The greatest joy for any food lover especially one that enjoys hearty meat filled dishes, is to tuck into a meal during the holy month of Ramzan. Mumbai comes alive at night with eat streets at Mohammed Ali Road and other spots across the city serves platefuls of interesting eats. There is a specific trend of dishes that are eaten with great relish this time of the year and it is a dawaat of sorts at any time of the night. If you are new to navigating your way through what to eat, this list of Ramzan dishes should help you get started.
Haleem at Persian Darbar - This pasty porridge-like dish that looks rather unflattering but comes garnished with fried onions is a winter treat specially reserved for the month of Ramzan. Made from wheat, barley and pounded meat this is a heavy dish that is meant to warm you up in the winter. You can find Haleem in every corner in the bylanes of Mohammed Ali Road but a really good haleem can be found at any of the Persian Darbar outlets across the city.
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Nali Nihari at Chinese N Grill - This is a very popular mutton stew cooked in fragrant spices with meat that is so tender it falls right off the bone. The fun is in trying to get all that flavourful bone marrow and mop up that delicious gravy with thick bread or a tandoori style roti. Some of the best Nalli Nihari can be found at Chinese N Grills which is an odd name for a restaurant that specialises in Iftari food but it is a regular haunt for locals. Doors open post 08.30 pm and it might take a while to finally get a table but worth the wait.
Kebabs and Tikkas at Haji Tikka - For lighter dishes that are not too heavy with gravies or thick breads, the best option during Iftar is to load up on all sorts of tikkas and kebabs. From Chicken Tikka to Mutton Sheekh and sometimes even Khiri Kebabs you can find them all over but for some of the best head to Haji Tikka in Bohri Mohalla.
Paya at Delhi Darbar and Noor Mohammadi - While trotters might sound slightly unappealing to those who haven't eaten it, there is nothing more satisfying than a delicious bowl of Paya Soup or Gravy. You do not find Paya on many menus through the year but come Ramzan time it's more readily available. Some excellent Paya at good old Delhi Darbar but even Mohammed Ali Road's famous Noor Mohammadi restaurant makes a mean Paya though they are more known for their famous Chicken Sanju Baba ( a recipe given to them by the actor).
Phirni & Malpuas at Suleman Usman Mithaiwala - How can any feast be complete without a round of sweets and dessert. During Ramzan time there are two favourites that you will find in every street corner and every restaurant. Phirni is a flavoured rice pudding usually with lots of saffron and nuts served in adorable earthen clay pots and Malpuas are thick hot yellow pancake-like treats that are sometimes as large as your face! Feel free to do a taste test and try them at every place you visit to find which one you like best but for regulars, it is always Suleman Usman Mithaiwala, a sweet shop that is a local legend.
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.