Taste buds tingle in Ramadan, Navratri in Lucknow

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Non-veg

Lucknow : It is past midnight in Chowk, known as the food hub of Lucknow.

Shops are open and people are thronging the various outlets that are setting the taste buds tingling.

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Hindus are fasting during Navratri and Muslims are observing ‘Roza’ but that does not stop either of them from satiating their taste buds.

“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 Ramadan,” says Rithik Swarup, a young bank officer.

Among his favourites are pink Kashmiri chai, ‘Gond ka halwa’, Shahi Tukda and ‘Kulhad kheer that comes in earthen pots.

Some food hubs have even started making special Navratri food like ‘Sabudana kheer’ that is embellished with ‘malai’ and ‘rabri’.

Bharat Lal, who sells this kheer at Akbari Gate, says that his customers come at night and get the kheer packed for the following day.

“We make sure that the food is hygienically prepared and adheres to fasting norms,” he adds.

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.”

He says more than Muslims, he has Hindu customers lining up for the delicacy.

Rahim kulcha and ‘nihari’ are among the most famous non-vegetarian delicacies of Lucknow.

Mansoor Ahmad, the shop owner, says that sales have been affected because of Navratri because Hindus are avoiding non-vegetarian food.

“After Ram Navami on April 10 when Navratri ends, there will be a surge in sales because our Hindu customers will be back,” he says.

In Aminabad, another food hub, shops remain open till well past midnight to cater to Hindu as well as Muslim customers.

“We have special kulfi and sharbats for those fasting during Navratri. The sharbats are made from khus (Poppy seeds) and kheer is made with ‘samak rice’,” says Badri Lal whose three generations are in the business.

For Muslims, Badri prepares dishes with ‘sabza’ seeds that are a natural coolant.— IANS

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