Primarily known for its Nawabi legacy, Lucknow is quickly growing as a centre of commerce and education. The capital of Uttar Pradesh has offices of many globally operating firms, drawing loads of business travellers on a daily basis. If you are heading to the city for work, your stay might be of just 1-2 days, so spending much on accommodation might not seem logical to you. Thankfully, there are a large number of budget hotels in Lucknow, where you can enjoy a comfortable stay with modern amenities. Even if you are going there for a couple of days on business, your trip doesn’t necessarily have to be all about work; you could make it a lot more than that. I would suggest walking down the local markets and trying Awadhi delights. Read ahead for popular dishes and restaurants of Lucknow that you must try:
Kebabs – Because it is Lucknow
Galawati Kebabs are definitely the superstars when it comes to Awadhi cuisine. Mutton or beef (buffalo) meat is made into a fine mince by bashing it every which way, and then a whole lot of spices are added. The flat kebabs are shallow fried in ghee…They melt the moment you put them in your mouth; hence, the name Galawati Kebabs. Tunday in Aminabad is the most famous place in Lucknow among Kebab lovers. If you want to reach Tunday easily, you can stay at hotels near Lucknow Railway Station like FabHotel Heritage Inn Charbgh.
Boti – Little Pieces of Heaven
Boti is yet another speciality of Lucknow, you must not give up on, if you are a die-hard non-vegetarian. It consists of finely chopped mutton or beef simmered in a thick gravy, which can have up to 31 spices and condiments. Every kebab joint in the city serves boti, which you can have separately with parathas or get it made into a roll. One of the places I have it at is Raju Hotel in Uday Ganj, popularly known as Saleem Bhai’s kebabs. These rolls are extremely cheap, costing just INR 15 a piece!
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Mutton Korma – A True Mughlai Treat
Kebabs and botis are a must have, but so is Mutton Korma, a real jewel from the kitchen of Mughals. Large pieces of goat meat are simmered for hours in a mildly spiced and fragrant gravy until the meat literally starts falling off the bone. The mutton korma of Dastarkhwan in Hazratganj is quite popular. Locals love it so much that it is usually sold out, so try to reach there ASAP.
Mughlai Paratha – Deep Fried Perfection
If I tell you that there are some restaurants in Lucknow that offer fried paratha, you would not find it new as every paratha is fried (in a way). But, in Lucknow, the Mughlai Paratha is deep fried! If you are health conscious, stay away, but if good food is more important to you than gaining a few calories, then you seriously have to have it. You can get it at several Mughlai restaurants in the city, including Hotel Charminar in the Lal Bagh area.
Biryani – Taste beyond Compare
You would have had biryani hundreds of times at hundreds of different places, but it is different in Lucknow. A plate of biryani in Lucknow doesn’t come with just one small piece of meat, cooked separately, and just layered in basmati rice. Here, large, raw pieces of mutton or beef are marinated in spices, layered with basmati rice, and then cooked together. To top it off, saffron in hot ghee is ladled, resulting in a rich taste and aroma. The popular biryani joints in Lucknow are Awadh Biryani Corner on Jopling Road and Wahid in Aminabad.
Khasta Sabzi – Breakfast the Lucknawi Way
Khastas are the traditional breakfast item of Lucknow, and these are too good to give a miss. A type of hard kachori with a daal (pulses) stuffing, khastas are served with two types of potato preparations, one dry and one in gravy. Almost all local sweet houses in the city serve these like the Mehta Sweet House in Uday Ganj.
Other Things to Try
Come to Lucknow during Ramzan to enjoy the best Kulcha Nihari in the older part of the city. Apart from the Mughlai dishes, there are loads of other options in Lucknow for foodies. Sweet tooths have got to have the renowned Rabri, Makkhan Malai and Khurchan of Lucknow. If you are craving for more cuisines, then you can stay at hotels in Gomti Nagar, which has a high concentration of large shopping malls. East End Mall, River Side Mall, Fun Republic Mall and Singapore Mall are all located in the Gomti Nagar area. These have cafes, bars, family restaurants and fine-dining venues that serve an array of national and international specialities. To be in the vicinity of these, you can book a room at FabHotel Travellers Inn. So, the next time you go on a business trip to Lucknow, try to take out time for all these Awadhi dishes, and believe me, your work trip will never be boring again.