Mohammad Ali Road has its own charm during the Holy month of Ramzan. In the evening, you can see huge crowd, mostly Muslims buying for iftar (end of fasting) there. The stretch from Bhendi Bazaar to Crawford Market is having many shopping kiosks under the JJ flyover, where you can buy clothes, imitation jewellery, sweet shops, shoes, make up accessories, mobile accessories etc. The stretch is of course known for its food during Ramzan.
It was drizzling as last year I walked on but the empty streets and the all pervading flyover looming large over the road provided us cover from the rain. Just after Zakeria Masjid, the lights started to dazzle and dodging hand cart pullers and unruly bikers, we finally arrived at the iconic Minara Masjid. The street was filled with shoppers and foodies.
While walking through the street, on one side vendors were selling meat and chicken products like rolls, samosa, tikkas, kebabs, kandi ghosh, tawa fries etc while on the other side sweet delicacies like kheer, Malpua, dates, jalebis were fast disappearing from the shelves. Promising myself to return at the time of Iftar, I walked ahead in search of Burhanpur Jalebis. After inquiring with people around, I finally located it. Burhanpuri jalebis are jalebis made with mawa filled inside and it is much crispier as compared to our normal jalebis. It tastes like Gulab Jamun and dripped in sugar syrup like it. These types of Jalebis also are found in Mira Road, Mumbra and Malwani recently. Hyderabadi Haleem too is available nowadays.
I recently spotted that numerous Shawarma stalls also has come up at every 50 metres in Mira Road with the Shawarma making machines. The famed Nalli Nihari was my next target at Mohammed Ali Road but I think no vendors was selling it at that time because it was too early for them. I inquired about it with a guy who replied that they open only after Ishaa prayers i.e. after 8.30 pm, so I retraced my steps and walked towards Minara Masjid once again. I miss out something if I do not turn up here in Ramzan.
However, as people migrated from that stretch to other parts of the city, they started replicating the ambience of Mohammed Ali Road in their vicinity. Now, you can find people shouting in the evening to sell their goods. You can see crowded roads, hear horn of vehicles, people bargaining with vendors in other Muslims dominated areas. Shopping centres in the 60 feet wide road witness traffic jams.
On Monday, after concluding my work at office, while returning home, I decided to walk through the street of Mira Road for fun. After alighting at the railway station, I took the skywalk and went towards Naya Nagar direction.
After walking for three minutes, as I reached near Al Shams Masjid, I saw a huge tent where a hotel and ladies shoes shop was functioning. The tent was shining much brighter in CFL 200 watts bulbs. I entered the shop assuming that what food I will get at wee hours. A man with the long beard was sitting at the counter, I asked him, “Maulana kuch milega ghar lejane ke liye.” (Can I order parcel food to take home). To my surprise, he replied, “Kya kya chahiye?” Pointing his finger at some dishes which his workers had prepared. I saw, they were also preparing chicken tikka, kebabs, halwa parathas, kheer etc. All the items prepared at Mohammed Ali Road were available there.
I ordered a malpuha (a sweet dish prepared by using egg and besan batter) and two earthen pots of kheer (which was prepared by mixture of rice and milk) for children. Yes! They wait for me to arrive home and later go for sleep. That also cost me about Rs. 75.
If you want to enjoy and satisfy your foodie teeth, then at this period of time you don’t need to go to Mohammed Ali Road or Khau gally and instead can visit any Muslim dominated areas and enjoy that food. Whatever, menu I have mentioned above is strictly for non- vegetarians.