Lucknow cuisine is famous for its unique taste. The city is known its korma, biryani, nahari-kulcha, zarda, sheermal, and warqi paratha and several other delectable dishes. Back in the days of Nawabs ,the royal chefs and cooks were specially trained to give the cuisine its exquisite flavour. A great amount of attention was paid to every small detail in order to make the food suitable to be served to the kings. Such lavish preparations would have been incomplete without the extra eye for detail in the presentation of these dishes. For all those who visit Lucknow for the first time and don’t know anyone here, the million dollar question is: Where do I get to taste the best biryani in Lucknow?
The popularity of biryani served in the city of Nawabs knows no bounds. The word Biryani is derived from ‘Birian’ which means “roasted before cooking” in Persian. Traditionally, the Biryani found in Lucknow is a form of ‘Pukki” (cooked) Biryani. It is prepared by cooking the meat and rice separately. The rice and meat are then layered and baked together.
The Biryani served in Lucknow is quite different from what you get in Delhi, Moradabad, Hyderabad, or anywhere else in India. The Lakhnawi biryani with its mesmerising aroma, its long,separated rice grains cooked to just the right degree, and chicken or mutton pieces cooked in herbs and light masala have been wooing the hearts of food-lovers in the country for years. The Biryani is often garnished with fresh coriander or fried onion rings and is served with a curry and raita.
From roadside stalls and food vans to well known hotels and restaurant, this popular dish is served everywhere! One of the most famous Biriyani joint in the city is Idrees Biryani. This small outlet may not look so impressive when it comes to ambience and presentation but it is definitely the favourite of most biriyani lovers. The outlet has been visited by a number of famous personalities and celebrities including former Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Bollywood actor, Mithun Chakraborty . Rick Stein from BBC London also visited Idrees Biryani as a part of a documentary on Lakhnawi cuisine.
Located just opposite the Pata Nala Police Chowki, Idrees ki Biryani is only available for lunch. Despite dishing out 18 to 20 Deghs every day the whole stock is usually over around 2 pm. This is the popularity that the outlet enjoys.
The famous flavourful Lakhnawi Biryani can also be enjoyed at Wahid Biryani outlets in Lalbagh, Aminabad and Chowk, Raheem’s at Akbari Gate, Charminar at Lalbagh, Naushijaan and Dastarkhwan. Other than these, there are several other ‘not so famous’ outlets, epically in the old city area of Lucknow which serve delicious Biryani.