Is 7.30am too early for a city to be alive and busy…? I don’t think so… I landed in Lucknow at 7.30am on Saturday (14th April 2012)… and had a half an hour ride from airport to office. I must mention I was pleased to see beautiful roads and well constructed buildings (in name of kashiram), thought of visiting mayawati garden (Would have- if I had time). <Oh… Dont worry, you are not into reading another article on UP leaders or sorts – I don’t know much ;)>
I came to this city some 7 years ago and honestly I don’t remember much apart from one unfulfilled desire of returning without relishing the famous tunde kabab, (WHICH I DID FULFILL THIS TIME); and I had seen bada imambada, crocodile farm and chicken factory last time. Well coming back to the city view in first half an hour … The city seemed to be so much at ease in the morning (as my friend says ‘madam nawabo ka shehar h, sab aaram se hota h yaha’) unlike mumbai and delhi where 8 seems to be late… I remember a Mumbai morning at 6… All hustle bustle and every one on their toes, engaged in their day’s chores #ILoverhyme.
But, never the less I waited another hour for the city to come alive (about 9am) and then started work. (I wrapped up all my work by afternoonJ).
Luckily my dear friend Zubair who partially belongs to the city was in town. I met him around 3 and we started our ‘foodfilled’ journey… From the well done roads to Old Lucknow, we entered Aminabad, the place where you get Tunde kabab. It is a small Non-Ac joint full of people, seats as close to each other to ensure full utilization of space. In about 2 minutes we could manage seats next to a family already relishing some biryani and kababas.
It has this small menu with limited items on it (To my vegetarian friends – No options for you at all) from which we ordered Tunde Kabab (Ofcourse!) and Biryani – This Biryani is more known in North (Chicken essence gets merged in the rice). I also ordered bread called sheermal (– it is made of maida with added saffron).
OMG… What a dish … even though it was pretty hot that day I still did not crib about sitting in Non-AC joint and relishing hot stuff … Loved the kababs and biryani … yummmm!!
Some Gyan – Tunde Kabab are also known as Galouti Kabab. The moment you put them into your mouth they dissolve. Papaya is main ingredient of the dish to make it soft.
Story – It was specially made for a mughal king who had no teeth left in his old age, but loved eating Kababs. Then, his chef came up with this idea of adding papaya and making soft Kababs. The name Tunde comes from the fact that a person with no arms used to make it.
Then, we moved from there and went to a small shop in a corner where we ordered Nahari kulche – another specialty of Lucknow. The Kulcha in the dish is very different from our regular understanding of a kulcha, it is a big and thick tandoori kulcha served with mutton or paya gravy.
We were full after eating all this itself, and zubair said that we have to eat the famous kulfi from ‘Prakash Kulfi wala’. This shop is in a tight corner and sells nothing other than kulfi; and to my surprise there was waiting at mere 4:30 pm :O| It was absolutely delicious! #KulfiSells
Whoof… we finished all of it and moved to Hazrat ganj (which sounds like a place where you will get to see some local shops and old Delhi type feel) But, I could have never imagined such a place in Lucknow. I actually felt like I am outside India or at least in one of the Metro cities. Hazrat Ganj has a different charm in itself. We did some actual and some window shopping there (clubbed with a bhoot Bangla visit ;)).
The last thing in the list was ‘Lucknow ki chaat’. Believe me before having this Chaat I was very confident ‘Ki Boss dilli ki chaat se better kaha kuchh hoga’ #TotalDilliSpree
But Belive me even when I was full upto my throat I could eat the dahi basha (basha=Golgappa), papdi chaat and relish the kanji … it has to have that power of making one say… ‘Lucknow ki chaat nahi khayi to kya khaya aapne Janab!!’
Thanks Zubieee J
P.S. – It was a f(g)ood day well spent in old Lucknow!
twitter handle – ctulika