“The World Is Big And I Want To Have A Good Look At It Before It Gets Dark” – John Muir
Travel, as anyone would tell you, is all about experiencing new places, people, cultures and cuisine and for me food makes it to the top of the list of things to explore soon as I turn on the ignition. This time it was Lucknow. Tunday, Galauti, Shami, the mouth waters at the mere mention of kebab varieties that find their origin stories in the city, which is only a small part of the variety of foods one can gorge on when visiting Lucknow. Needless to say my favourite part of the ride to the city was the immensely popular Awadhi Cuisine.
As an avid rider I find taking the road a more convenient way to set out for a new destination and exploring its rich culture, vibrancy, heritage, food among others. Add to it a tadka of adventure and you have my preferred recipe for travel.
We decided to start from Delhi via Agra, Etawah and Kanpur and come back from NH24 i.e. taking Sitapur, Bareilly and Moradabad. The route is ridden with big potholes, accidents and broken axles. In short, a dream-come-true for a true off-roader.
And so began the journey to quench the thirst for Awadhi cuisine and we didn’t take much time to hit the road.
Till now the roads were at their best and felt like a cakewalk. Smooth wide and traffic free roads till Agra and with some traffic till Kanpur. But after that it became adventurous and we did a bit of off-roading to get out of heavy traffic jam of trucks which felt good to us.
It took us nearly 10 hours to reach Lucknow. However, we forgot all about the long and tedious drive soon as we were welcomed by finger-licking Mutton Biryani. This was our first meal here and trust me, it was heavenly, mind blowing and what not. The impact of the long ride was completely washed away. With thoughts of ravenously exploring the city, we switched off our ignition for a well-deserved rest.
Our morning started with thoughts of mouth-watering food that awaited us. Lucknow offers lot of breakfast options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. We started on famous Samosa, Awadhi Kachodi with Aalu Sabzi at Parampara Sweets, Hazratganj and o boy what a feast it was.
Although there were other veg options too with famous Lucknowi Chaat, Doodh – Jalebi, Badaam Thandai, Paani ke Bataashe etc., we needed to stop ourselves for the best part to come in Lunch i.e. Tunday Kababs. Yes this is one signature Kabab which is only available in Lucknow and to sample it one has to head to Tunday Kababi in Aminabad, Lucknow. The kebab uses the recipe of the Baawarchi who did not have arms, hence the name. A snapshot of the city is also there…
After nicely stuffing our bellies we took a long walk down in the suburbs and market areas. One cant leave Lucknow without picking the very famous Chikankari, an embroidary style believed to have been introduced by Nur Jehan, Mughal emporer Jahangir’s wife.
We finished our walk and ended the shopping spree towards late afternoon. The evening brought with it delights including Kakori, Shaami and Galawati Kabaabs. These kabaabs are known for its soft texture and mouth watering taste. So much so that we totally forgot to take any pics of the mind blowing kebaabs. However, we did manage to discover options for vegeterians with assorted fried vegetable and spices and veg kebaabs. We ended the day with hot and delicious Dhoodh Malai garnished with dry fruits. AAAAAAAHhhhhhh…. we went to bed with very satisfied bellies and believe me when I tell you we slept like dead pigs.
Last day of the trip started with breakfast in Old Lucknow where the very famous Raheem Chacha serves awesome Nihari Ghost, Paye and Kulchas. It is hard to describe the divine food we had there. Suffice to say we ended up ordering and subsequently eating everything on their menu. That Nihari and Kulcha had the best combination of taste and is incomparable to nothing I’ve had.
With such a memorable start to the day we were charged for our journey back to Delhi via NH24.
Finally we reached Delhi at about 0100 hours and it took nearly 12 hours. With a smile of satisfaction and end of a belly rich ride, it was truly spectacular to have this experience. People in Lucknow were welcoming with their Ganga-Yamuni tehzeeb and like minded foodies make good friends with anybody who is an explorer.
Places like these have kept the very rich food traditions alive in all the nooks and corners of our country for centuries and have never dissapointed a food lover. The diversity of our nation can very well be experienced in the wide variety of food and is also one of the the best ways of experiencing the real Incredible India. This is one culinary road trip I will recommend to all fellow bikers and adventure lovers.
Thanks for reading my blog.
Keep Exploring, Keep Riding, Respect Others and Be Safe.