Gourmets in Mumbai merely need an excuse to savour good food. Not surprising therefore, that in the Holy month of Ramzan or Ramadan, most Mumbaikars who are not even fasting, are on the lookout for traditional Ramzan delicacies. Typically, one breaks a fast with the Iftaar (meal after sunset) on a big table with friends and family. While the fast is broken with a ripened date, what follows is a real repast. Haleem, Nalli Nihari, Kababs, Phirni, and Malpuas are popular Ramzan dishes. Apart from Bhendi bazaar and Mohammed Ali Road, which are a paradise for carnivores, today one can relish these dishes in hotels and restaurants as well.
Sheesh Taouk at Tiqri, The Taj Santacruz, Mumbai
As part of an exhaustive Iftaar menu brimming with nourishment and care, try the Sheesh Taouk here. This traditional Lebanese dish which is low-calorie and high protein, with cubes of marinated and succulent chicken, grilled to perfection, is a delight for any non-vegetarian. The tangy flavours with yogurt and spices are a treat for the palate and filling too.
Barrah Handi at Jyran, Sofitel Mumbai, BKC
The aromas of the dishes waft through the air and make you hungry. A special menu created by Chef Shadab Ahmed as part of a Mohammed Ali Road food promotion during Ramzan is enticing with delicious meaty delicacies and sugary specials. Picking up one dish is a tough task, but the Barrah Handi here is one of its kind and is a must try. Typically, a concoction of 12 gravies cooked in different vessels or handis, with different parts of the meat, this dish is painstakingly prepared and served on one plate.
Mumbai Ka Malpua at Neel - Tote on the Turf, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai
Iftaar is incomplete without the sweets and the syrupy sweet malpuas here are irresistible. A bite into this velvety fennel flavoured semolina and refined flour pancakes dipped in sugar syrup and you get an instant much-needed sugar rush. Malpuas don’t get any more authentic or delicious than the ones served here.
Umm Ali at Opa Bar & Café, The Peninsula Grand, Mumbai
Umm Ali or Om Ali as it is called is a must have during Ramzan. This creamy warm bread butter pudding from Egypt, is sometimes made with puff pastry too. Milk, nuts and cream are the other ingredients, which spell pure indulgence, but are laden with the much needed calories to give energy too. Chef’s version here is decadent and worth keeping space for even if you have gorged on other delicacies.
Food critic, features writer and columnist, Mini Ribeiro is a qualified Journalist, from IIMC New Delhi. She specialises in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality space. As an established food & beverage writer, Mini currently contributes to several leading English publications across the country – Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Sunday Financial Express, Hotelier India, Go Getter and Vistara inflight magazines and Rediff.com. She also has her own You Tube channel called Mini’s Food Fundas. Fond of cooking, Mini enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with various cuisines, with Indian regional food, being her favourite. She has recently started, a platform for home talent, called 'Flavours from Home', an initiative which aims to make women who are passionate about cooking, entrepreneurs.
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