Also known as the “City of Nawabs”, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, is known for its culinary culture, especially its range of juicy and rich kebabs and delicate sweets.
A true Lucknowite knows this LucknowThe city’s cuisine, though dominated by Awadh influence, has a distinct mix of delicacies that distinguish the city’s street food. A typical “Sham-e-Awadh” or evening at Lucknow, is incomplete without enjoying the aromas of a plate of pani puri or the tenderness of malai paan or malai gilauri. It is common to spot a student returning from college to stop and try a kebab, or a visitor to the office enjoying tea with a plate of delicious aloo tiki.
If you’re planning to enjoy the cold winters in the city on a holiday, here’s a range of street food dishes that will romance your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
Basket Chaat at Royal Cafe
This is a famous evening snack made with deep-fried potato juliennes shaped like a basket. This is filled with aloo tiki (potato patty) and topped with yogurt, pomegranate seeds, sweet red lutenica, finely chopped coriander and ginger. Garnished with a pinch of chaat masala, red chili powder and black salt, the flavors melt in your mouth without fail to top the street food list in Lucknow. While you can find the breakfast in almost all major markets in the city, the best and most authentic basket is served at The Royal Cafe in Hazratganj.
Address: Royal Cafe, 51, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Sushanpura, Hazratganj, LucknowUttar Pradesh 226001
Bhuni Matar at Shukla Chaat House
Bhuni Matar, or fried white peas, is another iconic snack that is local Lucknowstreet food culture. Prepared by frying boiled white peas in pure ghee, you can enjoy the snack by drizzling it with lime juice or yogurt and lutenka. People of Lucknow also like to chew it along with parathas and rotis as a main dish. Like basket chaat, bhuni matar is ubiquitous in most markets, with the best and most famous being made by Shukla Chaat House in Hazratganj. Fun fact about this chat house: The place is frequented by celebrities like Kangana Ranaut and Nushrat Bharuchha.
Address: Shukla Chaat House, Church Building, 11, Shahnajaf Rd, Hazratganj, LucknowUttar Pradesh 226001
Galouti Kebab at Tunday Kababi
Prepared with a lot of Āhmat (finesse) and tenderness, galuti kebab is one of the most famous dishes of LucknowAwadhi cuisine. Its origin is said to be from a Nawab who had trouble chewing. Its Bavarians came up with these melt-in-your-mouth lamb and beef skewers. Hence the name galouti kebabs (galawat means melting). One of the oldest shops known for them is Tunday Kebabs, whose first branch opened in 1905 near Gol Darwaza in the Chowk area of Old Lucknow. Enjoy these juicy skewers with saffron colored bread known as sheermal or with Mughlai parantha; The delicious kebabs will surely have the power to transport you to the era of royalty.
Address: Tunday Kababi, Near Gol Darwaza, Chowk Bazaar, Lucknow
Malay Gilauri at Ram Asrey Sweets
Native of Lucknow and again coming from the courts of the nawabs, malai gilauri or malai paan was invented as a substitute for real paan, full of cloves and cardamom. Because of their weak teeth, the Nawabs who loved to chew paan asked the Bavarians to come up with an exquisite sweet to satisfy their paan craving. Thus was born a sticky soft dessert made with layers of milk folded into a triangle that had the richness of nuts and crushed cardamom. Thus, when you are in the city, you cannot miss this legendary sweet which can be found at the famous shop known as Ram Asri in Old Lucknow.
Address: Ram Asrey Sweets, Ban Wali Gali, Chowk, LucknowUttar Pradesh 226003
Shahi Tukda in Dastarkhwan of Awadh
Like French toast, Shahi Tukda is another unique dessert that people of Lucknow love to eat and make. Originating from the palaces of the Mughals, the rich and festive dessert is made with bread, ghee, milk and nuts, often topped with sugar syrup and condensed milk. The royal bite is said to have been in kitchens since Emperor Babur brought it to India in 1600. And Lucknow wears it proudly to this day. So if you have a sweet tooth, this dessert is perfect for you.
Address: The Awadh’s Dastarkhwan, 3/106, Mandi Parishad Rd, Vivek Khand 3, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow