The Lucknow Food Walk
‘The City of Nawabs’ or the ‘City of Tehzeeb’, Lucknow -take your pick. Lucknowi tehzeeb and mehmaan nawazi, make them the warmest and the most courteous people in India. They are very soft-spoken and treat guests like Gods; that’s what Indian culture is all about but sadly it’s a dying trend. Kwality was the finest restaurant 4 decades ago and Clarks Awadh the only 5 stars.”. I am sharing The Lucknow Food Walk that left me drooling.
Hazratganj and Ganjing
A stroll down Hazratganj has a strange moniker – ”Ganjing The hustle and bustle in the market, the milling crowd, people, flea market clothing, junk jewellery and to top it all the drool-worthy street food. The fashion in the flea market is more interesting than in the up-market stores. The hawker I was bargaining with mentioned that it is known as the ‘Love Lane”- a rendezvous for young girls and boys.
Hazratganj is home to bazaars, retail complexes, restaurants, hotels, theatres, and offices. The quaint Victorian-style street lamps, benches on the footpath, and numerous street food joints make it a popular place for locals and tourists. Bhelpuri and roasted peanut vendors on both sides of the road do brisk business. Panipuri is omnipresent everywhere these days.
Royal Café chat is yummy and tempting. The cook was persuasive, asking me to try the chaat. No oil is used he said, only desi ghee is used. The smorgasbord of Bread pakora, kachori, aloo Tikki and the famous Tokri chat is a foodie’s delight.
The Lucknow Food Walk
Lucknowi or Awadhi cuisine has its own distinctiveness and uniqueness. The traditional food of Lucknow was highly patronized by the Mughals thus giving it a very royal touch. The royal chefs and cooks were trained to give that special royal touch and regal presentation to anything they cooked. In short, it was food fit for the kings. A very high degree of elegance and finesse was required to cook the elaborate Lucknow cuisine with a number of spices. The recipes were a closely guarded secret and were passed on from one generation to the other. Slow cooking is always much tastier and richer. This style of cooking was called as the Dum style.
The fabled dishes of Lucknow are kormas, kebabs, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis and paranthas. If you are an epicurean then have a bite of all-the Kebabs or the meatballs that come in diverse flavours. Some of the famous and delicious are Seekh Kebabs, Kakori Kebabs, Shami Kebabs, Boti Kebabs, Tangdi Kababs, and Galouti Kebabs. If you are a vegetarian like I am then stay away. The aroma wafting in the air is heady and being a vegetarian, I was an oddball.
The Legendary Tunday Kababi
Tunday Kababi is an internationally renowned eatery for its melt-in-the-mouth ‘Galauti Kababs’. Haji Murad Ali (Tunday Kababi), established the place in 1905 at the Chowk and it is still running to this day with other branches in the city and franchisees. The original taste and flavour of the kebabs are maintained. The flavorful whiff from the Mutton Biryani handi can stop you in your tracks.
The story is attention-grabbing. A toothless nawab, a tunda (person with a broken limb) chef with one arm, and the result legends are made of; melt-in-the-mouth kebab. A Nawab who really loved to eat kebabs, lost his teeth as he aged, therefore he was unable to enjoy kebabs. He held a contest wherein whoever created the softest and succulent kebabs would enjoy royal patronage here forth. Tunday was the acclaimed winner and his secret kebab recipe has 160 spices. It is a closely guarded family secret and is passed down to the generations by the ladies of the house. The mutton galauti kebab with Mughlai paratha is melt-in-the-mouth.
Jain ki Chat
Jain ki chat is foodie nirvana- mounds of tangy panipuri and creamy Kulfi Falooda. Dikshit ki chat at the Chowk is also a panipuri lover’s heaven. The next stall has a fancy Frankie-veg keema roll. The paste inside is made of dal and raw banana with a lavish spread of mint chutney, chopped onions, lots of cheese, rolled and handed over. It is a unique flavour. The cook at the paratha dhaba makes amazing aloo paratha with ease and speed.
This was a summary of the traditional Street foods that I had eaten. Fine Dine at Cherry Tree, Royal Café, Mocha café where we had some awesome food. Mocha has a live band and the cocktails and mocktails from Mojito to Sangria make a great combo.
The Lucknow Food Walk is a gourmet delight, not to be missed.
I am participating in #BlogchatterA2Z by @ Blogchatter 2022
If you haven’t checked out my theme for A2Z 2022, then do check it out here.
My A post is Ambrosial Pineapple Cream Pudding. B post is Strawberry Biscuit Pudding. C is Chana Dal or tadka Dal, D for Thandai Drink, E for How to eat a juicy Mango, F for Frittata, G for Godh Bharai, H for Homemade Kulfi, I for Mango Icecream, J for watermelon Juice, K for Matar Kulcha, L for Lazy summer days, M for Munjalu, Palm fruit or Ice Apple, N for Natural Munjalu or Ice Apple Sherbet, O for Offbeat Destination Bhopal, P for Shoppers Paradise-Dilli Haat, Q for 10 Quintessential ways to get cooking without sweating, R for Ram Ladoo, S for Sustainable Travel, T for The Lucknow Heritage Trail, U for Understanding Hereditary and genetic factors in Mental health, V for Velvety Mango Sago Floats