It’s the month of Ramzan and the best time to devour some lip-smacking kebabs, tangy tikkas and aromatic biryanis. Have you started salivating yet? But you don’t need to travel several kilometres to be able to satiate your craving for authentic
Mughlai cuisine. Iftar is all about community. About breaking the fast together, and sharing delicious, traditional food. Wondering where to eat haleem and samosas in the evening? This Weekend Star Supplement does the legwork for you.
By Shadan Muneer, Freelance Journalist
A gastronomical journey through dazzling by-lanes
Ramzan, the month of fasting, piety and worship is being observed by Muslims all around the globe. During this month, devout Muslims adhere to fasting from sunrise to sundown and at sundown they break their fast with the meal called ‘Iftar’.
After a long day of abstaining from food, Iftar is like a celebration and time for gratitude, it’s also the time to bond with family and friends. The festive mood of the city is palpable and the foodies are uniting over scrumptious Iftaar delicacies.
Eateries in the city are upbeat and tossing up special culinary delights. Make-shift food stalls have also sprung up and serving delectable snacks. Some of this season’s special are Hyderabadi Haleem, Kashmiri Faloodas, Arabian Mutton Biryani and Shahi Tukda. The all-time favourites Kheema Samosas, Khova lassis and refreshing sharbats are having the city folk across communities rave over them.
Here’s our round up of some of the must visit places to satiate your cravings.
This place needs no introduction. Located at Bamboo Bazaar, it is hugely popular for its Biryanis, chicken grill and kebabs. However, during Ramzan they come up with special menu. Topping the list is Haleem; this Ramzan Special delicacy is much sought after here and is priced at Rs. 250 for 1000 ml box.
“Haleem is my favourite Iftar meal as it is very nutritious and full of proteins and also has great taste, since it’s available only in Ramzan, I make sure to take home Haleem regularly for Iftar” says Mohammad Ismail who carefully stacked his haleem boxes on his scooter.
Desserts like Shahi Tukda which is priced at Rs. 150 per box, Special Faloodas at Rs. 15 per cup, Spring Rolls both vegetarian and non-vegetarian at a price of Rs. 25 and Rs. 60 respectively, Samosas both vegetarian and non-vegetarian priced at Rs. 20 and Rs. 10 respectively are other favourites at Khan’s.
Etihad Arabian Restaurant
If you want to feast on mouth-watering yet pocket-friendly Arabian meats and dessert treats, then Etihad is an ideal place to visit. Located in Siddique Nagar, it specialises in Arabian food. Mohammad Huzaifur Rehman the chef and also the owner of the restaurant is certified by the Yemeni Government.
Speaking to Star Of Mysore, he says, “this year we have introduced a special dessert ‘Dil e Firdaus’ which is a mix of Saffron, Khova, Chironji, Milkmaid and all kinds of nuts which makes a perfect dessert after Iftar. This dessert is exclusive with us and is available nowhere else in Mysuru.”
He also adds that Mutton Saudi Samosa (Rs.10), Mandi Biryani (Rs.190), Arabian Kalmi Kebab (Rs. 150), Arabian Teetar (Rs. 100/piece), Arabian Garlic Chicken (Rs.150) are the most relished dishes during Ramzan. The cuisine is mildly flavoured, not too high on spices yet very tasty and is prepared in authentic Arabian style with natural ingredients. These treats are available after 4.30 pm every day during Ramzan.
Casino Park Restaurant
If you are looking for a complete Iftar meal then head to the Casino Park Restaurant having its branches on Kalidasa Road at Jayalakshmipuram and also at Bamboo Bazaar in Bannimantap. This restaurant is famous for its Shawarmas, Tandoor dishes and Biryanis on regular days.
For Ramzan it has introduced unique balanced Iftar combo meals. These include Mutton Biryani Combo (Rs.220) Chicken Biryani Combo (Rs.180) and Ghee Rice Combo (Rs.150). The combo pack includes Biryani, spring rolls, bowl of cut fruits, glass of soji milk, fresh fruit juice, dates, raita and pickle. The combos are available after 4 pm every day during Ramzan.
Mughal Durbar Restaurant
Located at Bamboo Bazaar in Bannimantap, it is a well established local eatery specialising in Mutton and Chicken Biryani. On regular days people throng this place in large numbers and keeping up with the spirit of Ramzan, this restaurant too is offering special Iftar snacks which will be available between 4 pm to 7 pm every day and during the season you can grab the freshly made Kheema Samosa (Rs. 20) Chicken Roll (Rs.50) and the traditional Carrot Halwa (Rs.150/box).
“I am a food lover and I have come to try out Ramzan Special Kheema Samosa recommended by my friends which is available only during Ramzan season,” says Puneet a college-goer residing in Bannimantap.
Best among the best in Samosas
Samosas are the all-time Ramzan favourite snacks. Sawday Road and Ashoka Road is where the action is. The frenzy starts every evening and people queue up to try different varieties. Here is our pick of the best amongst the best as each stall sells thousands of samosas every day.
Savouring crispy Samosas: SF Samosa Centre
SF Samosa Centre on Sawday Road in Mandi Mohalla is a must visit place for meat-snack lovers, a makeshift food stall has been serving Samosas only during Ramzan from the past 25 years.
Piping hot and crispy samosas are available in different varieties such as Mutton Kheema Samosa, Chicken Samosa, Brain, Fish Samosa, (all priced at Rs.20 each) Egg Samosa (Rs.12) and Vegetarian Samosa (Rs.10). They sell about 4,000 to 5,000 samosas every day and people throng this place in large numbers from 6 pm to take home the freshly made samosas. “I wait for Ramzan every year to taste these delicious samosas. I and my family absolutely love the taste so I don’t mind coming all the way from V.V Mohalla,” says Sandesh, a samosa lover.
Lucky Samosa Centre
Lucky Samosa Centre on Ashoka Road beside Masjid e Azam is a place where you will find vegetarian samosas all around the year (Rs.10) and during Ramzan it offers Mutton Samosa, Chicken Samosa, and Brain Samosa at Rs.20 each. Azeem Pasha, who owns the shop, says that he starts the preparation early in the morning and sells about 4,500 samosas daily.
Zam Zam Samosa Centre
Another temporary shop which prepares delicious samosas only during Ramzan is the Zam Zam Samosa Centre also located Ashoka Road opposite the Masjid e Azam, you will find freshly made Mutton, Chicken, Egg and Brain Samosas all priced at Rs.20 each and the outlet it also serves Chicken Rolls.
Sweets such as Milk Faloodas and Qurbani Mitha are available here. The speciality of this stall is that it sells Haleem from the iconic Pista House of Hyderabad. Sheikh Mujeeb, the owner of the shop, says “Pista House Haleem is a household name in Hyderabad. Its Haleem is very popular. Everyday Pista House parcels freshly made Haleem to Bangalore and we get it to Mysore by evening daily”. It is priced at Rs. 200 per box. He adds that he sells about 50 boxes everyday and about 2,000 Samosas on daily basis.
Khwaja Samosa Centre
This is another stall that offers meet samosas only during Ramzan and you can get a variety of samosas such as Mutton, Chicken and Brain Samosas all priced at Rs. 20 each and vegetarian samosas at Rs.10. “Having a meat Samosa is a must snack for Iftar in my house. There are a lot of options available for us but this is my constant” says Parveena a housewife who was spotted buying samosas on Sawday Road in Mandi Mohalla.
S.A. Samosa Centre
Located near the Forum Mall on Hyder Ali Road, this stall is different from others as it sells only vegetarian samosas all year round which are made of Potato, Onion and Peas. Syed Akheel, who owns the stall, says “not just Muslims but people from different communities have been visiting my stall from the past 25 years and I sell around 7,000 samosas every day during Ramzan and on regular days around 5,000 Samosas are sold.”
The vegetarian samosas are priced at Rs.12 each and the shop is open till 11 pm every day.
After sumptuous meal, how about Sharbats?
Nothing completes a delicious iftar better than a cool sharbat especially during the scorching summer days. These coolers help regain energy levels after a daylong fasting. The sharbat shops in Savoy Chowk on K.T. Street in Mandi Mohalla have been seeing huge crowds this year due the unrelenting heat and Ramzan falling in peak summer.
Mughliya cold drinks
A must visit shop for cool drinks in Savoy Chowk in Mandi Mohalla. Kesari Special Dry Fruit Zafrani Falooda (Rs.30), Special Dry Fruit Sharbat (Rs.30) and Special Badam Milk (Rs.20) are this year’s Ramzan Specialities. It also sells regular coolers like Nannari Sharbat, Kesar Milk, along with different varieties of Lassis and Faloodas which are available throughout the year.
Established in the year 1983 by late Syed Jaffer, the shop is now looked after by his son Fairoz Pasha. Fairoz said that juice centre offers Special Dry Fruits Kesar Special Lassi, Special Dry Fruits Falooda and Special Dry Fruits Mix Badam Milk.
He said that Dry Fruits Special Kesar Mixed Falooda is the special item prepared for Ramzan. The shop also sells regular juices such as Nannari Badam Sharbat, Khova Special Dry Fruits Lassi and Dry Fruits Special Sharbats, which is available throughout the year.
Fairoz said that Dry Fruits Special Kesar Mixed Falooda has cashew nuts, badam, pista, anjeer, Khova, Milkmaid, China Grass, Kesar from Kashmir and Milk as ingredients and is sold at Rs. 50 for full cup and Rs. 30 for half a cup. These special juices are available till June 4 at the shop.
“A proper meal, healthy and cooling fluids are necessary to sustain your fast and to keep yourself hydrated. I use only natural ingredients in all the items that I serve which is why people come here after breaking the fast”. This stall is over 10 years old and we have managed to keep customers happy with consistency.
Ali Sharbat Centre
Located on K.T. Street in Mandi Mohalla, it is a cosy place to quench your thirst with a rainbow of flavours. It serves Ramzan Special Bombay Sharbat (Rs.20), Dry fruit sharbat (Rs.50) Khova lassi (Rs.30) and Badam Lassi (Rs.30) among other juices and coolers. So if you haven’t embarked on a culinary quest yet, do it now and devour the season’s best delights.
An exclusive place for exotic Oud
A one-stop shopper’s paradise at Meena Bazaar is Dubai Centre. Established in 2002, M.A. Ansari, proprietor, says that the shop offers Attar which is imported from Dubai, exotic Agarwood from Vietnam, Cambodia and Assam, silver rings from Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Kuwait and Iraq, perfumes without alcohol, calligraphy artefact from Egypt, Surmai (Kajal) from Madina in Saudi Arabia and exquisite handbags.
Speaking about Agarwood or Oud, Ansari said that since a long time ago, Agarwood has occupied an irreplaceable role in religious belief. For Muslims, it is considered as a treasure, an extraordinary precious gift from Mother Earth given to human beings. Muslims use the gift to cure various diseases. This is the reason why Agarwood is widely used and have an importance in many rituals.
Stating that Oud is not only the scent that Prophet Muhammad loved and used daily in rituals of Islam, Ansari said that Oud is also a valuable remedy treatment for many diseases. Oud is an indispensable part of cleansing ritual at the Kaaba shrine – the holiest mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Kaaba is opened twice per year to perform the cleansing ritual. The most important part of the religious ceremony is when guests use a white towel impregnated with perfume and rose, incense and musk oil to clean the inner walls of Kaaba.
Ansari said that Agarwood in available in the form of small pieces and oil known as Oud oil which are available with him.
While Agarwood barks are available at Rs. 10,000 per 10 grams, Oud oil costs between Rs. 10,000 and 10 lakh per 10 ml based on the quality. Oud oil is sold in crystal bottles here.
Speaking about Attar, Ansari said that Attar is a perfume made from blending natural ingredients into fragrances without using any chemical or alcohol additives so that the fragrance lasts for hours. Some of the Attar brands available at his shop are Ajmal, Rassasi, Swiss Arabian, Makkaj, Afnan, Anfar, Al Nauin, Al Harmain, Alimas, Latafa, Al Rehab, Birra, Aadas, Naymat, Aramaf, etc. He proudly displays a unique 22 kg Black Crystal Kaaba worth Rs. 28,000.— KS