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With No Buffalo Meat, Lucknow's Tunday Kebabs go Off Shelves

File photo of Tunday Kebab. Image: Bodhisattva Sen Roy/ Network18

File photo of Tunday Kebab. Image: Bodhisattva Sen Roy/ Network18

ucknow’s legendary Tunday Kebabs had to shutdown for a day citing lack of buffalo meat on Wednesday.

Lucknow: Lucknow’s legendary Tunday Kebabs had to shutdown for a day citing lack of buffalo meat on Wednesday.

This is perhaps the first time this has happened in more than a century since the shop was established in the Chowk area of Lucknow.

Now, the shop is open but it is no longer selling their trademark kebab.

This comes as the new Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government took oath in Uttar Pradesh. The government has launched a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses and meat shops which has led to shortage of buffalo, goat and chicken meat all over the city. If the situation worsens, the secret-recipe of sumptuous kebabs might disappear.

The current owner of Tunday Kebabs, Abu Bakr, said, “This is for the first time that we have to shut down our shop as we had no beef (buffalo meat). Our specialty is beef (Buffalo meat) kebabs and people come here from all over the world to taste it.”

“Yesterday, our shop was closed and today we have opened it with a change. Today, we are selling kebabs made out of chicken and mutton for the first time from this shop. Though our Aminabad sells mutton kebabs too but here in Chowk we were selling beef (buffalo meat) kebabs. We have put stickers all over the place today; if this situation continues then we might be never able to sell original Tunday kebabs again.”

He adds, “If the meat selling shops go on a strike as we are coming across to such rumours then we might have to face problems at a different level. The business is getting directly affected because of this slaughterhouse crackdown.”

The usually over-crowded Tunday Kebabs where one had to wait for their turn to get a seat wore a deserted look on Thursday. A customer at the shop was quick to point out the taste and said, “Isme me maza nahi, jo beef (Buffalo meat) ke kebab me hai. (The taste of beef (buffalo meat) kebabs is better than mutton or chicken kebabs.)”

Meanwhile, there is a rumour doing the rounds of all meat sellers going on a strike, which might lead to a panic among the small shops and restaurants who are thriving on non-vegetarian food business.

Also, there is confusion among the meat-sellers regarding the crackdown as many fail to understand the difference between legal and illegal meat shops.

Opposite to the world famous kebab outlet is Rahim’s shop which is known for its sumptuous Nihari and Kulche. Owner of Rahim’s, Mohammad Osama, said, “Yesterday was bad we did not have enough beef (buffalo meat) to meet the customer demand. We do sell mutton Nihari also but people prefer Paaye (buffalo meat) Nihari with hot Kulchas. I’ve heard meat sellers are going on a strike, if this happens it will take a direct hit to the food business.”

Another outlet known for its non-veg delicacies in Lucknow, Alishma Foods, is also facing same problems since the crackdown on slaughterhouses and meat selling shops started post the formation of the new government.

The owner said, “It’s not just the beef (buffalo meat) that is in shortage but also we are facing trouble in procuring goat meat from the market. As many meat shop owners have closed their shops due to fear of a crackdown by municipal authorities or the police.”
first published:March 23, 2017, 15:37 IST