Mumbai, June 14:
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, a ritual Muslims practice through the holy month in order to reconnect with their spirituality.
While this means no food and no water during the day, when the sun sets, the fast is broken with the Iftar meal, ensuring there is also a celebration of family, sharing and community.
One place in Mumbai that offers the best Ramadan specialties is Mohammed Ali Road. And if you are in the city this month, it deserves a visit.
At night, Mohammed Ali Road turns into an Iftar wonderland each evening, with street vendors preparing delectable treats for the thousands that throng there to break their fast.
From dates tohalwa, here are 13foods you must try, if you are Muslim or not.
During Ramadan, the fast is traditionally broken with dates and water.
A fantastic source of energy, sugar and fiber, imagine just how satisfying the sweet, rich pulp of these delicious dates taste to those who haven’t consumed a single morsel of food all day.
After the dates and water, fresh fruit is shared as a sort of appetiser, easing the body into the big meal ahead.
Since it is summer in India, tropical fruit like watermelon, papaya and pineapple are in season—perfect to rehydrate and replenish natural sugars.
Mohammed Ali Road is known all over India for its kebabs. Every kind you can imagine is available here, including those made from offal.
From juicy chicken thighs to minced mutton prepared in a variety of marinades, it’s hard to resist the aromas wafting through the street as these skewered meats are roasted right in front of you.
Meats are also deep fried in a batter with egg, to make cutlets that are then laid out on newspaper to let the oil drain.
Long lines are a common sight as people wait to buy them hot and crisp, just-out of the fryer.
“Chinese” chicken dishes are another Mohammed Ali Road specialty. Indians love Chinese food, and Chinese flavors and techniques have made their way into all sorts of Indian dishes, particularly Indian street foods.
“Chinese” fried chicken, deliciously sticky and crisp, is a very popular dish here.
This dish is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re adventurous, it’s a delicacy to try.
Gurda is a spicy curry of chopped goat kidneys, with a fan following that’s willing to travel miles to enjoy some here at Mohammed Ali Road during Ramadan each year.
Bread, naans and rotis are freshly baked and sold per piece—the perfect accompaniment to the kebabs and curries.
If the meats and spices overwhelm you, these soft, fluffy breads will temper the flavors.
With all that food, you’ll need a refreshing beverage.
And nothing does the trick quite like a colorful, chilled falooda.
Somewhat like a hybrid between a milkshake and bubble tea, faloodas are essentially sweet, milky drinks, with chia seeds and vermicelli.
Of course, the feasting isn’t complete without desert—and malpua is a hot favorite. Literally.
These are fried pancakes dunked in syrup, again, served fresh out of the pan.
Mawa jalebi, dense, dark, syrup-soaked swirls made of a rich, thickened milk batter, and are a special type of jalebi available during Ramadan.
Regular orange jalebis, which are thin and crisp, are also served.
Flaky khaja, often blossom-shaped and in iridescent colors, adorn the counters of the mithai shops at Mohammed Ali Road.
If you still have room for more, try halwa–a tasty pudding studded with nuts and dry fruit, often decorated with slices of coconut and silver leaf.
And finally, you can’t miss the silky smooth phirni, a delicious thick, rice pudding made in small clay bowls. Those with a sweet tooth are certainly spoiled for choice.