Lucknow's Tunday Kababi back in business.
Lucknow's Tunday Kababi back in business.

LUCKNOW: With the world-famous Tunday Kababi restaurant finally reopening after a 90-day lockdown, there is much to celebrate for the people of Lucknow. The iconic restaurant is on the wish list of every tourist and many of them take back dozens of kebabs when they return.

The ‘kebabs’ got the name of its owner ‘Tunday’, who did not have one arm. ‘Tunday Kebabs’ are one of the signature dishes of Lucknow that is known for its unique and delectable taste and is made with a 114-year-old recipe that the family keeps closely guarded.

However, the restaurant which has three branches is not offering kebabs made from buffalo meat since it is still not available in the state capital. “Our buffalo meat kebabs were much in demand and also cheaper but we are unable to make them due to restrictions. Because of this, our customers have reduced by about 40 per cent,” said Mohd Usman, the owner of the outlet.

He said that he is now focussing on chicken dishes because chicken is available easily but mutton is still difficult to get. Buffalo meat, as of now, is completely off the menu.

‘We have no idea when the problem will be resolved,” he said.

Mohd Usman’s great-grandfather had developed the recipe for kebabs and four generations in the family have followed it. The original Tunday Kebab restaurant in the old city area had limited seating space and the customers are preferring takeaways.

In the branches at Aminabad and Kapoorthala, the restaurant has removed seats to ensure social distancing.The owners have also increased prices of dishes such as kebabs, parathas and biryani.

“Both mutton and chicken meat are being sold at a higher price than before. As a result, we have been forced to increase prices slightly though we have considered affordability of customers,” said Usman. He said that the early closing time of 9 p.m. has also adversely affected business.

“People usually step out for dinner after 8.30 p.m. in the summers and by then, we are preparing to shut down,” he added. Most of the outlets selling Mughlai dishes are facing a similar problem — unavailability of mutton and restricted timings.