Page 176. " 'Then in God's name take blue for red,' said Mahbub, alluding to the Hindu colour "
Red (Hindu) turban
Creative Commons AttributionRed (Hindu) turban - Credit: John Haslam, Flickr

A red turban is worn traditionally by Hindus, while a blue turban is associated with Islam. As Mahbub is a Muslim, if Kim is to work as his assistant he must appear to come from the same community, so as to avoid suspicion.  

Turban wearing in India is governed by a plethora of cultural codes. The style, size and colour of a given turban may denote the religion and caste of the wearer, as well as his status within society.

Page 176. " almond curd sweetmeats [balushai we call it] "

India is famous for its sweetmeats, and balushai is a classic. This simple sweet can easily be made at home. Follow the video's instructions for a moreish taste of North India.

Ingredients for Balushai:

Maida (fine wheat flour)  4 cups          

Curd                                      1.5 cups

Ghee                                      1.5 cups

Sugar                                     6 cups

Baking soda                          1 tsp

Lime juice                             1 tsp

Rose essence

Ghee to fry