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Who has ever gone to Lucknow and come back without indulging in its many kebabs or the famed makhan malai? But delectable street food isn’t all there is to the gastronomy of the City of Nawabs. The city enjoys an intriguing confluence of cultures in its cuisine, just like it does in its art, architecture and music. The Lucknow Cookbook, written by a mother–daughter duo, is an attempt to present that confluence, popularly called the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb. Some of these 150 dishes are souvenirs from an undivided India, brought here by Chand Sur as she and her husband left Lahore after the Partition. These are more than just recipes then. These are sights, smells and tastes of a lost home. Sur’s love for cooking came from watching her mother in the kitchen, and it has been passed on to her daughter, Sunita Kohli. The two have painted an elegant portrait of Lucknow with recipes that range in their provenance from Turkey to Afghanistan and Persia, and capture flavours of Sindhi, Parsi, Punjabi, Nawabi, Mughlai and even British food.
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