Johri Mohalla, Bazar Khala, Chowk
Abeer tells us that his family belongs to Lucknow itself. “My father, Raja Qureshi used to work at a butcher’s. He was interested in cooking, so in 1972, he converted his hobby into a business. The shop came to be known as Raja Nihari and acquired a good reputation by and by. We always try to deliver the best. We are open from 8 AM to midnight, and all through the night during Ramzan. We started with kulcha-nihari and added on kabab-paratha, sheermal, roti with cilantro, lachha paratha etc. Our paya-gooda (trotters and bone marrow) is considered the best in Lucknow. My father had written out the recipes for all our dishes on paper. We check those recipes to confirm the proportions of spices and seasoning to use. It takes all night for the nihari to get done. For other items on the menu, we begin preparations from 6 AM. Some employees are with us since my father’s time. Our major speciality is that we supply elaborate custom-made dishes on order. Someone may want qeema-kaleji (liver and mince) or lagan ki machhli (fish cooked for weddings). We get it prepared just as the customer wants it made. People from far and wide have heard of us and come to us. Recently we had a customer who came from Rajasthan, and another who was from Agra. The gentleman from Agra even brought us their famous petha. My father taught me not only how to cook, but also good manners. And, if the people of Lucknow continue to give us their love, we plan to expand.