George Bernard Shaw once said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” When mentioning love for food, one cannot forget the ‘City of Nawabs,’ whose aromatic and succulent kebabs will leave any non-vegetarian lover drooling! Chef Ranveer Brar spoke to us about the food culture of Lucknow and said, “It’s infectious, if I may use the word, because every time you go there, you come back infected with passion for food.” Brar spoke at length about the numerous ways of kebab making and said, “There are several aspects of kebabs that people may not know about. It is not just the barbecued or grilled method, however, there are kebabs that are cooked in tawa and patili as well.” Further he says, “Lagan Ki Boti, Patili Ke Kofte, Nukhti Kebab (where Nukhti is even a smaller bone or boti), Patili Ke Kebab, Lagan Ki Nukhti are some of the kebabs that you will only get when in Lucknow.” On asked about which one is his favourite pat comes a reply, “Handi Kebabs”. Read more to know about 7 such kebabs without which a trip to Lucknow will be incomplete.
by Kritika Pushkarna
2. Tunday Kebab
Whenever there is a mention of kebabs, no one can forget the sumptuous Tunday Kebabs, which have an interesting story behind their invention. The Nawab, for whom these kebabs were made, was too old and couldn’t chew his food properly. He wanted someone who could make a kebab for toothless people, and so a competition was held up! In that competition, it was Haji Murad Ali, who made these kebabs for the Nawab using more than 100 exotic spices along with gold and a few aphrodisiacs. Because he just had one hand, he was called a ‘tunda’. Later on, the kebabs made by him came to be knows as Tunday Kebab. Today, you will easily find the mention of galawati or galouti kebab, which is the popular version of tunday kebabs.
Photo: Instagram/ @iamazofficial
3. Shami or Shammi Kebab
Another variety of kebab, which is equally popular in Lucknow are the Shami or Shammi Kebabs, which are traditionally cooked and pan fried using lamb meat, gram flour (besan) and a melange of spices. This kebab is widely famous; however, no one can deny its Awadhi connection! These kebabs leave a long-lasting impression on your taste buds and are an absolute delight for any non-vegetarian.
4. Kakori Kebab
From freedom fighting movements to the variety of food, Kakori is a city enriched with history and is located on the outskirts of Lucknow. There are several stories regarding this kebab, however, the one that finds prominence is that Kakori Kebabs are the refined version of Seekh Kebab. The story goes like this, one of the Nawabs hosted a party in the late 1800 for his British counterparts and one of the dishes on the spread was, seekh kebab. The officer complained about the texture of the kebab, and so the Nawab ordered for a refined version of it, and hence came the Kakori Kebab. These kebabs are cooked using minced meat, which is further tenderized with finest mangoes, saffron, khoya and aromatic spices.
Photo: Instagram/ @Noidagram
5. Boti Kebab
Talk about kebabs and all you will get is a cutlet-shaped dish across the world. However, Boti Kebab is completely different from all you must have eaten till now, in terms of kebabs! This kebab is cooked using the leg of lamb or the boti, which is further marinated in yoghurt and a melange of spices. The marinated boti is then cooked using the open charcoal fire. With an intense smoky flavour, these kebabs are a delight for all the non-vegetarians.
Photo: Instagram/ @pratimdgupt
6. Neza Kebab
This kebab is something that most of the people may not have heard about! Popularly known as ‘Lucknowi chicken lollypops’, this kebab is prepared using chicken drumsticks, which are further marinated in vinegar and a melange of spices. The marinated chicken drumsticks are then brushed with a mixture of roasted gram flour, whisked eggs and heavy cream. The chicken pieces are then arranged in skewers and grilled to perfection on charcoal fire. These kebabs are a must try whenever in Lucknow.
7. Patili Kebab
Another variant of kebabs that you cannot give a miss is Patili Kebab or Patili Ke Kebab, which are cooked using a patila or round shaped brass utensil. It is prepared by cooking minced meat in ghee and a variety of spices over slow flame. This method allows the kebabs to get a subtle aroma of the spices and a soft texture that gives you a melt-in-mouth experience.
8. Seekh Kebab
An all-time favourite of all the non-vegetarians, the mere mention of Seekh Kebab will make your mouth water. This kebab is cooked by marinating minced mutton and chicken meat in a melange of spices, cream, gram flour and egg yolk. Afterwards, the kebabs are arranged in skewers and grilled to perfection.