What really makes Lucknow’s Tunde Kababi such a legend?

Lucknow is particularly loved for its meaty delights – especially its succulent kebabs (Galouti, Tunde, Boti and Chapli). The love affair between kebabs and Lucknow city goes back centuries in time. Historians believe that minced meat wonders were relished as a staple breakfast in 14th century Awadh. But it was only in the 17th century, that the kebabs of Awadh saw a revolution of sorts, and we all have a toothless king to thank for this. The story of Tunde Kebab from Lucknow starts from the beginning of the last century when a small shop opened at the Akbari Gate in 1905 for the first time.

The Delicious Story of Tunde Ke Kebab:

The story of Tunde Kebab is more than a century old. According to 70-year-old Rais Ahmed, the shop owner, his ancestors used to have in charge of the kitchen (khansamah) for the Nawab of Bhopal. Indeed, the Nawab was very fond of eating and drinking, but with growing age, his teeth left him. But even with the rising age and teeth, the Nawab and his Begum’s habit of eating and drinking have no bearing on them. At that time he ordered his khansamah to make such kebab which can be eaten easily without teeth. For such a kebab, grinding the meat very well and mixing it with papaya is done which dissolves after putting it in the mouth. Spices were mixed by keeping the stomach up and choosing it in the taste. After this Haji family came to Lucknow from Bhopal and started a small shop in the street near Akbari Gate. The fame of Haji’s kebabs spread so fast that people from all over the city started coming to taste kebabs here. The effect of this fame was that soon these kebabs got the status of ‘Awadh’s Shahi Kabab’.

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Tunde name of these kebabs?

Tunde kabab is so named because it was the specialty of a one-armed chef. There is also an interesting story behind the tunde name of these kebabs. Basically, tunde means not having a hand or one-handed person. Raees Ahmed’s Waleed Haji Murad Ali was very fond of blowing kites. Once he broke his hand in the kite rotation which had to be cut later. Murad Ali started to sit with the father at the shop. The customers who used to eat kebabs here, Tunde’s kebab began to speak because he operate with his one hand only, and from here the name fell to Tunde Ke Kebab. Haji Rais says that the same spices are used today in the kebab which was done a hundred years ago. It is said that no one can know its recipes, so they are bought from different shops and then in a closed room in the house, male members prepare them by sorting them out. Some of these spices are also imported from Iran and other countries. The Haji family yet not told anyone the secret ingredients behind spices not even the daughters of their families.

It takes two to two and a half hours to make the kebab. These kebabs also treat the neem hakim because it is beneficial for the stomach. These kebabs are eaten with bananas. Parathas are also prepared in such a way that Ghee, Milk, Almond and Egg are prepared in addition to the flour. Those who have eaten once they become crazy. It is worth mentioning that Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has often called the team that makes tunde during various events in his home (Mannat) in Mumbai. Anupam Kher, Asha Bhosle, Suresh Raina Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and lots of stars are among their big fans.

The special thing is that the publicity of tunde kebabs is of course all over the world, but the Haji family has kept their prices low even today, that there is not much impact on the pocket of a common man. The family’s attention was to earn more fame than riches. There was a time when ten kebabs were found in one penny.

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Strictly changing environments on illegal slaughterhouses:

The identity of Awadhi flavors Tunde kebab of Lucknow is famous all over the world but the blessings of the new Yogi Government of Uttar Pradesh are not happy for Tunde Kebab. This special shop of Lucknow was closed for the first time in 112 years. Buffalo meat is used to make tunde kebabs, but due to the illegal slaughterhouse closed in UP, the supply of meat has affected the entire state. This is the reason why chicken is being used now in this special dish. The news of the shutdown of the Tunde Kebab shop was a media headlines across the country, people were surprised that the news of the closure of a dish shop was found so much in the media. In the 112-year-old shop, people came from far away, they wanted to see  what is so special about this tunde kabab.

The special thing is that no one other than Haji Ji’s family does know about the special method of making it and the spices used in it. More than one hundred spices are added to the kebab. This is the reason, that the taste of kebab that is found here is nowhere else in the whole country.

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How ‘2-Minute Maggie’ becomes India’s favorite snack?

Maggi noodle was launched in 1984 by Nestle. In 1980s, instant noodles was an entirely new category, the challenge was to establish an entirely new product and yet find a relevant consumption benefit in the market. Maggi was, therefore, positioned as snack made for children who like to experiment food and was billed as a ‘fast to cook and good to eat snack’.

“Mummy Bhook Lagi – Bas 2-Minute” was a rendition of this approach. It fit well with the mother’s child caring relationship. These ads became so popular that “Bas 2-Minute” instantly reminded Indian consumers of Maggi noodles and the Rs. 2.50 per 100gm Maggi was an instant success.

Health Factor was gaining importance in those days. Several other brands like Hindustan Unilever launched the Knorr Soupy noodles for a healthy afternoon snacking option. Maggi did not want to stay behind, It rolled out a new noodle with a multi-grain variant called Multigrainz and aggressively advertised it as a nutritious food for kids. Maggi tops it all by being the market leader with the maximum share in its bowl.

A journey of Maggi in India:

Year 1984: Nestlé India announced the launch of its MAGGI of India Noodles range.

Year 1997: Nestle changed the taste of Maggi noodles, but it proved to be a failure.

Year 1999: Maggi reintroduces the old formulation and revived sales with the punchline “Fast to Cook, Good to Eat”.

Year 2000: Maggi noodles became the leader in instant noodles space.

Year 2005: Marketing strategy to keep Maggi brand fresh and as a healthy product with its tagline “Health Bhi, Taste Bhi” with the launch of Maggi Atta noodles.

Year 2009: Maggi celebrates 25 years of Maggi noodles with “Me and Meri Maggi” campaign and the launch of Maggi Pazzta.

>>>>— Me and Meri Maggi campaign invited consumers to share their Maggi moments. As a part of this promotional drive, magi launched a website, where the consumer could upload their Maggi moments and their favorite Maggi recipes or stories hit with the company will get a chance to be featured on Maggi packets or ads.—<<<<

Year 2012: Amitabh Bachchan has been made the brand ambassador of Maggi. Maggi’s Do minute Mein Khushiyan with Amitabh Bachchan was launched in 2012. Maggi had generally stayed away from the celebrity endorsements. In general, mother and child have been the celebrities for Maggi for the longest time. With its only exceptions, when Preity Jinta promoted the Rs.5 Chotu Maggi and the family packs.

Year 2015: A year of crisis for Maggi in India. A three-decade-long relationship was at stake, Maggi went down to zero in just a month. A nationwide ban was imposed on Maggi by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) due to high amount of lead found and No MSG label on its back that didn’t match with the safety standard. Prior to the ban, Maggi owned nearly 80% of the market share in the instant noodles segment. In the blink of an eye, its share plummeted to zero.

It was a state of emergency for Nestle India. The company was neither prepared for it nor did it have any immediate plan of action to overcome it. It only played with fire by initially denying the allegations of a hazardous composition of Maggi. But when it was proven guilty for the second time, the customers were furious. Maggi was losing not only its market share but also credibility. Nestle announced a recall of all its instant noodles from the markets and destroy 27000 tonnes (400 million packets having a valuation of 320 crores) of Maggi within forty days.

Year 2016: Nestle India relaunched Maggi in the market. Nestle India said all samples of Maggi Noodles Masala have been cleared by three National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories-accredited labs as mandated by the Bombay High Court.

Big B in the new campaign is a storyteller who narrates the stories given by the consumers. The aim is to bring back the segments of consumers who moved away from the brand since they have grown up. A powerful celebrity as a brand ambassador adds a big boost which is the need of the hour for Maggi with so many competitors around. The problem with such a heritage brand is that communication becomes boring over a period of time and it needs the right energy to move ahead and face the competition.

Maggi has captured the hearts of millions in India again because it understands the needs of people and manages to meet these demands. For example, in the 1980s, when there was a huge increase in the number of women joining the workforce, Nestle India introduced Maggi 2 Minute Noodles to the Indian crowd.

This is how Maggi revolutionized the instant food industry, particularly the instant noodles segment. When eating habits of people changed, Maggi tweaked its products to include low-fat bouillons. When Maggi was launched in India in the 1980s, there was no direct competition from instant noodle brands. However, there was competition from other snacks that Indians had been fond of for decades, and these included samosas, pakoras, and sandwiches.

However, most of these snacks are purchased from roadside stalls and are relatively unhygienic and unhealthy. So, Maggi positioned itself as the only hygienic homemade brand. It decided to target working women who did not have much time to prepare elaborate meals in the kitchen. However, Maggi realized later, through surveys, that children were the largest consumers of Maggi noodles. And then Maggi repositioned its brand towards the kid’s segment and included various promotional tools such as sketch pens, color pencils, and fun books to entice children. And this worked wonders for the brand.

Due to its promotional activities, Maggi’s annual growth grew by 15% during its initial years, and today, Maggi is the leading brand in the instant noodles segment in India, with a market share of 79.3%. in its bowl.

Being a pioneer in the noodles market in India has definitely given Maggi a boost and first mover’s advantage over other brands. Maggi is slowly but surely widening its market to reach out to more and more people. Maggi’s products come in travel packs as well as bulk packs, to cater to those who look for convenience while traveling and those who are price sensitive and prefer to purchase food in bulk.

Maggi is one of the few brands to have taken the time to understand its consumers and their requirements, that is why it is no. 1 choice and of course the most successful brands, not only in India but in the world.

The Origin and Cooking Techniques of Awadhi Cuisine

The origin land for Awadhi Cuisine or Lucknowi Cuisine is the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow and its nearby places. In the early stages, the British termed Awadh as “oudh” which was derived from “Ayodhya”, a region in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This region was ruled by many rulers but the history was made during the reign of “Nawab of Awadh“. Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula was the first known ruler of Lucknow who began to change the city into a city of culture and enhance its cuisine. During his time is when they had gastronome of cuisine and many cooks began to arrive. During those days the experience cooks who cooked food for big gatherings in large quantities called “Bawarchis” who were brilliant at what they do. At that time lots of competition has happened where cooks used to compete with each other to show their culinary skills by providing with a wide variety of food to please their Masters (Daroga-e-Bawarchikhana).

It takes an Awadhi chef a long time to properly understand how to correctly use spices, how to select, toast and blend the spices together to create a proper flavour. It is much harder than it sounds. There are easily fifty spices used regularly, but in total it’s more than 150. The most common are Hing, Liquorice, Black Peppercorn, clove, Caraway Seeds, Cumin, Coriander, Chilies, Fenugreek, cinnamon, saffron, green cardamom, and mace.

‘Dastarkhwan’ is where people sit around and enjoy the food prepared by the bawarchis. This is the place dining spread is laid ceremonially. It is said that the richness of Awadh cuisine not only lies in the variety but the type of ingredient used to make the dish.

Some of their authentic cooking techniques include:

  1. Baghar:

    Baghar is a method of tempering a dish with spices in hot oil or ghee when making any curry dish. Tempering is done before the curry is made or before any dal preparation with the help of a ladle at last to give a finishing taste.

  2. Dhungar/ Dhunger:

    A smoking procedure used to flavor meat dishes, dals, and rice. A live coal is placed in the center of a betel leaf or shallow onion peel and placed along with the other ingredients to smoke it.

  3. Dum Dena:

    Dum means breathe, the process is done by cooking in a sealed large pot, wherein a semi-cooked ingredient is placed in a vessel which is cooked over slow charcoal fire. One of the famous dish cooked by this process is Biryani or Dum Pukht Biryani.

  4. Galavat/ Galawat:

    The process of adding softening agents to meat in order to tenderize it. One such preparation is Galavati Kebab. Papain, Kalmi Shora are few softening agents which are used in this process.

  5. Ghee Durust Karna:

    This is the process of removing the raw flavor from the ghee or oil so that it does not overpower the flavor and aroma of the dish. The ghee is reduced after adding the kevra water and cardamom and then stored after straining it for further use.

  6. Loab:

    It is a term used to refer a final stage of cooking when the oil used in the cooking rises at the surface and floats on the top giving a finished appearance to the dish. Roganjosh is one such preparation in which oil floats at the top after the dish is done.

  7. Moin:

    The process of shortening a dough by kneading the flour with fat. This makes the final product crisp and flaky. This process is used to make parathas and pooris.

  8. Gile Hikmat:

    A Persian influenced method where the whole meat is stuffed with nuts and spices and wrapped using a banana leaf, covered with a clay and buried deep about 4-6 inches deep, a slow fire is then placed on top for cooking. It is cooked for about 6-7 hours.

  9. Ittr:

    Using perfume in many dishes is the key factor in Lucknowi cuisine, mainly they use perfume taken from the musk deer.

The Lucknow dastarkhwan would not be complete unless it had the following dishes:

  1. Qorma (braised meat in thick gravy)

  2. Salan (a gravy dish of meat or vegetable)

  3. Qeema (minced meat)

  4. Kababs (pounded meat fried or roasted over a charcoal fire)

  5. Bhujia (cooked vegetables),

  6. Pasinda (fried slivers of very tender meat in gravy)

  7. Gullati (rice pudding)

  8. Kheer (milk sweetened and boiled with whole rice to a thick consistency)

  9. Sheer khurma (a rich, sweet rice dish boiled in milk)

  10. Muzaffar (vermicelli fried in ghee and garnished with saffron)

As we dig deep into the Lucknowi Cuisine we discover the Characteristic taste and flavors of this region, this will make you recreate the authentic flavors of the Awadhi cuisine at your kitchen. It is often said that Awadhi cuisine is Mughlai cuisine but it is not, Awadhi cuisine may have a slight influence from Mughal but both the cuisine varies. Awadhi cuisine is one of the old & richest cuisines of India has now become limited in a small region.

History of Authentic Mughlai Recipes | India Canteen

In the 16th century, Mughlai recipes originated in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Emperor Babur. Authentic Mughlai recipes were rich and cooked with aromatic spices, nuts, and dry fruits during that time in Indian history. The flavors of Mughlai can range from mild to spicy and are associated with their distinct aroma and use of whole, dried and ground spices.

Evolution & Distinct Features:

The autobiography of Babur named ‘Babarnama’ mention about various Mughlai recipe items including Kebab prepared out of sheep. Authentic Mughlai recipes have an extreme influence on the culinary styles and regional cuisines of present-day India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and its cooking style are applied in traditional Indian Cuisine, particularly in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh as also in the South Indian city of Hyderabad. The cuisine also marks its influence in Karachi (Pakistan), especially among Muhajir who migrated from different regions of India during the Partition of India and Pakistan. The Mughal cooking techniques also had a deep influence in the Awadh region which eventually led to the development of the Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).

The Mughals were Muslims by religion and thus did not eat pork and as Hindus did not consume beef thus meat of these two was not a part of Mughlai cuisine. The primary non-vegetarian dishes would comprise of meat of goat, sheep, and venison. The most special feature of Mughlai cuisine is the unique use of ground and whole spices and the remarkable aroma that gives each dish a different and exotic taste. Extensive use of dairy products like milk, cream, and butter in various gravies and curries makes the traditional Mughlai cuisines quite rich and heavy and also make the dishes mouth-watering with foodies ending up licking their fingers.

Making of Indian Mughlai Food

The making of Mughlai food is likely time-consuming and involves a number of flavored sauces and butter based curries. Nowadays most Indian restaurants convert Mughlai dishes as mild to medium-hot cream and nut-based gravies, rice dishes with lots of nuts, dried fruits, and rich creamy desserts where you should expect spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg. These famous Mughlai gravies pair well with rice and bread.

The Mughlai dishes vary with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, common dishes that feature traditional Mughlai flavors include biryani, kebabs, kofta (meatballs), pulao (or pilaf), and different tandoori items. Examples of these traditional dishes include Mughlai chicken, Mughlai biryani, Mughlai paratha, malai kofta, reshmi kebab, kadhai gosht, and murg tandoor. A wide range of traditional Mughlai sweet dishes like bread pudding shahi tukra, barfi, kalakand, and falooda.

Let us have a quick look at some of the most famous recipes:-

Popular Mughlai Dishes:

Biryani:

Biryani is a mixed rice made with aromatic spices and seasonings among other ingredients and prepared with great accuracy giving it a yummy and exotic taste. There are two major categories of Biryani like vegetarian and non-vegetarian that vary in ingredients used according to different regions they belong to or according to the meat used. Hyderabadi Biryani is the most famous variety of Biryani, also a signature dish of the Hyderabadi Muslims. The vegetarian biryani is also called Tehari. It was developed so that the Hindu who works for the Muslim Sultans can taste this rice delicacy.

Haleem:


Haleem also known as Khichra is a very famous casserole prepared with wheat, barley, lentils, rich spices, rice, and meat. This dish is cooked very slowly that takes up to seven to eight hours and ensures a fine blend of all the ingredients to give it a perfect paste-like consistency. This dish is a street food and occupies a special place across the globe during the months of Ramadan and Muharram.

Mughlai Paratha:

Mughlai Paratha is prepared with whole-wheat flour stuffed with a mix of ingredients including keema or minced meat, eggs, chopped onions, green chili and pepper among others. This bread delicacy remained among many Mughlai cuisines that made their way to the undivided Bengal and today counts among the most popular heavy snacks items of Kolkata, India as well as in Bangladesh.

Murg Musallam:


Murg Musallam is one of the most exquisite Mughlai dishes that according to sources was a favorite dish of the Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq of Delhi at that time and also remained popular among the royal Awadhi Mughal families. The dish comprises of a whole chicken prepared with different spices and seasonings with the main ingredients like egg, tomato, ginger, and onion.

Navratan Korma:


Navratan Korma is a vegetarian delicacy from the Mughal kitchen, a vegetarian korma that is prepared out of vegetables, nuts, and paneer. Navratan means nine gems and this dish is usually prepared out of nine different vegetables.

Kebabs:

The origin of the variety of Indian Kebabs that are usually eaten as snacks or starters trace back to the Mughalai cuisine that includes appetizing dishes like Boti Kabab and Reshmi Kebab. Traditionally each of these dishes based on grilled meat has a distinct set of ingredients including an exclusive combination of spices and unique cooking procedures. With time, cooking procedures including grilling and roasting developed in preparing varied forms of kebabs, some of the popular ones being shish kebab, shammi kebab, doner kebab, Tunde ke kebab, and tikka kebab.

Rogan Josh:


Rogan Josh is originally a Persian lamb dish that was brought to Kashmir, India by the Mughals and has now become one of the staples of Kashmiri cuisine. Traditionally it is a gravy dish comprising of braised lamb chunks prepared with browned onions, ginger, garlic, and yogurt and seasoned with spices like clove, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves.

Pasanda:

Another delicacy from the royal Mughal kitchen is Pasanda, the name of which is probably derived from the Urdu word ‘pasande’ which means favorite. It is traditionally a rich lamb curry made of lamb legs that are flattened into strips and marinated with ingredients like chili powder, yogurt and a combination of spices for hours. The marinated lamb legs are then fried with other ingredients like onions, coriander, and chilies among others.

Sweet Dishes/Desserts:

Kulfi:


Kulfi is a popular frozen dairy-based dessert that probably originated in the 16th century during the Mughal Empire. The term Kulfi is derived from a Persian word which means a covered cup. It is a mixture of thickened milk seasoned with saffron and pistachios that is frozen in a metal cone and later served with falooda, a kind of noodles prepared from starch, and garnished with pistachio nuts, saffron and ground cardamom.

Sheer Khurma/Korma:


It is a very popular Muslim vermicelli pudding that is prepared during festivals like Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The main ingredients of this dish, the name of which literally means milk with dates, are whole milk, vermicelli, dates, and sugar, while rose water, almonds, raisins, pistachios, saffron, cloves, and cardamom are added depending on the choice of the region.

Firni:

Firni is a kind of rice pudding that is set and served in a shallow earthen dish. This rice-based sweet is garnished with saffron, pistachios and chopped almonds.

Shahi Tukra:

Shahi Tukra is a rice bread pudding that is especially prepared during Muslim festivals like Eid and on the month of Ramadan. The ingredient of this delicious dessert includes bread, dry fruits, and condensed milk and is seasoned with cardamom.