Lucknow is a paradise for gastronomes with its nooks and alleys dotted with gems that serve drool-worthy food. During the holy month of Ramzan, the streets of this fantastic city get transformed into some sort of a food heaven, with the believers thronging them for their Sehri and Iftaar.
The Place: Do not expect a fancy joint. This place doesn’t even have a signboard. But it is so famous that the mere mention of its name is enough to guide you to the right place.
Where: Akbari Gate, Chowk
Must Try: Nihari Kulcha (Nihari is kind of a stew of either lamb, mutton or beef, cooked slowly for hours along with the bone marrow and spiced with delicate aromatics). It is best had with the soft and fluffy Kulcha.
The Place: Visiting Tunday is nothing short of a pilgrimage to many visitors to the cities.
Where: Aminabad, Chowk, Kapoorthala
Must Try: It is known for its kababs, especially Galouti Kabab(galouti means ‘melt in the mouth’), Chicken Biryani and Seekh Kabab(made on skewers). The kababs are best had with Mughlai Paratha.
Idris Ki Biryani
The Place: There are some outlets that perfect a recipe to such an extent that the dish becomes synonymous with the place. Idris Hotel is the perfect example.
Where: Patanala, Near Kotwali, Chowk
Must Try: It is best known for its Mutton Biryani, served with Shorba, is an excellent example of the ‘Dum’ style of cooking. The Biryani is subtlely flavored with mild spices and Kewda(pandanus plant extract)water.
The Place: This place is no fine-dine.
Where: Nazeerabad, Aminabad
Must Try: If you are a Biryani lover, this place serves the most sumptuous Chicken Biryani. It is said that a combination of 55 spices is used to flavor it. Served with raita.
The Place: It is a small shop that is a magnet for meat lovers.
Where: Qaiser Bagh Avenue, Near Oudh Gymkhana Club
Must Try: Legend has it that the recipes come from the great cooks that cooked for the Nawabs of Awadh. Although it opens for only a few hours every day, people throng here for Boti, Kakori, Galouti and Shammi Kababs.
Haji Abdul Shakur
The Place: A minuscule outlet, you wouldn’t find without human GPS.
Where: Chowk, Opp. Tunday Kababi
Must Try: Breaking fast during Ramzan isn’t complete without sweets like the decadent Phirni(a kind of rice and milk pudding) and ‘Shaak’, which are flaky and sweetened strands.
Lucknow is a shining example of a city that proudly imbibed the various influences from foreign rulers like the Mughals which made its presence felt in the local Awadhi cuisine.
Come, discover piety and gaiety in this ‘City of Nawabs’.