Ramadan (or Ramzan as it is more commonly known) is the time most looked forward to by Muslims around the world. It was during this month that the Quran came into being with Prophet Mohammed’s (peace be upon him) revelations. The month is spent observing fasts from the break of dawn to the beginnings of dusk – over 12 hours usually – without ingesting a morsel of food, drinking a drop of water or even swallowing one’s saliva. After 30 days of fasting, the month of Ramadan culminates in Eid – a celebration of the month gone by.

But this is not the only reason that Ramadan is well-known in India. The biggest reason behind a large population looking forward to this time is because of the food. Obviously when people have been fasting for over 12 hours, they will not tolerate average food during the opening of the fast at dusk. So the spread is a choice of delectable meats, rices, savouries, sweets and soups. You’ll see hundreds of shops and eat streets across India catering to this rush of people.

In Bangalore, there are a handful of places that come alive during Ramadan, and Mosque Road is one of them. The mosque takes permission for letting people put up rows and rows of stalls that stretch a kilometre, with mouth-watering foods from various parts of South India. This phenomenon was hidden from me for the better part of this month till I happened to travel past it one evening and watched agape at the culinary orgy being displayed to attract the passing crowds. And I’ve been wanting to capture it ever since.

As I recuperate from Eid excess, I want to leave you with my epicurean adventures on Mosque Road three nights ago.

First, it is important to soak in the atmosphere and become one with the mass of bodies screaming their orders and belting food like a famine’s about to strike the world in a couple of hours.

Crowds circulate among the roadside stalls lining Mosque Road, leaving enough room for a two wheeler to use the road.

Second, take a look around. See which stalls have interesting names and which ones have interesting food.

Inspired cooking, indeed.

Third, start with an appetiser. Kababs are the perfect beginning to a two hour-long meal. Choose from chicken kabab, mutton kabab, veal kabab, shaamis, boti kabab, chicken stick, chicken shaslik, vegetable patty…

What did the chicken sheekh tell the mutton sheekh when they got caught having an affair? “We’re so skewered!”

Fourth, walk around a little more and see what gets your taste buds going for the main course.

To the left: A milk sherbet with fruits and sabz ke seeds (I have no idea what the English name for those is), matka phirni, beef cutlets, strawberry cheesecake.
To the right: Fresh-baked biscuits, little puris with coconut filling, paper napkins, plastic covers and bottled pickles.
This menu’s been beefed up.
Shahi Tukda: Bread fried and cooked in sugar syrup and khova.
Serves 100: Home to over 6 kilos of Biryani, this is the classic utensil used in preparing one of the most popular rice dishes.
The Making of a Chicken Roll: juicy, melt-in-your-mouth chicken meets soft, almost translucent Rumali roti in an explosion of flavour.
Peacockery: Show off your wares, and you’re bound to attract more people.
Patthar Gosht: This is one of the fast-disappearing traditional way of cooking meat. Choose a slab of stone, wash it well and set it on a heap of coal. Let it get really, really, really hot. Marinate the meat of your choice, pour some oil over the stone and follow it up with the meat. Stir and turn until cooked. This meat is especially flavourful because not only does it cook in its own juices, but it also takes on a certain earthy taste from the stone. *Yumm*
Kheema Paratha: Available in both chicken and mutton versions, this paratha is stuffed with cooked meat and cooked again. Apparently, they made 1000 parathas a day.

Fifth, when you know you can eat no more, eat a paan.

Magai paan: Bite-size paans stuffed with Gulkhand and garnished with a cherry. Best eaten chilled.

Sixth, because you can be such a glutton and are constantly greedy when it comes to food, grab a kulfi.

Pista Kulfi and Walnut Kulfi at the Bombay Chowpatti Kulfi shop. Absolutely delicious and a must-try.
Waiting to exhale: These chefs work in the kitchens till dusk and then in the stalls from then on. Can’t be easy.

Getting there: Go by auto, especially if you decide to visit during Ramadan next year. Taking a cab or bike is utter chaos. Almost all autos know where Mosque Road is, so just say that.

Go if: You love food, meat, biryani, pulsating crowds because they make you feel alive.

3 thoughts on “Ramadan Specials: Travelling down Mosque Road in search of the perfect 3-course Muslim meal.

  1. Aha! Culinary orgy, indeed! :)

    I never knew about this street till you told us. Thank you so much! :) I stay away from these food stalls usually, though I have heard a lot about the deliciousnessness of it all from friends, as they largely serve non-vegetarian food. I would have loved to try out some of the sweets, though. And, of course, I would have gone crazy trying to take pictures of each and every thing on the street. :) Well, maybe next year!

    PS: You know, you should do such posts in advance – before an event is going to occur. :)

    1. Heya!

      Yes, definitely go next year, there’s so much life there that it leaves you sort of overwhelmed. :)

      I had fully intended to do this post in advance, along with a couple of other places, but the month got the better of me and time just flew by. Before i realised it, it was Eid. Plus i had trouble posting one day before the festival!

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