One of Lucknow's oldest and legendary Lucknow Wale Tunday Kababi, founded in 1905, has been the go-to place for the famous Tunday Kebabs. This iconic eatery had shut shop on Wednesday because of a scarcity of meat.
According to a Scroll.in report, Tunday Kababi had its four slaughterhouses sealed between 2013 and 2015. The report further elaborated that the buffalo meat serving outlet in Akbari Gate was shut, but the one serving chicken and mutton in Aminabad remained open.
It is to be noted that UP is a state where cow, bullock and ox slaughter is banned, but buffaloes can be killed.
Mohammad Usman, the owner, was quoted in the report saying that the supply of mutton and chicken had not been affected so far, but expressed apprehension about the overall meat shortage in the state. With large quantities of kababs that get produced every single day in Lucknow (estimated to be in tonnes), goat meat or chicken alone can't fulfil the demand. Buffalo meat has been traditionally used to make this Awadhi cuisine.
Meat shortage has been the growing worry in Uttar Pradesh, a state which has an estimated 52.9% non-vegetarians, due to the new chief minister Yogi Adityanath's directives of shutting down of illegal abattoirs. Lucknow has already begun to face the heat of this with the civic body sealing nine meat shops so far.
Lucknow is well known for its Mughlai -Awadhi cuisine, with non-veg kebabs dominating the recommended eatery list in the lanes and bylanes of the City of Nawabs. The city's tourism, in fact, thrives on this rich gourmet.
According to National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data findings, the total quantity of buffalo meat consumed per month had decreased from 1.25 crore kg in 1999-2000 to 90.5 lakh kg in 2011-12. It also reveals that the state where Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched in 2015 when suspected of storing “beef” at his home, has the highest number of Muslims eating buffalo meat — 1.73 crore — followed by West Bengal (1.5 crore) and Assam (57 lakh).
In a media interview last year, Chaudhary Ahleh Umar Qureshi, the U.P. secretary of All India Jamiatul Quresh, which has traditionally been engaged as butchers was quoted saying, “60-70 per cent” of those who eat buffalo meat in the form of Lucknow’s famous kababs, may not get recorded in the above data since they are not consumed at home.
Despite NSSO recording a decline in beef and buffalo meat consumption over the last decade in UP, Lucknow's kababs still require meat.
Ever since Yogi Adityanath's swearing-in on March 19, the state has carried out several raids and began the process of shutting down slaughterhouses. According to Lucknow Municipal Corporation, this drive has been launched across 11 districts so far.
The mouth-watering Tunday kebabs incorporate 160 spices. Ingredients include finely minced lamb or buffalo meat, plain yogurt, garam masala, grated ginger, crushed garlic, ground cardamom, powdered cloves, melted ghee, dried mint, small onions cut into rings, vinegar, sugar, lime. Does this make your mouth water?