Lucknow is dotted with large and small biryani (a layered rice dish) joints, especially in the lanes of Chowk and Aminabad. The Lakhnavi version is one of the richest and the most extensively prepared of all recipes of biryani. It was said to be a favourite of the nawabs of Lucknow. The word 'biryani' means fried and in this, rice is lightly fried and then cooked in mutton stock. Saffron and rose water accentuate the aroma, while the dum style of cooking lends a unique taste to the meat. Cashew nut paste, saffron, curd, star anise and mace powder are used to add flavour. The rice grains are allowed to soak in water for a longer time, ensuring they are soft and tender when mixed with the meat. The soul-satisfying Lakhnavi biryani is must-try when you’re in the land of the nawabs.  

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