Lucknowee from Impresario gets Awadhi cuisine right

Impresario’s third cloud kitchen brand Lucknowee pays homage to the royal kitchens of the Nawabs of Awadh. Enjoy the incredible flavours only dum pukht cooking can bring out, in the comfort of home.

In accordance with its plans to strengthen the delivery business, Impresario Handmade Restaurants has launched yet another cloud kitchen brand – Lucknowee. With this third delivery-only brand, Impresario has ventured into the realm of Indian cuisines.

The focus here is on Awadhi cuisine, including recipes from the royal kitchens of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the last king of Awadh. To further cement the connect between the rich legacy of this cuisine and its offerings, the brand naturally draws inspiration from the centre of Awadhi cuisine in the country – Lucknow. Awadhi cuisine might have Persian and Mughal influences but it was in Lucknow that the style of dum pukht or the art of slow cooking was perfected.

Lucknowee dum pukht mutton biryani
Lucknowee’s dum pukht mutton biryani hits the nail on the head with Awadhi cuisine. The flavours brought out can only be a result of the fine art of slow cooking.

Says Jaydeep Mukherjee, Head – Cloud Kitchens, Impresario Handmade Restaurants: “After BOSS Burger and Hung-Li, we bring our patrons an extensive menu of rich Awadhi food that is reminiscent of a bygone era. More and more consumers are opting for well-packaged, high-quality, and safe food delivery options, and Lucknowee satisfies cravings and whips up a feast fit for royalty. It is power-packed with flavours, crafted from the freshest ingredients, and there’s something for everyone on the menu.”

The delivery from Lucknowee arrived on a Friday, perfectly in sync with weekend plans to binge on some delicious food. The packaging, all paper and compostable plastic, proudly announces brand name with a beautifully designed logo and even has temperatures of the chef and the rider written down for peace of mind. With no spillages whatsoever, and names of dishes clearly written out on each container, I quickly set about transferring the food into home crockery.

Awadhi dal
The Awadhi dal is well balanced and avoids the overt sweetness of most such dishes that use cream in them.

To start off, there was murgh chakori kebab served with green chutney and onions. The kebabs, marinated in green chutney, were slightly charred in bits, a trademark of tandoor cooking, which added this wonderful smoky flavour. On the inside, the kebabs were juicy and moist, pairing perfectly with the hint of spice from the chutney.

The Awadhi dal reminded me of the ubiquitous dal makhni, but without the overt sweetness that comes from an excess of cream. It was a well-balanced and wholesome taste, one so good that even when I was done mopping up as much of it as possible with the ultey tawe ka paratha, I had to go back for seconds.

The main attraction, which I could identify from its distinct aroma even as I unwrapped the package first, was the Lucknowee mutton dum pukht biryani. Now this was an acid test. As much as I appreciate the many varieties of biryani across the country, having grown up in eastern India, I have a weakness for the Awadhi style of biryani. Sadly, nothing Mumbai has managed to offer me so far has matched the subtle yet remarkable flavours of the Awadhi biryani. We all know how important aroma is in the experience of a meal, and if the one wafting from this was anything to go by, I was in for a treat! Indeed, as I ripped into a piece of mutton, the meat melted in my mouth, releasing a burst of flavours that had permeated into it as it had cooked slowly for hours with the rice.

The slivers of nuts adds an interesting dimension to the texture of the creamy phirni. And the level of sweetness is just right, not too much nor too little.

Dessert was phirni, rich and creamy, with slivers of nuts peeping out and adding a refreshing crunch to its texture. I have to admit though, I was full to bursting by then, and saved most of the phirni for some Saturday indulgence. But there was also gulabi sharbat, which resembled a popular raspberry soda but unlike it, didn’t have the overwhelming flavours that seem to plague assembly-line soft drinks.

Overall, while I liked all the dishes, what seemed most encouraging to me is the fact that Lucknowee has got the Awadhi biryani spot-on. Dum pukht, after all, isn’t the easiest of culinary styles to master but here, the chefs of Impresario have hit the nail on the head. I can’t wait to explore the other options on the menu.

Lucknowee has started deliveries across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru. Order directly from the restaurant to get a 25 per cent discount and free delivery.

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