Back in my childhood days, when my mother told me that chicken(chikan) is very popular in Lucknow, I got very excited and told her that we’re going to Lucknow during the next holidays to eat that famous chicken you’re talking about.‘He was so dumb(pity)’, if you’re thinking this, then please don’t, as my mother added a ray of hope to my innocence and told me that Lucknow is also renowned for its Awadhi cuisines, such as kebabs, Biryani, and my favorite chicken as well. And now you can imagine the happiness on the face of that young foodie. Now, it’s time to make the dream come true and eat all I can. The only downgrade to this plan was that I had only a day. Imagine all the Lucknowi Food and just one day. A prerequisite for this trip is – great appetite out of curiosity & a decent digestive system.
1. Morning chai at Sharma Ji’s with Malai bun “Bhaiya Ji, ye Sharma Ji ki famous chai ki Dukan hai, malai bun jarur lijiyega, chai ke sath”, my auto wala’s word. It is not a small stall, as one would imagine(even I did), it is a window kind of tea shop, with a large section to stand and enjoy tea. Chai was served in cutting tea cups, the taste was refreshing, so was the aroma of the tea. Malai bun had a lot of malai inside, definitely a treat for all the malai-lovers. You have other options such as biscuits, samosa, etc to eat. One can find many posters which say ‘Sharma Ji ki Chai – Pride of Uttar Pradesh’, never seen a tea shop holding such an importance in terms of tourism.
2. Wahid Mia’s Dum Biryani for Pre-lunch Aminabad in Lucknow is like the Chandni Chowk of Delhi, where you can find small shops, a lot of people and off course, food. So my first pit-stop here was Wahid’s Biryani. Their mutton biryani with green chutney will definitely give you spicy goosebumps. They hardly had four tables but the service was super quick.
3. Gelawati Kebab with Ulta Parantha in Tunday Kebabi (actually Parcel)So right next to Wahid Biryani is the real Tunday Kebabi, which has branches in many big cities of India. I am a fan of their Kebabs which simply melts in the mouth. Here most of the people opt for takeaway of parantha with kebabs. This was the only option for me – since I have to eat all day long and my stomach couldn’t accommodate this yummy food at the time. They are opening a bigger dining place right behind the present stall.
4. Chill with Prakash ki famous KulfiIf you’re roaming the streets of Aminabad, you can see a large number of tired shopaholics entering this kulfi shop. As I hadn’t had any dessert till now, it was a mandatory move to get some. Kesar Falooda with Kulfi was just perfect, not too sweet and with enough quantity. I still found the price a little on the higher side.
5. Discover new placesYou can’t eat all at once. So, let’s use this time in doing something touristy in Lucknow, such as Bada Imambara, Labyrinth and Chota Imambara & the place where Gadar was shot(my auto wala was super excited to show that place as he had apparently met Sunny Paaji during the shoot).
6. Short timeoutSo that was the first innings, and to start the next, need to finish the Tunday’s parcel and freshen up. Hence, got into a hotel for like an hour or so, to get busy eating the kebabs and parantha.
7. Street food at Tiwari chaatI guess the evening is made for eating street side chatpata food. So to fulfill the norm, you can head on to Tiwari Chaat and try out their famous aloo tikki, gol gappe, and paapdi chaat.
8. Take time out for new LucknowMayawati’s town, a huge Park dedicated primarily to Ambedkar Ji, full of lights and architectural figures, can be a treat for your eyes and thought to your mind on how government money can be put into building such an artificial place.
9. Dinner time was coming closer andI was around three hours away from catching my train back. Kalika Hut, famous for its mutton Handi wasn’t that far, so yes, just stopped by there too. Don’t click pictures here. Some customers got offended and complained that I was taking their picture(which obviously I should have done after asking their permission, my bad). The mutton gravy was sumptuous and you’ll definitely end up licking your fingers.
10. Cherry on the topIt’s not a good sign to leave a place without carrying something for your friends and family, so Chappan Bhog, was the last destination for tonight. Apart from a box of sweets, I also tried the delicious chaat which was being prepared right in front of my eyes!
That’s how you can eat all day in Lucknow. Hire a friendly auto wala, to take you places and make your travel full of stories(like a guide), moreover, this will merely cost you 500 bucks for a day. I’ll end my story, saying that, although I tried almost all of the famous places in this city, there’s a lot more to discover and eat at Lucknow, rightly called the city of Kababs.