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Rajib Ranjan
Amity School of Hospitality







I have the pleasure to certify that __________________ a

student of ______________________ , has pursed his research
work and prepared the project “AWADH CUISINE ” under
my supervision and guidance . The present STUDY is the
result of this own research to the best of my knowledge. This
is being submitted to Amity School of Hospitality for the
Partial fulfillment of the requirements of the four year full-
time degree in hotel Management.

Guides Signature

This Project AWADH CUISINE is a successful out come

of my hard work with the help and guidance of my respectable

I sincerely acknowledge the contribution of the suggestions

given by Mr. Pranshu Chomplay without which his project
could never became a ratify. Last but not least I acknowledge
all my friends who gave me suggestion and full support by

1. To find the Overview of Awadh.

2. To find the Cuisine of Awadh.
3. To find the Food of Awadh.
4. To find the Dishes of Awadh.
5. To find the Dining of Awadh.
6. To find the Receipes of Awadh.
7. To find the Food Style of Awadh.
8. To find the Food Equipment of Awadh.

1.Desk research, which includes: books, Internet, magazines

and journals.
2.Through personal and telephonic interviews.
3.Through correspondence with export managers, owners of
vineyards and eminent people in the industry by means of
e-mail and paper mail.
4. By attending shows, seminars, lectures, talks, forums,

1. Non-availability of appropriate books regarding the

2. Contradictory statements regarding Awadh food in
different books.
3. Lack of opportunities to solve queries regarding Awadh
4. Since the subject of Awadh food is a very new one,
gaining knowledge from the people concerned was very
difficult as few experts are available in this field.
5. Trying to gain access to these experts to interview them
was another problem.

Food occupies the highest position in most cultures and

religions. A most unique example of spiritualism manifested in
a physical form… the evidence of the bounties of God and
human motivation for existence.

'Pahile Taam Badahu Kalaam'

'First food then communication,' is the evidence of its supreme
position, Considerable spirituality revolves around food, which
is blessed and elevated to the position of' Nemat' - the special
creations of God for His most special creation, the human
being, this opens a different dimension to the subject of
What. How much, which meal is blessed, when. ,Where and
how - and how much and most importantly when to negate
food fasting, dieting, etc.
From the finer layers of all this is born the culture of food. The
evolution of the 'Zaiqa', the taste,.. And it pervades the entire
milieu, from festivities to celebrations, from intimate
'nashishts' to public 'mahfils', The aroma rises from smoke
filled kitchens to elaborate 'dastarkhwans' where words and
images are as cleverly woven, as condiments and herbs,..
where the same m~at tells a different story through its varied
'Zaiqa', Yet, food is an intimate feeling of loving care and

warmth of human relationships. It is the most regular and the

most consistent form of reinforcing tenderness.

Food in Awadh had evolved to become a total experience of an

occasion - fragrant, visually appealing and almost magical..
and truly such is the scope of this book - extremely detailed,
well researched and evocative of the ambience of a bygone era.
It brings to life a number of recipes and techniques that had
gone into oblivion; and with it a new interest in this rich
Form of cuisine; it opens an enormous future for the refined
international palate, the art of cooking and above all the
promotion of Lucknow - because there is no substitute for
enjoying this fare other than in its own milieu. It ranges from
simple to the rich, exotic to the earthy, and for the gourmet
opens up a vast canvas to create and balance a wide range of
menus to suit every possible taste to leave an everlasting


It was 137 years ago that the last of the kings of Avadh
walked on the sarzameen (land) of their beloved Lucknow.
While these monarchs sat on the throne of Avadh, there
was nothing that they left untouched, thankfully, for their
touch was like the proverbial magic wand. It could raise
the most mundane of activities into the realm of art and to
unattained heights of excellence. Little wonder that even
bawarchis became master creator of culinary delights.
Powerful courts all over India vyed with each other to
wean away a cook who had either worked or was trained
in Lucknow. To belong to Lucknow was the highest
qualification a cook could hold.

The ruler of Avadh engaged in peaceful pursuits since the

battle of Buxar, and laid the foundation of a culture which
dazzled the world. Under their patronage developed a
cuisine which did not remain the prerogative of royalty
alone. Recipes traveled from the royal kitchens of the
nobilities and from there, to the kichens of ordinary

All the while, research and innovation proceeded unabated

in the bawarchi khanas of the royalty and aristocracy
where money was no constraint, neither was time. In the
mid 18th century, in the personal bawarchi khana of
Nawab Shuja-Ud-Daula, Rs. 60,000 was spent per month
or Rs. 7.2 lakhs per year on the preparation of dishes. The
dishes which adorned his dastarkhwan did not come from
the kitchen alone but from five other bawarchikhanas,
including that of his mother Nawab Begum and his wife
Bahu Begum. These ladies separately spent Rs. 9,000 per
every month on the preparation of food. The staggering
salaries of the hierarchy of cooks and other kitchen staff
came from a separate budget.

However, high salaries were not the only reason for the
excellent performance of the cooks. They were given total
freedom to pursue their work their own way. Examples of
cooks laying down conditions of employment before
crowned heads, and the latter meekly accepting them,
would only be found in Lucknow. And in Lucknow alone
would you find cooks strutting off in a huff if the king did
not sit down for a meal when told to do so by the cook
because the food was hot. A tale is told of a cook employed
only to prepare mash ki dal (arhar ki dal) on a monthly
salary of Rs. 500. The dal was not cooked daily but once
in a while, and the king was condition bound to sit down
at the dastarkhwan when he cook announced that dal was
ready. The king once delayed, so the cook left. Before
leaving, he emptied the contents of the dish at a place
where stood a stalk of a dead tree. In a few days, leaves
started sprouting from the stalk and before long, the tree
turned a healthy green colour (source: Abdul Sharar’s The
last phase of an Oriental Culture). The story may appear
like an exaggeration but the fact remains that the
ingredients that went into the preparation of the royal
dishes were very nutritious.

It was unwritten law that the master would sanction

whatever quantity of ingredients the cook demanded. No
questions were asked nor doubts expressed. Another
popular story goes that king Ghazi-ud-din Haider slapped
his vazir Agha Meer for reducing the quantity of ghee used
by the cook in preparing parathas. The king was no fool.
He said that even if the cook pilfered some ghee, so what?
The parathas he made were excellent, while ”you rob the
whole monarchy and think nothing of it.”

It was not royalty alone who pampered their cooks. The

nobility, aristocracy and people of lesser means too
maintained well stocked and well staffed kitchens from
where were turned out the most exotic of dishes. Begums
and ordinary housewives too preserved in their kitchens
and acquired an excellence that could match the skills of
a professional bawarchi.
Lazeez Lauki

Broadly, there are three categories of cooks in Lucknow.

The bawarchis cook food in large quantities. The
rakabdars cook in small gourmet quantities. Rakabdars
also specialize in the garnishing and presentation of
dishes. The nanfus make a variety of roti, chapattis,
naans, sheermals, kulchas and taftans.

Normally, one cook does not prepare the entire meal.

There are specialists for different dishes and also a variety
of helpers like the degbos who wash the utensils, the
masalchis who grind the masala and the mehris who carry
the khwan (tray) to be spread on the dastarkhwan. The
wealthy always had their kitchens supervised by an
officer called daroga-e-bawarchi khana or mohtamim. It
was this officer’s seal on the khwan that guaranteed
quality control.
The Lucknow dastarkhwan would not be complete unless
it had the following dishes. Qorma (braised meat in thick
gravy), salan (a gravy dish of meat or vegetable), qeema
(minced meat), kababs (pounded meat fried or roasted
over a charcoal fire), bhujia (cooked vegetables), dal,
pasinda (fried slivers of very tender meat, usually kid, in
gravy) Rice is cooked with meat in the form in the form of
a pulao, chulao (fried rice) or served plain. There would
also be a variety of rotis. Deserts comprise gullati (rice
pudding), kheer (milk sweetened and boiled with whole
rice to a thick consistency), sheer brunj, (a rich, sweet rice
dish boiled in milk), muzaffar (vermicelli fried in ghee and
garnished with saffron).

The Lucknowi’s menu changes with the seasons and with

the festival which mark the month. The severity of winters
is fought with rich food. Paye (trotters) are cooked
overnight over a slow fire and the shorba (thick gravy)
eaten with naans. Turnips are also cooked overnight with
meat koftas and kidneys and had for lunch. This dish is
called shab degh and a very popular in Lucknow. The
former Taluqdar of Jehangirabad would serve it to his
friends on several occasions during winter.
Zamin Doz Machchli

Birds like patridge and quail are had from the advent of
winter since they are heat giving meats. Fish is relished
from the advent of winter till spring. It is avoided in the
rainy season. Lucknowis prefer river fish particularly rahu
(carp), for fish bones are the last thing they would like to
struggle with for this reason, fish kababs (cooked in
mustard oil) are preferred.

Peas are the most sought after vegetable in Lucknow.

People never tire of eating peas. One can spot peas in
salan, qeema, pulao or just fried plain.

Sawan (spring) is celebrated with pakwan (crisp snacks),

phulkis (besan pakoras in salan), puri-kababs and birahis
(paratha stuffed with mashed dal) khandoi (steamed balls
of dal in a salan), laute paute (gram flour pancakes, rolled
and sliced and served in a salan) and colocasia-leaf cutlets
served with salan add variety. Raw mangoes cooked in
semolina and jaggery or sugar, makes a delicious dessert
called curamba, in summer. These dishes come from the
rural Hindu population of Lucknow.

Activity in the kitchen increases with the approach of

festivals. During Ramzan, the month of fasting, the cooks
and the ladies of the house are busy throughout the day
preparing the iftari (the meal eaten at the end of the day’s
fast), not only for the family but for the friends and the

Id is celebrated with varieties of siwaiyan (vermicelli) –

Muzzaffar is a favouritein Lucknow. Shab-e-barat is
looked forward to for its halwas particularly of semolina
and gram flour. Khichra or haleem , a del;icious mixture
of dals wheat and meat, cooked together, is had during
Muharram, since it signifies a sad state of mind.

There are dishes which appear and disappear from the

Lucknow dastarkhwan with the season and there are
those which are a permanent feature, like the qorma, the
chapatti and the roomali roti. The test of a good chapatti
is that you should be able to see the sky through it. The
dough should be very loose and is left in a lagan (deep
broad vessel) filled with water for half an hour before the
chapattis are made.
Sheermals were invented by mamdoo bawarchi more than
one and a half century ago. They are saffron covered
parathas made from a dough of flour mixed with milk and
ghee and baked in iron tandoors. No other city produces
sheermals like Lucknow does and the festive dastarkhwan
is not complete without it. Saffron is used to flavour
sweets too.

Utensils are made either of iron or copper. Meat kababs

are cooked in a mahi tawa (large, round shallow pan),
using a kafgir which is a flat, long handled ladle for
turning kababs and parathas. Bone china plates and
dishes were used in Lucknow since the time of Nawabs.
Water was normally sipped from copper or silver kato ras
and not glasses. The seating arrangement, while eating
was always on the floor where beautifully embroidered
dastarkhwans were spread on dares and chandnis (white
sheets). Sometimes this arrangement was made on a takht
or low, wide wooden table.


This is a quick smoke procedure used to flavour a meat dish,

daIs or even raita. The smoke very effectively permeates every
grain of the ingredients and imparts a subtle aroma, which
enhances the quality of the dish. The procedure may be
carried out either at the intermediate or the final stage of
cooking. This is a common technique employed while making
kababs. The method is as follows. In a shallow utensil or a
lagan in which the meat or mince has been marinated, a small
bay is made in the center and a katori or onion skin or even a
betel leaf (depending on the dish) is placed. In it a piece of live
coal is placed and hot ghee, sometimes mixed with aromatic
herbs or spices, is poured over it and covered immediately
with a lid to prevent the smoke from escaping. The lid is not
removed till about 15 minutes, so as to allow the smoke to
work on the ingredients inside. The coal is then removed from
the utensil and the meat put through further cooking

This is a frequently method used in Awadh cooking. 'Dum'

literally means 'breath' and the process involves placing the
semi-cooked ingredients in a pot or deg, sealing the utensil
with flour dough and applying very slow charcoal fire from top,
by placing some live charcoal on the lid, and some below. The
Persian influence is most evident in this method though in
Awadh it has acquired its own distinct character. The magic of
dum' is the excellent aroma, flavor and texture which results
from slow cooking. This method is followed for a number of
delicacies such as the Shabdeg, Pulao and Biryani. Any dish
cooked by this method is 'Dum Pukht' or 'Dum Bakht'.


Refers to the use of softening agents such as papain (from raw

papaya) or kalmi shora to tenderise meat.

This is a method of tern pering a dish with hot oil / ghee and
spices. It may be done either at the beginning of the cooking
as in curries, or at the end as for (pulses). In the former, the
fat is heated in a vessel to a smoking point and after reducing
the flame, spices are added to it. When they begin to crackle.
the same process is carried out in a ladle which is immersed
in the cooked dish and immediately covered with a lid, so that
the essence and the aroma of the spices, drawn out by the hot
ghee are retained in the dish giving it their flavour.


Talking of Persian influence on Awadh cuisine one cannot

ignore this in teresting method adopted for cooking. 'Gil' in
Persian is earth or mud and 'Hikmat' implies the procedure of
the Hakims. This method is generally followed to prepare
'Kushtas' which are the ash-like residue of substances which
cannot be consumed in their natural form as they are toxic,
for instance gems or metals. But when adopted for cooking
purposes the method is as follows. The meat or vegetable to be
cooked is generally taken whole and stuffed with nuts and
spices, It is then wrapped in a banana leaf or cloth and
covered completely with clay or 'Multani Mitti' (Fuller's Earth)
so as to seal it. It is thereafter buried about 4-6 inches deep.
Aslow fire is then placed on top for 6-8 hours after which the
food is dug out and is ready to be served!


This is a term which refers to the final stage in cooking when

the oil used during cooking, rises to the surface. giving the
dish a finished appearance, This occurs mostly when slow
cooking of gravy dishes is involved.

It is the shortening of dough. In this process fat is rubbed into
the flour and made into a dough for kachoris or pooris
orparathas. This makes the final product crisp, flaky and

ITTR (Perfumes)
The use of perfumes play an important role in Awadh cuisine
they are used to enhance the aroma of the dish and make it
delicate. Most commonly they are made from musk deer,
hunting of which is now banned worldwide.

Yakhni cuts (Mutton)

The cuts for Yakhni are generally bony pieces with flesh on
them. These cuts are usually taken from the joints and the
ribs of the animal. The basic purpose of mea t in preparing
Yakhni is to derive the juice and flavour and hence the shape
of the meat does not count much.

Chandi warq
This is the process in which small pieces of silver are placed.
between two sheets of paper and then patted continuously
with a hammer till it becomes papery thin. These are used in
decorating the dishes before presentations, e.g. Chandi kaliya,
Moti pulao.

Zamin doz
This is a style of cooking in which a hole is dug in the ground
and the ingredients are placed and covered with mud. Then
burning charcoal is placed over it. The cooking process takes
about 6 hours.

Or the patili is generally of brass with a lid. It is used when a
great deal of 'bhunna' or saute is required. or even for boiling
and simmering. It is also used for preparingYakhni or Salan,
Korma or Kaliya.
This is a pear-shaped pot with a lid of either brass, copper or
aluminium. The shape of this utensil is ideally suited for the
'd:Jm' method and is used for cooking Pulaa, Biryani, Nehari
or Shab Deg.

is a deep, cancave utensil made afbrass, iron or aluminium
and is used far deep frying paoris and the like.
is a round and shallow copper utensil with a slightly concave
bottom. Used for cooking whole or big cuts of meat or poultry
especially when heat is applied from both the top and bottom.

Lobe ka tandoor
It is an iron tandoor. as distinct from the clay tandoor more
common in Delhi. It is a kind of dome-shaped iron oven used
for making most breads such as the Sheermal. Taftan,
Bakarkhani etc.
Mahi tawa
is the Awadh version of the griddle shaped like a big round,
flat bottomed tray with raised edges. used for cooking kababs.
Also used for dishes where heat is applied from both ends.
when covered.
is a big thali (round tray) usually used as a lid for the lagan or
mahi tawa when heat is to be applied from the top. Live
charcoal is placed on it and the heat is transmitted through it
to the food. Thus the indirect heat has the desired effect of
browning and cooking the ingredients. All the copper and
brass utensils are almost always used after 'kalai' or tin
plating the insides.


The verdant plains of north India abound in cattle population.

Traditional farming also encompasses rearing of other animals
such as goats, sheep and pigs. Poultry farming is also
common.' In and around Lucknow rearing goat and poultry for
the table is most prevalent. Religion and tradition have led to
the choice of lamb, chicken and fish as the favourite meats.
But mutton is the fare that has stimulated the culinary genius
of the cooks of Awadh in a way no other meat has. The
passion for perfection and style has led the cooks, and even
the butchers, to evolve specific preparations, for instance the
pasanda, chop, raan and so on. It is commonplace here to find
customers at the butcher's shop patiently waiting for the cuts
of their choice. Frozen and pre-cut mutton is almost
unthinkable in these parts. For the cook as well as the
gourmet, the quality of meat is something that can not be
compromised on. The meat of the male goat is preferred as it is
believed to

have more flavour and marrow in the bones, The age of the
animal is also considered while buying meat. If tender meat is
required, as for 'Hakeem' then a younger animal is
preferred.whereas when flavour gets precedence. then the
more mature goat is ordered. Thus the selection of meat is an
art espoused by passion and not as mundane as buying
Beluga Caviar or Smoked Salmon off a K-mart shelf. It would
be pertinent, here to acquaint the reader with the typical
mutton cuts used in this region for its cuisine. Roughly
following the order of dissection. the various cuts are as

The neck portion of the lamb has non-fibrous meat and is

therefore suited for cooking a korma. salan. pulao or biryani.
The rib cage offers a variety of cuts. The 'chops' are cuts on
the backbone and are part of the ribs. Usually a single rib is
cut. However, if the goat is young two ribs are combined.
Because of the high bone marrow content and the tender
meat which is least fibrous. this cut is used for delicate
kormas. kaliyas, pulaos and biryani.

Another cut is the pasli ka panja which comprises four to five

ribs of the floating end. that is, ribs on the breast side forming
the cage, connected with tissues and very tender meat. The
flesh outside the rib cage is tender and has a lot of fat
attached to it known as the rawaz which is used for cooking
purposes and also incorporated in the dough for breads such
as Sheermal.

When the fat is removed from the flesh the meat still remains
streaky. Cut into small pieces, they are called parchas a,nd
are specially used for biryani and pulao, If minced, it is called
chikna keema which is a high quality mild flavoured mince
used for delicate kabab preparation such as the Galavat

The front legs or agli dast and the hind legs or the raan are the
most versatile in terms of the cuts.

The trotter or the Paye are essentially the bones. which are
used for making the Paya Shorba, a kind of soup which is a
popular ingredient of the Nehari in the winter months and also
prescribed by the Hakims for convalescing patients. These are
also used for making jelly saffron and sweetened with sugar
chilled and served as a dessert.

The two central bones of each leg contain a good amount of

marrow and are always cut into two halves. The cut obtained
is called the nalli and is always in good demand. The meat
surrounding the nalli boti consists of several bands of tendons
covered with tissues. This elongated piece of flesh tapers down
to a band which is connected to the bone joints.

This portion is called the kareli or machhli (fish) owing to its

silvery and slippery appearance. The cut obtained by cutting
across the grain of the muscles is called the kareli boti which
is delicious when cooked in Nehari, korma or kaliya. The
upper leg portion of the hind leg is the raan. The raan can be
cooked while like the Western 'roast' and is called the 'Raan
Mussallam', Besides, flat pieces can be obtained from the raan
which are called pasanda used for the delectable Pasanda
Kababs which can either be skewered or cooled in the lagan,
The mince obtained from the raan or the rookha keema is fat
free and used for making kababs such as Patili Kababs, Kakori
Kababs and Shami Kababs.

The rump or the puth is basically a bony structure but

contains the liver and kidneys and a lot of fat attached to it
called the charbi which is used for cooking purposes, The
fleshy portion is called the puth ka parda and is used whole
on skewers for the Parda Kababs or for obtaining mince. The
botis or cuts along the backbone are used in salans and
Yakhni. The liver and kidneys are cooked separately as a dry
preparation and are quite delicious and nutritious.

The court of the Nawabs of Awadh were not only resplendent
with musicians and dancers but also sportsmen like wrestlers
and swimmers who performed feats for the noblemen. The
authors were able to trace out one of the last vestiges, of that
ancient tradition in Nawab Agha of Sheeshmahal. He is the
grandson of Nawab Mir Fazle Ali Khan Bahadur who was
honoured by the title of 'Mir Machhli' by Nawab Ghazi-ud-din
and can stay afloat. He is known in Lucknow as 'Mainaz-e-
Fairak' (the ace swimmer). Even now at the age of 70, he can
dive from the top of the Husainabad Clock Tower like his
illustrious grandfather.
Apart from water sports. the water of the Gomti and several
ponds in this region offer the best variety of fresh water fish
like the Rohu. Sole. Taingan. Pata, Moh.and Mahasher. The
biggest fish market in Lucknow is in the Qaiserbagh where
you can get the choicest variety offresh water fish. The best
time to consume the fish is between September and April.
Though mutton is more popular among the people of Awadh,
their passion for fish is also remarkable. The wide array of fish
recipes requiring different techniques of cooking are ample
proof of this. A saying thus goes. "Ask a fish what is its last
wish is and it will say - 'to be eaten by an Awadhi'."


1 kg Fish
2 kg Curd
1-kg Onion
6 cloves Garlic
1 tsp Garam masala
Salt to taste
250 gms Ghee
Y2litre Water
125 gms Mustard oil

Cut fish into halves. Place a mahi tawa on fire and pour
mustard oil on it. When hot put the fish on it and fry both
sides. Meanwhile, keep 112litre hot water ready. When the fish
is fried on both sides, immerse it in hot water for 5 minutes
and then in cold water. Next, remove the skin of the fish.
Finely slice the onions and fry in the ghee to a golden brown.
Add chopped ginger, garlic, red chilli powder and garam
masala, curd and salt. Stuff some masala in the fish by slitting
it lengthways. Place a patili on fire, make a bed of masala in it,
place the fish on it, and top with the remaining masala. Cover
the patili and seal with dough. Cook on a very slow fire for 6-7
hours. The bones of the fish by now would have been cooked.
Serve hot with chapati.

The Gangetic plain, which cradled the erstwhile kingdom of
Awadh, has been a great melting pot of diverse religious and
cultures. In Awadh, the Hindus and the Muslims have
coexisted amicably for years, and sohas their cuisine. Whilethe
Muslims favour a eat-based diet, the Hindus have been
predominantly, vegetarians. Though these days, owing to
centuries of intermingling of cultures.
sherbets, gourds and kulfi whereas in winter the appetite is
perked up with Nimona (a green pea and lentil dumpling
preparation), gobhi mussallqm and hot kheer. The fertile
plains yield a variety of crops and vegetables. Whether
homegrown or bought from the local 'sabzi-mandi' (vegetable
market), the accent is always on the freshness of the
vegetables. Apart from vegetables, milk and milk products are
a vital component of the vegetarian diet. Owing to a long
tradition of cattle rearing, milk has been a common source of
nutrition. Milk products such as balai, khoya, butter, ghee
and curds are put to good use in Awadhi cuisine. Lentils or
pulses are also an important source of proteins for the
vegetarian and almost always feature on the daily vegetarian
menu. Rice and wheat breads such as the roti, paratha. puri,
kachori are the common accompaniments alongwith relishes
such as pickles, chutneys and 'murabbas' (preserves).



6 Bitter gourds (karela)

3 Onions
6 Cloves garlic
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 V2tsp Aniseed
1 tsp Black onion seeds
1 tsp Chironji
5 Cashewnuts
4 tsp Salt
150 gms Ghee or oil

Wash the gourds, lightly scrape the skin with a knife, cut off
the top and keep aside. Gently scrape out the fish and seeds
with a knife with a narrow blade. In Y2litre of water, dissolve 3
tsp. salt and soak the gourds in it for 10 minutes. Meanwhile,
grate the onions, extract juice of the garlic and keep aside.
Lightly roast the aniseed and black onion seeds on a griddle
and pound. Also lightly roast the chronic and cashew nuts and
grind to a paste. Now, in a griddle heat a tablespoon of
ghee/oil to a smoking point. Reduce the name and sprinkle
the garlic juice. Then add the grated onions and saute for 5
minutes. Next add all the dry masalas including mango and
turmeric powder. nut paste. salt and saute on a slow name for
5 minutes. Remove and keep. Remove the karelas from brine,
and squeeze out water. Invert and keep in a sieve or dry in the
sun for 15 minutes. Then fill each gourd with the masala
paste, put the cut end on the gourd and stitch with a needle
and thread to make it secure. Heat ghee or oil in a kadhai or
frying pan to a smoking point. Reduce the name and carefully
place all the gourds in it and cover and cook on a slow FLAME.
Cover and cook till all sides are evenly done. Remove with a
slotted spoon, draining away excess oil. Serve hot or at
room temperature with chapatis. Remove the thread before



1 (medium size) Cauliflower

1 large Onion
1" piece Ginger
1 tbsp Poppy seeds
5 Cashewnuts
1tsp Turmeric powder
1tsp Chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 Blade Mace
1 Stick Cinnamon
5 Green cardamoms
5 Cloves
150 gms Curd
100 gms Ghee
250 gms Shelled green peas
1/.1tsp Cumin seeds

Wash the whole cauliflower, cut off the main stalk and remove
the leaves. Finely slice the onion, fry to a golden brown colour
and grind to a paste using some of the curd. Separately grind
the ginger, mace, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Lightly
roast the poppy seeds and cashewnuts on a griddle and grind
to a paste. Parboil cauliflower in half litre salted water.
Remove. Now in a kadhai. heat the ghee in which the onions
were fried and place the cauliflower upside-down first so as to
lightly brown it. Turn and cook the stem side for 5 minutes.
Remove and place in the curd. Mix all the ground ingredients,
chilli and turmeric powder and salt and pour over the
cauliflower. In a lagan, place the cauliflower along with the
marinade. Pour ghee on the top and sides, saving 1 tbsp for
the peas. Cover and place slow charcoal fire on the lid and
also below the lagan. Cook till the masala is dry but moist and
the cauliflower is done. Meanwhile. in the kadhai heat a tbsp.
of ghee and add the cumin seeds. When they begin to crackle,
add the shelled peas. a pinch of salt and cook till tender.
When the cauliflower is done. serve on a bed of peas.

The Awadh diet is based on meats, vegetables. cereals and
legumes. Pulses or 'daIs' are commonly consumed and are
relatively cheap, and rich in proteins. A dal is a vital
component of the poorman's diet. Even the dastarkhwans of
the rich. Full 'ofmeat and sweets, extended to accommodate a
wide array of dals. which were prepared with great passion.
With their Midas touch, the rakabdars transformed the
humblest of dals to the esoteric. Legend has it that a certain
rakabdar of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, specialised in cooking
daIs. He would use one 'asharfi' (gold coin) for every 'Baghar'.
This practice intrigued the treasurer who suspected some foul
play. Hoping to catch the cook red-handed, he appeared in the
kitchen one day to enquire about the fate of the gold coins. On
being questioned, the cook politely told him t!:Iat there was no
need for such suspicion and pointed towards a shelf where all
the coins were neatly stacked. But when the amazed officer
tried to pick up a coin. It turned to dust in his hands Gone are
the Nawabs and the 'asharfis' but the people of this region are
still enthusiastic about the various dals. They are particularly
passionate about the Arhar ki Oal or Pigeon-pea, which
incidentally is a legume which takes the longest time (about 9
months) to mature in the field.


North Indians pride themselves in growing the world's finest

variety of scented rice known as 'Pilaf Rice or Basmati Rice. In
the region of Awadh, the cooking of rice attained superlative
heights of fineness, both in terms of variety and method of
preparation, often considered a symbol of prosperity in these
parts. No festive occasion or celebration goes without a rice
preparation. Also, no other region of India can boast of more
varieties of Rice, which is appreciated more in Delhi and
Hyderabad, is considered to be a poor cuisine of the exalted
Pulao. The former was considered an affront on the
sensibilities of the exalted to the. method of cooking colour
and form, which were considered rat her crude. The
Yakhn1'Pulao,'on the other hand, is a beautiful. aesthetic.
blend of rich mutton stock, aromatic spices, balai and rice.
The delicate flavour and aroma of this pulao is a treat to the


Indian breads have a unique character. very different from

their Western counterparts in terms of taste and variety. The
knowledge of the art of making bread is very basic to any cook.
Always prepared fresh and hot for every meal. or at the most.
carried over for the next meal, a day bread is not considered.
The variety of breads is immense ranging from the humble
roti to the naan the poori and paratha. Each of these
categories, in turn has several varieties too. In Awadh alone as
many as 15b'varietles of bread are known to have been cooked!
The dough for one bread differs from the others ill the
composition of fat ingredients.

Sift the wheat flour and refined flour with salt. Rub in the
melted ghee. Slowly add water and make a soft dough. Keep it
covered with a damp cloth for 30 minutes. The dough should
be very elastic. Knead well again. Divide the dough in 6 equal
portions. Shape them into round balls. Roll out each ball into
small rounds on the floured 'chakla' (wooden disk). Hold this
on the back of your palm and circle it/twist it anti-clockwise
and swing it, then again catch it on the back of palm of the
same hand. Keep repeating until the diameter of the same
becomes about 30 cms. Care should be taken to maintain the
round shape and even thickness throughout. These rotis are
cooked on the convex side of the griddle, something like an
inverted kadhai or wok and takes just about a minute to cook.
These rotis are folded into quarters or sixes.


150 gms Whole wheat flour

50 gms Refined flour Salt to taste
10 ml Melted ghee
Cold water for kneading

450 gms Flour
25 gms Yeast
2 tbsp Curd
3 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt.
2 Eggs
150. ml Milk
25 gms Ghee
25 gms Oil
1 tbsp Kalonji

Warm milk. sprinkle yeast and sugar keep aside till it starts
to froth. Sift flour with salt. Make a bay paste in the centre.
Pour the fermented yeast mixture. curd. eggs (beaten) and oil.
Knead the dough to a smooth and elastic consistency. Place in
a greased bowl and keep in a warm place for 6-8 hours. Punch
the dough and make medium-sized round balls of equal size.
Brush with oil and again keep aside for another 20 minutes.
Roll out each with a rolling pin so that it is broad at one end
and very narrow at the other. Then pull the narrow end gently
so as to give it the shape of a tear drop. Brush with ghee.
sprinkle kalonji. and bake in a hot tandoor. basting with milk
and ghee. Serve hot.

450 gms Flour
50 gms Sooji
25 gms Ghee/Mustard oil
1 tbsp Salt
Cold water to knead
200 gms Urad dal
5 gms Fennel seeds
A pinch asafoetida
1 tbsp Garam Masala
10 gms Red Chilli Powder
Salt to taste
5 gms Cumin powder
25 gms Ghee/oil

250 gms Ghee or oil

Soak urad dal overnight and grind to a coarse paste Coarsely

pound the fennel seeds. Add asafetida. garam
masala. chilli powder. salt. cumin powder and fennel seeds
powder. Cook in a kadhai with ghee till it leaves the sides and
becomes dry. Keep aside and cool. Prepare hard dough with
flour and sooji using cold water. Cover with a damp cloth and
keep aside for 30 minutes. Then make walnut sized balls from
the dough for rolling. Flatten the dough on the palms and stuff
a little filling. Seal and roll to the size of 5-7 cm in diameter
and deep fry in ghee turning once. Strain after the kachori
puffs up and becomes golden brown
in colour. Serve hot with vegetables or mango pickle. Dal
Kachori is a festive bread. almost always incorporated in a
vegetarian menu in north India. Stuffed with urad dal it is
eaten as a snack as well as a meal. served with vegetables or

450 gms Flour
50 gms Yogurt
15 gms Ghee
1 tbsp Sugar
150 ml Milk
15 gms Yeast
1 tbsp Salt
Sprinkle yeast. sugar and salt in warm milk and leave it to
froth for 20 minutes. Sift flour, make a bay in the center. Add
the fermented mixture, melted ghee and make a dough with
yogurt. Cover with a damp cloth and leave it to rise for 3-4
hours. Divide into equal rounds and bake it in a hot tandoor
basting with milk. Serve hot.

The degree of finesse of a cuisine can be judged by a look at its
sweets and desserts. The rich, extravagant and highly
decorated sweets of Lucknow reflect its past glories. The
contribution of both the Hindu halwai and Muslim rakabdar
have resulted in a confluence of expertise in the making of an
exquisite varieties of sweets. The Barfi, Peda, Jalebi, Balai ke
Tukre, Shahi Tukre, Halwa, Kheer Sewain are just a few
varieties to illustrate the
Each of these has several varieties too. These sweets mostly
milk based with a liberal.


400 gm Roasted vermicelli/Sewain

400 gm Sugar
150 gm Ghee
400 ml Milk
½ tsp Saffron
200 gm Khoya
10 gm Pistachio nuts
30 gm Almonds
50 gm Cashewnuts
3-4 Silver foil

Soak saffron in little milk and grind. Cut nuts into 'hawaiyan I
slivered'. Mash and 'fry khoya for few minutes until light
brown. Heat ghee at moderate Harne in a shallow pan. Fry
sewai on slow fire till light brown. Add milk. Stir quickly to
blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add sugar. mix well and cover.
Cook gently until sugar which turns into syrup is absorbed
and sewai are dry. Add half of the khoya and mix well. Arrange
into serving dish and garnish with remaining khoya, nuts and
silver leaf (warq) on top.

500 gms Almonds
250 gms Poppy seeds
4 litre Milk
500 gms Khoya
750 gms Sugar
750 gms Ghee
1/1tsp Saffron
10 Green cardamoms
2 Silver leafs
Soak the almonds in 1 litre water overnight. Soak the poppy
seeds in a cup of milk mixed with a cup of water for 1 hour.
Mash khoya to fine crumbs and keep aside. Pound the
cardamom to a fine powder. Peel and grind the almonds to a
fine paste. Drain all the liquid from the poppy seeds by
passing them through a fine sieve and grind to a paste. Blend
the almonds and poppy seeds paste in the milk to form a
smooth mixture. pour in a thick kadhai and cook on slow
flame. preferably wood or charcoal fire. Stirring constantly.
When the mixture begins to thicken. add the sugar and
saffron dissolved in warm milk and stir till the sugar dissolves.
When the mAA halwa leaves the sides of the kadhai and turns
to a golden pink colour, remove in a bowl or a tray. It tastes
best when had hot.

Boil milk, add washed rice and cook gently till tender. Add half
of the sugar. Do not stir until it boils again. Stir and cook
gently for few minutes. Add mashed khoya little by little
mixing well to avoid lump formation. Add half of the kewra jal.
and remaining sugar. Mix and keep on adding remaining
kewra jal. Keep stirring. Cook until thickened and it sticks to
the spoon. Pour melted ghee mixing well. Grind malai. with
cashewnut paste and mitha ittr. Add to sheerbranj. Add
elaichi powder. Cool to room temperature. Serve garnished
with cream and hawaiyan (slivers) of pista and almonds.
3 litres Milk
60 gms Basmati Rice
400 gms Sugar
200 gms Khoya
100 gms Ghee
60 gms Cashewnut paste
200 gms Balai (Malai)
200 gms Cream
60 gms Pista + Almonds
Few drops mitha ittr
1% cup Kewra jal
¼ tsp Elaichi powder


Wash and peel the mangoes and cut long slices of it Remove
the seeds. Heat the ghee and saute the mango slices for 5
minutes on a medium flame. Remove with a slotted spoon and
keep. In the same ghee add the cloves and cardamoms and
roast the sooji flour for 10 minutes on a slow flame. Then add
milk and stir constantly to prevent lump formation. Cook for
10 minutes. In a separate vessel make sugar syrup with the
sugar and a cup of water. When the sugar dissolves boil the
mango slices in it for 5 minutes. Then add the mango slices
with the syrup to the sooji and milk mixture. Blend well. Cool
and serve at lunch or

1 litre Milk
3 tbsp Sooji (Semolina)
2 Cloves
4 Green cardamoms
30 ml Ghee


Curd or natural yoghurt has been part of the Indian diet since
time immemorial. Its cooling and digestive properties are well
known. Used as a marinade. a cooling agent, salad dressing.
beverage or dessert. it has a wide array of possibilities. In
Indian cuisine its use in 'curries and raitas' is well- known.
Raita is served as a side dish with meats and vegetables. the
main purpose being to tone down the effect of the hot spices.
250 gm Curd
Salt to taste
½ tsp Pepper

Sieve the curd through muslin cloth or a fine sieve. Add salt
and pepper and blend well. Serve in a bowl along with a korma
and pulao dish.

250 gms Curd

1 medium Cucumber
1 tbsp Cumin
Salt to taste
Chilli powder to taste (optional)
½ tsp Black salt
Roast the cumin seeds on a griddle till they turn light brown.
Dry grind finely. The black salt. which is usually sold in
crystal form should also be ground to a powder. Nowwhisk the
curd and keep. Peel and grate the cucumber and mix in the
curd. Add the cumin. black salt. Ordinary salt and chilli
powder. Blend well and serve cold in a bowl along with curries
and rice.

500 gms Curd
100 gms Snakegourd
1 Apple
3 Pineapple rings
Salt to taste
Tie the curd in a muslin cloth and hang for 1hour to allow the
water to drip off. Then sieve and keep aside. Peel the gourd.
remove the pith and seeds and cut into small cubes. Boil in
half cup water till tender but not too soft.
Drain and keep aside. Peel and cube the apple. Also cube the
pineapple. Now mix all the 3 ingredients in curd with a little
salt. Blend and serve in a bowl.


Herbs and spice

Herbs are leaves of small shrubs and can be used dried or
fresh to impart flavors and zest to any dish. Examples of
commonly used herbs are rosemary, parsley, thyme, basil,
sage, dill, oregano and celery leaves. Spices are derived
from the fruit, seed, root and bark of tropical plants and
trees. Whole spices can be added at the start of the cooking
so that the flavor is imparted into the dish. Seed herbs can
be lightly toasted to bring out their best flavor.

Herbs and spices are sometimes tied in a muslin bag and

placed in the saucepan during the cooking process. The
advantage is that the whole spices won't come in the way
while chewing and swallowing. Herb spice blend powders
can be blended at home. A pinch in your dishes - and you
will have everyone asking for more helpings! A fragrant
herb spice blend of cinnamon, anise, fennel, pepper and
cloves can be powdered and stored.

Ginger - inhibits nausea and vomiting caused by travel

sickness and morning sickness. Ginger speeds the body
metabolic rate. This spice combines well in curries and
soups. Its antiseptic properties have been known to cure
colds, sore throats and other ailments. You can use fresh,
dried or powdered ginger.

Cinnamon - Used often as an antidote for stomach upsets

and diarrhea. This spice is also known to be a metabolic
booster. A pinch of cinnamon can perk up your hot cocoa
and breathe life into your steamed puddings, custard and

Nutmeg - The flavor of this spice is strong and is used in

small amounts. Use it in spinach and white sauce. Nutmeg
finds pride of place in Christmas delicacies such as eggnog
and cakes.

Mace - This spice is the outer shell of the nutmeg fruit and
has a milder flavor. Powdered mace is used in cakes,
doughnuts and soups.

Garlic - The distinctive taste of garlic goes well with other

herbs and seasonings. Garlic is known to decrease blood
pressure and cholesterol levels. Regular consumption of
garlic aids digestion and prevents flatulence.

Anise - This spice has its origin in the Mediterranean region

and is hailed as a digestive aid. It adds flavor to cakes,
breads, cookies and liquors.

Cayenne pepper - This important ingredient in many

Mexican dishes has fat burning abilities and can boost
metabolism. It is obtained from fruited varieties of capsicum.
Very small amounts are used in salad dressings.

Mustard - This spice is a stimulant and is effective against

respiratory complaints.

Allspice - Though allspice suggests a mixture of spices, it is

derived from the Jamaican bayberry. It is used whole in
vegetable and meat dishes. It is ground and added to
cookies, puddings and gravies.

Turmeric - Extracted from the root of the Curcuma long

plant, turmeric is an essential ingredient of curries and
other Asian dishes. It is a powerful antioxidant and helps
protect against cancer.

Sesame seeds - The crunchy nutty flavor of sesame seeds

adds texture to salads and sautéed vegetable dishes. These
seeds are used in breadsticks, crackers and rolls. The oil
derived from the sesame seeds is rich in polyunsaturated
fatty acids and is a good choice for salad dressings and

Mint - A decoction of this herb is known to give relief from

headache, nausea, indigestion and cold. Peppermint is used
to flavor tea, salads, stews and sweets.

Coriander - This spice with a mild and distinctive taste is

another essential ingredient of most Indian curries.

Cloves - Popularly known as the 'flower spice', cloves have

been used as anesthetics for dental ailments for centuries.
The rich flavor of cloves is used in cakes and pies. Using too
much can result in a bitter flavor.

Saffron - The rich and distinct flavor of saffron comes from

the dried flower bloom. It is used in rice dishes and cakes.
Very little is needed to flavor and color your dishes.

Caraway - These spice seeds have a spicy aroma that

lends flavor to soups, breads and baked fruit.

Cardamom - The unique flavor of cardamom is delicate and

sweet but powerful. From coffee to deserts, curries to meat
loaves, cardamom finds it way into many recipes.

Pepper - Peppercorns are found in black and white color.

They are used in meat and vegetable dishes.

Fennel - This spice is used widely in Indian and Egyptian

cooking. Its mild flavor is used in Italian sausages too.

Cumin - The strong spicy taste of cumin seeds can be used

whole or ground to a fine powder. Use it in soups and meats
and pickles.

Fresh herbs can be preserved by cutting a bit of their stems
and refrigerating them after submerging the stems in a jar of
water. Snip fresh herbs just at the time of adding them to
your dishes. Fresh herbs can substitute dried herbs in any
recipe, but remember to double the quantity prescribed.
Fresh herbs are usually added at the end of cooking lest
they lose their flavor and color. Fresh herbs must possess
good color and no brown spots.

Dried herbs must be stored in airtight containers away from

sunlight and heat. Dampness causes loss of quality. Never
store herbs and spices near the stove as the heat will
shorted their life. Whole spices and herbs keep longer than
ground spices. Leaf herbs keep longer than grounded ones.
Besides grinding the spices as needed assures greater

Never season more than a dish in a meal with the same

herb. Do not use too many strong-flavored herbs in the
same dish. A herb is used to flavor a dish not overpower it.
Certain herbs have a special affinity for certain foods.
Combine a strong herb like rosemary, basil or sage with
milder ones like chives, parsley or chives. Indian recipes
sometimes call for nearly a dozen spices in a single curry.
But as a rule, other regional recipes do not use more than 3
herbs or spices in a dish.

Basil - The strong flavor of basil leaves goes well with

tomato-based sauces and garlic. Basil is said to stimulate
the appetite and relieve kidney and diarrhea problems.

Thyme - This herb is used for everyday cooking and goes

well with heavy dishes like clam chowder, stews, roast
chicken and pork. Thyme is known to have disinfectant
properties and is used as a mouthwash. It must be used in
small quantities on account of its sharp flavor. Lemon thyme
has a milder flavor and has a lemony tang.

Oregano - Oregano lends pizzas their characteristic flavor.

This herb has a pungent odor and flavor.

Bay leaves - This herb is a common ingredient in soups,

meat and vegetable dishes and stews. Other than its strong
aroma and spicy flavor, bay leaves are a good remedy for

Cilantro - This herb is the young coriander plant and finds

its way into most Asian, Mexican and Middle Eastern

Rosemary - This herb has a reputation as a memory

booster and is a symbol of friendship and fidelity. Medicinal
properties of rosemary include increased blood flow and
expansion of tissues.
One of the old & richest cuisine of India has now become
limited in small region.

They has been great attempt at bringing back the glory of the
There are no famous chefs except chef qureshi who really done
the great work for the Cuisine of Awadh.
We have to introduce the Cuisine of Nawabs to different kind
of people and region in more effective way for example
Dumpukht is doing for all over the country.
As well as in this age of experimentation fusion of cuisines is
attracts lots of people for example last year Hotel Niko
Metropolitan fused Awadhi the Japinese cuisine and people
really appreciated the concept.


Hindustan Times
The Times of India

First City
Bristol , Gurgaon, New Delhi



Q.1 How often do you dine out ?

 Weekly
 Fortnightly
 Monthly
 Seldom go out

Q.2 When you dine out which cuisines do you prefer the
most ?
 Chinese
 South Indian
 Awadhi
 Mughlai
Q.3 How did you come to know about
it ?
 Friends
 Television
 Newspaper
 Any other Source

Q.4 Which Awadhi delicacy do you prefer the most ?

 Shorba
 Korma
 Biryani
 Kebabs
 Any Other

Q.5 Which of the Awadhi cuisine characterictics do you

enjoy the most ?
 Spices and Flavour
 Richness of Cuisine
 Cooking Methods
 All the above

Q.6 What shortcomings do you feel that Awadhi cuisine

has ?
 Too rich
 Too Oily
 Lenghty Cooking Methods
 Unavailibility of authentic Awadhi Cuisine at your place
 Any Other

Q.7 How you think that any changes in the Awadhi

Cuisine will help in the betterment of the same ?
 Yes
 No

Q.8 How do you rate the Service Standards of Awadhi

Cuisine ?
 Excellent
 Good
 Fine
 Bad

Q.9 How often do you cook Awadhi cuisine at your

house ?
 Daily
 Weekly
 Fortnightly
 Do not cook