Mumbai Food: Try these tried-and-tested food trail in the city for Ramzan
What happens when 14 chefs go on a Ramzan food hunt in the city? They come back with a tried-and-tested, must-go-eat food trail plan
Back in 2017, chef Vijayendra Pawaskar created Chef De Coded, a closed group on Facebook for executive chefs from across the country, to bond online as well as offline. Last week, the group, which now boasts of 250 members, went on its first outing. Fourteen Mumbai chefs, who are active members of the group, went on a Ramzan food trail to Mohammed Ali Road and Bohri Mohallah.
The group gathered at Bade Miyan's at Minara Bazaar and, under chef Devansh Jhaveri's well-researched lead, followed the aromas of grilled seekh, ghee-fried malpuas and velvety rabdi. While meat options were in plenty, Jhaveri says that there is also an interesting array of vegetarian dishes like aloo and channa chaat and aloo sandwiches. "Since there are so many stalls, it is important to identify the ones that sell good food," says Pawaskar.
Chef Bhairav Singh points out the difference between Bohri Mohalla and Mohammed Ali Road. "While both places are busy setting up their stalls between 5.30 pm and 6 pm, the moment namaaz is over, and iftaari begins, Mohammed Ali Road, which follows a self-service format, is thronged with crowds. At Bohri Mohallah, it is more about service. Pyaar se khilate hain."
Eighty per cent of the food stalls remain the same each year. "Now, even street food vendors have understood that people prefer freshly cooked meals. And so, they keep things half-cooked and only finish it on the grill, when you order." Singh, who moved to Mumbai from Nagpur in 2000, has never missed a visit to these areas during Ramzan. "We all talk about fine dining, but this is where you get the real deal." If your mouth is watering now, here's their guide on what to eat and where.
Try: Originally called goti ke kebab, the chhote kebab (Rs 20 for 12 pieces) are finished on the grill once you place the order. "While chefs are usually picky about the chutney being thick and having a smooth texture, no one complained about the watery, but delicious version served with the seekh kebabs," says Pawaskar.
At: 112, Ibrahim Merchant Road, opposite Minara Masjid, Mandvi
Noorani Sweets and Milk Centre
Try: Apart from the regular and kesar phirnis (Rs 45), the fruitella rabdi comes in 150ml dabbas. It has strawberry-flavoured milk, fruit and custard (R6).
At: Minara Masjid, Ibrahim Merchant Road, Pydhonie, Mandvi
Haji Seekh corner
Try: The chicken and mutton seekh (Rs 25-35) are succulent and roasted on the sigdis, with a desi charred finish.
At: Bohri Mohalla corner
Chinese and Grill
Try: The lamb shanks in the Nalli Nihari (Rs 550) are slow-cooked with bone marrow for four hours, and the spices are bold. Instead of the naan or roomali roti served at the stall, try it with naan bread (Rs 4 per piece) from Altaf Bakery.
At: 122/132, Barkat Manzil, IM Merchant Road, near Minara Masjid, Mohammed Ali Road
Try: While egg malpuas (Rs 150 for single egg) are a rage here, the eggless version (Rs 360 per kilo) is a surprise. Served with rabri in kulhad, it is death by sugar. The malai khaja (Rs 140) is a khari stuffed with fresh malai and dry fruit. Grow and extra stomach for this one.
At: 94/96, Husainiya Marg, Pakmodiya Street, Mohammad Ali Road
Try: This is the area's best kept secret. Order the mutton sandwich (R45), which is filled with a thick gravy mutton masala bhuna. You can also opt for a stuffing of tawa chicken (Rs 60).
At: Bohri Mohalla
Try: The black mawa jalebi (Rs 50, 100 gm) is out of this world. It is a sight to see cooks pull out rows of darkened caramel coloured jalebis that are served piping hot with rabdi. Have
it as is and it will be just as good. This one is not to be missed.
At: Pradhan Building, JJ Junction, Kumbharwada, Mohammad Ali Road
Try: The white rice cake topped milk and pistachio (Rs 30) is nice and moist. "It is a light creamy dessert and the flavour of pistachio is refreshing," says Jhaveri
At: Khao Galli, Mohammed Ali, Amir Khan Bakery
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