APPLES OF THE MAHARAJA
One should not speak of these apples and "applesauce"
in the same room, or even in the same century. This
dish is sometimes attributed to Shah Jehan, builder
of the Taj Mahal at Agra, the memorial to his greatly
loved wife; Shah Jehan, also apparently a brilliant
chef who is practically a demiurge of sumptuous cuisine.
Jehan's son, a serpent's tooth, was not exactly
appreciative of his father's genius, and imprisoned him -
a story for another time, and a wonderful stew.
4-5 @ large crisp apples (to make about 4 cups shredded)
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup usli ghee
1/3 cup slivered almonds
4 TBS sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 TBS rose water, or 5-6 drops of essential rose oil.
1. Peel, core and halve the apples. Either grate or shred them
using the appropiate blade of a food processor, or grandma's
four sided thingy. Put shredded apple in a bowl with the
lemon juice and toss to mix well. TSC prefers shredded.
2. Melt the ghee in fry pan over a medium high heat. Add the
slivered almonds cooking and stirring for about 1 minute.
If the almonds begin to brown, add the apples immediately.
Often, toasted almonds would be desired, but here, they
would be overly strong and intrusive; don't.
3. Add the shredded apples and sugar stir and cook until apples
start to become dry.
4. Stir in the raisins, the ground cardamom and then the heavy
cream and stir and cook again until any liquid becomes thick.
5. Stir in the rose water, and serve hot in small bowls
to those whom you love, if only for tonight, on a cold
1. Optional Additions;
1/4 tsp crumbled saffron to the cream. This is
about 3-4 blades. Use a small mortar to crush
the blades into a small bit of cream, after they
have been toasted in a hot iron pan until fragrant.
This will also make them crisp enough to be
2. Resist the temptation to modify by adding cinnamon -
or don't, but use only 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. Every Apple
Thing in creation has cinnamon. At very least this
should not cudgle the sconce yet again with cinnamon.
If you must, at least use ground cinnamonum zeylonica and not
the ground cassia bark called cinnamon in the US.
3. This must really be served hot and preferably fresh,
although it will reheat without disastrous results.
4. If you absolutely must substitute, use 1/2 cup of
sweet butter in place of usli ghee.
5. Sour cream is an alternative to sweet cream, but is not a
completely wonderful one. Not expecially recommended.
6. Some apples are tougher than others, so depending on that
you might want to consider the thinness, of shredding,
definitely grating the apples and also extending the
7. Some apples are dryish: add more ghee if necessary.
8. I learned the basis of this dessert decades ago from
"Cooking of the Maharajas" by Shivaji Rao & Shalini Devi
Holkar, now, unfortunately out of print - the book, not
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Index of Indian Cuisine
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Created: June 24, 2007
Last Updated: April 13, 2008