When I landed at the railway junction of the north India’s biggest capital Lucknow I actually experienced its royal culture and heritage, the people had their own nawabi swag. It was like there is a unique ada (nobelity) in the air of Lucknow.
Being the first timer I took a auto-rikshaw/ tuktuk to explore the city and started the conversation with Md. Rahim, he said he is born and bought up at this city from past 35 years; I asked about the he answered in a very unique manner, Sahab Lucknow main 3 chize Badi famous hai ek Tehzeeb (manners), dusra Chikankari (Lucknavi Embroidery) or teesra Tunday Kababi.
And not only it was him, infact when I announced my trip to Lucknow all my friends and relatives were like; Oh Bhai (brother) Lucknow, Bhai Tunday K Kebab’s. 😛 😛 😛
To be honest For me too being at Tunday Kababi was at top of the charts for my Lucknow food stories. Infact I was always obsessed with the Galawati kebabs, I have shared its stories in one of my previous blogs.
I went to 2 outlets of Tunday Kababi, one at chowk (first & oldest) and another at the Aminabad(managed and run by grandson’s)
The auto driver left me at the chowk sqaure, the moment i landed i felt like to enter a fare. you will actually feel the essence of real Lucknow the heritage of the city, truly the heart of Lucknow lies at the chowk road, which i will share in my later blogs
Lets jump back to the Kababi, on the chowk square I asked a local about the direction of the Tunday Kababi, he directed me towards the narrow gali (lane) inside the chowk bazaar. I continued to walk inside the gali, and experiencing the essence of old Lucknow, i passed by many shops of clothes, paan shops and shops selling ittar and sheesha, it was a long walk, where I confirmed about the direction, they told Janaab thora or aage. Moving close to the shop, my nose started gave me the direction, the aroma of the kebabs were mesmerizing and mouth watering. Frankly you may not recognize the shop by its name as the sign board is gone old and layered with the smoke of cooking. But the aroma’s of kebabs and the throng of public will be the catch for your eyes.
In the starting of the shop, men sitting above the platform was tossing the kebab dough and placing in the form of thin size kebab in a big size tawa.
More than dozens of Kebab’s in a minute.
Behind the kitchen zone there was a big hall where dozens of people of enjoying the melt in mouth delicacy. It was same like the Bajpayee kachori Bhandaar where people were crazy for the food which is been served.
I managed to get a table where i shared table with the locals,
Please note that in this chowk counter they serve only beef kebab’s but while talking to the Haji Raheez Ahmed about the history of tunday kababi, he told that “today in special case they have a lamb dough and you can get the lamb galawati kebab’s. He was a busy man I could not get much of his time, but I just learned him about the history and name of shop.
He told the shop was been named on his father who lost his one hand during an accident where he fell down from the terrace. But he had a magic in his hands and known for best kebab makers.
His love to cook food made him to continue making kebab’s with one hand. In the local language the handicap person with 1 hand is called as tunday. So then he was known as tunday kababi who started the shop and now managed by his son himself and now years back his grandsons opened another outlet at Aminabad.
I ordered a plate of Galawati Kebab’s. There were 4 pcs in a plate. It came along with salad and roti (Indian bread). But when it is the kebab you do not need any sides. The kebabs is a complete meal in itself.
Without wasting more time I took a bite, it was like each of my sense were active at a time. The nose tasting the aroma, my taste buds having the kebab’s and my eyes capturing the moments all were doing it together.
The kebab’s were delicate as like cotton melted in mouth within a second, it had meaty texture but the aromatic Indian spices enhanced its flavors.
Truly its rightly said that Tunday Kababi is indeed the most indigenous part of Lucknavi culture.
Tunday kababi (Grandson’s) – Aminabad :
The tunday kababi at Aminabad is the second outlet Tunday Kababi managed by their grandson’s. As like old one this outlet is fancy and clean. But with same front ambiance where in the road side the people were busy making the Kebabs and tikka’s, there you can order for parcel. When you get inside you have 2 A.C zone for sitting and enjoying the food.
There I ordered the mutton korma, rumali rotis and galawati kebabs too (how can you dont have kebab’s when you are the famous Tunday Kebabi).
The kebab’s had the same taste, talking about the the mutton korma. Being as a part of awadhi cuisine where it has a unique style of cooking as dum pukth (dum style cooking or cooking in low fire) which made the meat tender and the slow cooking intact the juices of meat in the curry. The dish had a use of Lukcnavi spices which had its own aroma and flavors, the meat being cooked over coal fire had an smoky flavors which also enhanced its taste.
- 1 plate of Lamb Kebab = Rs. 84
- 1 plate beef kebab = Rs. 40
- 1 plate of mutton korma = Rs. 115
Where: The original Tunday kebab’s is at phool gali at Chowk Bazaar and the Tunday Kebabi Grandson’s at the meat bazaar Aminabad.
Conclusion: Tunday Kababi for Lucknow is truly the integral part of the city, an amazing gastronomical experience where in every bite you can feel its richness. It is been rightly said if you want to learn about the history of any place, know about its food and architecture.
Galawati kebab’s at tunday kababi will take you back to the era of Nawab’s who are known for their nobel, rich and royal lifestyle.
So next time when you wish to experience the Nawabi life do visit Lucknow and have the legendary Tunday Kababi.