Be it the historical Awadhi style of architecture, rich literary tradition, or the splendid culinary style, the city of Lucknow has never ceased to pull our heartstrings. With its rich culture and tradition, Lucknow is one of the few cities of India which has preserved its authentic culture to date. A legend has it that “You have to taste a culture to understand it” and there is no other perfect example of this quote than Lucknow. With its opulent Awadhi style of cooking, Lucknow’s love affair with food dates back to the 14th century. The sumptuous biryanis, lip-smacking halwas, and the opulent meaty delights of Lucknow are out of the ordinary. However, the culinary culture of Lucknow saw a revolution in the 17th century under the reign of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula.

The food culture of Lucknow saw a revolution in the 17th century which gave rise to thousands of Awadhi culinary gems. During the reign of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, the famous Kababs of Lucknow underwent a complete revolution. It is believed that the Nawab was gradually losing teeth due to his old age but he couldn’t give up on his passion for food. He ordered his Khansaamas to make the softest kababs which would require no chewing without compromising the flavours. He also announced that the maker of the best kababs would enjoy royal patronage henceforth. A one-armed chef named Haji Murad Ali made the most succulent kababs with 16 different spices and won the king’s heart. The next Nawab of Lucknow, Nawab Wajid Ali Shah named the kababs in accordance to the physical characteristics of the maker as ‘Tunday Kabab’. Haji Murad Ali used to mince the meat into a fine paste, add the secret masala and cook the kababs in desi ghee. The desi ghee along with the dum style of cooking gives the kababs a smoky and moreish taste.

It was in the year 1905, that Haji Murad Ali decided to open the Gol Darwaza branch of the famous ‘Tunday Kababi’ and sold his kababs there for about 9 decades. Later in 1996, his successors opened another branch in Aminabad. This famous shop has attracted all kinds of people for about 116 years now and the taste is still the same. It is a must-visit if you are planning to go to Lucknow any time soon.