‘Chaand Raat’ (Eid Moon Night), when night turns into day.
Volume: 5, No: 08 ; August-2011
For Foodies, Plunge Starts With A Cup Of Kashmiri Chai, Followed By Dinner, Which Includes Delicacies Of Chicken And Mutton And Ends At Phirni, Shahi Tukda And Meethaa Paan.
Tornos Organises Special Night & Early Morning Tours during the holy month of Ramadan, taking tourists and enthusiasts to areas that are lively in the dead of the night. This apart from an Evening Culinary Tours. The localities of Aminabad and Nazirabad, which slip into a sleepy mode post 8 pm, are bustling with life post midnight on the last day of Ramzan – the ‘chand-raat’. From eating joints to chikan outlets and from footwear shops to button kiosks, all are full of life, as shoppers make their last minute purchase to make the Eid a special one.
It’s past midnight and the narrow bylanes of Nazirabad are chock-a-block with shoppers. With vehicles of all sizes and make jostling for space, the old marketplace is busier than ever. However, the air is relax and celebratory. Smile and patience is the order of the day and ‘Eid Mubaraq’ the most popular medium of exchange.
The entrance of Nazirabad from Qaiserbagh side is illuminated and the entire Nazirabad stretch is full of buyers, who have come out after the sighting of Moon to shop for the Eid – kurtas, sherwanis, nagras, sewain – and are looking for a right bargain.
The sale of footwear, which range from the men’s boot, sports shoes, sandals to fancy chappals is doing a brisk business. Nagra in all hues and shapes attract the ladies. Likewise, the sale of men’s and women’s chikan wear is also witnessing a good business.
Ladies along with their children are ready for to wait for hours to get the clothe of their choice stitched. Apart from these, shops selling buttons, laces and ribbons, and tailors also have a hectic night.
But the most crowded places in the entire market are the food outlets, where visitors from various walks of life enjoyed the authentic Lakhnavi cuisine.
After hectic shopping for the festive occasion, the best thing to do is to hold a shami kabab roll and eat it all the way home. And if someone is a vegetarian, then the best way to satiate the hunger is to have some cool phirni (porridge made of rice flour) or shahi tukda (bread soaked in milk and sugar syrup). Besides, there is pink kashmiri chai to bring instant freshness.
Elaborating about the scene during the festive month, Saeed, a chef at an eatery on the Naaz Cinema Road, says: “In the first three weeks of Ramzan, we put up a temporary shop on Nazirabad. However, as Eid-ul-Fitr approaches and barely a week is left, business of chikan and footwear picks up. So, we shift our base to the Naaz Cinema Road.” Though Saeed’s eating joint can hardly accommodate 10 persons at a time, yet people are willing to wait for their turn even after midnight.
On the Naaz Cinema Road, a paratha roll shop selling chicken, mutton, egg and paneer rolls attracts the youngsters, who throng the place after a leisurely stroll. The sheermaal presented a rich light red-coloured look and along with nahari, galawat kabab and seekh kabab entices the onlookers, who could hardly resist the tasty sites of roasted chicken hanging. “Since the business activity on Nazirabad went up rapidly, we thought it would be wise to dine at an eatery on the Naaz Cinema Road,” says Sagar, a law student. Vikas Singh, a software professional in Delhi, who makes it a point to visit the eateries on Nazirabad and Naaz Cinema Road, whenever he visits Lucknow, says, “I love these eating points and the lip-smacking delicacies they dole out. I get the real taste of Lucknow here. And if the visit is during the month of Ramzan, it’s a double bonus.”
For most of these foodies, the plunge into the food starts from a cup of Kashmiri chai, followed by a sumptuous dinner, which includes delicacies of chicken, mutton, biryani, roomali roti, and ends on a sweet note of phirni and shahi tukda.
One of the star attractions among the food items is the special meethaa paan. The paan, which contains loads of gulkand is decorated in a mango flavoured paste also has almonds and cashew nut, which not only acts a digesting agent, but also leaves a light refreshing aroma much to the delight of the foodie.