes on drinks and sweets.

As for the hunting portions, I really enjoy these sections as well.  The details are not so much as stories but a list of what to bring and why.  Not only favorite dishes/drinks and perfumes are included for the Sultan but on ways to reward his generals with tokens of gold/silver as well as food and drink.  There is also an account on how to to cook at a camp site with skewers, meat and bread.

The book also contains quiet a few pictures of hunting scenes and camping scenes as well as pages and pages of manuscripts.  There is also a section on measurements and a section with period words and their English definition.  A real bonus!

The down side is that all the hunting and cooking scenes are in not in color.  The cooking section (and hunting portions) are roughly 1/4 of the entire text.  My feelings are that while the manuscripts in the original writings are pretty…the book could probably have benefited from a good pruning of pages.

This is not a beginners book.  The recipes have some measurements for spices.  Each “section” or paragraph can have 2-4 recipes so a weathered eye on which ingredients need to go with which recipes in these sections.  Overall I give the book an A for period recipes, definitions, pictures and calligraphy.  For cooking an B, for multiple recipes and some measurements.

 

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