Bombay is one of those cities in India where the cost of living is substantially high yet we find cheap food here but these are generally vegetarian and especially from Udupi restaurants. That’s when Muhammad Ali Road comes to the rescue with its fair share of meat and sweets. The area is vast with delicious dishes being served at every corner but considering the scope of this article, I’m limiting it to the periphery of Minara Masjid where most of my favorite joints are there which are also pretty famous and I’ll list them here.
In contrast to the one at Colaba, this stall only opens during Ramadan and serves some great starters and soups. What I’ll recommend here would be their Chicken soup which is green in color and their Paya or mutton leg soup. These are the best appetizers to begin your food walk.
The whole lane is filled with kebabs like sheekh and boti to varients of chicken Tikka like ‘green’, ‘malai’, ‘regular’ etc. but those served at Mashallah cuisine is definitely beyond the league and a must to taste. Even the other usual fair of baida rotis, rolls and naan sandwiches are more delicious.
Old Mawa Jilebi Shop:
Unlike the regular, these mawa Jalebis are black in color and is unique to the area. If you have a sweet tooth then eating these would be an experience to cherish. These are most famous from the ‘Old Mawa Jilebi Shop’ which is located in one of the by lanes near the masjid.
‘Badami’ haleem stall
This is another Ramadan rendezvous. Haleem is a southern delicacy found in the city of Hyderabad and it is made of mutton, wheat and barley. This Ramzan try this than the usual ‘kichara’ which is prepared with mutton, dal and rice. The ‘Badami’ is a take on the Pista Hotel which is famous for its haleem.
Original Persian Bakery:
It focuses on different breads, biscuits, cakes etc. The biscuits are available in sweet and salty
variants which always melt in your mouth. Later during the day, they also serve burgers and rolls. Their chicken burger and chicken mayonnaise roll, both priced at Rs.50, are extremely filling with a generous amount of chicken and cheese.
This is famous for its ‘malpua’ which is a sweet dish made with eggs and ‘maida’ or refined flour which is served with some ‘rabbadi’ But I’m not a huge fan of this. On the contrary, I would advise you to drink their ‘masala doodh’ which is a milk drink flavored with saffron and cashews. This would definitely cool the heat produced by the meat.
Noor Mohammadi, Bhendi Baazar
This is one of those places where one can have an affordable fine dining. Their ‘Nalli Nihari’ which is a dish made out of mutton bone marrow and their ‘Shammi Kebabs’ are to die for. Their other specialities include ‘Chicken Sanju Baba’, whose recipe was given by actor Sanjay Dutt, and White Biriyani.
Khane- e-Ahmadi, Paydhunie
This is a place where one can find some amazing ‘seekh kebabs’. A plate of a fried paratha and two seekhs is available for a meagre sum of Rs.55 where the crispy paratha complements the succulent seekhs. I would suggest that one opt for chicken seekh as I felt that to be more delightful in flavours. The only reason to detest this place would be its ambience as it’s a small joint but this is a must visit for the taste of the food and the amicable hospitality.
Another famous locality in the region is the ‘Bohri Mohallah’ that serves delicious food especially the joint called ‘Surti Barah Handi’ which derives its name from the pots that it possesses to serve twelve different dishes. But, I have limited it to the above mentioned places since I’m a regular visitor there and know the vibrancy of the taste of the food they make.
In conclusion, the best time to visit Mohammad Ali Road would be post 7:30 as various stalls and some restaurants like Khane-e- Ahmadi start serving food late in the evening and continue till the wee hours of the morning. Also, one must visit this place specifically during the month of Ramadan as it lights up and more stalls crop up at ‘Iftar’ which is when the fast is broken but the only disadvantage is that the already crowded place becomes more crowded. However, when you are there you must definitely try ‘Russian cutlets’, ‘chicken crispy’, ‘shawarma’ and ‘firni’ from any stall in the vicinity as these are very tasty.
P.S. This article has been possible due the guidance and the various inputs of my friend
Sadia Mithawala who is a local resident and a fellow foodie.