If you're anything like me, you follow the smells of bhajiya being fried at the neighbour's with as investigative a nose as all the pap-updates about Ranbir and Alia's wedding. It's not that haute couture doesn't excite me, but it simply pales in the face of hot kebabs. Be it a delicately curated thaal that draws from culinary memories and traditions, presented in an elevated avatar, or a street striated with shops and kiosks selling the most authentic Ramazan snacks—this month comes with the ripe opportunity to explore more food.
And if you're in Mumbai, you're blessed with options aplenty, because some Ramazan and street vendors, restaurants and delivery kitchens are all rolling up their sleeves to treat you to a trick or two. Here are my top picks this season!
Iktara: From the house of Food Matters—the hospitality brand where industry veteran Gauri Devidayal runs the show—Iktara is a delivery brand that's changing the game when it comes to Indian food. On their Ramazan edit, you will find kebabs like, broccolini galouti, mutton seekh, buff and tenderloin shammi alongside classics such as, nalli nihari, raan, haleem and biryani, to boot. To order: check them out on Thrive, Zomato and Swiggy.
MQ Royal Kitchen: Helmed by seasoned chef Mukhtar Qureshi, MQ Royal Kitchen is a home-based venture specialising in Awadhi food. Tuck into veg specials like, nizami paneer and beetroot galawti, or dive into the velvety gorgeousness of their bhuna tawa gosht, Kashmiri tabak maas and murgh pasanda, if you like meat on your plate. Eitherway, you're going to have a good meal. To order: call on 9820716396 or 9769242479
Mohammed Ali Road: True that the world has seen better food than what you see at Mohammed Ali Road, but sometimes, it's the experience that counts. Packed like sardines on this stretch of road, numerous stalls will help you taste everything from roasted quail and kebabs to sandal (sweet rice cakes) and balondi (a fried, flour-batter-based sweet, also known as malpua). Head there with a big gang of friends to make the most of the plethora of options available there. Head to: Mohammed Ali Road, opposite Minara Masjid, Pydhonie, Mandvi
Kurla: While the glory always rests on Mohammed Ali Road, little is known of Kurla's LBS Marg, which is a worthy competitor too. Street-side kiosks, dhaba-style restaurants and takeaway diners together, make this street come alive with sights and smells each Ramazan. Drop by to taste seekh, paratha, phirni, jalebi and more. Head to: Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, Kurla West
Restaurants and dining out
Taftoon Bar and Kitchen: From kathal ki chapli, tabak maaz and ambarsari pakodey to kandahari koobideh, paneer kaliya, murgh mussalam and mutton rogan josh, the Ramazan special thaal at this restaurant promises to take you on a delicious journey through Kashmir through one plate. Book your seats before you miss the bus. For more information: call on 7777076563
Kunafa World x Peko Peko: In celebration of Ramazan, two dessert houses have joined hands to create one lip-smacking delicacy. The creamy, floral and rich, dates and rose ice cream is the result of a collaboration between ice cream brand, Peko Peko and Mumbai's own kunafeh (a layered Turkish sweet meat) specialist, Kunafa World. Head there to tuck in. For more information: check them out on Thrive and Swiggy
Images: Iktara, Peko Peko, Taftoon Bar and Kitchen and Shutterstock
Suman Quazi is a Writer, Host and the Food Editor with India Food Network and Start2Bake. She believes that while food is cultural, societal and intellectual, it is also deeply personal and is keen in contributing towards a dialogue around food in India that's meaningful. Her work has appeared in leading Indian publications like Midday, Living Foodz, Zee Zest, Deccan Chronicle, 101India and DailyO.