After closure of slaughter houses, nihari in Lucknow gets a chicken avatar! | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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After closure of slaughter houses, nihari in Lucknow gets a chicken avatar!

Tunday Kababi that serves world famous galauti kababs was first to replace its popular buffalo meat kababs with chicken ones.

lucknow Updated: May 16, 2017 16:40 IST
Oliver Fredrick
Nihari

Chicken nihari being served in old Lucknow. (HT Photo)

The city’s iconic eateries, famous for their ‘Oudhi nihari’ prepared from buffalo meat and mutton, have now started serving the dish prepared from chicken in wake of the ongoing ‘meat crisis’ in UP. This switchover, they said, is the ‘need of an hour’.

Tunday Kababi that serves world famous galauti kababs was first to replace its popular buffalo meat kababs with chicken ones. Others have followed suit and have started experimenting with chicken dishes.

“The only option left with the eateries here is either to remain closed till buffalo meat is available or go with dishes made from mutton and chicken that are more or less available,” said a restaurant owner.

Mubeens is perhaps the first to start selling chicken nihari. “Buffalo meat is not available, hence we replaced it with chicken,” said Shoeb Rizwan Quraishi, owner of the outlet, which was established in early 1970s.

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  • “The only option left with the eateries here is either to remain closed till buffalo meat is available or go with dishes made from mutton and chicken,” said a restaurant owner.
  • Mubeens is perhaps the first to start selling chicken nihari. “Buffalo meat is not available, hence we replaced it with chicken,” said Shoeb Rizwan Quraishi, owner of the outlet.
  • “It is proving to be the best replacement for buffalo meat nihari. But the costing cannot be matched. Buffalo meat nihari costs Rs 50 whereas chicken nihari is for Rs 85 (half plate). It is expensive, but we don’t have any option as buffalo meat is still a scarce commodity in UP,” he added.

“It is proving to be the best replacement for buffalo meat nihari. But the costing cannot be matched. Buffalo meat nihari costs Rs 50 whereas chicken nihari is for Rs 85 (half plate). It is expensive, but we don’t have any option as buffalo meat is still a scarce commodity in UP,” he added.

He said the ongoing buffalo meat crisis has severely affected families who often find it hard to bear the cost of mutton/chicken nihari. “I still remember the happy faces of families that used to dine at our outlet at just Rs 140,” he added.

Other than Mubeens, the other eateries in and around Akbari gate famous for Oudhi cuisines too have switched to chicken nihari. “The switch over (from buffalo meat to chicken/mutton) was much needed to provide livelihood to hundreds of labourers engaged in the food business,” said owners of some eateries. They said there is not much change in the taste of nihari after the switchover.

The chefs, however, have a different opinion. “Use of chicken in making nihari is sheer tampering of the traditional recipe. Nihari is a delicacy made from buffalo/mutton shanks and is cooked along with some select spices and herbs on slow fire, possibly overnight to give the unique taste. Such kind of preparation with chicken is unimaginable,” said Izzat Hussain, an eminent chef and an expert in traditional Oudhi cuisines.

Hussain said nihari used to be the labourers’ food, which later evolved into a speciality. “It was said that during the nawab era, buffalo shanks used to be cooked overnight to provide enough protein to labourers at work. It was started in the early 18th century when Oudh was hit by famine.”