[Sca-cooks] Ni'matnama was Medieval Indian

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Wed Dec 9 06:28:57 PST 2009

Some people are probably wondering what volume is being discussed by  
His Grace, Mistress Huette, and Lady Madhavi

The full title for the book under discussion is: The Ni'matnama  
Manuscript of the Sultans of Mandu: The Sultan's Book of Delights by  
Norah M. Titley

Table of Contents
1. Preface 2. Introduction 3. List and Description of the Manuscript's  
Illustrations 4. Facsimile of the Manuscript including Colour Inserts  
for Illustrations 5. Translation of the Manuscript 6. Bibliography 7.  
Glossary 8. Index

Amazon describes it as
"The Ni'matnama is a late fifteenth-century book of recipes written  
for the Sultan of Mandu, in what is now Madhya Pradesh, India. It  
contains recipes for cooking a variety of delicacies and epicurean  
delights, as well as providing remedies and aphrodisiacs for Nasir ad- 
Din Shah of Mandu and his court. The text provides a unique account of  
courtly life in a fifteenth century Indian Sultanate and documents a  
fascinating stage in the history of Indian cookery. There is only one  
copy of The Sultan's Book of Delights in existence, held in the  
Oriental and India Office Collections of the British Library (BL- 
Persian 149). The book manuscript is illustrated with fifty elegant  
miniature paintings, most of which show showing the Sultan observing  
the women of his court as they prepare and serve him various dishes.  
These illustrations are important historical art documents in their  
own right. Painted in a distinctive Shirazi (Southern Iranian) style,  
they are also stylistically influenced by indigenous styles of book  
painting found in Central and Western India, and are the earliest  
known example of miniature painting in an Islamic Deccani style. For  
the first time, a facsimile of the original text is reproduced for a  
scholarly audience. Norah Titley, formerly assistant keeper, Oriental  
Collections at the British Library, has masterfully translated this  
unique book."

Or see

Devra carried copies at one time, but doesn't list it at the moment.  
It's a very expensive volume.

RoutledgeCurzon; illustrated edition edition (January 21, 2005) List  
price currently is $200 with Amazon offering it at $153.00. (It was   
$125  when published.)

I've had a copy since it was  published. My husband reviewed a book  
for CRC and they sent him two free books, including this one for me.  
As to buying it, I'd say try for interlibrary loan and see if they can  
provide a copy. The recipe section isn't that large. The plates take  
up most of the book. I'd say that most folks could do ok with  
interlibrary loaning the book and then xeroxing the recipe section.  
Save the money on the purchase, and be quite happy.

hope this helps


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