Author: Ansaf Khan

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 […]

Ravi Chaat

Gol Darwaza, behind Chowk Kotwali Ravi tells us that his grandfather used to make and sell only batasha. Made of a dough containing a definite proportion of whole-wheat flour and semolina, the crisp pastry would melt in the mouth. This feature is still in place. In the decade of the 1980s, Ravi’s father extended the […]

The Litti-Chokha Cart

High court road, Qaiserbagh Near Civil Court, Qaiserbagh Bus Stand. Shyam Babu’s uncle Jitendra started this business about 30 years back. Their clan, with roots in Ballia, operates about 20 outlets selling litti– or bati-chokha all across Lucknow. Shyam used to work as apprentice for his uncle in the early days, but has been independent […]


Shiva Ji Marg Shivathan (Babu-da) is an extremely jovial person and a conversationalist. There is always a smile on his face. He sells chops—vegetable, egg and fish and also fish cutlets that are famous across town. He relates—“We are from Bengal. My father had started working when he was barely 7-8 years old. Even so, […]

Pandit Ram Narayan and Son

Near Old RTO, Latouche Road According to Prakhar Tiwari, his grandfather Ram Narayan left Rehmatgarh for Lucknow in 1929 in search of livelihood. Here, he and his wife started a business of sweet dahi bada. Grandma Sumitra Devi would make the dahi-bada, and Ram Narayan would sell them, first off a stand, and then a […]

Durga Khasta Corner

Ajay Kumar Sahu relates the travails of his father, who fled Sitapur to escape the plague. By 1972, he had managed to support his family, selling khasta, poori and mungaudi off a hand cart. “Father died in 1985, when I was just about 18 and in High School. I dropped out of school midway and […]

Pardesia Khaste Wale

Rajaji Puram Shatrughan Rathore relates “I used to make khasta at home earlier, which all my friends praised a great deal. They advised, why don’t I try to sell khastas like these? In 1986, I was persuaded by my friends to start this business. I used to haul around a big basket of khasta on […]