(Last Updated on : 26/05/2016)
Food in Mauryan Period largely depended on two seasons. While the winter season included rice
which formed a major part of the Maurya Empire
, the summer season included wheat
and barley. Along with this Kautilya
mentions that there was a third crop
that was cultivated between these two seasons. This included Munga and Masa. With new crops it added to the stock of crops grown in Indian agriculture
along with new food items. Overall this period too followed the same style of food habits which included cereals, pulses
, dairy products
, meat and beverages
Several Food Preparations of Mauryan Period
Food in Mauryan Period differed from its predecessors in a very limited way when it introduced some more types of cereals which were popularly cultivated in ancient Mauryan Empire. In case of Rice along with the old varieties of rice namely Vrihi, Sali, Kodrava and Priyamgu, 2 new varieties of rice namely Draka and Varaka was introduced. Similarly 2 kinds of Barley was also introduce among which one was cultivated while the other was not cultivated but commonly used in preparing a mess, a gruel, groats and cakes. While Gruel was prepared with an inferior food grains; Groats were eaten with curds
. Wheat occupied a more vital place among the cereals than in the previous period, it being invariably mentioned with barley. Besides the old pulses, pea was indeed popular. Soup
was indeed popular and known a Patanjali
Food in Mauryan Period further included large variety of dairy products. Besides cows milk, milk of buffaloes, sheep and goat was also used. The Maurya Empire was equally habituated in taking meat products as Arthashastra
lays down specific role of the Superintendent of Slaughter Houses. Along with meat, fresh fishes were taken as well as sweet
of Maurya Empire included honey and product of Sugarcane
which further included juice of sugarcane, guda, raw sugar, sugar-candy and refined sugar which were amiably popular.
Food in Mauryan Period was largely prepared with salt
that include normal salt, rock salt, sea salt, bida salt and nitre along with the spices like long-pepper
seeds, white mustard
. This further included 4 types of cardamom
which are white, reddish white, short and black which was produced in India during that time.
Beverages in Mauryan Period
Along with other fruits and beverages, the Maurya Empire included a variety of beverages with great variety of intoxicating liquors. Kautilya
lays down the responsibility of the Superintendent of Liquor
which shows the popularity of the liquor in Maurya Empire. Along with this Megasthenes
mentions that Indians used to take liquor during the festivals. Among the common drinks the wines and rice beers were in common use along with butter milk, grape juice, fruit juices and syrups that was consumed extensively in the Maurya Empire.
Cooking Methods in Mauryan Period
Thus, food in Maurya Period basically followed the same style of cooking. The only difference is that cooking was done in a more polished way.
History of Indian Food
Food in Ancient India
Beverages in Mauryan Empire