Sunday, June 14, 2015

The best street food in Lucknow!

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If you are a foodie and haven't been to Lucknow yet then your journey is still not complete!


Lucknow is the capital of modern day Uttar Pradesh but its heritage dates back to the era of the Nawabs. Also known as the 'City of Nawabs' or the 'City of Tehzeeb', Lucknow makes its place in the hearts of travellers and its residents by its rich heritage of polite mannerisms and culture, music, dance, shayari (poetry), architectural brilliance and ofcourse memorable food.

Once in Lucknow, foodies get a wide variety of not only age-old delicacies that have been passed down from generation to generation but are also presented an impressive mix of latest food recipes.
The streets present the most variety and some of the best food is to be had on roadside stalls that may look small and you may miss them if not looking carefully but which have been around for over a hundred years and your journey through the Lucknowi cuisine is not complete until you have eaten here!

Roam the narrow streets of this Nawabon ki City and experience the delicious food, the mouth watering aroma and the complete heaven-like magic that will leave you wanting to come back here again and again!

Here are my top 10 picks from the huge variety of sumptuous street food that are a 'must-eat' in Lucknow:

1) Lucknowi Biryani

This colorful and mouth watering rice delicacy is one of the signature dishes of Lucknow and can be seen right from the congested stalls in narrow lanes to five star restaurants on broad and VIP roads in the city. But from my personal experience, the best taste is got from the street stalls which have maintained the texture and technique of this dish.

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Just look at all these colours in this recipe! The rice is separately cooked in specially prepared spices and then added with the marinated chicken/mutton. The technique of making this world famous biryani is such that the final dish has just the right amount of flavour. Involving the use of Saffron or Kesar, the Lucknowi Biryani is irresistible and a dish that will make you its fan in no time!

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Idris is a famous juncture when looking to taste the authentic Lucknowi biryani. Despite being a road side stall, the popularity of this stall says it all.

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Same goes with Wahid. Your taste of Lucknowi biryani is not complete until you have tasted Wahid's Biryani. Venture in the over crowded and narrow lanes of Aminabad to taste his biryani. 

2) Tunday Kebab

A most sumptuous recipe, Tunday Kebab are prepared such that they just melt in your mouth and are so delicious that all that dieting and frugal eating goes out of the window when you standing at the Tunday Kababi stall and eating this very famous and signature dish of Lucknow. However, be sure to go to the original Tunday because there are many copies present.

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Using over a hundred spices, these kebabs are soft like ice cream and best enjoyed with either rumali roti or ulte tawe ka parantha.

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My mouth is watering looking at these kebabs served with green chutney spread over onion rings and ulte tawe ka parantha!

3) Galouti or Galawati Kebab

This is a royal kebab and was once made for the Nawabs. This kebab is super tasty and literally melts in your mouth. Made with minced meat and unripe papaya, these kebabs use a mixture of spices to give to them a taste that will have you returning to eat them again and again. A must try when in Lucknow, try out Galawati kebabs from the small stalls present in the narrow and not-easily traversed streets of Chowk and Aminabad.

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4) Tokri or Basket Chaat


Chaat is a favourite street food for people in India and Lucknow's residents are no different. We love to go out and eat chaat every chance we get and while Lucknow offers awesome chaat, you just have to eat the Tokri Chaat or also known as the Basket Chaat.

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Served in baskets made from potato and totally edible, these baskets hold a variety of fillings to bring more taste and joy to the foodies!

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Right from sprouts to pomegranate seeds to fried potato wedges, your taste buds are in for a treat when you order a Tokri Chaat!

Experience Royal Cafe's lip smacking Basket Chaat while you are out exploring the streets of Hazratganj and you will know why this place is so famous.

5) Matar Chaat and Aloo Tikki

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Both matar chaat and aloo tikki are fried dishes made on thick base tawa until they are crisp.

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Matar Chaat is made from boiled white peas which are then fried with spices and served crisp with a sprinkling of ginger juliennes and lemon. It can also be eaten with curd, red chutney, green chutney and spices like the aloo tikki. A must-eat recipe when in Lucknow, I just love matar chaat and can never resist the burst of flavours in my mouth which comes when I eat a crisp plate of matar chaat.

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Aloo tikki, as the name suggests are boiled potato cutlets fried until crisp and then served with curd, red and green chutneys and spices.

A favourite among the people of Lucknow, you will find the sizzle, tasty aroma and hustle bustle at the chaat corners present on literally every street in this city.

6) Lucknow ka Paan

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Digest your sumptuous meal with a paan. Loved by everyone in Lucknow, you just have to eat Lucknow ka paan when in Lucknow!
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Enjoy the varieties which range from simple plain paan to heavily filled one with silver edible foil and a cherry on top!

6) Makkhan Malai


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A childhood treat, Makkhan Malai is a favourite in winters. It is rare and I have only encountered it in Lucknow and that too, only during the winter season. A light, fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth dish, it tastes sweet and just like light snow except that the snow here is of milk with dry fruits. A definite must-eat for every foodie! Enjoy a plate of Makkhan Malai on the roadside stalls in the heavily crowded, Chowk.


7) Sheermal

Sheermal is unique to Lucknow and a definite must-eat. Abundantly found in the roadside stalls in Chowk, this is a milk and ghee roti made in a special way and is a signature Lucknow recipe.

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8) Malai Gilori

Your trip to Lucknow and the road side experience is incomplete if you haven't eaten the very famous and very tasty, Malai Gilori. Made from malai or milk cream, it slowly melts in your mouth and the sweetness soothes your taste buds. 
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9) Kaali Gajar Ka Halwa

Made from purple carrots, this halwa is just like the normal gajar ka halwa, only more tasty and once you taste it, you will come back for more!


Try out this recipe on the roadside stalls in Chowk and Aminabad.


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10) Faluda Malai Kulfi

Faluda Malai Kulfi is made from full cream milk and its creamy texture along with the expertly added dry fruits, saffron and rose water, makes this recipe a must eat. Enjoy it with faluda on top at Prakash in Aminabad and you will forget counting your plates! A definite must-eat when exploring the street food in Lucknow.

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These were 10 of my most loved street food options in Lucknow. Apart from these ten, the city boasts of a huge variety of other street food options like chilly potato, paneer momos, rogan josh, pani puri, khasta, thandai etc. proving that the City of Nawabs is truly a food lovers' heaven. 

So what are you waiting for? Go get the true taste of the best street food in Lucknow and enjoy!

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