Tunday Kababi

Akbari Gate, Chowk

When we met Mohammad Abu Baqar, he told us: “My maternal grandfather, Haji Murad Ali established this outlet in 1897. Mine is the fourth generation. After my grandfather, his son Haji Raees took over, and now I am in charge. As a boy, my grandfather was crazy about kite-flying. One day, he tripped over kite string and fell. He broke his arm, and it never joined back properly. His friends, merciless as children are, started calling him Tunday (one-armed). My grandfather was so good-natured that he did not mind and happily adopted this nickname. When he started this outlet, it was not usual to put up signboards. Everyone started calling it Tunday, the Kabab-maker. This is the name that is now famous worldwide.” My grandfather used to tell us the story about his own father, who was the major-domo and chef for the Nawab of Bhopal’s kitchens. The nawab was very fond of red meat, but with age, his teeth had fallen out. He did not accept false teeth, but still craved meat. He consulted with his chef, and the two experimented with tenderized mincemeat, made into patties. This was how the galawati kabab was invented. “Much has changed since my grandfather’s time. I used to sell four kababs for four annas when I started, they now cost 20 rupees. The taste is the same as it ever was. The women of the house have always prepared the mix of mincemeat, tenderizer, herbs and spices. We only sell kababs made with buffalo meat and parathas, and even today, serve them in palash leaf platters. His cousin MohammadUsman runs the much more visible and accessible outlets known as Grandson of Tunday Kababi in Nazirabad and the Tunday Tower in Kapoorthala. These outlets serve not only buffalo beef galawati kababs, but also mutton galawati kababs, mutton qorma, boti, chicken and dishes with no meat.