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‘Lucknow has more to offer than just galawati and nihari’

Celebrity chef Ranveer Brar proudly credits his hometown Lucknow for his success. But at the same time he is deeply concerned with how the food scenario is shaping up in the city of nawabs.

lucknow Updated: Sep 20, 2018 13:30 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow,Uttar Pradesh,Ranveer Brar
Today, wherever I go and meet all just relate the city with galawati kebabs. Lucknow is much more than this.(HT Photo)

Celebrity chef Ranveer Brar proudly credits his hometown Lucknow for his success. But at the same time he is deeply concerned with how the food scenario is shaping up in the city of nawabs.

“I fear that we are going the Hyderabad way! The erstwhile capital of Nizams is now just indentified with biryani or maybe patthar ka gosht. I hope and pray that same does not happens with Lucknow where people just connect the city with galawati and nihari,” says the chef on his recent visit to his hometown.

“We are not just about 1 or 2 items. Today, wherever I go and meet all just relate the city with galawati kebabs. Lucknow is much more than this. We have so many good outlets which have not got their due. If we leave aside non-vegetarian food, we have great Hindu ‘khana’ like khasta, kachori, chaat and sweets which are exclusive to this place. The kayastha food is amazing but confined to home. The real taste of Awadhi food is too restricted to a few household and this all saddens me a lot,” he says.

He cites the example of Mata Badal Pansari.

“It’s not just a store but an institution. The amount of knowledge and quality of items we can get there cannot be matched by any departmental stores or academic institution. But how many of us care for it?” he says.

Brar says some home chefs are doing great job of bringing out home-cook food for public consumption.

“At least, a start has happened and home-cooked festivals are taking place in the city. I hope our entire cuisine get its due,” he says.

The chef is next coming up with a new TV show Station Master’s Kitchen.

“It’s about train journeys and cuisines at small and big towns it passes through. We shot at Sandila which is famous for laddoo that are sold in earthen pots with a yellow covering. We have explored beyond the stations. We will have recipes and all but the show is about beyond food — culture, impact of train on city, people and traditions. We have also shot in Lucknow.”

They have also covered cities like Mayapur, Kharagpur, Kalka, Murshidabad, down South and Gujarat etc. The show is expected to go on air in the end of this month.

Besides, Brar is also involved in creation of a cooking line and food concepts.

“We are coming up with a cookware, bakeware and live-kitchen range. Also, I am working on food concepts to give Indian grains a push for our breakfasts,” he says.

He is also looking forward to opening an international chain and has named it on his hometown.

“We are calling it Nakhlow. I plan to launch it in early next year in Middle East. The idea is to do small-seating formats of limited menu in Muscat, Doha and Dubai to start with. I want to open a restaurant in Lucknow too but that will happen on getting a right partner,” he says.

First Published: Sep 20, 2018 13:30 IST