Images are from last year’s Bohri Mohalla Ramzan Walk
It’s the holy month of Ramzan right now and it brings with it exciting times for food lovers across Mumbai.
As soon as Ramzan begins folks across religions start rubbing their palms in glee at the the thought of the great food on offer for devotees to break their fast. It is a Mumbai ritual for people to make plans to get together and go out and eat the Iftar food. Nowadays newspapers and websites are full of Ramzan eat maps which people look up and follow. The crowd favourite for years continues to remain the Minara Masjid lane. I used to go there with friends every Ramzan after I settled in Mumbai. The mood in the evenings at Minara Masjid is festive and the crowds pretty frenetic. If you are into meat then this lane stuffed with kebab stalls would be like paradise for you, albeit a rather crowded one. The festive feel here is infectious. The quality of the food … well just about acceptable as festival food meant for an itinerant crowd tends to be. Adequate but not necessarily the stuff for epicures.
Over the years I met some great friends through the blog and they introduced me to some great food. Some of these are alternatives to Minara Masjid when it comes to food during Ramzan. So Soumik, Rahul and Irin who have moved into Mumbai from Kolkata via Delhi introduced us to the melt in the mouth beef sheekh kebabs at Sarvi.
The following food pictures were taken by Piyali during the Bohri Mohalla Ramzan food walk
A year or so later Mumbai boy, Parsi chef and archaeologist, Kurush Dalal, introduced us to the wonders of Bohri Mohalla. I discovered the khiri, or cow’s udders, kebabs of Haji Tikka which are the most silken and smoky meat experiences one can hope to have. Then there is the India Hotel with its giant tawas on which are made lip-smacking Karachi styled rolls, Moghlai paratha like Burma rotis, alu masalas which will make meat eaters whimper in joy and then an offal fest of bheja and gurda masalas cooked in front of you. The highlight of the evening would possibly be the slow cooked Iran originated bara handi delights of Valibhai Payawallah which opens for business late in the night with people queuing up patiently outside. Wash this down with creamy and pristine pure fruit sancha ice creams which have been made at Taj Ice Creams in a process which has remained unchanged for 120 years. And then a special malpua treat at Tawakkal Sweets which Kurush says trumps those at Minara Masjid and I agree.
Bohri Mohalla during Ramzan is for the serious eaters. Food shorn of the trappings of festivities. This is the food which the Bohris of Bhendi Bazar enjoy through the year. This is food cooked for locals and not for food tourists. This is food which evokes love and loyalty. This is food for those who believe in grunge eating. Food served in the humblest of surroundings by folks with big hearts.
Last year I did a Finely Chopped Walk at Bohri Mohalla. It was so popular that I had to repeat the walk a week later for those who missed out. We spent two evenings in the rain soaked lanes of Bohri Mohalla, folks from all over Mumbai, indulging in some serious concentrated eating.
A year later it’s Ramzan again and I thought that I must repeat the Bohri Mohalla Walk for those who would like to join in this year.
So here are the details:
Date: 19th July, 2014, Saturday
Timing: 9.30 pm to 12.30 am
Start Point: Bohri Mohalla, Bhendi Bazar annexe
Things to get: Camera, reasonably smart phone, hand sanitizer, wearing denim helps as serviettes are far and few, an umbrella, a big appetite.
Words that will help: Baadhe = beef, chhote = mutton
Planned food stops: 4 to 5
Inclusions: A sampling menu of dishes that I am fond of here. We will space out the food to make sure that you bat till the end of the innings. Bottled water included. Eating will be at the participant’s risk. No responsibilities on the food. The ‘walk’ will cover essentially 2,3 lanes packed with eateries and food stalls. But then it’s a food walk
Cost: Rs 2500 (two thousand five hundred) per head
Bohri Mohalla is waiting for you.
To get an idea of what’s on store go to the middle of this video clip of the segment that I hosted on Mumbai for Street Foods International on the Travel Channel USA. It features Bohri Mohalla.
This is what happened on the last two Bohri Mohalla Ramzan Walks:
Or take a look at some of the blog posts on Finely Chopped on Bohri Mohalla:
Other Mumbai Ramzan posts: