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Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005

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An A for Awadh


HERE IS a pop quiz - what is common between Hyderabad and Lucknow? The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind - the Nawabs.

If the Hyderabadi biryani is our pride then the Awadhi cuisine, which rose to incredible gustatory heights is all thanks to Lucknowi aristocracy. Legend has it that in 18th Century, Nawab Shuja Ud Daula spent Rs. 7 lakh a year on his personal bawarchi khana! With time and expense not issue, Awadhi cuisine revelled in slow cooking and delicate seasoning. There were dishes that would take 110 ingredients - the chief ones being cardamom, mace, cumin and saffron. Awadhi cuisine is not complete without its kormas, salans, kheema and of course kebabs. For winter there is paya and shorba to go with naans.

The whole concept of dum (pressure), originated in Awadhi cuisine with biryanis being cooked in earthenware, sealed with dough and getting done in its own steam - see we had pressure cookers right then! Since we now live in democratic times, the royal cuisine of Awadh is available to us at Kebab-E-Bahar at Taj Banjara. Chef Haleem Qureshi, special flown in, for the festival is sure to floor us with the incredible flavours and tastes.

After indulging in the shorbas, the kebabs, the salans and the biryani do not forget the sweet side story where you can pamper your sweet tooth with divine stuff like Rabri Lachhedaar.

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