Lucknow : The Land of Kababs

Kababs and Lucknow are inseparable in such a way like Sachin Tendulkar with bowler’s humiliation, Suresh Kalmadi with corruption and Aamir Khan with intervention in direction (off-course others)……in nut shell you can’t get flavor of one alone. Lucknow is land of kababs, a one-stop solution for your all kabab related queries. You start with famous Tunde Kabab i.e a Gilawati kabab then move on to Shami kabab, Boti kabab, Majlisi Kabab, Reshmi Kabab, Kakori kabab, Seekh kabab and a hell lot of other verities.

My weekend tour to Lucknow was solely dedicated to search of some great Awadhi foods and also to experience the part of old city that still preserve the authentic lakhnavi adab.
A typical day in Lucknow starts with Nihari-Kulche, a mutton/beef dish which cooked over-night to get the aroma and exceptional tenderness.  This is a style of slow cooking called Dum-Pukht which is invented by awadhi nababs. For best Nihari-Kulche visit Raheem’s at Chowk. Although Karim’s Nihari in Delhi is as good as of Raheem’s but the Kulche was out of the world. Its like a sweet biscuit which you can eat alone. 30 Rs. a plate for Nihari and 8 Rs. for Kulche is the cheapest fair to heaven.
Rahim Nihar Culche @ Chowk
For vegetarian there is equally good Khasta, Ghee ki Jalebi, Poori and Sabzi, You can’t afford to miss any of them.
For Lunch your one stop solution is Tunde at Aminabad. One can have the beef kababs of Tunde at Chowk. Try kababs with ulte (reverse) tawa ka parantha. I tried Biryani and Mutton Korma as well but they were not upto the mark. Kababs are truly mouth watering and for 60 Rs. You will get 4 kabab and 2 Paranthas. For desert try Prakash ki Kulfi just 100 meter to Tunde Kabab.
For Dinner Visit Dastarkhwan or Naushijaan near Tulsi Theatre/Gemini Continental. Later one has great verities of kababs. If you are staying at Aminabad, which is advisable, then end your supper with Shahi Tukda at Alamgir shop opposite to Tunde Kabab and Meetha pan just outside the street.
This was my first day exercise. After every diet I used to take rikshaw to come directly to hotel to take some rest and to make some space for next encounter. One more thing the hotels are not costly here, you need not to pay more than three to four hundred for a decent room.
Next day I started with Heritage Walk of old city. It was very informative; my guide Atif was a local resident so he was well aware with all the facts. We first started with “Teele wali masjid”,
Teele wali masjid
then moved on to Bada Imambada,
Bada Imambada
Then “Flower market” behind it,
Flower market behind Bada Imambada
“Gol Darwaja” in Chowk and from there we proceed to “Akbari Gate”. En-route we visited Firangi Mahal,
Naushad ki haveli, Buildings where Umrao-Jan’s time of dancers used to stay and many more heritage places.
Side structures were used to put candles
Firangi Mahal : Aurangzeb’s Letter
Residence to then dancers
Leisurely life style are still here
After that another guided tour of city was started with Residency.  It is a place where British used to live in a quite cozy manner with facilities like a pool filled with perfume to get the bedroom fresh. In 1857 mutiny, the residency was attacked and around 1500 British were killed.
This area was used to filled with perfume
My next destination was Bada-Imambada, which also have famous Bhul-Bhulaiya.
Bada Imambada
Roof of Bada Imambada
Famous Bhulbhulaya
Bada Imambada
After Bada-Imambada we passed through Rumi-Darwaja to enter the old city. Here our stop was Chota-Imambada. Near Chota-Imambada one can experience that why the term Nawab is still related to leisurely life style in India; First you will see a tallest wall tower of India on the pattern of London’s Big-Ban, then a Taj like architecture inside the campus of Chota-Imambada, a building which is inspired from Kremlin in Moscow and a lean tower of Pisa like incomplete structure called Satkhanda. Nawab was all set to view the best of world from his drawing room only.
Chota Imambada
In Lucknow you will never get bored even if you are roaming alone in the city. Especially if you are from Delhi, you’ll love the way they talk. It’s so humble and always put you first, the aap janab tejzeeb.
After spending a great time when I came back to Delhi, en-route to my place cab-driver  was playing Himesh-reshmiya’s latest number “Kajra…Kajra…Kajrare….” in full volume and to overtake started abusing teri  #@$%  ki….teri  #@$%  ki…..I was sure that I reached back out of the reach of the city of tehzeeb.


  • vinaymusafir says:

    First comment from the biggest fan of you stories.
    I have already read this story 2 times on your blog. But again I enjoyed it.
    I have tasted Tunda kababs 3 or 4 times, as one of my friend is from Lucknow.
    I loved all the pics especially the 6th from top ‘Bada Imambada’ is very well clicked.
    Amit, where is your home-town?

    • amitk227 says:

      Thanks Vinay bhai. You inspired me a lot with your en courageous words . And if one day, as my dream is, i would leave the city madness to settle down in hills, and to dedicate most of my time traveling and leaving my own life the way i want to, a large amount of credit will go to you.
      By the way I belongs to Patna, Bihar, and since last 11 years I am in Delhi.

      • maheh semwal says:

        Amit , have you gone through my post on Patna?

        • amitk227 says:

          Thanks a lot Mahesh ji for depicting my native place in beautiful words. My family lives in Ashok Rajpath area near by Pathhar ki Masjid. Next time if you plan to go Vaishali or bodhgaya let me know. You can also read my post on Vaishali on my blog otherwise it is scheduled on Ghumakkar.


  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Great Amit,
    Its an enjoyable post, full with information and entertainment. Thanks for taking us to Lucknow.


  • maheh semwal says:

    Dear Amit,

    Thanks for sharing the mouthwatering & informative post.

    I prefer to eat at Dastarkhwan instead of Tunde ke Kabab. I have been to Tunde ke Kabab – Aminabad long back but any how I did not liked it. Prakash ki Kulfi & Ram Asrey ki Sweets are awesome. You can get Mango Burfi there during season time. Ram Asrey’s all-time favorite is Malai ki Gelori.


    • amitk227 says:

      Thanks Mahesh Ji. You are right about Dastarkhwan. I too didn’t like anything except signature kabab at Tunde. Awadhi food was not as spicy as it used to be in Delhi’s Muglai food. Well anytime I prefer Kareem in Jama Masjid than Tunde. Although Shahi Tukda at Alamgir was better than one sold in Jama Masjid.

  • Manish Kumar says:

    ???????? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ????? ???????? ??? ???? ????? ??? ??? ???? ????? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ?? ????? ?? ??????? ????

    • amitk227 says:

      thanks Manish Bhai, i guess you too belongs to patna, because probably I read your comment in Mahesh Ji’s Patna realted post. Well thanks for your comment and even if you are vegeterian you can get great food of your choice, few of them are suggested by Mahesh Ji.

  • Chandra81 says:

    A delicious post really…Be it the Kebabs or the photographs :-) The Bada Imambara pic is really nice. Nice write up with good combo of pictures and information. Keep sharing

    • amitk227 says:

      Thanks a lot. Kababs were really good and inviting. One image that i couldn’t manage to click was a guy who was dressed like Mirza Ghalib, which is quite a common site in lucknow. Antoher thing i liked was a sign board that says ‘smile, you are in lucknow’.

  • ashok sharma says:

    lucknow to gajab ka khoobsoorat hai.
    photograph bahut hi lajawab hain.
    kabak to kha kar hi pata lagega.
    longing to visit this beautiful place soon

    • amitk227 says:

      Thanks Ashol ji. You’ll laugh to know that how I was introduced to tunde kabab. One of my friend is a greatest admirer of tunde kabab. Before intro he asked me ‘what you think about gangajal?’ I said ‘it never gets stink, you can use it for a long time’, he said that is the same with tunde kabab, its the gangajal of kababs, put it in fridge and you can use it for a long time. Although I never tried it, but visited Lucknow just to have tinde kababs.

  • Stone says:

    Looks like Lucknow is the flavor of the month. First Maheshji’s post and now this one.

    As usual excellent stuff buddy! Seems like you got a new camera too :-)

    Your post has evoked a desire to visit Lucknow despite that fact my saasural is there ;-)

    • amitk227 says:

      Ha Ha Ha….I hope you are not getting in trouble by making such a horribly true statement :-)
      Well jokes apart Lucknow is all time season for food lovers, be it veg or non-veg. As ‘Mahesh ji’ said you can have mango burfee and pack some for your sasuraal too :-)

      Unfortunately camera is still to purchase, and I am still not sure between Nikon D3100 and Nikon D5100.

  • Nandan says:

    And for the initiated there is a Ahataa right at Dastarkhan :-), good for these warm summers to sneak out for a glass of bubbly before you get enough strength to visit Residency.

    nice post Amit. mouth watering.

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