Come Ramadan and the one image that comes to the mind is a sea, full of fairy lights (talking of aerial view!), aromas wafting up the usually dingy by lanes, crowds in shimmering silks greeting each other, hobnobbing past and into food lovers’ lanes. While iftar is the buzzword that comes resounding after the evening namaaz, the crowd descends (almost) to break their fast for the day.
Here’s ixigo’s picks for the best Ramadan food in Hyderabad (of course), Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. This time, let’s travel to our forgotten lanes. Savour.
Best Ramadan food in Hyderabad
This 400-years-old city wakes out of its own strange slumber during Ramadan. Thinking of the Ramadan evenings in the city of Hyderabad, you are sure to end up in the nondescript, dark bylanes of the city. The only difference being the numerous light bulbs that light up the darkness and a casual, constant ringing of cycle bells. Perhaps to add to the festivity and cacophony of Ramadan. Here’s Hyderabad’s best for Ramadan.
1) Hotel Shadab – It wouldn’t be wrong to write ‘H’ for haleem and ‘H’ for Hyderabad. And if we are talking of haleem, that heavenly mix of usually lamb and wheat, a delicacy best saved only for Ramadan, it’ll be justified to speak of Hotel Shadab. This small eatery boasts of two floors now, plus air conditioning too, a new for it! While haleem should, of course, make for an order or two, there’s biryani, khubani-ka-meetha, sheermal, and Pakistani chicken curry as well.
Address: Madina Circle
High Court Road, Madina
Phone no: +91-40-24565949
2) Pista House – Standing quite honestly upto its name, Pista House is one of the best places to get desserts. Lend a perfect finish to your Ramadan feasts here, with the unforgettable khubani-ka-meetha that you would have ever tasted. And if you still are craving for some more haleem, don’t forget that Pista House won GI status for it!
Address: Shahalibanda Road
Phone no: +91-93965-00786
3) Nizam Club – Biryani and Hyderabad share an old love, not to be separated from each other like some Siamese twins. Perhaps only Four Seasons can stand in some comparison to the biryani that Nizam Club serves. After all, a 128-year-old legacy cannot be brushed away easily. More so, when we are talking of culinary expertise.
Address: Saifabad Road
Phone no: +91-40-23237097
4) Four Seasons – Fresh, soft, garlic naans, almond saffron kheer, biryani and, of course, haleem. Four Seasons is where you’ll get the best of all the worlds. Different from the famous hotel chain of the same name, this one is a hit with one and all. Tuck in all that you can, just don’t give their kheer a miss. Even if that calls for a popping in of some digestive pills later.
Address: 9-4-77/3/D/4/5/6, Yousuf Tekri
Ramadan food in Delhi
The setting sun in Delhi during Ramadan evenings stands in stark difference from the usual evenings. The very air peps up, as almost the whole of Delhi drives off towards old Delhi. Yes, in spite of the over crowded lanes. For a change, you’ll fall in love with the crowds during Ramadan at Delhi. Here’s what sets it sizzling in the old lanes –
1) Karim’s – Okay. We know you’ve heard quite a lot about this one. But has that decreased your love for Karim’s and their hot hot biryani, boti biryani, firni and kebabs? We advise that you make reservations, for seating is scanty here. Generations make for the most ardent fans of this place. Right across the place is Jama Masjid (there are other branches of Karim’s too). Can’t think of more perfect settings for a Ramadan evening. Can you?
Chandni Chowk, Matya Mahal
Jama Masjid, Delhi
Phone no: +91-11-23269880
2) Haaji Noora – Best nihari in the city. Those words are perhaps justifiable enough to let you know that you are in for a treat at Haaji Noora. Nihari is stew made of beef or goat meat, prepared after some strenuous 6-8 hours of labour. Do not go by the ambience of this little eatery, for it beats all when it comes to nihari.
Address: Bhaji Gali
3) Ustaad Moiniuddin – If there’s one place that could survive the competition that Karim’s gives, its Ustaad Moinuddin. Needless to say, it handles all the competition well. Quite like an able competitor. Walk in for the juiciest, melt-in-your-mouth kebabs. All for just some meagre 100s. Add to it the alluring aroma of shahi tukda (bread soaked in honey or sugar syrup).
Address: Near Lal Kuan
4) Puraani Dilli – If you see a steady trickle of people driving off towards Zakir Nagar on a Ramadan evening, don’t be surprised. For tucked away in the vicinity is the best place in Delhi to get haleem. While mutton haleem is what you might come asking for, you are sure to end tucking in more and much of whatever else is there. Happy gorging.
Address: 371 Main Road
Zakir Nagar, Near New Friends Colony
Ramadan food at Chennai
If there’s one time that’s keenly awaited in Chennai, it’s Ramadan evenings. While the whole city waits eagerly for the sun to take a dive, you can feel a definite in the air. With the last ray of the sun, a pleasant aroma comes wafting as Chennai foodies head for their respective havens. It’s a city that loved Ramadan feasts even before haleem came into existence. Here’s a check list of all the places you’re supposed to check out for iftar feasts.
1) Hotel Blue Diamond – Much before haleem invaded the old world of foodies, nombu kanji used to rule the roost. A much easier, or call it lighter, less spicy version of haleem, nombu kanji is the great love of Hotel Blue Diamond. Pair it up with cutlets to know the difference between the two. This is one of the rare few places to tuck into it. Don’t miss.
Address: 934, Periyar Salai
Poonamalle High Road
Phone no: +91-44-26428903
2) Palmshore Restaurant – This place literally awaits for Ramadan, introducing special iftar menu usually. It’s one of those food joints where you can tuck into a little bit of everything. Order mutton samosa, dum biryani, and khubani-ka-meetha. Rest depends on how much more you can tuck in. One thing assured, you wouldn’t complain of over eating.
Address: New No. 108
Santhome High Road
Phone no: +91-44-2102245
3) Fisherman’s Fare – While you enter Fisherman’s Fare at Chetpet during Ramadan, you might as well be walking into one of the most leisurely spread or buffet. Especially set to mark the occasion. The Ramadan specialties here include chicken bhuna, lemonades, haleem, lukmi, kanji, pakoras and more. As we said, it’s a spread out here. Practice your own discretion.
Address: 21, Spurtank Road
Phone no: +91-44-28362071
4) Savoury Sea Shell – If you are thinking of going all the way to Hyderabad to dig into the famous Hyderabadi haleem, think again. I say that because Savoury Sea Shell is having a gala Ramadan Special going on for the whole month. The food will be truly yours from 4.30 PM to 7.30 PM. Here, they do it the Hyderabadi way!
Address: Door No. 6
Daniel Street, Pondy Bazaar
Phone no: +91-88076-72772
Ramadan food in Mumbai
A short walk across the Ibrahim Mohammed Merchant Road at Mumbai during Ramadan is every foodie’s dream. Shawarma, nihari, Burhanpur jalebis, tandoori quail, chicken hakimi, mutton paya – this street in Mumbai becomes a good, huge bucket. Unending. While its enough to satiate anybody’s taste buds, let’s explore some more of Mumbai’s Ramadan offerings.
1) Noor Mohammadi Hotel – Its name reads like something out of the pages of Arabian Nights. Sticking truly to it, the offerings here are nothing less than what the most pompous ones of those days loved to eat. Two must haves at Noor Mohammadi – Shammi kebabs & nihari. For the ones open for some experimentation, there’s Sanju Baba Chicken. A recipe supposedly gifted to the place by Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. So much for the love of food.
Address: 181-183, Wazir Building
Abdul Hakim Noor Mohammadi Chowk
Masjid Bunder, Mumbai
Phone no: +91-22-23456008
2) Suleiman Mithaiwala – Now this one is strictly for the ones having a sweet tooth. Or, a sweet jaw, going by their love for desserts. While there’s quite some competition around, for it’s Minara Masjid area, Suleiman’s sitafal halwa and phirni has been giving others a run for their money. Eat some, pack some more. You aren’t going to rue that advice.
Address: No. 41F/G
Mohammad Ali Road
Phone no: +91-98200-73234
3) Nagdevi Street – Okay, trying with all our might to give you a specific food joint on this stretch, we couldn’t. Reason being it’ll be unfair if we leave any of these. Less chaotic than Minara Masjid area, this street has the best of payas and pichota haleems. Plus, right across the street are world’s best malpuas, awaiting you at Badri Sweetmeat Mart.
Address: Nagdevi Street
4) Shalimar – No Ramadan evening can ever be complete without a plate or maybe two of biryani. While Shalimar is equally loved for its north Indian cuisine and kebabs, it’s biryani that rules the roost, or, say plates here. The portions are huge, but well in sync with the happily gloating appetite of biryani lovers. Don’t miss it.
Address: Vazir Building
We’ll love to add more to the list. Do share with us your experiences, the best places for Ramadan ‘feasting’ evenings. Till then, happy eating. And, of course, happy travelling.
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