Flavours of Ramzaan food festival
food, Lucknowfood, Ramzaan, Festivalfood, Ramzaanspecialfood
by Tarannum Manjul
WHAT is the best thing about festivals?
Apart from meeting friends and family and spending some awesome time together, festivals are dominated by one thing - FOOD.
Whatever the religion be, each festival is characterized with a special cuisine that rules the mood of that festival.
The Holy month of Ramzaan or Ramadaan is on and the month is known not just for fasting or Roza, but feasting as well, especially after the roza ends with the Iftaar. Across the globe one can find a host of dishes that are prepared especially during this month. And what can be a better way to savour these dishes than to host a Ramzaan special food festival.
This is exactly what Lebua, one of the finest heritage hotels in Lucknow has done. To celebrate the month and capture the true essence, the hotel has organised "Flavours of Ramzaan", a food promotion dedicated to the dishes from across the globe, that are synonymous with Ramzaan. The festival is organised at AZRAK, the all-day dining facility, and starts at the time of Iftaar in the evening and goes on till 11 p.m.
One with Chef Mohsin
Chef Mohsin Qureshi, executive chef at Lebua hotels and resorts is the man behind this splendid festival that also brings some rare delicacies. “It is interesting to see how different dishes make their presence in different countries during Ramzaan. Haleem or Khichda is a popular dish with almost all Islamic countries. But the Haleem from Hyderabad is totally different from Haleem in Karachi. The Biryanis are too have a different recipe altogether when made during Ramzaan. You will not find the Ramzaan wali Biryani on Eid, there is always a difference in flavours,” Mohsin tells you.
The festival indeed is a heaven for all non-vegetarian lovers. After all, where will you find Biryani, Nihari, Chicken Dishes, Kebabs, a host of rare breads that are only available on order, on one table? “We have tried to bring the best of Ramzaan cuisine together,” says Mohsin, as he gets busy guiding his kitchen team (most of whom are rozedaars themselves) for the day.
Here are some of the dishes that are on offing at the fest. The starters are a host of kebabs that promise to be a complete meal in itself. Galauti or Galawati kebab, Shami Kebab, Mughlai Chicken Tikka, Afghani Chicken and some rare street based dishes like Chapli Kebab & Majlisi Kebab transport you to a gastronomical ecstasy. For vegetarians, they even have the Hare Bhare kebab.
For Biryani lovers, the Paye Ki Biryani is a must try. A delicacy from the neighbouring city of Kanpur, Paye ki Biryani (rice dish made with trotters of goat) is a more spicier option than the Awadhi Biryani. Team it with the Nihari and your taste buds will be on a roller coaster ride. For Chicken lovers, there is Murgh Chandi Kaliyan which is a fusion of Punjabi and Awadhi cuisine.
No food festival on Ramzaan can be complete without Haleem. While North India has Khichda, Hyderabad has Haleem which is essentially Ramzaan. But chef Mohsin takes a step further and presents Karachi Haleem from across the border. This one is softer in texture and has stronger spices in comparison to its Indian counterpart. One can also enjoy the Lebanese Shawarma during the fest.
Murgh Chandi Kaliyan / Copyright Tarannum Manjul
For teaming up with these delicacies, the kitchen also has a host of breads like the usual Roomali Roti, Sheermal and Warqi Parantha. But the show stoppers are delicacies like Baqarkhani Roti and Roghani Naan that one can find on streets till late in the night during Ramzaan only.
|Nihari / Copyright Tarannum Manjul|
After a hearty meal, head to the desserts counter for that has some traditional dishes too. The Feni Pista reminds you of Feni from the Delhi 6 or Jama Masjid area, while the Kheer has that traditional homely feels.
The fest is on till Chaand Raat or a day before EID and special arrangements can be made for Sehri as well. A buffet dinner is priced at INR 1100 ++.