Kayastha is a caste of Hindus. Kayastha means ‘scribe’ in Sanskrit, reflecting the caste’s traditional role as record-keepers and administrators of the state. During the many changes of Indian occupancy by Hindu Maharajas, Mughal and British, they continued to serve the rulers as administrators and Ministers. They are the descendants of Chitragupta Maharaj, who was according to Puranas responsible for recording the deeds of humanity (ref Wikipedia). Kayastha were ranked between Brahmins and Khatris. For the non believers of the caste system like I am, this history is only of interest so that we understand how Kayastha being almost Brahmins starting eating meat. There are regions in India where the Kayastha will not only, not eat meat, but won’t even let anyone cook meat in there kitchen – as happened at my mother’s family, yet other Kayastha - as was the case in my father’s family, meat was eaten everyday barring Tuesdays. Kayastha families, hailing from
Delhi (Father’s family eating meat almost everyday) are very different in their eating habits from their brethrens in other parts of North India. I wonder whether this was due to the fact that Kayasthas from and surrounding areas were often in the employment of the Mughals when they were subjected to the non-vegetarian cuisines and method of cooking, and started eating meat. You will note from the forthcoming meat recipes of our family, we use a lot of spices and cooking methods used by the Mughals, which today is referred to as Mughlai food. In Delhi there are many restaurants which became famous and popular because of their Mughlai food. The current popularity of North Indian food dishes like Korma and Murgh Mussalam are just a few examples. Delhi
It is interesting and perhaps a topic for investigating that in the UK Korma is referred to a mild version of curry, where as in truth the Korma is a meat dish made with yogurt and nuts. In the recent years one is starting to see the true Korma even in the
It is interesting that though my Ma never ate meat (my big sister thinks I am wrong as she believes our Ma started eating meat after her marriage), yet she started to cook for my dad. Whatever the truth, I am glad she was introduced to the non – vegetarian cooking as she made some legendary meat dishes. Unfortunately, she died at a very early age, before I became interested in cooking as a hobby. My sister has now become my biggest source of all Ma’s and indeed her own recipes, which in her family have in turn become legendary. Hopefully, I will be able to share most of these with you all in this blog!
The first recipe I will write is the everyday Kaliya. Kaliya is the term used in
Delhi and UP for Goat meat; here in the of course it is difficult to get goat meat so we use lamb. UK