Nestled in the heart of Northern India, the city of Lucknow beckons with its rich history and vibrant culture. Beyond its architectural marvels and cultural treasures, the city is also a haven for food enthusiasts seeking an authentic culinary experience. Setting out on a 2-day gastronomic trip, guided by the local insights of Anubhuti Krishna, a journalist and Lucknow native, I had the privilege of immersing myself in the city’s culinary tapestry. From bustling bazaars to renowned eateries, each bite revealed the essence of Lucknow’s flavours, expertly woven together. Accommodations at the luxurious Taj Mahal Hotel in Lucknow offered a comfortable and convenient base to explore this culinary haven.
Nimbu Matar Chaat
Our journey began at the iconic Shukla Chaat in Hazratgunj, where the tantalizing aroma of chaat wafted through the air. As we savoured the vibrant street-food scene, the must-try Pani ke Batashe, Lucknow’s version of golgappe, captivated our taste buds with its impeccable balance of tanginess and spice. The Nimbu ki Matar, a medley of mashed spiced peas, delighted with its zesty undertones. The Aloo ki Tikki, crispy and flavorful, seemed to melt in our mouths. Yet, it was the Dahi-Chutney ke Batashe, golgappe filled with yogurt and chutney, that offered a sensational crescendo of flavours, showcasing Lucknow’s street food prowess.
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Dahi-Chutney ke Batashe
Our culinary adventure continued at Moti Mahal, another gem in Hazratgunj’s culinary crown. Here, Pani ke Batashe triumphed with its crispy textures and layers of tantalising flavours. The Nimbu Matar Chaat, a tribute to the city’s love for mashed spiced peas, offered intriguing lemony notes. Aloo ki Tikki, a recurring delight, showcased its consistency as a go-to street food. Dahi Vada, a harmonious union of yogurt and vada, imparted a satisfying blend of textures. Surprisingly, the Imarti-Rabri pairing concluded the meal on a sweet yet light note, leaving a lasting impression.
A visit to Bajpayee Kachauri Bhandaar on Shahnajaf Marg revealed a world of khasta goodness. The Khasta Aloo, brimming with spices, offered a fulfilling and flavorful experience. The Kachauri-Aloo combo, a breakfast delight, spotlighted the star element – the aloo – while the khasta kachori lived up to its name.
Indulgence awaited us at Ram Asrey, where the sweet symphony of traditional desserts harmonised with our senses. The Jalebi-Dahi, a classic pairing, showcased the perfect contrast of flavours and textures. The Lassi was a refreshing ode to Lucknow’s culinary heritage, as was the Chenna Paan, offering the essence of paan in a delightful form. The Doodh Chamcham and Malai Gilori charmed with their delicate sweetness, while the Samosa stood as a testament to the city’s artful savouries.
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A revered name echoed through Lucknow’s culinary history: Tunday Kababi in Aminabad. This legendary eatery, recently listed on Taste Atlas’s “World’s Most Legendary Restaurants,” stood as a beacon of culinary excellence. The Mutton Korma, rich in spices and flavour, reflected Lucknow’s regal culinary heritage. The Buff Galouti Kebabs, tender and aromatic, earned their accolades. The Mutton Galouti Kebabs, an undeniable highlight, celebrated the city’s kebab craftsmanship. Ulte Tawe ka Paratha served as the canvas for these masterpieces, while Sheermaal contributed its own charm. The Mutton Biryani, a culinary marvel, embodied the essence of Lucknow’s biryani legacy.
Ulte Tawe ka Paratha
No gastronomic expedition is complete without dessert, and Prakash Kulfi in Aminabad catered to that with aplomb. The Kulfi-Falooda duo, a heartwarming finale, embraced traditional flavours with a modern twist.
To quench our thirst, we ventured to Chedilaal in Hazratgunj for a Mango Shake. This refreshing delight served as the perfect accompaniment while navigating the bustling bazaars of Lucknow.
Our final destination, Naushijaan near Tulsi Theatre, unveiled a parade of flavours. The Majlisi Kabab, pasty and flavorful, emerged as the pinnacle of our culinary journey. The Boti Kabab, small mutton botis in a robust sauce, and Ulte Tawe ke Parathe, meticulously cooked on an inverted karahi, continued the symphony of tastes. Kakori Kebabs contributed their distinct charm to the ensemble.
Reflecting upon this whirlwind of flavours and textures, the culinary journey through Lucknow left an indelible mark. Every bite was an exploration, a testament to the city’s gastronomic heritage. From renowned eateries to street-side stalls, Lucknow’s culinary scene offered a dynamic panorama of tastes and aromas, painting a vivid picture of the city’s soul through its cuisine.
This gastronomic exploration was made possible by the support of Danbro by Mr. Brown.