The Holy Month of Ramadan is here upon us and you can’t miss the month-long festive mood of your Muslim friends. The households and masjids witness long prayers and a month of sharing meals and love. Growing up in a metropolitan you surely would have enjoyed iftar served lovingly by a friend’s mum.
From snacks like pakoras to slow cooked stews and biryanis, the households serve them all. Today we bring to you places you must visit during Ramadan after sunset for eatery hopping and feasting till midnight for an experience you will find in no other time of the year.
Our first pick is Delhi. As a Muslim, you shouldn’t miss breaking your fast in Jama Masjid and afterwards, give the by lanes a shot for your well-deserved meal after the day-long fast. You will not be disappointed. The work timings of many restaurants, particularly that of Old Delhi, are from sunset till the crack of dawn so that the festivities and feasting can go on all night.
From Mughlai cuisines like kababs and chicken gravies to Arabic favourites like shawarma you get it all. Near Jama Masjid is Jawahar and just pick anything from the menu and you will be surely delighted to bite into their preparations.
Al Bake in New friend’s colony is popular for its mouth watering Shawarma and buttery tikka. FKC, opposite Tikona Park is famous for its unique rolls and sumptuous white Malai chicken. The Malai chicken is quite unlike anything you have tasted.
One of the special Ramadan items to try is Nihari which is a mutton stew infused with the delicate flavours of rose water, nutmeg and saffron and the goodness of slow cooking to perfection. One of the most loved niharis is served in Purani Dilli restaurant in Okhla.
While you are there be sure to order Chicken Changezzi too. The special tandoori chicken and fried chicken served there is something Delhiites swear by! Bilal restaurant in Okhla boasts of the spicy Achari tikka, chicken tikka and even though many shy away from this dish usually, but brain masala is a must try. Pay a visit to Karim’s at Hazarat Nizamuddin and you must try their non-veg selection such as Barra kabab.
There is a lot for vegetarians also to pick and enjoy from. There are the famous dahibhallas (lentil dumplings in curd) and chaats sold in the street eateries. And while you are soaking in Delhi and shopping in Chandni Chowk be sure to grab a bite at Kake di Hatti and try out their vegetarian gravies and soyachaaps. Also on your bucket list of Delhi cuisine would be the paranthas from Babu Ram Paranthe Wale.
Aside from these restaurants, the streets are thronging with delicacies in the roadside stalls. So if you are pressed for time, grab a bite with the fasting believers in these stalls and the streets will not disappoint you at all.
Once you are done digesting Delhi, hit the streets of Hyderabad for another experience of a lifetime for your palate. Start off with visiting Laad Bazaar near Charminar for your dose of trinkets and bangles and head at iftar to the food stalls of Charminar. The particularly famous item would be the pathhar ka gosht. Save some of your appetites to savour the samosas and parathas too. And while there, take away some savouries for your friends and family too or for a sumptuous sehri at dawn.
Hyderabadi cooks really know their art and also have mastered Arabian cooking. So if you are looking for milder flavours or want to go hardcore carnivore then head to the food court at Toli Chowki called Yousuf Tekri for shawarma rolls and dajaj faham. One of the best forms of meaty meals to enjoy would be a Mandi which is a dish of tender meat served with rice. Unlike the Hyderabadi biryani, it is not as spicy but sumptuous nonetheless.
Hyderabadi Haleem is the city’s pride. A haleem is a dish made of broken wheat, pulses and meat and Hyderabadis have perfected it. Do try Pista House and Shah Gouse for some lip smacking haleem. Also, in the list is Shadaab Restaurant in Madina building. Before heading out of Hyderabad make sure you pack a takeaway bucket of haleem for your friends and family to relish back at home.
Paradise restaurant is famous for its Hyderabadi Biryani and is rightfully so. One thing I noticed while visiting Hyderabad is that these people really know how to cook meat and serve it too. The meats are super soft and flavours seep deep into the meat. And the quantity they serve is wholesome and filling. So there is no deception by serving you mostly bones or stingy portions.
Honourable mentions on our Hyderabadi iftar restaurants include Pathergatti Sheran for pretty much every single item on the menu, Koti Hyline for its meaty Haleem (yes i do like my meats) and Nayaab restaurant in Madina Building for serving Paaya (goat legs), Nihari (mutton stew), Kaleji (goat liver), Gurdey (goat kidneys. yes just give it a shot you are in for a pleasant surprise) and zabaan (goat tongue). And drown all the meat with the special Irani Chai no matter where or what you eat in Hyderabad.
A very Happy Ramadan to you from Team Fxkart.