The best time to reach here would be after 7.30 P.M in the evening
Noor Mohammadi Hotel is a famous joint that serves Sanju Baba Chicken
Suleman Usman Mithaiwala is known for 'Aflatoon', a Ramzan specialty
Every day there's someone new who steps into this city wondering how they will get used to the crowd. As a newbie in Mumbai, it's normal to ponder upon what to do but the more you accept the city the more you realize that it has so much to offer. One of our first experiences in Mumbai was exploring the food scene at the famous 'Khau Galli' on Mohammed Ali Road during the month of Ramzan. There's been so much talk about the street food here but you won't know how wonderful it is until you get here. It's a place where you soak in all the festivities, discover the generosity of the locals and of course treat your taste buds to a one-of-a-kind street food experience.
Just the thought of melt-in-mouth kebabs, smokey tikkas and rich mithais is enough to get a foodie excited. Exploring Mohammed Ali road during Ramzan isn't for the faint hearted, but it's an experience that one who loves to eat shouldn't miss. With the beautiful Minara masjid in the backdrop all decked up with lights, it is the perfect setting to enjoy some great food. The best time to reach here would be around 7.30 P.M in the evening after everyone breaks their fast and the feast begins.
Minara Masjid decked with lights. Photo Credit: Yashodhara Roy
If you've never been to Mohammed Ali road before, prioritizing is important because your first visit should be all about tasting the best of the best. Here are seven places and their signature dishes that you must try.
1. Mawa Jalebis at Burhanpur Mawa Jalebis
Walk 10 steps once you get onto the road near the Minara Masjid and you'll find this tiny 'shop' in a narrow lane on the right. You will spot the sign instantly and if you don't, there is no way you will miss the mountain of jalebis. The signage at this shop reads - 'King of Mawa Jalebi' and you can't disagree. The speed at which the jalebis were being made was even more impressive. Unlike the crisp version, these thick and rich jalebis made with mawa are a must try on this festive food trail. The hot sugar syrup might burn your tongue but they're quite additive and hard to resist.
How much to pay: Priced at Rs. 240 per kilo Where to find it: Well, literally take the 10 steps and you will
Mawa Jalebi. Photo Credit: Yashodhara Roy
2. Masala Milk at Noorani Milk Centre
While continuing along the same road, you will spot this quaint little joint. They sell a variety of sweets and drinks, but the one that stands out is the Masala Doodh that comes in small glass bottles. It is served chilled and is perfect to beat the heat. It is surely one of the things that you can bring back home to relish later. The milk is flavoured with their special masala along with kesar and turmeric that turn it into a happy yellow drink.
How much to pay: Rs. 40 per bottle Where to find it: 157 Ebrahim Road, Mohammed Ali Road, Masjid Bunder
Chilled Masala Milk at Noorani. Photo Credit: Neelangana Vasudeva
3. Kebabs at Chinese and Grill
This is one of the most popular food joints at Mohammad Ali road. The name might confuse you but this place is known for some amazing kebabs and grills. The restaurant opens at 8.30 P.M and people start queuing up at least two hours before! The staff gets a bit impatient with people who ponder upon what to eat and stare at the menu to make decisions, perhaps because they are used to serving a huge crowd of patrons. An interesting thing you might spot here is the 'fried chicken'. These are long tender chicken strips that are wrapped in noodles and then fried golden. Personally, we really liked their chicken seekh kebabs. They have the perfect texture and are so filling.
How much to pay: Chicken Seekh Kebab at Rs. 200 for two pieces Where to find it: 122/132, Barkat Manzil, I.M. Merchant Road, Near Minara Masjid, Mohammed Ali Road, Mumbai
This is one of the most famous restaurants here and the reason is their Sanju Baba Chicken. The story goes that Sanjay Dutt, who has been visiting this restaurant since 1986, shared a special recipe with the owners and they have been using it to prepare a delicious chicken curry that they named after him. Expect a juicy chicken leg served in a curry that will lift your spirits instantly. You may find the gravy a bit oily but it's worth the flavours and it tastes best when you soak it up with hot tandoori rotis. While you're at it, you must also try their Nalli Nihari and the Shammi Kebabs that will literally melt in the mouth.
How much to pay: Sanju Baba Chicken at Rs. 100, Shammi Kebabs at Rs. 25 per piece Where to find it: 181-183, Abdul Hakim Noor Mohammadi Chowk, Bhendi Bazar, Mumbai
5. Aflatoon and Phirni at Suleman Usman Mithaiwala
While strolling along Mohammad Ali road, you'll spot many famous mithaiwalas selling delicious Ramzan sweets. These sweet shops have embraced an iconic status as many generations have passed by the same shop and tried their delicacies year after year. Suleman Usman Mithaiwala is famous for a Ramzan specialty called 'Aflatoon'. It is a rich mithai made with ghee, sugar, eggs, saffron, milk and mawa. The phirni here is also a must try. It is perfect for those who don't like sweets with too much sugar. It has a rich flavour but a light and milky texture.
How much to pay: Rs. 60 for the Phirni and Rs. 500 per kilo for Aflatoon Where to find it: 167, Ibrahim Merchant Road, Below Minara Masjid, Mumbai
Phirni and Aflatoon Mithai. Photo Credit: Neelangana Vasudeva
6.Malpuas at Tawakkal Sweets
The light and fluffy malpuas with crispy edges, served at Tawakkal Sweets, is one dish that you have to try no matter how stuffed you are! It's best when eaten hot and fresh but you can wrap some up for your folks at home.
How much to pay: Rs. 10 per piece Where to find it: 26/28 Khara Tank Road | Bohri Mohallah, Mumbai 400003, India
Hot malpuas. Photo Credit: Yashodhara Roy
7.Taj Ice-Cream Sancha Handmade
Walk ahead of Tawakkal Sweets and you'll hit this delicious ice-cream spot. Indulging in some handmade Sancha ice-cream is the best way to end your food trail. It is made with real and seasonal fruits. It is not a sorbet and neither is it milky. It is almost like a rich frozen smoothie. The Taj Ice-Cream Shop has been serving these sweet delights for over 130 years! You must not leave the place without trying them.
How much to pay: Rs.60 per scoop Where to find it: 26/28 Khara Tank Road | Bohri Mohallah, Mumbai
You may find some of these unique treats only during Ramzan, so if you happen to be in Mumbai or are planning to visit any time soon, don't miss this experience.
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