The Foodie’s Guide to Kurla’s Ramadan Treats
Throughout Ramadan each year, gaggles of tourists and food lovers in our city schedule visits to the brightly-lit and cacophonous Mohammed Ali Road, armed with maps and spurred by mouth-watering accounts of its many food stalls. The spotlight remains firmly focused on Mohammed Ali Road even though there are several other pockets of Mumbai with a significant Muslim population that similarly turn into food havens during this sacred month. LBS Marg (formerly known as Old Agra Road) in Kurla West is one such area that draws swarms of the central suburb’s roza keepers for Iftar.
We visited the locality with a Kurla resident who routinely scours the area for the best Ramadan feasting options. While eating in Mohammed Ali Road requires a well thought-out plan of attack, navigating Kurla’s food shops is a lot easier because they are fewer in number. The variety of the Iftar spread found in Kurla is also quite different from the offal championed by the Mohammed Ali Road meat shops. In Kurla, chicken is the most widely sold meat, along with mutton (used as kheema in samosas, rolls and in kheema pao). Very few restaurants offer paya, gurda, bheja and kaleji (the main attractions at Mohammed Ali Road), which are usually only sold after 11pm until Sehri (the meal consumed before fasting begins at dawn). Here are our top picks of Iftar in Kurla:
Zaffran Lounge This restaurant is not affiliated with the Zaffran at Crawford Market, but both have menus that are equally focused on meat. Of all their deep-fried treats, the fiery skewered chicken kebabs and tender methi-flavoured chicken rolls (Rs30 for one) sell the quickest. Also get their chilled almond milkshake (Rs75) and pistachio-flecked firni (Rs35). Until 7.30pm. Near Kalpana Cinema, opposite Sahara Hotel, LBS Marg. Tel: 81088 32951.
Naushijaan Head here for crispy crumb-fried chicken fingers (Rs30 for 100 grams), lightly seasoned and tender kheema samosas (Rs20 for one), and saffron-tinged kulfi-like firni (Rs50). Until 5am. Opposite Fauziya Hospital, off LBS Marg. Tel: 022 26500 0501.
Omelette kheema pao stall Bir Ali has been serving hot-off-the-tawa beef kebabs (Rs8) stuffed into fresh pao with spicy coriander chutney and onions for over 19 years. He does brisk business selling these and greasy but delicious omelette and kheema pao (Rs12) during Ramadan. Until 11.30pm. New Mill Road, near Fauziya Hospital, in the same lane as Shalimar Restaurant, off LBS Marg.
Luchi puri and halwa stall Every year during Ramadan, Powai resident Abdul Hamid takes up address on New Mill Road in Kurla West to sell piping hot luchi puris (white in colour, these soft puris are removed from the wok before they turn crisp) and a lurid but tasty rawa halwa garnished with dry fruits (Rs10 for 100 grams). Until 2am. New Mill Road, near Fauziya Hospital, in the same lane as Shalimar Restaurant, off LBS Marg.
Sahara Hotel Kurla’s carnivores flock to this joint post 11pm when kheema, gurda and bheja make an appearance on the menu. Before sundown, crowds gather here for warm and fluffy naan (Rs7 for one), mutton kebab (Rs8 for one), kesar-tinged firni (Rs25), and bater (quail) tawa masala (Rs130). Until 5am. Near Kalpana Cinema, LBS Marg. Tel: 022 2503 3221.
Mughal Flavours Get a late dinner of dal gosht (Rs120), khichda (Rs100) and hot paya (Rs50); or make a meal out of their six-egg malpua (Rs120), prepared in large bubbling cauldrons. Until 5am. Near Kalpana Cinema, next to Sahara Hotel, LBS Marg. Tel: 022 6520 7771.Tags: Iftar meals, Kurla, Mughal Flavours, Naushijaan, Ramzan, Sahara Hotel, Zaffran Lounge