Have you explored the Ramadan-special midnight food market in Lucknow's Chowk & Aminabad yet?

Have you explored the Ramadan-special midnight food market in Lucknow's Chowk & Aminabad yet?

You can not claim to be a true Lucknowite if you have never been to the annual food market that is whipped out every Ramadan in Lucknow's chowk and Aminabad Market!

They say food is an essential part of celebrations across the world irrespective of culture, tradition or religion, and this is cent per cent true for us Lucknowites. This Land of Nawabs and Kebabs is known for its delectable Awadhi cuisine and in Ramadan (aka Ramzan)- the auspicious month before Eid, the festive regalia is heightened to match the fervour of the city folks! With Navratris coinciding with Ramzan this year, the festivities and celebration have been amped up like never before.

Lucknow's food market shines in full glory after 2 years!

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After two consecutive dull years, due to COVID, the markets at Chowk and Aminabad are finally back which is giving us all the nostalgic calming-chaotic feels (if that makes any sense?). This year, the food markets have become all the more inclusive in Lucknow, showcasing its true-blue Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb!

The vendors at the food market in Chowk & Aminabad included various non-vegetarian, vegetarian and Navratri-special dishes to cater to the varied requirement of the city.

Special offerings during Navratri & Ramzan

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To make sure people get what they want, some food vendors are even offering Navratri-special food like 'Sabudana kheer' and to give that special Nawabi touch, it is embellished with malai and rabri. According to Bharat Lal, who sells this kheer at Akbari Gate, customers usually come at night to get the kheer packed for the next day.

"We make sure that the food is hygienically prepared and adheres to fasting norms," added Lal.

Coming back to another special sweet treat, Tullu, the owner of Tullu Sweets in Nazirabad says, "Our special Shahi Tukda is available only during Ramzan. It takes about eight hours to prepare the delicacy and we make 50 pieces daily which are sold out in an hour."

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In Aminabad, there are certain special offerings for those who are fasting these days. Badri Lal, a fourth-generation vendor at Aminabad has dedicated dishes for his customers who are fasting during Navratri and Ramzan. "We have special kulfi and sharbat for those fasting during Navratri. The sherbet is made from khus (Poppy seeds) and kheer is made with 'Samak rice'," says Badri Lal.

To cater to his Muslim customers who don't even drink water during the day, Badri prepares dishes with 'sabza' seeds which are said to be a natural coolant.

Spotted out on a food trail, Rithik Swarup, a young bank officer said, "I am fasting during Navratri so I cannot take non-vegetarian food but I come here to savour the vegetarian and sweets food items that are available during Ramzan". Among his favourites is the pink Kashmiri chai, 'Gond ka halwa', Shahi Tukda and the special 'Kulhad kheer' which comes in earthen pots.

The Land of Kebabs!

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Honestly, a food trail in Lucknow is incomplete without its authentic non-vegetarian Mughlai dishes and when in Chowk and Aminabad, it's only obvious to talk about the biryani, kulcha-nihari and sheermal-kebabs! Touted to be the most famous non-vegetarian delicacy of Lucknow, Rahim's Kulcha-Nihari is a big hit during Ramadan.

It won't be a hyperbole to say that food really unites all, and if you want to see this for yourself, head out to either of these markets after midnight and you will know why!

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