Haji Inayatullah Hotel

Nazirabad Road, Opposite Bilali Masjid

Saifullah, manning the cash counter, says that this outlet started operating about 65-70 years back. His grandfather used to live in Lucknow itself, and used his own name for the establishment. The initial objective was to serve Nihari and Kulcha to the clientele. Gradually, the menu began to diversify. These days, Gooda Nihari (Nihari with bone marrow) and Moong Gosht (mutton with lentils) are considered their specialities. The recipe and ingredients haven’t changed since his grandfather’s time. What has changed are the prices—from four annas a plate in the beginning, the price of basic Nihari has now reached ₹ 90. Saifullah’s father Salmanullah learned the craft and the business from his own father and joined him in his youth. He now prefers to oversee only the kitchen. He says that his presence ensures that the superior quality of the food they serve is maintained. He trains the cooks and supervises the preparation of all the dishes. Saifullah himself joined the family enterprise in 2011. He points to a large, long-handled ladle: “We still have this ladle from my grandfather’s time. It was used to serve out Nihari from this large cooking pot. Now we use a steel ladle, but we retain this one as a souvenir of sorts.”