Ache Bhai Kulche Nihari

228 /151, Raja Bazaar.

Ghufran Ahmad Khan rues that everybody knows him by the name of ‘Achhe Bhai Nihari Wale’, but only a few know that the original Achhe Bhai was his grandfather Chunne Miyan who set up this business about 70 years ago. Ghufran’s father succeeded him. “I addded very little to the business I inherited from my father and grandfather, but have not compromised with the changing times. We only cook beef nihari, and the neighbourhood appreciates it. Lucknow has a presence of many eminent chefs, such as Rahim and Mobeen, before whom we are puny. We go by the principle ‘If you have eaten well, then feed them well.’ We make every effort to maintain the quality and the taste for which we are famous since Grandfather’s time, regardless of whether we are able to expand the business. I have learnt from my father’s business ethics— ‘Speak the truth and live by the truth. It is better to stop work rather than bring a bad name to the business.’ I hold to this till this day. Otherwise, praise be to Allah, I make the effort and He blesses it with flavour. ‘Nihari’ is a blessing that is savoured for breakfast. During Ramzan, early in the morning, you realise that there was a time that people used to come out with tiffin carriers after the ‘Tahajjud’ Salah for Nihari. If they had guests, nihari-kulcha was mandatory. For more than fifty years we served nihar-kulcha from 6 AM till noon, but now we function only in the evening. There are very few customers in the morning, but we get business, mostly from youngsters, in the evenings. Older people still enjoy having it early in the morning. Very few, such as Rahim and Mobeen, continue to serve nihari in the mornings now. We had crowds of customers till 3 AM in the old days, but we can’t afford to maintain that model any more.