For several food lovers of Mumbai, a trip to Mohammed Ali Road and Bohri Mohalla is a must, annual foodie pilgrimage to gorge on delights during the holy month of Ramzan. Shawarmas as cheap as `20 (though smaller in size but no compromise on taste though), the famous Nalli Nihari (a luxurious marrow gravy), kebabs of different varieties and even burgers are a common sight here. But this time, our quest was to look for unique, unheard-of dishes with quirky names.
The first dish on our list was the Chota Kebab (`15/ dozen) at Hindustan Hotel, paired with the Lamba Pav from Amir Khan Bakery (more about the name later). The round balls of kebab are Mumbai’s street food’s answer to chicken popcorn. Made with extremely fine mincemeat and garam masalas, these kebabs come with a delicious, crispy crust. “The recipe of these kebabs is such that the mix of masalas taste best when made in tiny portions,” informs Abdul Aziz, the current owner. “We suggest you eat two at a time, as chances are that you might not taste the meat in each, separately, due to their size,” he suggests. He guarantees that once hooked on to these tiny delights, the dozen will be done in quick time.
The culinary compliment to this kebab is the Lamba Pav; it is roughly half the size of your usual pav. Amir Khan Bakery, the makers of this pav also serve great naans in different sizes. Sold at `18 a dozen, the Lamba Pav is actually small if you look at each portion, individually.
Now, imagine if an unsuspecting vegetarian foodie comes this way. Fret not, for apart from the yum Aloo Chaat, Firni and Malpua options, there’s the intriguing Saandal and Bhandoli that shouldn’t be missed.
Saandal could easily be a sweetened version of the idli. Made from rice and topped with a layer of sweet cream (and pista shavings at some stalls) Saandal is hardly available throughout the year. This rather unusual form of sweet will be a hit with those who abhor cloying mithai. The prices
range from `15 to `20 depending on the sizes.
Next up, the Bhandoli is like a slim Malpua. Made with rice batter as well as maida and eggs, this light fluffy pancake is cooked in pure ghee on a tawa, unlike malpuas, which are fried. We had one (`10) at a stall slightly before Hindustan Hotel. Bhandelicious!
Chota Kebab: `15 for a dozen. Hindustan Hotel, opposite Minara Masjid. Call 23476241
Lamba Pav: `18 for a dozen. Amir Khan Bakery, next to Hindustan Hotel. Call 23478026
Saandal: `15 to `20 per piece. Stall right outside Minara Masjid, near Hindustan Hotel and one near Chinese ‘n’ Grill.
Bhandoli: `10 to `15 per piece. Stall before Hindustan Hotel and one near Chinese ‘n’ Grill.