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PHOTOS: Ramzan feasting in Bengaluru!

Last updated on: July 23, 2013 18:15 IST

PHOTOS: Ramzan feasting in Bengaluru!

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Varsha Pillai

Which way do you head to satisfy your iftar cravings in Bengaluru? Varsha Pillai offers suggestions.

Rain or no rain, the idea was to taste the yummilicious spread in the tiny by-lanes of the meandering lanes of Bengaluru that catered to those fasting and also for those in the mood for some feasting.

We belonged to the latter half. Mercifully the weather behaved itself, with no sign of rain, just a cool breeze inviting us to step out of the confines of the car and head out towards the smorgasbord that lay ahead during the onset of Ramzan.

We (husband, daughter all of a year and 10 months and moi) wrangle our way out of the irascible Bengaluru traffic and head towards Mosque Road, our first stop.

It is just about 7.45 pm and the food stalls lined up opposite the Haji Sir Ismail Sait Masjid was already crowded. The stalls tucked away between the bigger restaurants such as Savoury and Empire that are relatively empty while the modest looking eateries are in the midst of doing brisk business.

We make our way towards a stall outside Biryani Ghar and spot a young man asking the restaurateur to recommend a place where he could get good 'Haleem'.
27 year old software engineer, Taha's search for delicious Haleem it seems ends, for Md Asrar Sait, of Biryani Ghar tells him, "Aap hamara Haleem try karo na" and offers him a spoon to try some.

"Hyderabad se aaya hai hamara cook, full home cooked hain", he pitches. Taha seems convinced. The smile says it all.

Taha reveals, "Things have changed here. Every year I find new stalls coming and somehow I still manage to find that perfect Haleem."

Reader invite: Send your Ramzan photographs

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.


Image: As in Mumbai and Delhi, the meandering lanes of Bengaluru have the best iftar feast on offer
Photographs: Varsha Pillai

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A customer satisfied, Sait is a happy man. He says, "Haleem has to be cooked perfectly because it is a mixture that is cooked for hours together wherein you mix wheat, meat, pulses, curd along with spices."

He then makes his sales pitch, "Madam, try our mutton samosas or our phirni", as he pushes a pot full of the lip-smacking creamy dessert towards me. So unlike most people, I start my own iftar party (sans the fasting!) with the creamy delectable dessert before I reach for the savory dishes.

We move ahead towards the pungent rich aroma wafting from Charminar Kabab Paradise. The corner eatery has been around since 1994 and as the owner Sayeed Ahmed Shariff reveals, "Kam se kam 1000 seek pieces jaata hai, har din."

Reader invite: Send your Ramzan photographs

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.


Image: Seekh kebabs
Photographs: Varsha Pillai

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Ask him about the eatery specialty, he proudly proclaims, "Has to be our Anda Kheema roll", before he reaches for yet another 100-rupee note that a customer gives him.

The egg kheema roll is basically a roomali roti coated with egg and stuffed with minced meat, but I guess what makes this roll stand apart is that it is doused in dollops of butter and served with a smile, always!

Susan Emily, a teacher by profession and someone who has lived all her life close to Mosque Road avers to being a foodie and asserts her allegiance to the Charminar anda kheema roll. "I come here every year, during Eid and I eat. This is my way of being part of the celebrations," she admits happily.

So I say my hearty goodbye to that niggling voice in the background warning me about the calories and bite into a roll. I resurface precious 30 seconds later after having touched gastronomy heaven and float down albeit a bit heavily (I reckon an overload of butter can do that to you!)

Reader invite: Send your Ramzan photographs

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.


Image: Buttery Egg Kheema Rolls at Charminar Kabab Paradise
Photographs: Varsha Pillai

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A tug from my little girl and I look down to her pointing at the samosas tucked away in heaps at the Royal Savera Restaurant, yet another eatery down the same road, where Jahangir, the kebab specialist is doling out the kebabs by the minute.

Having made the culinary journey all the way from his native village in Orissa, Jahangir reveals proudly that the seekh kebabs at Savera are the best on the road. "100 kg seekh kebabs chala jaata hai har roz, ramzaan ke waqt."

He has become the cynosure of all eyes, even as I frame my Nikon and start clicking. "Business goes on till midnight." We sample some and doff our imaginary hats to Jahangir knowing now that he learnt the art of making kebabs just three years ago.

Reader invite: Send your Ramzan photographs

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.


Image: Crunchy Mutton Samosas at Royal Savera
Photographs: Varsha Pillai

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It has been an hour and a half well spent, but we have to move on, for the food stalls across the other parts of the city beckon as well. We drive up to Richmond town to Fanoos, the iconic seekh rolls place at Johnson Market, to pack some of its famous beef shawarma rolls.

To most Bangaloreans, Fanoos, the no frills rolls place, is where you order a takeaway of what your stomach fancies and leave. It is the place where one could (before Bangalore's night life died-since the city's pubs and eateries shut down by 11pm!) find good sumptuous food after a party or a late night meeting. A meat-eaters haven, Fanoos remains one-stop place for that quick pick up for a plate of chicken, mutton or beef biryani.

With our tummies feeling full with all the meat that we tucked into we make our way towards the crowded and teeming Shivajinagar area, towards Russel market.

Reader invite: Send your Ramzan photographs

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.


Image: Kebabs
Photographs: Varsha Pillai

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We spotted the latest trend of a platter called Boost chicken platter (basically consisting of 3 chicken leg pieces, a bun, French fries served with mayonnaise and tomato ketchup) but instead made a beeline to sip into some cool Harira-(a milky concoction stuffed with dry fruits consisting of almonds, cashew nuts and saffron) to wash down the meat that had been polished off!

Reader invite: Send your Ramzan photographs

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.

 


Image: Boost Chicken Platter
Photographs: Varsha Pillai

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One should finish the way one started-was the weird logic I gave my better half the moment I set my eyes on the caramel custard that was being served on the street. And it didn't disappoint. In fact the dessert found a new fan in my daughter, who asked for seconds.

A short walk to the car, and my little moppet had dozed off, and it was time to call it a gastronomical night of scrumptious proportions, with a fervent wish to do an encore of this feast journey soon!

Boost chicken (with bun): Rs 160 
Mutton sheek kebabs: Rs 60/piece
Irani Kebabs: Rs 140-half/ 6 pieces
Stick chicken: Rs 40/piece
Chicken lollypop: Rs 75/5 pieces
Harira: Rs 10-Rs 20/glass (Mosque Road prices are slightly more expensive than Russel Market/Shivaji Nagar stalls/eateries)
Caramel custard: Rs 20 (per piece)

Varsha Pillai, a communications professional with over 7 years of experience as a TV journalist, has a curious soul that swears to being a travel junkie and a foodie to the core. She thanks her stars that her better half shares her passion for food and travel!

Reader invite: Send your Ramzan photographs

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.


Image: Melt-in-your-mouth caramel custard near Russel Market
Photographs: Varsha Pillai

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