Saturday, March 05, 2011

Muskuraiye. Aap Lucknow mein hain !!

The best part about life is that it is full of surprises.Surprises which make you feel good about the small decisions you take.surprises which bring the best moments in your life. My decision to take 5-day training in Lucknow turned out to be one such pleasant surprise.

6 people from 6 different projects from 3 different locations,we met for first time in Lucknow. And till the last day, all of us explored Lucknow like we were on recce for some food documentary.These 6 days were enough to make us understand that Lucknow truly is city of nawab, kebab and shabab. : D and also of statues and mayawati.We all were there for official work so mornings were of company and evenings were of ‘my time’ for everyone. I love food. ‘Acha khaana khaane ke liye hum kahin bhi jaa sakte hain’. and thats what inspired everyone to make a move every single day out of campus to enjoy *food-e-nawabi*. Taking you through journey of our exploration and not taking gurantee on how you feel at the end.lengthy post but very short one if you ask me to write everything.

Lucknow Food Diary:

Day 1: Dastarkhwan in Parivartan Chowk was our first stop. First day in Lucknow and we  took two autos and asked the auto-wallah to take us to any good place. He dropped us outside tulsi theatre and asked us to check out places near by.we saw this place and thought of trying it. Our thought was good and food was awesome. One great advantage of going in group of foodies is that you order anything and everything.We ordered first six items in the menu. One for each one. From ‘galauti’ to ‘shammi’ to ‘seekh’ to ‘kakori’ all the kebabs were yummylicious. To go to Lucknow and not try all the kebabs is a photos clicked since we just met each other and weren't planning to actually have a foodie tour. 

Just to play safe with our respective stomachs, we decided to try other stuff from day 2.

Day 2 Evening. Stomach status check: all is well. Destination: Hazratganj.
Hazratganj is probably the only place in India where you will see all brands and logos in one color combination: black and white. Be it Café coffee day or blackberry or any other brand, every hoarding in the shopping area was black and white and roads and footpath were well constructed with bench on every few meters to take rest which is quite impressive considering the impression Uttar Pradesh gives in news.Our first stop was Royal Café. My first thought, it’s a lounge. I am wrong. It’s a local chat shop and famous for its ‘basket chaat’. We all had ‘fountain batasha’ which is nothing but lucknawi name for golgappe or paani-puri.

And then we all had world famous ‘basket chaat’ which was INCREDIBLE and DELICIOUS and FINGERLICKING GOOD. A basket made of fried sev and ‘tikki, dahi bhalla, paapdi, loads of khatti-meethi chutney and dahi’ added to it. must must eat when in lucknow.Next stop Moti Mahal.just 50 steps from royal café, this shop is famous for its ‘matar tikki’,‘falooda’,’rabdi’,’emarti’, ‘badam milk’ and ‘ras malai’. Yes, we ordered all of them and tried and tasted everything on their menu. Yet another discovery and another place you should not miss out.'falooda’ and ‘matar tikki’ tops my charts there. From Moti Mahal, we all went to ‘Mint’ in Arif Castles. This lounge was recommended to each one of us by our friends. Our group was a tea-totaller so no drinks taken. Food was pretty average; Sheesha (Hukkah) was good, Ambience pretty good. Resulted in good time pass for around two hours and our group of trainers became a gang. Quick visit to ‘tunday’s kabab’ in Sahara ganj mall happened and all kebabs and few dishes tried out. What we heard of tundey’s and what it turned out was bit of conflict but then we were asked to check out the original shop in aminabad to resolve this. which eventually happened the next day.

Day 3. Back to Hazrat Ganj. Back to Moti Mahal. Back to ‘falooda’ ‘emarti’ ‘tikkis’ and ‘ras malai’. 100 steps from the place and on the opposite side, there is one batasha stall. Famous for his water of 5 types. And everyone just jumped on it. Full on fun. Next stop a popular dahi bhalle stall near GPO. Few metres away from Ganj is this stall which serves super-tasty dahi bhalle and chilla. After so much of oil and kebab stuff, yummy dahi bhalle were awesome. We had one. And two. And three plates before we moved to aminabad to try the original tunday’s kebabs. First look at the shop and we wondered what’s so special in it. Soon we realized that something definitely is there and the aroma and taste of kebabs especially the galauti kebabs is different. We had kebabs with sheermal which is an orange colored parantha sweet n salty in taste. Followed by awadhi kheer.slurp.slurp.Bill for 6 people came out to be a shocker since we are not used to give 600 bucks for such a treat.

Day 4 Due to fantastic knock of sachin tendulkar and India scoring decent score, our committee decided to stay back and enjoy the match. so this diary entry has no food to write about on DAY 4. :)

Day 5 Lucknow being hometown for one team-mate so he invited everyone to his place and then have dinner together. That’s where the ‘Nawab’ style and quotient was witnessed and experienced. Free flowing conversations and interesting talks with gang and his parents and stupendous dinner at Barbeque Nation turned out to be a memorable one. We have had team dinners at BBQ but much fun in this one. We started at 10.and continued till 12.30 and were last to come out of the restaurant. Must try the goan fish curry, dum biryani, barbeque snacks are standard everywhere but main-course had bit of Lucknow touch in dishes. I term it as Sexy Dinner since it was different ;)
 Day 6 Marksmen – The place one should try only if you are okay with experimentation. For a first look, it’s a shocker. Marksmen is famous for everything desi-fied. Especially Chinese food. We tried Marksmen special sandwich, marksmen special noodles, veg, cheese and chicken burger, and fried rice. Turned out to be gala treat for the stomach when we ordered vanilla shake with ice-cream. All this came under 100 bucks a person and 5 smiling faces were ready to shop at chowk. Went shopping and got decent stuff at pretty okay prices. Half the junta thinks we got looted. Rest think better shopping luck next time. ;)
“When men go shopping, last thing they do is bargaining. When women go shopping that’s the first thing they do.” :D :P

Day 7 Sweets bought from Moti Mahal and Chowdhary Sweet Shop and bid farewell to this food heaven.

Cheers Amit, Tushar , Sathya,Arthy and Pritish for such an amazing time.

Muskuraiye, abhi abhi aap lucknow ki sair kar ke aa rahe hain  !! :) 

Coming Soon : Lucknow Food Trip in Pics :) 

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Mind Factory

You wish for something.
You don't get it.
So you fight.
By the time you end your fight, you no longer want it.
and then you get it.
long after you wished for it.
Excitement comes and leaves.
In few moments.
Life moves on.weird weird way how the mind and emotions work.