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What is Lucknow’s Famous Cuisine?

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What is Lucknow’s Famous Cuisine?

Lucknow, the city of Nawabs in India, is renowned for its unique recipes, rich local culture and heartwarming hospitality. But its culinary culture is what really shines, known for its fragrant spices and delectable flavors centuries before food channels made it popular. Here’s a closer look at Lucknow’s famous cuisine.


Lucknow’s royal culinary tradition hails back to the era of Avadh’s Nawabs, who were great patrons of food. When their kingdom expanded into rural Oudh, their cuisines began to expand as well – the new ingredients introduced a unique combination of flavors in the local cuisine.

During festivals and celebrations, cooks prepared delectable dishes with pigeon, quail, and chicken being the primary meats. Ghee, kewra water, saffron and khus khus (poppy seeds) were used generously to add these dishes a unique fragrance and flavor. Even after the British rule, Lucknow cuisine flourished and its spices combined with influences like French and Mughal to create a much loved cuisine.

Curries & Snacks

Kebabs are the local favorite snack that are served hot with chutneys or salads. The word “kebab’ is derived from a Turkic word for “grilled’ or “char-grilled’. Different variations of the dish are consumed in towns all over south-east Asia. In Lucknow, there are traditional kebab recipes like “seekh kebab’ (spicy grilled skewers), “tikki kebab’ (fried patties), “Galawati kebab’ (minced meat patties). They are accompanied by Rumali roti (a thin flatbread) or Lachha paratha (a layered flaky flatbread).

When it comes to curries, they might range from spicy to sweet. “Nahari’ is a slow cooked curry dish made with a mixture of aromatic spices, butter and goat meat. “Kacchi Biryani’ originates from the streets of Lucknow, where small cubes of raw meat are marinated in yogurt and spices then placed atop layers of fragrant basmati rice.

Sweets & Desserts

Lucknow is known for its decadent sweets and desserts. Made from special ingredients like khoya (reduced milk), mava and suji (semolina), these desserts are perfectly balanced between sweet and saltiness.

“Shahi Tukra’ is a popular dessert featuring slices of fried bread stuffed with mashed khoya and saffron syrup topped with some rabri (clotted cream). “Gulab Shankarpali’ or shankarpali is a diamond-shaped sweet flavored with cardamom and rose water. ‘Khubani ka Meetha’ – a sweet dish created with dried apricots stewed in sugar syrup – is another popular dessert from Lucknow streets.


Lucknow’s food scene has truly evolved over the years, emerging as the best representative of Awadhi cuisine, rooted in its history of food served by the Nawabs who reigned in the city centuries ago. From starters to main course, curries to sweets – each dish is full of aromas and flavors that remain matchless even today. If you’re curious to try out authentic Awadhi recipes, do visit Spices Of India, where you can find original recipes in-depth detail.

Welcome to Lucknow: An Insider’s Guide to the City

Lucknow, also known as the City of Nawabs, is a city in northern India that is famous for its rich cultural history, architecture, and delicious cuisine. Known for its hospitality, Lucknow has something to offer for everyone – from historical forts to exquisite museums to delicious street food.

History and Culture

Lucknow is steeped in a rich and diverse history, with roots that go back to the ancient times. The city was ruled by various dynasties including the Delhi Sultanate, Mughal Empire, and British Raj, leaving behind a legacy of rich architecture.

Begin your exploration of Lucknow’s history by visiting the Bara Imambara. Built by the Nawab of Lucknow in 1784, this massive building is an excellent example of Mughal architecture. As you explore the Bara Imambara, make sure to walk through the Bhulbhulaiya labyrinth, which is full of hidden passages and secret rooms.

Next, visit The Residency, which was built during the British Raj as a residence for the British Resident General. Today, it serves as a museum displaying artifacts from the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. This historical site is an excellent way to learn about the Indian struggle for independence.

For a quick cultural immersion, head to the Chowk area, a bustling marketplace, and bazaar. Here you can shop for traditional handicrafts, spices, and jewelry while taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the city.

Famous Cuisines of Lucknow

Lucknow is famous for its Mughlai cuisine, which is a fusion of Indian and Persian flavors and cooking techniques. The main dishes in the city are biryani, kebabs, and shami kebabs, which are a must-try for any food enthusiast visiting Lucknow.

Start your culinary journey in Lucknow at the iconic Tundey Kebabi, which is known for its flavorful kebabs and use of over 160 spices. The place offers succulent and tender Mutton Kebabs served with Indian bread called Naan or Paratha.

Your next stop should be at Idris ki Biryani, a small modest outlet that offers the best Lucknow Biryanis. The specialty here is Mutton Biryani, which is infused with saffron and is a heavenly treat for your taste buds.

Experience the local street food scene by trying the popular basket chaat in Chowk. The dish is a mixture of crisp potato, chickpeas, tangy tamarind chutney, and yogurt that is served in a basket made of fried noodles.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

If you want to explore something different than the typical tourist attractions, here are some off-the-beaten-path suggestions:

The Dilkusha Kothi, which was built in the 18th century, served as a hunting lodge for the Nawabs of Lucknow. Today, it is a crumbling ruin and makes for an enchanting and eerie place to explore.

Moti Mahal is another lesser-known treasure that is worth visiting. Built during the reign of the Nawabs, it was a large palace with magnificent gardens. Today, the palace is in ruins, but the gardens are still an excellent place to experience the peace and serenity of the city.

Lastly, take a stroll through the Ambedkar Memorial Park, also known as Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal. This stunning park is dedicated to Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, the father of the Indian constitution and is a popular attraction among locals.

Your Lucknow Experience

From savory kebabs to Mughlai biryanis and stunning historical sites, Lucknow is a city that will captivate and envelop you. Whether you are a foodie, a history buff, or someone looking for an adventure, Lucknow has something for everyone. So pack your bags, explore this incredible city and savor the flavors of its world-renowned biryanis and kebabs.

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What is Lucknow’s Famous Cuisine?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!