Mohammed Ali Road. Isn’t it a nice coincidence that you are walking down the very stretch that offers the best Ramzan food in Mumbai? Yes, a food stop is highly recommended. In fact let’s make it two food stops because the food at Bohri Mohalla is noticeably different from the fare at Minara Masjid.
A word of advice. As you walk down the food lanes, all the food stall owners will step into your path and try and lure you into their roadside digs. See, nod, smile, and move on. Walk down the stretch because there are many treats. You can sample many kinds of food or choose to sit somewhere.
At Minara Masjid, the signature dishes are the grilled and barbequed meats, skewers of gurda (kidney), kaleji (liver) and boti (succulent meat chunks), grilled batér (quail) and bheja (goat brain) fry. And do dig into the nalli nihari, which many stalls offer but Noor Mohammadi Restaurant is the place you should try it at. Don’t get carried away, keep your appetite for the second pit stop.
The Bohris are known for their culinary skills and a subtle Guajarati influence creeps in to their cooking. So while you may find pav bhaji (surprise, surprise) next to grilling meat, make no mistake you are here for the meat. The must have in Bohri Mohalla is the “Bara handi”, twelve pots containing thick gravies of different hues which simmer for hours. Try the paya (trotters), nalli (marrow), pichda (ox tail), topa (ox hump) and boti. Surti Bara Handi and Valibhai Payawala are masterful in the art of the “Bara handi”.
End your feast with calorie-laden delights such as malpua (a rich pancake), firni (rice pudding) or hand churned sitaphal (custard apple) ice cream.
However, if there is one food that you must try during Ramzan then it’s the Khichda. This 1000-year-old dish that has its origins in Arabian cuisine has equal parts of labor and love that go into its preparation. Made from meat, broken wheat, an array of lentils, milk, saffron and spices, all the ingredients are simmered slowly for as long as 12 hours over a wood fire until it becomes almost porridge like. It is served garnished with caramelized onions.
This rich, one dish meal is usually eaten in the morning by the devout because it keeps them nourished through the day. Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar serves the best Khichda I’ve eaten on this trail.
Want to read more about kebabs and niharis and bheja fry? Click here: