Ta'am is an endeavour to keep alive the true flavours of the traditional Awadhi 'dastarkhwan' (spread) by introducing the classical home cooked 'lazeez' (delicious) recipes to the food connoisseurs of Delhi NCR.
Food- its selection, cooking and serving, has always defined an important part of the culture and heritage of every society. The trademark, 'nafasat' and 'nazakat' (priciosity and elegance) of Lucknow, are reflected very closely in the regional cuisine. Be it the careful selection of each constituent, the precision in proportioning of condiments, the fineness of grinding, the delicate dicing and slicing, and even the gradual method of cooking (dum), all goes a long way to add subtlety and delicacy to the final preparation.
The close connection of the cultures & traditions of Lucknowi Nawabs and Nizams of Hyderabad tempted us to indulge in a few Hyderabadi dishes as well.
The perfect harmony that was prevalent in society in those days is reflected in the food. Despite the fact that a number of ingredients are added, each is perfectly balanced such that none overpowers the other and maintains its uniqueness to enhance the flavour of the dish.
Our forefathers herald from Baragaon, a village located on the outskirts of Lucknow, or the heart of 'Awadh' (a princely state of the pre-independence era, and now a part of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh). The ancestral 'Kothi' (mansion) of Badagaon dates back to 1909, and has been home to nearly eight generations of the Kidwai family. Although we have kept pace with the changing times, the family holds its traditions very close. Food is one such thing, which has not been compromised upon.
Some things get woven so deeply into the fabric of our daily existence that it becomes difficult to appreciate their true worth. Similar was the case with the dishes that we cook at home. It was our friends who made us realise that they were authentic delicacies, so hard to get. These were the outcome of the traditional 'Khandaani' (heirloom) recipes and nearly sacred cooking rituals which have been passed from generation to generation
The vision to spread the warmth and richness of our cultural food led to the birth of Ta'am in October 2015. The word Ta'am, in the literal sense, means 'food' in Urdu and Arabic.
The kitchen is the heart of our operations where the food comes to life!
We believe that the food sent out from the kitchen of Ta’am is an experience as the finest ingredients are used and the flavours are delicately managed in a manner which enhances the taste of the dish manifold. The preparation process is carefully refined and optimized according to the traditional recipes. We still indulge the conventional food preparation methods like 'dum' (slow and gradual cooking), 'sil-batta' (stones for hand grinding), 'sarawta' (rustic hand-held cutting tool) to name a few.
We make sure that all our ingredients are fresh and of the highest quality. The meat we use is ‘Halal’ and brought just before the preparation begins. The cooking medium is refined oil, and is always used fresh for every preparation, never re-used.
Food at Ta’am is cooked, stored and handled in a very hygienic way. We strive to maintain a high standard of hygiene by keeping in mind the ‘Four Cs’ – cleaning, cooking, chilling, and cross-contamination. The kitchen and all work surfaces are cleaned and sanitized multiple times a day. Our cooks are extremely particular about washing their hands before and during food preparation, wearing aprons and head caps. Washing of all raw food materials is done very thoroughly. The packing of food is also done in food grade containers to ensure that the food reaches our consumers in the best form. Strict hygiene practices and discipline are the backbone of our operations, and have helped us win the trust of our clients over the years.
The ‘order one day prior’ model has evolved as it is our endeavour to provide a fresh home-cooked meal to our clients. It ensures that every order is prepared with fresh raw materials, and also enables customization as per the needs of individual palates. The true experience of an exquisite home cooked meal can only be achieved when it is prepared especially for you.
The personal touch of the food from Ta’am makes it different from the next door-take away, and is bound to touch your heart as it incorporates the ‘adad-o-adaab’ (decorum) of our culture.
Ta'am is an endeavour by us (Adil R. Kidwai and Dr. Asra Ahmad) to stay connected with our roots. By preserving some part of our traditional ways, we hope to reinforce the values and vibrancy of our rich culture, and provide people with an opportunity to reconnect with a beautiful bygone era.
We believe that good food can make any meal a celebration...
'Lazeez khana jashn ka bahana'!