Awadhi Cuisine is native of city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. It is very closely associated with Bhojpuri Cuisine due to its proximity with the region. The Awadh region is also influenced by Mughlai Cuisine cooking techniques and bares similarity with the Nawabi Food culture of Hyderabad in Telangana state. This cuisine is famous for its biryanis, kebabs, kormas, naharis, kulchas, sheermal, roomali roti and warqi paranthas. Awadhi Cuisine involves liberal usage of spices, oils, ghee, kesar, elainchi and meat.
The bawarchis (chefs) and rakabdars (gourmet cooks) of Awadh invented the Dum style of cooking (art of cooking over a slow fire), which has become synonymous with Lucknow cooking style today. Nawab Asaf Ud Daullah is the person credited for a variety of cooking called DUM PHUKT. The richness of Awadh Cuisine lies not only in the variety of dishes but also in the ingredients used like meat, paneer, rich spices which include extensive usage of cardamom and saffron. Awadhi Cuisine is proud of its varieties of Kebabs which are its famous attractions. The kebabs in Awadhi Cuisine are cooked on Chula’s unlike in Punjabi Cuisine where the kebabs are cooked on a tandoor.
A few popular varieties of Kebab’s in Awadhi cuisine are
- Kakori kebab
- Gehlawati / Galawat Kebab
- Shammi Kebab
- Boti Kebab
- Patili Kebab
- Ghutwa Kebab
- Sheekh Kebab
- Tunde Kebab
- Pasanda Kebab
- Vegetarian Kebabs like Kathal Kebab, Dalcha Kebab, Arbi Kebab, Rajma Galoti Kebab and Zamikand Kebab etc..
Korma (Curry) refers to the techniques of making curries by braising meat with cream, butter and spices. There are both vegetarian and non vegetarian korma’s in Awadhi cuisine while the most famous among them is Murgh Awadhi Kofta.
Pulao (variety of rice) is made by cooking meat in ghee with warm aromatic spices until the meat is tender, then adding rice and cooking in the sealed pot over low heat till done. In case of Biryani, the rice is boiled separately in spiced water and then layered with meat curry or marinade then sealed and cooked over low heat until done. The vegetarian version of the same is called Tehri.
Roti (bread) is very significant in this cuisine as wheat is the staple food of the state. Roti’s are generally flat breads baked in a pan or in a Tandoor. The different types of roti’s are rumaali roti, tandoori roti, naan , kulcha, lachha paratha, sheermaal and baqarkhani.
The dessert’s section of this cuisine mostly highlights the varieties of Halwa’s which is again classified into four varieties like Papadi, Jauzi, Habshi and Dudhiya.
The street food of this cuisine involves chat varieties like samosa, kachori, aloo tikki, dahi puri, dahi wada, papdi chaat and gol gappas. The main ingredients used in chaat dishes here are dahi (yogurt), pyaaz (onions), hara dhaniya (coriander leaves) with a customized mixture of varieties of spices.