Being a Lucknowi, who’s been brought up on the delectable galauti kebabs paired with the crispy & soft ulte tawa (or warqi) paratha or the mouth-watering seekh kebabs, it’s sad that now living in Delhi I don’t get to enjoy such wonderful Awadhi creations. So when I got the invite to the Lucknow food festival being held at Zaffran, GK-I, my happiness knew no bounds.
Zaffran is a splendid restaurant, located in the upmarket area of GK-I, specializing in north Indian cuisine. The Lucknowi festival brings together the lip-smacking food items, popular in the by-lanes of Lucknow, created by the renowned chefs from the Qureshi family. In terms of ambience, Zaffran is pretty impressive – it has a very garden like feel to it, loads of plants in the restaurant, the huge windows allow plenty of sunlight and nice view of trees in the front along with soothing music – a perfect setting for a lazy winter afternoon, where you can sit back and enjoy the great starters along with a drink in your hand.
The menu has been limited to 6 appetizers (1 vegetarian), a main dish, selection of breads and a dessert and all of them require an honorable mention.
Murgh Gulbahar Seekh & Mutton Awadhi Seekh were the first to arrive at our table – both of them were a piece of art, very juicy and aromatic and tasted equally good. Mutton Galauti, on a bed of warqi paratha, came in next and disappeared as soon as it came – very flavorful, so soft that the fork just went through it like a hot knife on butter, and paired with mildly sweet warqi paratha, tasted heavenly.
The Veg Shaami kebab and the Dum Awadhi Boti tasted good too, however the Awadhi Boti was pretty different from the ones I’ve had in Lucknow – this one had more of masala overshadowing the taste of meat.
Koi Awadh – tender cooked chicken on the bone, in silky smooth saffron gravy held the fort in the mains. Pair this with the warqi paratha or the peshawari roti, and you just can’t get enough of it – you need to have it to believe how good this was.
Nawabi Halwa – the only dessert included in the festival, and definitely the star of the show – have it and you won’t want anything else! A wondrous combination of milk & khoya (or mawa), served in a clay bowl, you end the meal on a high note.
The Lucknowi Food festival is on for 45 days starting February 14 @ Zaffran, N-2 Greater Kailash-1. If you love food and want to experience Lucknowi culinary at its finest, this one shouldn’t be missed!