Rakabdar (Persian) is a Awadhi or Lucknowi culinary title that was accorded to a royal chef or cook who were on top of several khansama or bawarchi and scullions.
The Rakabdar was the most expert amongst all the chefs who used to cook gourmet food in small and selected quantities for the nobility. The rakabdar because of their expertise in blending of spices achieved the high degree of finesse in cooking.
This gave birth to dumpukht style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow flame, within sealed containers and preferably heated from the top as well (with live coal).
The royalty of Lucknow had khansama & bawarchi (cooks) from across the region, in their kitchens. The food was greatly influenced by these intra- regional cooks and their unique choice of ingredients and dishes.
The competition for the mastery in the cuisine was severe, and each recipe was a closely guarded secret as the best dishes were royally rewarded and the Khansama or Bawarchi would be invited to be the Rakabdar.