The holy month of Ramadan brings worshippers and foodies to the streets of South Mumbai just under JJ flyover. Mohammed Ali Road and Bhendi Bazar are pitstops for those looking for a quick bite of the festive spread that includes kebabs in different shapes and sizes, malpuas loaded with egg and sugar, hearty bowls of spiced shorba, haleem and khichada, and other delicacies that can be heavy on the stomach, yet light on your pocket. Photographer Rajneesh Londhe takes you on a virtual tour of the busy streets.
Dates, fresh fruits and falooda
Carts selling dates, cut fruits including watermelons, papayas, mash melons, pineapples and colourful falooda packets dot this gastronomical landscape making their presence felt in corners because of their bright hues that are difficult to miss, and temptingly lure you in.
It's strange to spot a cage full of quails sitting right next to a tray of marinated ones. The before and after picture is stark and hard to miss. The result of the two is the Tandoori Quail, a popular dish that makes its appearance only during this time of the year.
Fruit-based phirnis and more
Phirnis an all-time favourite is available in different flavours at Suleman Usman Mithaiwala, a household name famed for their range of mithai. Served in a kullar (mud bowl), you can pick from the classic white to the innovative black currant, strawberry, mango and kesar flavours, which also happen to be their specialties. You can also gorge on the Malai Khaja a flaky, sugar syrup soaked pastry.
Malpuas made with egg, sugar and maida are deep fried and stacked one on top of each other. Just one is enough to fill you up. We recommend you share it with friends, rather than attempt to devour one by yourself.
Knead of the hour
These mini naans served only inside the eateries otherwise, also come out into the open, this time of year.
A variety of kebabs
Love your meats grilled? Skewered kebabs are found a dime a dozen, at every corner, along with minced kebabs cooked on the tawa.
Nalli Nihari and more
Drop by Noor Mohammedi Hotel to have your fill of Nalli Nihari, a combination of bone marrow and muscle gravy. Also try their dal ghee and shaami kebab. This joint also serves the popular Chicken Sanjubaba a recipe given by the actor, that finds a mention on the menu. Dig in as gaze at an MF Hussain original. Another place you can sample the Nalli Nihari is Bohri Mohalla.
A sweet that looks like Idlis
What you see, is not what you get with the Saandal. Made with rice, sugar, coconut milk and mawa, it's steamed in containers after a laborious cooking and fermentation process. It looks like idli, feels as soft as cotton and is served with a dash of malai and pista.
What food can be consumed?
During Ramadan, two main meals are served - the suhoor, which is served before dawn, and the iftar, which is served after sunset. Since the suhoor is intended to last one throughout the day, it tends to be a heavy and hearty meal. Suhoor ends when the sun rises and the fajr, or morning prayer, begins. At the end of the day, when the sun sets, the maghrib prayer starts, and the day's fast is broken with the iftar meal. Many Muslims break their fast by eating dates before beginning the iftar meal. Muslims can continue eating and drinking throughout the night until the next day's suhoor. Both of the suhoor and iftar meals contain fresh fruit, vegetables, halal meats, breads, cheeses, and sweets. At the end of the Ramadan month, Muslims celebrate the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, called Eid al-Fitr.