Discover Awadhi Cuisine: 10 Royal Delights For A Tasty Journey
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Awadhi cuisine, known for its rich culinary heritage, takes us on a royal gastronomic journey with its flavoursome dishes and aromatic delights. Originating from the city of Nawabs, Lucknow, Awadhi cuisine is renowned for its regal flavours, delicate spices, and slow-cooked preparations. Let's explore 10 must-try dishes that exemplify the essence of Awadhi cuisine.

  1. Galouti Kebabs: Galouti Kebabs, also known as "melt-in-your-mouth" kebabs, are the epitome of Awadhi culinary excellence. Created for the aging Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, these kebabs are made with finely minced meat, a blend of aromatic spices, and tenderizing agents like raw papaya. Cooked on a griddle until perfectly golden, Galouti Kebabs offer a velvety texture and a burst of flavours that will leave you craving for more.
  2. Tunday Kebabs: Tunday Kebabs hold a legendary status in Awadhi cuisine. Named after the chef Haji Murad Ali, who was famously known as "Tunda," these kebabs are made with finely minced meat marinated in a secret blend of spices, said to be over 100 in number. The meat is so tender that it effortlessly melts in your mouth. Tunday Kebabs are traditionally served with roomali roti (thin bread) and a side of mint chutney, creating a perfect harmony of flavours.
  3. Awadhi Biryani: Awadhi Biryani is a culinary masterpiece that showcases the perfect blend of fragrant basmati rice, succulent meat (such as chicken, mutton, or beef), and a medley of aromatic spices. What sets Awadhi Biryani apart is the slow-cooking technique known as "dum," where the biryani is sealed in a pot with dough to trap the flavours and steam-cooked to perfection. The result is a biryani with layers of flavours, tender meat, and fragrant rice that will tantalize your taste buds.
  4. Awadhi Nargis Kofta: Awadhi-style Nargis Kofta is a delectable Indian dish with roots in the Awadh region. This culinary delight consists of hard-boiled eggs encased in a flavourful mixture of minced meat, aromatic spices, and fresh herbs. The koftas are gently fried until golden brown and then simmered in a rich gravy, creating a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. Nargis Kofta exemplifies the regal flavours and culinary finesse of Awadhi cuisine, making it a popular choice for special occasions.Image Credit: Flickr
  5. Nihari: Nihari, a classic Awadhi dish, is a flavoursome meat stew that originated in the royal kitchens of Lucknow. Traditionally slow-cooked overnight with a blend of aromatic spices, this dish boasts a rich and hearty flavour. The star ingredient of Nihari is the tender meat, usually beef or lamb, which is cooked until it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. The dish is garnished with fried onions, fresh coriander leaves, and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy Nihari with naan or kulcha for a soul-warming and satisfying meal.
  6. Awadhi Korma: Awadhi Korma is a creamy and aromatic gravy dish prepared with a delicate blend of spices, yogurt, and cream. This indulgent delicacy can be made with various meats or vegetables; such as Chicken Korma or Shahi Paneer Korma. The slow-cooking process allows the flavours to develop, resulting in a dish with a velvety-smooth texture and a harmonious blend of spices. Awadhi Korma is best enjoyed with naan or pulao for a truly royal experience.
  7. Dal Sultani: Dal Sultani is a lentil dish fit for royalty. This creamy and flavoursome preparation combines two different lentils, usually black gram (urad dal) and Bengal gram (chana dal), cooked with a medley of spices and finished with a generous dollop of ghee. The slow-cooking process enhances the flavours and gives the dal a creamy texture. Dal Sultani is a delightful accompaniment to steamed rice or Indian bread, providing a comforting and satisfying meal.
  8. Sheermal: Sheermal is a saffron-infused sweet bread that perfectly complements the rich and savoury Awadhi dishes. The dough is enriched with ghee, milk, and saffron, giving the bread a distinct aroma and a light sweetness. Sheermal is baked until it turns golden brown and is often garnished with dry fruits. Enjoy it warm with kebabs or curries for a delightful culinary experience.
  9. Shahi Tukda: Shahi Tukda is a decadent dessert that traces its origins to Awadhi cuisine. This indulgent sweet treat features deep-fried bread soaked in a rich saffron-infused milk syrup. It is garnished with slivered almonds, pistachios, and sometimes even silver leaf for a touch of opulence. Shahi Tukda is a dessert fit for royalty and is often served during special occasions and festivals. 

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  • Firni: Firni, a creamy rice pudding, is a popular dessert in Awadhi cuisine. It is made by slow-cooking ground rice in milk, sweetened with sugar, and flavoured with cardamom and saffron. Garnished with chopped nuts like almonds and pistachios, Firni is chilled until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. 
  • Awadhi cuisine is a treasure trove of flavours and culinary traditions. From the succulent kebabs to the aromatic biryanis and the rich curries, each dish reflects the regal heritage and culinary expertise of Awadh. Immerse yourself in the royal flavours of Awadhi cuisine and savour the unforgettable experience it offers.