.........LUCKNOW: The sudden crackdown of BJP government on illegal slaughterhouses and butcher shops had two unsuspecting victims — the iconic Tunday Kababi and felines of Lucknow zoo. Both had to make do with chicken in absence of buffalo meat. While Tunday shop in old city area sold chicken kebabs for the first time in its 120 years history, Lucknow zoo’s tigers and lions had to consume white meat to kill hunger pangs.
“Our poor tigers and lions have gone virtually vegetarian,” says a senior zoo attendant. On the other hand, after remaining closed throughout Wednesday, Tunday decided to come up with chicken kebabs to cater to demand of kebab connoisseurs who throng the outlet in hoards on a daily basis jostling through the narrow lanes of old city.
Owner Mohammad Usman says he is in a real soup. “As there is no buffalo meat, so no kebabs,” he adds pensively. Tunday’s speciality is exquisite ‘Galawati’ kebabs which literally melt on the palate. The shop needs at least 60 kg of buffalo meat daily. “It is the most sought after dish which Lucknow has become synonymous with for an outsider,” says Usman who is now busy making chicken kebabs.
City’s range of mughlai cuisine laced with Awadhi flavour is too in danger.
It is not only Tunday but many other eateries serving Mughlai dishes are finding it difficult to cope with the situation. Raheem’s, famous for its nihari and kulchas, is selling mutton nihari while those selling biryani on carts are also using chicken only. Lucknow zoo is also at a crossroads as it is facing a meat crisis for its felines.
There are about 8 lions, 7 tigers and 8 panthers here. On an average, 200 kg of buffalo meat is required by the carnivores of Lucknow Zoological Gardens daily but for the last two days only 80 kg buffalo meat is being supplied here and the shortfall of 120 kg is being met through mutton and chicken.
“In the wake of action on slaughterhouses, the meat contractor is not able to supply buffalo meat. So the animals are being fed chicken,” says the director of the zoo. During campaign, BJP made the closure of illegal slaughter houses a high-point of its poll narrative and now it is working to deliver the promise.