Standing in the middle of a busy street in Lucknow, surrounded by street food joints, local restaurants and sweet shops, one cannot simply ignore the delicious aroma that this place offers. So, when in Lucknow, just close your eyes, take in the different aromas of blended spices, curries, kebabs and biryani and let your stomach guide you in this food heaven.
The Land of Nawabs is popularly recognized for its variety of kebabs, which are a sheer delight for every foodie. But there's so much more to this old Awadh capital than Kebabs. Here are 12 mouth-watering delicacies for you to try the next time you're in Lucknow:
1. Kaju Curry
Dig in your roti or naan into this rich and creamy curry of vegetables and/or meat cooked in cashew nuts and khoya, and experience food heaven like never before.
Meat slowly cooked over a span of 6-7 hours in a mixture of different spices called 'potli masala', served hot with ghilaaf kulcha is Lucknow's all-time favourite breakfast. Your tastebuds are so going to thank you for this.
3. Lucknowi Biryani
You haven't had a real biryani if you have not tried the authentic Lucknawi biryani yet. This one is very different from the Hyderabadi biryani as it has a lot of Persian influence when it comes to flavour. The rice is cooked separately with a variety of spices and the meat is added to it once the dish is ready to serve. Even the vegetarian versions are equally irresistible!
4. Basket Chaat
It's not all heavy food that Lucknow had to offer. If you're looking for a lighter snack, Basket Chaat is your go-to snack. It's the perfect combination of sweet, spicy and tangy causing flavourful explosions on your tongues! The crispy basket adds the right amount of munch. Perfect comfort food, this!
A favourite Iftar dish, this is another meaty delight to satiate your hunger. Cooked overnight in Turnip curry, the flavours of this one are absolutely lip-smacking. It is best enjoyed in winters.
There are all kinds of savoury naans to try with different curries, and then there is Sheermal, a sweet naan made with sweetened milk, cooked in tandoor. A simple delight, this one is for all the sweet lovers. One bite of it is all you need for it be your new favourite dish.
7. Shahi Tukda
Milk infused with saffron, thickened and poured over bread, topped with pineapple, almonds and pistachios - gets your tongues rolling, doesn't it? Although it's easy to make at home, we'd say if you haven't tried it in Lucknow, you haven't tried it at all!
8. Nimish (Makhan Malai)
Also famous as Daulat Ki Chaat, this dish is a winter delicacy. Made with foamy milk, topped with saffron and pistachio and Chandi ka Warq, this one is a personal favourite guilty pleasure.
9. Malai Ki Gilori
Lucknow has a lot to offer for sweet lovers. This one is actually khoya, mishri and dry fruits mixed together and covered with a layer of malai. It's so good that you will keep going back for another. So, we'd totally understand if you end up having a dozen of these and still don't feel completely satisfied.
10. Kulfi Falooda at Prakash Ki Kulfi
Prakash Kulfi Corner in Lucknow serves the world's best kulfi falooda. This Indian alternative to icecream is another favourite dessert of Indians. And it comes in different flavours like mango and kesar pista. Yummylicious this!
11. Lucknawi Paan
After downing dish after dish, paan is the perfect end to a sumptuous meal. But Lucknawi Paan is beyond that. It has a unique taste which no other paan in India can equal. It's this little packet of betel leaf, gulkand and supari that will be the perfect end to your food pilgrimage across Lucknow.
Enough said by us, enough read by you. It's now time to experience all this in real.