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Pretty much every town in India is worth an extra round of exploring during the holy month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the month in which the Quran was revealed. During this month, Muslims fast during the day, then break the fast at dusk. Bazaars and roadside stalls are the places where people gather to enjoy the sweet and spicy treats specially made for the celebration.
We bring you a gist of diverse food and cuisines found in different cities of the country during this festive month. Here is a list of what cuisines to look for in India:
Bangalore: Bangalore is famous for its IT people and their love for food. The city has diverse food attractions located from Mosque Road to Tilak Nagar.
Albert Bakery at Mosque Road is a very famous destination during this month for a very unique dish called the Bheja (literally meaning ‘brains’ in Hindi). Instead of minced meat, they use goat brain puffs which is something unique to taste. Mutton samosas, dry fruit cookies and dil kush are other food items which should not be missed here.
Mosque Road is a crowd puller during Ramadan. From mutton kheema to fried egg, chicken dishes are something which attract food lovers from all over the country. Items like idiyappams lure the people from the south. For years Frazer town has attracted Bangaloreans, this street has over 50 stalls to satisfy your palate. Rahhams located at Frazer road, offers over 31 tandoor cooked dishes.
Image source: Google Images
Tilak Nagar is a great place to pick some delicacies during Ramadan. There are over a dozen stalls which serve everything from chicken kebabs to paya curry. One of the highlights is the roasted ox tongue.
Russel Street comes alive during Ramadan with many roadside stalls and street hawkers selling delicacies including biriyani, paya, mutton korma, sheekh pal kebabs and more. Camel meat kebabs are a speciality that are served at Russel Street during Ramadan.
For great food, there are many other places famous like Johnson Market, stalls at J.C Nagar, Rahamat Nagar, Empire Street and of course there are many other places apart from the ones being listed here which cater to the needs of the food-loving population.
Kolkata: Kolkata is known for its beautiful Durga Puja ceremony. It’s also famous for the variety in food options. There are some specific dishes which are prepared and served only during Ramadan in the city.
Zakaria Street is a vibrant market located in the city. It is the best place to visit during Ramadan. Throughout Ramadan, Zakaria Street is covered by stalls and transforms into a vibrant bazaar selling clothes, bangles, breads, sevaiyan and other calorie-rich delights.
Aminia Hotel in Zakaria Street serves a limited available haleem, a creamy meat dish usually made with mutton and lentils. The stock last merely 3 hours! The Royal Indian Hotel at Zakaria Street again, serves a range of delicious Mughlai dishes. The hotel is over a century old and is best known for its spicy biryani, a slow-cooked rice-and-meat dish, and mutton chaap (spareribs). People around love this place.
Adam’s Kebab Shop, as the name suggest, serves up a variety of kebabs. A must try would be the Sutli Kebab, which are kebabs of mincemeat tied together with a thread. Sabir’s Hotel is an old Mughlai eatery that is near the Bowbazaar area. It is famous for rezala, which is a meat stew cooked either with chicken, mutton or lamb, and firni, a thick rice pudding.
There is no doubt in the fact that Kolkata has always remained famous for its different foods and cuisines. It’s food gets an update with diverse dishes being added to the menus of restaurants during Ramadan. Many street food stalls also emerge during the month
Mumbai: Mumbaikars have always been in the first row when there’s food on display and Ramadan food in Mumbai is to die for. Bade Miyan needs no introduction to the Bombay people, perhaps because it is the most famous food joint for foodies. During Ramadan the popularity of Bade Miyan doubles as they open another stall at Minara Masjid. It serves kebabs, bhuna, bheja, naali nihaari to mouth watering biryanis and tikkas.
Barah Handi (literally, food from 12 pots) at Crawford Market is another delicious hideout to visit in Mumbai. If you haven’t tasted the special Barah Handi’s Paaya yet, Ramadan would be the perfect time to visit. Paaya means feet in Hindi and Urdu, the main ingredients of the dish are the trotters of goat cooked with various spices.
Mohammad Ali Road becomes a floodlit kilometre long buffet where stalls and shops sell street food even in the early hours. One can find here different varieties of kababs. The chicken baida roti is a very famous item, it’s basically chicken wrapped in roti and covered by an egg coating. Bater is a chicken like bird and it's prepared similar to tandoori among many other food items which are dear to the Mumbaikars.
Street food at Mohammad Ali Road. Image source: Google Images
Love homemade ice creams? Taj Ice cream is the place for you. It is the one desi stop for all the ice-creams you would ever want to eat. JJ Jalebi, one of the most famous and sweetest joints in Mumbai and is also a pocket friendly store for sweet tooth fellows.
Margub-e-Alam, located near Essarbhai Fireworks is popular for its export khakri, a flat, biscuit-like bread typically eaten during Ramadan before sunrise. Chinese ‘n Grill is recommended for its nalli nihari. Another must-try here is the chicken bhuna (grilled chicken), and gurda fried (meaning, kidney fry in English) in masala spices.
Ice cream from Taj Ice Cream Image source: Google Images
Nawab Bhai Kebabwala is a small food stall tucked away near Jogeshwari Station. It serves yummy varieties of mutton and kebabs marinated and grilled over charcoal and paranthas. Definitely worth trying are their seekh kebab, served with mint chutney and tava parantha, leaven bread cooked on a griddle. Mumbai is a food-hub and has always remained one, during Ramadan the city bursts with food and food lovers who are found all over the streets.
Hyderabad: Charminar Food stalls is where your trip should begin, stalls for kababs, pather ka ghosht and tasty parathas is what people love here. Irani Chai, a special Hyderabad style tea with origins in Persia is a must try. This is the biggest and oldest place in the entire city, where everybody catches up for samosas and other takeaway snacks therefore, yes, it is crowded with people from all over the city.
Food stalls at Charminar. Image source: Google Images
Toli Chowki Yousuf Tekri Food Court is a very famous place specially for Arabian Iftar. The night is always young here. Ice and spice serves shawarma platter with authentic sauces and dips that melts in your mouth.
Shahghouse is a favoured location for haleem. Khichidi, keema, khatta are special highlight for the food lovers exclusively for pre-dawn meal. There are many other restaurants in the city which serve biryanis and other ghost dishes like Hyderguda Cafe Bahar among many others. Hyderabad is a very happening city for spiritual people and for food lovers.
Authored by Animesh
A quirky writer who loves food and sleep. Feeds on History and Law. Has an opinion on everything. Finds silence cool.