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Ramzaan Food Walk – There’s more to it than Mohammed Ali Road

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Ramzaan Food Walk – There’s more to it than Mohammed Ali Road

With the holy month of Ramzaan almost breathing down upon us, the city’s Muslim quarters gear up for a month of fasting and feasting. During the month that begins with the sighting of the Moon, slotted to be on the 29th of May, the faithful hold a rigorous fast through the day from the break of dawn until dusk. After the evening prayers have been completed, the feast begins. A culinary extravaganza that is primarily non-vegetarian, beginning with the choicest meats such as Mutton Kebabs, coursing through Burhanpuri Biryani, Bara Handi Paya, Nalli Nihaari and some lesser known fantasies such as fried hearts, tongue soup and quail, and culminating with sweets that span dry fruit based treats to syrupy malpuas made of eggs and gram flour.

The feast can be a bit overwhelming for the diet conscious but that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy a lighter version of the feast. Featured here are some lip smacking, lesser known dishes that aren’t too heavy on your stomach. The locale in question here is Bohri Mohallah, a lesser explored food destination in comparison to the maddening crowds that throng Mohammed Ali Road and its surroundings. Bohri Mohallah is a lane in the bustling Bhendi Bazaar Complex. Officially named Khara Tank Road or Sayed Lane, the streets surrounding Bohri Mohallah offer these treats all year round but Ramzaan is the time when they come alive with distinct colour, character and foodies.

Lagda with Gurda – A curried concoction of Kabuli chickpea, potato and kidneys stewed in spicy mix of asafoetida and cumin

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Lagda with gurda topped up with caramelized onions

Served piping hot at a stall near Imam Sherbat wallah, this curry is a perfect entree. The first thing that will hit you will be the pungent flavours of the asafoetida and as you relish your way through the soft yet slightly crunchy kidney, the cumin will make its presence felt. Ask the chef to make it “medium”. The spicy variant is a bit too much to handle.

You can also ask for additional garnishing of “Dahi Wada”, black gram flour balls deep fried and served with curd in the mix. I haven’t tried but i’m certain that the curd would only serve to smoothen the curry as it carves a spicy trail down your gullet.

Kebabs – Seekh, Boti & Kaleji (Liver)

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Char grilled meat on skewers

Kebab stalls stud the entire locality at Bohri Mohallah. Go for a mixed platter of Seekh (assorted meat mince), Boti (assorted meat chunks) and Kaleji (liver) roasted on charcoals with pao (unleavened bread). The meat is primarily buff  so be warned. Buff udder mince (Kheeri Seekh) is also an additional option.

Have the kebabs with chutney, a deliciously tangy mix of mint, onions and lime. After the Lagda, the kebabs ought to fill your stomach quite well unless you have a voracious appetite.

Imam Sherbat wallah – Mixed fruit sherbet

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Rich dollops of deliciousness

The sherbet wallah is a landmark by himself and doles out glassfuls of liquid, icy delight. The sherbet is a concoction of mango and watermelon and milk blended with sugar and rose water. After the spiciness that was the Lagda and Kebabs, the drink feels amazingly soothing to the stomach.

Tawakkal Sweets – Walnut Halwa, Mawa Jalebi and Malpooa

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Tawakkal is a popular pit stop for those with a sweet tooth. The men behind the counter work tirelessly, doling out Mawa Jalebi, Walnut Halwah, and the ubiquitous Malpooa. Originally a vegetarian dish, the Malpooa here is made with eggs whisked with gram flour and deep fried. Later soaked in sugar syrup, it is served hot with a dollop of fresh cream.

Ask for a sampler and you will be given a cupful of Jalebi or a Malpooa.

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Lip smackingly delicious

Gorge yourself on their signature Walnut Halwah and then move on to the Mawa Jalebi and finally close the day’s affairs with a hot Malpooa. Your culinary pilgrimage comes to an end as you lick your fingers and lips to savour the last remnants of deliciousness clinging to you.

 

Pravin

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