This is how Tandoor arrived in India

We all enjoy the smoky taste of tandoor, but when it comes to your arrival in India, many of us are not aware of it. Recently, during an animated session at Times Litfest 2019 Delhi, a panel of food experts spoke about its origin and it was surprising to know that it came with Babur.

When Babur arrived in India, he brought with him the tandoor. For an ongoing army, it was a kitchen that could be transported. That is a direct legacy of the Mughals, said authors Diana Preston and Michael Preston, collectively known as Alex Rutherford, authors of a fiction series about Mughals. Michael added that he heard from some Indian chefs that because Mughals could not penetrate deep into southern India, the tandoor is unknown there.

This was one of the interesting facts shared in a session entitled A passage to India: the outsider's perspective. Andrew Otis, author of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper, traced the journey of James Augustus Hickey, the first to start a newspaper in India. When asked about what the Indian media could learn from Hicky, Otis said there is always the courage to tell the truth to the power that anyone can learn from Hicky. Journalists should be aware of the role they are playing and how history will remember them, he said.

Like Hicky, there were many Europeans who came to India as doctors without having any medical experience. Tremendous rogues came to the Mughal Empire posing as doctors, said Diana Preston.

Panelists also agreed that India even today appears as a fascinating place where different cultures interact.