Sampling Ramzan flavours 2


They say that to really sample a city’s culinary heritage you have to get into it’s belly, roll up your sleeves and dig into some authentic fare. But how do you classify authentic in a city like Bombay? Yes, Bombay not Mumbai. And more so, where is this vibrant city’s belly located  – at Khau Gully, at Chowpatty or the posh suburbs mushrooming with restaurants? It is really hard to put your finger on it, but for me that’s what makes living in Mumbai so exciting – every time we go out to eat it is always a culinary adventure! This city never ceases to surprise me, whether it is the availability of fresh, unusual ingredients at Bhaji Gully or the exciting fare on the streets (tried Disco Papad chaat, anyone?) and, I think, that’s what makes me fall in love with the city. Every single time.

To not have the local fare at Mohammed Ali Road during Ramzan is akin to committing a sin, at least in my books! The husband and I had been wanting to do this for a while now but the weather kept playing spoilsport. Anyway, so one day we just decided that we had to go, good weather or not.

So then we set out for M.A. Road armed with umbrellas and an increasing appetite. It was pouring but we were sure that the promise of digging into kababs and khichda would keep us going. Now, if you’ve tried navigating through the bylanes of this area, you will know that it is somewhat similar to finding your way through a maze, but we were lucky because the locals were enthusiastic every time we asked them for directions and some of them were even kind enough to offer us some tips!

After more than 40 minutes of walking and searching we came in front of this mosque in a busy lane, there was a vendor just opposite this and we decided to stop for a bite. As we nibbled on Chicken Samosas, Chicken roll and a delicious but oily Chicken Kabab, we got enough fuel that would see us through to our next pitstop.

This time it wasn’t the locals, but our olfactory senses were guiding us, finally we were at this little lane that was stuffed with food stalls. I went berserk trying to figure out what to have first, the hubby wanted to sample everything and walk some more to burn that off! So we decided to start with these melt-in-the-mouth Seekh Kababs. It was everything that a good Seekh Kabab should be – lovely meat that was perfectly tenderised, spiced just right and served with copious amounts of green chutney and onion salad. We had this with the crispy and piping hot paratha, with the pouring rain in the background this was comfort food at its best.

The kababs and the snacks before that left us quite full and we didn’t want to skip dessert. It was a toss-up between the handmade ice creams at Taj Ice Cream Parlour and the goodies at Tawakkal sweets, the latter won; we reasoned that the former isn’t seasonal so we could come back any time during the year. The hubby opted for a ‘Single ande’ ka Malpua with lots of Malai to go with it (and ignored the faces I was making at him while he was gorging on this), I went in for the Kesar Phirni – it was light and delicious with a generous amount of saffron but what really tilted the scales in its favour was the flavour and aroma that emanated from the terracotta bowl in which it was set. Heaven!

Kesar phirni
Single ande ka Malpua

After all this eating we were a little more than full and the rain gods had unleashed their fury so the only thing that was on our minds was to get back home before there was a deluge. Yes, it was that bad. And so we headed home, with full stomachs and happy hearts. Oh and by the way, all this pigging out totalled to exactly Rs. 307! I just love festive food, don’t you?

PS: Most of the photos aren’t as good as I wanted them to be, the reason being – they were shot on my phone and also because it was pouring, which made it difficult to shoot clear pictures. 


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