Be it Mughlai, Tandoori or Street Food, Lucknow, is truly a Foodie’s Paradise. The city of nawabs, Lucknow, is one of the most popular cities in India, specially known for its Awadhi royality , traditions and culture. The Lucknowi cuisine is indeed a great reason for the city’s popularity. It’s sad that not many people talk about the vegetarian delights of Lucknow, no doubt that the non-vegetarian are signature dishes of the region but luckily, for the vegetarians too there is a plethora of delectable food items to chose from. Let us start listing the Ten Must Try Dishes in Lucknow!
Hands down Galouti Kebabs top our list. There is an interesting story behind these world renowned kebabs, which were specially made for the ageing Nawab of Lucknow, Wajid Ali Shahhad lost his set of teeth, but meat was his staple diet,so the royal kitchen came up with an ingenious way of preparing meat that was easy for the nawab to eat. It is also said that the original recipe contained a mix of more than 100 exotic spices! And needless to say, how much the nawab enjoyed them.The word ‘galouti‘ means“to melt in the mouth” and the soft kebabs really do that.
The Tunday Kababi restaurant is more than a hundred years old and immensely popular for it’s Kebabs which too have a rather interesting history. Tunday means handicapped and the person who made them first was handicapped, that’s how it became “tunde ke kebab”. The meat tends to dissolve in the mouth instantly and is best complimented with rumali rotis.
The biryani made in Lucknow is very different from Hyderabadi biryani. Not only is the taste and flavour different, but the cooking styles too. The rice is cooked separately in saffron and other fresh spices and the marinated chicken is added later. Another must have in Lucknow.
Now, as promised, a treat for the vegetarian foodies as well. Though every city has its own special way of making it but all in all it can be said that Indians love Chaat. Tokri/ Basket Chaat is a unique way of serving the regular Chaat. Instead of regular plates or pattas, a deep fried potato tokri or basket is prepared and then tikkis, chutneys, fried potatoes, ginger strips anaar, etc are sprinkled all over. Forget about the calories and just dig deep and have every bit of the basket too.
Prakash ki Kulfi
Lucknow food will never disappoint the ones with a sweet tooth. One of the must haves is the very delicious dessert Prakash ki Kulfi. They serve kulfi faloodas and within the blink of an eye! Keeping the traditional flavours of kesar-pista alive, Prakash ki kulfi gives all other brands of Ice creams a run for their money.
Sharmaji ki Chai
For Indians , a cup of tea can solve almost all the problems. From a headache, to a cold, from feeling sleepy to Chai pe Charcha. And Lucknow offers it all with Sharma ji ki chai. But that is not it, freshly baked buns smothered in homemade butter, the potato stuffed samosas, make a perfect combination with the already perfect cup of tea.
Chappan Bhog ki Mithai
Chappan Bhog has been the undisputed king of Lucknow’s sweet world. Every sweet that you taste is itself a competition to the other, but a must must have is the Jaleba. The sleek and slender but huge jaleba, fried in desi ghee right before your eyes, is a treat not just for the ones with a sweet tooth but for everyone who has a tooth!
Malai Ki Gilori
Another must have for the ones with a sweet tooth, is the oh-so-soft Malai Ki Gilori! Layers of milk cream better known as malai are folded together in the shape of a triangle, to resemble a sweet pan ki gilori. Savour it melting in your mouth within seconds and be sure you won’t be able to stop at just one!
Bajpayee ki Kachodi
There are these vegetarian delicacies exclusive to Lucknow, which are capable of giving the kebabs and biryanis a run for their money. Being one of them, Bajpayee Kachodi Bhandar is famous for the Khasta and Kachodi in Lucknow. Enjoy the crispiness of Kachodi along with the spicy Aloo ki Sabzi.
An Indian meal is not complete if you don’t end it up with paan and what better than the Lucknowi paan, and making it seems like a work of art. And one has a variety of paans to chose from, like begum ki pasand paan, biryani paan, Wasid Ali paan, Shahi eetha paan! If you haven’t tasted it, you are missing out on life!
Its often said that, people who love food, are always the happiest people! With such a plethora of sumptuous food items to chose from, no wonder Lucknow is one of the happiest cities in India. “Muskuraiye Aap Lucknow mein hain”!