Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh is also known as the city of nawabs. It is popular for its multicultural history and scrumptious delicacies. Lucknow has its roots in both Awadhi and British empires, the influence of which can be seen in the food culture of this tourist spot. In this regard, kebabs have paved their way brilliantly into the food scene of Lucknow. A significant Mughal influence has led to some of the most lip-smacking kebab varieties in the world that you can devour here. If you are planning for your next holiday in Lucknow, we have a list of some of the best kebabs to try during the stay. All you need to do is book hotels online near the famous kebab food joints and relish the delicacy as you drop by.
If you want to taste the best kebabs in Lucknow, try tunday kebabs. Tunday Kebabs have a long history of origin. During the 17th century, Haji Murad Ali, a kebab maker, wanted to improve the taste and quality of the kebabs. The new nawab of Awadh, Nawab Asa-u-Daula wanted his Khansamas (Chefs) to make the softest kebab. This piqued the interest of Haji Murad Ali. After experimenting with different techniques, he ordered his staff to whack away the meat with one hand and make it into a fine paste. The chefs followed the technique and mixed over 150 masalas to create what we today know as ‘Tunday Kebab’. The Nawab instantly fell in love with the recipe and since then has gained immense popularity in the hearts of the locals and the tourists. Gaining the name ‘Tunday Kebab’ or one-arm kebab, this delicacy is served on the streets of Gol Darwaza. You can come here at any time of the day and try Tunday Kebabs packed with delectable flavours.
Shami Kebab is another popular variant of Lucknow kebabs and is made in a unique manner. Instead of grilling on open or closed flame, this kebab is pan-fried before being served to the customers. Shami Kebab is derived from the term ‘sham’ meaning evening and thus is considered as a heavy evening snack. It is made with lamb, beef or chicken and is mixed with chickpea flour, onions and chillies and finally fried on the pan. This recipe dates back to Awadhi rule when a royal chef was ordered to make tender kebabs infused with rich flavours. The kebabs that were made as a result tasted brilliant and melted in the mouth with every bite. Since then, it has gained popularity and today, it is primarily served as an appetizer or a main dish with roti or naan.
One of the most popularly known kebabs in India, Seekh Kebab is unique for its preparation style. While most kebabs are formed as a flat cake or balls, Seekh Kebab is made of minced meat. It is marinated with different masalas, pinned on the skewers and then grilled. It was first introduced by the Turks as ‘shish kebab’ and later was translated to ‘seekh kebab’. This dish is popular in other Asian and Middle-eastern countries such as Bangladesh, Turkey and UAE. The seekh kebab is also available in vegetarian versions such as soya kebab, paneer kebab and vegetable kebab. Whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian, seekh kebabs will surely win your heart on the first try.
The Boti kebab is a local speciality of Lucknow. It is prepared with meat marinated with yogurt, spices then grilled on an open fire. Papaya and cashew pastes are also used at times to enhance the rich flavour of the kebabs. These kebabs are very similar to shashlik, made in slavic countries and are served in different meat varieties like pork, lamb, beef and chicken. Besides, you can devour the vegetarian kebabs as well such as paneer kebabs and vegetable kebabs from the famous Lucknow joints. Try the smokey intensely flavoured Boti Kebabs on your next visit and we can assure you won’t regret it!
Touted as the ‘royal’ version of Seekh kebabs, the kakori kebabs are another popular kebab type found in the streets of Lucknow. The origin of this kebab has an interesting history. The story begins in the palace of Nawab Syed Mohammad Haider Kazmi and his British allies. He ordered his chefs to present a feast of seekh kebabs and other Awadhi delicacies. However, things went sour when a British official made a remark of the Kebabs being chewy and of rough texture. Upon hearing this, Nawabs lost their control and commanded their Rakabdars (royal chefs) to make tender kebabs. After experimenting for days, they finally came up with tender and juicy kakori kebabs with an unparalleled taste. They used raw mango paste to soften up the meat and to give a tangy flavour. Papaya paste was also used for the same purpose.