It’s that time of the year when prayer and food go together - the holy month of Ramzan. Along with the strict schedules for fasting and praying, come special, this-time-of-the-year delicacies, some of which are to be enjoyed at home and some have to be had at the places that make them best. From Roohafhza to Bheja Fry Puff to Pather Ka Ghosht and finally, Falooda, here is a list of the best eats of Ramzan, put together by Sharjeel. This is a list that includes the top dishes that he associates with this season, along with recommendations on where to find them.
1) Onion and Mutton / Kheema Samosas The Onion Samosa is perhaps one of the few, if not only, vegetarian item that can be had when on an Iftar trail. Of course, the meat-inclined will prefer the Kheema Samosa or the Mutton Samosa. Best places to sample a crispy Onion Samosa are next to Jamia Masjid, City Market and Royal Tea Stall, Shivajinagar. Albert Bakery on Mosque Road and Fatima Bakery near Johnson Market are known for it's Mutton Samosas. Chichaba's Taj's Kheema Samosas are famous on MM Road. (See Outlet Link)
2) Bheja Fry Puff Come Ramzan and Albert Bakery, a 100-year-old Bakery on Mosque Road, Frazer Town, makes its melt-in-your-mouth Bheja Fry Puff. Get there in time to get your hands on one. It gets over before you can say Bheja Fry. (See Outlet Link)
3) Harira Something like a masala milk, it is made by boiling milk with dry fruits such as almonds, cashews, raisins, cardamom and pistachios. Here is a recipe to give you an idea about what goes into it. Some special outlets such as M.K.’s Lassi Stall and Savera Tea Center in Shivaji Nagar are known for their harira. However, it is also available outside most mosques. (See Outlet Link)
4) Aash Also known as Ganji or Kanji, Aash is made out of broken rice or sooji and moong dal, with Kheema added for that meaty flavour. It is like a porridge or thick soup, and is usually made at home and mosques. It is distributed in mosques and is best had with Dal Vadas, also available there. Here is a recipe.
Image courtesy yes-icancook.com
5) Haleem Haleem is a spicy, aromatic dish that is considered ideal for breaking the fast during Ramzan. Containing minced meat, wheat and legumes, it is cooked overnight with spices to create a thick flavourful soup and served garnished with caramelized onions, chopped coriander leaves, chilli peppers and garam masala. Pista House on MM Road, Frazer Town and Fanoos in Johnson Market are among the best known for Haleem. (Gati Connect and Tiny Owl deliver Haleem from Pista House to homes and offices – so order away.
Image courtesy chaibisket.com
6) Falooda and other Ramzan Desserts A special type of sweet, don’t confuse this with the spaghetti style noodles dunked in sweet sauce and ice-cream that most of us know as falooda. This, Ramzan-special dessert is made using china grass, milk and sugar, set on a flat plate and then cut into pieces, like barfi. Light and versatile, it can be flavored with Roohafza or Pistas or any flavor of choice, or be combined with condensed milk to make it richer. A Ramzan favourite at many homes, it is also available at some of the shops. Ask around. Other Ramzan favourites include Double Ka Meetha (or Bread Pudding), Phirni (Rice Kheer), Shahi Tukra (made with bread which is deep-fried and then soaked in a flavourful sugar syrup) and Pineapple ka Meetha. MM Road has several outlets selling sweets, and there are a couple of sweet-only stalls too where you get the entire variety.
Image courtesy aminacreations.blogspot.com
7) Mutton Sheekh Available all year round but equally special during Ramzan, sheekh kebabs are a favourite Iftar menu item. Chichabas Taj on MM Road, Frazer Town is especially known for these, as are stalls in Johnson Market in Richmond Town area.
8) Rooh hafza A popular, rose-flavoured milk drink, this is what many of us have grown up on. This drink is made in every Muslim household for Iftar. Also available at several stalls on MM Road and Johnson Market.
9) Pathar ka ghosht A unique Hyderabadi specialty, it is actually meat (ghosht) cooked on a rock (pathar). A big slab of granite is cooked on top of red hot coals and slowly heated up. (It apparently takes 3-4 hours). Then the meat is cooked on the stone. This is supposed to sear the meat well and impart an earthy note. MM Road has various stalls that serve this during Ramzan.
10) Camel kababs These taste as exotic as they sound, juicy and full of flavor when they are served hot off the charcoal grill. Available on MM Road, and in Shivaji Nagar, opposite Russell Market. Here is a post on that area. During Ramzan, this part of town also takes on carnival hues with stalls serving kebabs, samosas, Haleem and Ramzan desserts springing up along the road.