Luchai

Hussainabad

Mohammad Ansar says that this outlet was started by his father. For the past seven years, Ansar is in charge. The working hours are 6 AM to 1 PM. “The luchai was invented in Kanpur. The word derives from the Bengali ‘luchi’ for what we know as a ‘poori.’ My ancestors used to make it. This shop is the oldest in Lucknow. The luchai looks like a bhatura, but is larger and is made up of a single layer of dough. It is fried in the same kind of pan that is used to fry jalebis. It is sold by weight, because no one can eat a whole luchai in one go. Chhole and matar (dried peas) are served as accompaniment. We cook the chhole and matar together. This preparation gives us a taste that is distinctly different from what others serve. Earlier we used to serve a dry preparation of potatoes and another vegetable dish with gravy as accompaniment. Now, people prefer chhole-matar. Earlier, one luchai used to cost one rupee; now we sell at the rate of ₹ 140/Kg. People from Delhi and Mumbai come to us for luchai, but most of the young people in Lucknow these days don’t even know what a luchai is!”