Lucknow – A city known for it’s rich cultural Heritage, Architecture , Food, Embroidery. My association with Lucknow is as old as I am. My maternal grandfather settled in Lucknow after his retirement. My mother finished her education there. As a child, I spent most of my summer vacations in Lucknow, with my maternal grand parents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Later on my father also settled in Lucknow and I completed my education there. I have many fond memories of the City and the time spent there.
It’s been more than 15 years since I moved away from Lucknow, and now my visits are limited to one trip a year. In the last 15 years , there have been so many changes in Lucknow, roads have been widened, many Shopping malls have come up and the city is developing like any other state capital. I am also happy to see that there are many things that have not changed- like the culture , language , warmth of the people – the soul of the city.
Another place that serves awesome Biryani is Idris, in Chowk. Lucknowi Biryani is different than a Hyderbadi or Malabari Biryani. Made from Basmati Rice, it is mildly flavored with spices.
If you are a Kebab lover you must also try Shammi & Seekh Kebabs at Shekhwat . Kakori Kebabs at Naushijaan literally melt in your mouth.
Mutton is preferred over chicken in Lucknow and all the popular dishes are made from mutton. To visit all these food joint, though, you need time. Not to mention that I have been spoilt by Bangalore’s weather and I was not too keen to venture outside in Lucknow summers ( Yes it is still hot here!). I also wanted to spend as much time with my parents, who prefer to stay at home due to their health.
Lucknow is also experiencing business transformation through new start ups. One such start up is a Food home Delivery Start Up called OnlineKaka. Online Kaka delivers food from various popular food joints at your door steps in 1.5 hours to two hours. We ordered Kababs, Biryani, Mutton Korma, Sheermal and Roomali Roti from Tunday. Biryani from Idris and Shahi Tukda from Zaika by Gemini. All of this was delivered at home, within one hour , fresh and hot.
If you are vegetarian do not fret! there are so many places to explore in and around Lucknow. My favourite Breakfast since childhood has been Khasta / Kachouri, Samosa & Jalebi from Swad Sweets closer to our place. Chhappan Bhog is also very Popular for its sweets and Chaats. Other very popular places for chaats are Jain Chaat in Hazratganj and King Chaat near the stadium. This time my brother took us for a traditional UP Breakfast of Aloo and Kachori at Madhurima Sweets. The aloo and kachouri was just so good …it was awesome. Since it was a sweet shop i could not resist ordering a few sweets. Since we were four of us we could share and taste.
Another, discovery of this trip was Baati Chokha – Set up in a rural ambience Baati Chokha is the speciality of this restaurant. Baati Chokha also known as Litti Chokha in Eastern UP is a roasted ball of wheat sometimes stuffed with Sattu ( Roasted Black Chickpea Flour) and other fillings. The food was tasty and the best discovery of the trip.
On your visit to Lucknow another important task you will be given by your friends and family will be to buy Lucknowi Chikankari (Chikan clothes). If you are new to city and do not have a friend I will recommend that you go to Krishna Chikan in Janpath for two reasons – Good designs & work and it is a fixed price shop.
Plan your trip to Lucknow soon, and do let me know if you need any help or guidance there.