Last week, we decided to go on a photo-walk – Ramazan Food Trail covering Mosque Road, Frazer Town, right here at the heart of Bengaluru, which is immensely popular especially in the holy month of Ramazan. Mosque Road is incredibly renowned for its non-vegetarian food throughout the year but sees feet-stammering crowds in this month of fasting.
After a bit of initial research to gauge the crowds that start rushing in just about when the sun goes down every evening, we resolved to reach well before sunset. Of course, to explore and relish heavenly food in peace. We began our food trail from Albert Bakery.
Albert Bakery goes back to more than 80 years. Since then, it has been serving delicious food. The bakery’s popularity is such that one can always notice a huge queue of people hurdling around the store even before the shop opens in the late afternoons. Just on the opposite side of the bakery is the famous Pista House shop which runs from a basement. We were two impatient hungry men and so visited the Pista House for its Haleem while the bakery opened up.
Which can easily come off as an abandoned underground construction site to timid eyes, is actually an abode of taste and flavour for hungry ones. At The Special Pista House Mutton Haleem, meat pounded together for at least 8-12 hours along with wheat, the Haleem is indeed a treat. Topped with fresh lemon, mint leaves and fried onions, it will melt in your mouth before you know it.
Finally, Albert Bakery opened and people rushed in. So did we.
The most popular delicacies are Keema Samosas, Brain Puff, Keema Naan and Khova Naan. However, in order to keep our bellies relatively empty for our trail further ahead, we decided to taste only the Keema Naan which was a complete world of scrumptious meaty goodness along with light spices, onions and curry leaves.
We then kept going ahead to try some of the other specialities of food cooked exclusively during this holy month of abstinence as we reached the Shadi Biryani stall and Charminar Kabab Paradise. Among the tons of other varieties of non-vegetarian items including rolls, kebabs and tikkas and dessert dishes, Paththar Gosht and Baida Roti are musts at their respective joints. Patthar Gosht is prepared on a huge single piece of stone which is kept hot the whole night by the burning charcoal underneath. Baida Roti is quite similar to the Keema Naan except that it is deep fried and eggs wrap the meat inside unlike the naan which is baked.
There were quite a few fresh fruit stalls too along the way which was perfect to end such a meaty food trail.
As we finally finished our long meaty scrumptious food trail, we couldn’t stop reflecting upon the fact that apart from the piousness and the feeling of caring, sharing and giving in this month of abstinence observed worldwide, one aspect which ties them together, ties us together, our cultures and traditions is our food.
Tuhin Bhowal is an aspiring writer and photographer.
Sourav Roy is a Bengaluru-based journalist, poet, and translator. He edits the Bengaluru Review magazine.