Lucknow : Taste of Nawabi Culinary Feast

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Lucknow is known as a city of flavours, as it offers delights that appeal to most foodies. In recent years, admiration for the elaborate Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine has increased footfall in the city across the globe. The city boasts a  rich history, culture, food, and streets. Hence I also decided to taste local delicacies which have been perfected over generations. The most exciting thing I noticed while my excursion was 100 meters; there was a different stall, a different aroma, and a secret recipe that would blow your mind. So let me walk you through some of the best street food in Lucknow. 

Lucknow : Taste of Nawabi Culinary Feast(Part I)
Bada Imabara

Lucknow is not only the capital of Uttar Pradesh but also the epicentre of the 1857 War of Independence that marked the beginning of the freedom struggle in India. Besides the Nawabi cuisine, Lucknow is the epitome of literature, performing arts, and Tehzeeb (mannerism). They weren’t buffing when they said. “Muskuraiye Jannab, Aap Lucknow mai hai.” Because the aromas present here will connect with you on a different spiritual level, even though the list of delicacies is endless, here are a few mouthwatering dishes you must take advantage of in Lucknow, which I tried.

Day 1: Since our train got delayed because of the fog, by the time we reached our hotel, it was 2.30 pm. But still, I did not give up despite being exhausted, after a 30 min rest & freshening up. I was all set to explore a few delicacies of the city.

Tunday Kebabi

Kebabs have been ruling the streets of Lucknow for ages. And my trip was complete with trying these lip-smacking Tunday kebabs. With a crispy outer layer with a soft filling inside, these kebabs are cooked until they are tender enough to dissolve in your mouth. I tried it with Sheermal -sweet tandoori naans of milk, sugar, and Kesar. However, one can try it with Roomali roti or Ulta paratha. I ate at the Aminabad area since the Chowk area only sold Beef Tunday Kebab.

Lucknow : Taste of Nawabi Culinary Feast(Part I)
Tunday Kebabi

But ever thought how this was discovered since the kebabs were quite chewy and coarse in texture. Well, all thanks to Nawab Asa-Ud-Daula, a man who took his food as seriously as his court affairs. As the Nawab started getting old, he began losing his teeth. Age was catching up, but the Nawab was in no mood to let this come between him and his love for good food. He ordered the Khansamas to make the softest kebabs that would require no chewing and to do this without compromising on the flavours.

Lucknow : Taste of Nawabi Culinary Feast(Part I)

Haji Murad Ali, the maker of these kebabs, got royal patronage as the ‘Tunday Kebabi’ by Nawab of Awadh Wajid Ali Shah. He established his first shop in 1905 in the bustling street of Gol Darwaza in the chowk area of Lucknow. He sold his delicious kababs for 90 years and built a legacy. Tunday Kababi ‘single-handedly’ caught the gastronomic attention of the entire city for nine decades. A Kebab with flavours of 160 masalas cooked in ghee in dum style. Later, in 1996 the third generation. Usman Ali and Rizwan Ali decided to inaugurate another branch in the Aminabad area of Lucknow to widen the reach.

Tunday Kebabi At Gol Darwaza

Higlights: Galouti Kebabs, Tundey Kebabs, and Veg Shami kebab.

Location: 168/6, Khayali Ganj, Naaz Cinema Road, Aminabad, Lucknow

Akbari Gate, Chowk Lucknow.

Cost: 80 INR full plate, 40 INR half plate. 300 INR for two Pax, which includes Kebab, bread, cold drinks or water.


After a happy stomach, I took an auto and left for Hazratganj in search of Karori Kebab. And I landed at NaushiJaan, open in 1998 and famous for serving exquisite Mughlai food. Its Boti kababs, Kakori kababs, and crisp Ulta Tava parathas are delectable. Upon reaching, I saw the shop was in the process of setting up the tandoor. I waited for a while & order a whole plate of Kakori Kebab, and the waiter said it would take some time. 

Lucknow : Taste of Nawabi Culinary Feast(Part I)

Looking at the shop, I realized the motto of Naushijaan is ‘Come Hungry, Leave Happy’, as there were such wide varieties. No wonder for which the restaurant has earned a name. The waiter also suggested mutton Chaap and Seekh kebabs are equally tempting. But I had a few more items to taste, so I gave a pass & collected my Kakori Kebab.

Lucknow : Taste of Nawabi Culinary Feast(Part I)
Karori Kebab

Highlights: Galouti Kebabs, Kakori Kebab, Seekh Kebab and Mutton Chap.

Location: Tulsi Complex, China Bazar Road, Hazratganj, Lucknow – 226001

Cost: 300-500 INR for two Pax.

Royal Cafe

I was very enticed to see their basket chaat on my food blogger and youtube bloggers. Hence I walked down to the Cafe; it was clogged, but still, I made my space & ordered a basket chat. The place is right opposite Saharaganj Mall, with no seating.

Lucknow : Taste of Nawabi Culinary Feast(Part I)
Royal Cafe

Hardayal Maurya, Head Chef and chaat expert at Royal Cafe, Hazratganj, Lucknow, created this basket chat. The basket is made from deep-fried grated potatoes. This basket is then filled with lots of ingredients like the mixture of Aloo Tikki, Papdi, Bhalle, Matar, Dahi, Saunth Chutney (Tamarind Mix), Green Chutney (Dhaniya Mix), Sev, Boiled Potatoes, Fresh Anardana Seeds, Chaatmasala, Dhania Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Amchoor, Jeera Powder etc. It can be customized according to your taste, and you can fulfil both your sweet and spicy cravings.

Lucknow : Taste of Nawabi Culinary Feast(Part I)
Basket Chat

Highlights: Basket Chaat, Matar Masala, Aloo Tikki, Bhalle, Papdi Chaat, Thandai,Kulfi

Location: 51, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Sushanpura, Hazratganj, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226001

Cost: 300 INR for one Pax.

Irdi’s Biryani

My last destination of the day was Irdis Biryani- a dish that weakens my knees. The love affair between Biryani and Lucknow city goes back centuries in time. Lucknow’s rich culinary experience is in small, street-side eateries that spend no money marketing their fine foods! And Irdis Biryani is one of them- a 45-year-old shop in Chowk is being run by Abu Bakr, the third generation of his family to carry on the legacy of serving delectable Biryani.

Lucknow : Taste of Nawabi Culinary Feast(Part I)
Irdi’s Biryani

The shop was established in 1968 by Mohammad Idris; he inherited the special recipe from his father to prepare Biryani. Copper Degh is placed on the ‘Bhatti’ using ‘Pathar Ka Koyla’ for cooking Biryani. Dum Biryani is then perfectly cooked in 3 hours on slow steam with milk, and malai is the valued ingredient, as is light masala and herbs. Zafrani & Makhani colours further enrich the Mutton biryani. Then it’s served with qorma & onion especially dipped in vinegar. 

Lucknow : Taste of Nawabi Culinary Feast(Part I)
Mutton Biryani

There is no fancy menu; they have mutton, chicken korma, and mutton biryani. The quantity of food cooked is limited and sells out fast. The shop opens from 12 noon till 3 pm, then again in the evening, from 6 pm to 8.30 pm. Better to get packed as there is no seating arrangement. 

Highlights: Mutton Biryani, Chicken Korma, Sheermal, Roomali roti

Location: VW75+4XG, opposite Pata Nala, Jauhari Mohalla, Raja Bazar, Police Chowki, Lucknow, 

Cost: 150 INR quarter plate, 300 INR half plate, 500 INR full of Biryani.

But then I realized after Karori Kebab & Irdis Biyani, my taste bud would ask for sweets. Therefore I took an auto to Aminabad for Kulfi.

Prakash Kulfi

Winters and Icecreams or kulfi are the best combination. It was established in 1956 when Prakash Chandra Arora started an ambitious venture through a small kulfi stall in Aminabad Park. As per the owners, way back in the mid-’70s, the kulfis were priced at ₹1. Slowly, the news of people falling in love with these decadent kulfis spread across the town and people labelled the nearby crossing as Prakash Kulfi Chauraha in 1987.


Prakash Kulfi is walking down the nostalgic lanes of Lakhnawi delicacies. Our palate cravings pop out louder than ever before. Sat on this bandwagon for ages are Prakash Kulfi, which adorns Lucknow’s culinary and also successfully preserves semblances of almost a 7-decade-long history. I got one Faluda kulfi packed for me too.

Highlights: Kulfi Faluda

Location: Shop No 12, Prakash Kulfi, 13, Fruit Ln, Mohan Market, Aminabad, Chaurah.

Cost: 150 INR for 2 Pax.

It was time to return to the hotel with all my collected food, which I relished peacefully. And also plan for my tomorrow’s food walk, searching for a few more hidden eateries.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »
error: Content is protected !!