The 100-year old Tunde ke Kebab in Chowk is the most famous outlet for choicest Kebabs even today. Tunda Kebab is so named because it was a specialty of an one-armed chef. The uniqueness of this kebab is the masala which is a zealously guarded family secret and prepared by women in the family. It is said to incorporate 160 spices.
Kakori kebab is considered blessed since it was originally made in the place by the same name in the dargah of Hazrat Shah Abi Ahder Sahib with divine blessings.
The Shami Kebab was the most important of them all. Made from mince meat, with chopped onion and coriander and green chillies usually added to the mixture, the kebabs are round patties filled with spicy surprises and the tangy raw green mango. The best time to have them is May when the fruit of the mango tree is in its infancy. In other seasons the kairi can be substituted with kamrakh or karonda both having a tart flavour reminiscent of the raw mango. A variant made without any admixture or binding agents and comprising just the minced meat and the spices is the Galawat kebab.
An unusual offering is the Pasanda Kebab, piccata of lamb marinated and then sautéed on a griddle.
As wheat is the staple food of the state, breads are very significant. Breads are generally flat breads; only a few varieties are raised breads. The breads are of different types and made in various ways; Tandoori Naan, or naan baked in a tandoor, tandoori roti, kulcha, lachha paratha, sheer-maal, etc.
Winters are dedicated to halwas of all kinds which came from Arabia and Persia to stay in India. There are several varieties of these, prepared from different cereals, such as gram flour, sooji, wheat, nuts and eggs. The special halwa or halwa sohan which has four varieties, viz Papadi, Jauzi, Habshi and Dudhiya is prepared especially well in Lucknow.
The Jauzi Halwa Sohan is a hot favorite even today, but the art of preparing it is confined to only a few households. Prepared for the most part from germinated wheat, milk, sugar, saffron, nuts etc., it has love and patience as its vital ingredients.