Imagine going somewhere with high expectations and then being overhelmed! Surreal, right? That’s what happened with our visit to Mohammed Ali Road. I’ve been wanting to go here during Ramzaan ever since forever and it’s really something to write home about. It’s a sensory overload with its myriad sights and sounds but it’s not for the faint-hearted. You will need to come with a lot of energy and enthusiasm to be able to maneuver through the sea of people. And there will literally be a sea of people all here to soak up everything this road has to offer.

The road we are talking about is Khau Galli, which means “Eating Road” and starts from Minara Masjid. The road is filled with its stalls selling everything from chicken sheekh kebab to shammi kebabs, tandoori quails all the way to desserts like malpua and Firni. Wading through the road takes incredible skills of being able to “ride the wave” while scouting famous places like “Mashallah”, “Burhanpur” for their mawa jalebis, and the famous “Suleiman Bakery” for a wide variety of sweets including the Malpua. There is a lot to see and savour here so come with time in hand (it opens around 7 pm) and an appetite for destruction (of your diet!)!

Our first stop was the famous Noor Muhammadi Hotel where my unwavering faith that North Indian food in the best in Kolkata was put to the test. Noor Muhammadi Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Mumbai and was set up in 1923. We got lucky with a table that was clearing just as we arrived. It’s a little bit of a walk from the Khau Galli but I would advise you to start here. We started with bheja fry, biryani and Sanju Baba chicken with some tandoori roti. Sanju baba chicken, named after the actor Sanjay Dutt whose recipe it was, is like chicken chaap with deseeded red chillis and dried fruits. The Tandoori rotis are light and fluffy. The biryani, specifically the white biryani which we ordered, was light and tasty and unlike the heavy oily biryani we get back in Kolkata. We also enjoyed the service which was fast and pleasant. The bill was quite reasonable and the entire fare was less than 700 bucks. We also plan to go back for the Shammi kebab which looked delicious from afar but we had to keep some space for the actual Khau Galli so we gave it a miss!

In Khau Galli, there is almost a limitless supply and wide variety of choices in North India / Mughlai but I have a particular sweet spot for the sweet dishes served. We decided to go with the Malpua as our dessert of choice for the evening although we were spoilt for choices with star attractions like mawa jalebi and firnis. The Malpua was unlike the malpua we get back in Kolkata. In Kolkata, the malpuas are caramelized to being almost burnt and tastes very sweet. Here, the malpuas are lighter and fluffier, and a lot bigger. The malpuas are cooked like pancakes have a really fine balance in that its not very sweet. The texture is flaky on the side and fluffy in the middle, which is doused in condensed milk. We had our Malpua from the reknowned Suleiman Bakery and it was really a treat to have. However, it’s a little much for a single person, or even two, and we had to pack some of our malpua to have later in the house. The malpuas cost Rs 200 although I am not sure whether that is their regular rate or an increased rate because of Ramzaan.

Khau Galli during Ramzaan is an experience that you will recount in an exciting way when you tell tales of places where you’ve been. People come from all over Bombay to savour the delicacies offered here and it is a food fest like no other. Come with an open mind, lots of energy, and a zeal to eat. Enjoy the sounds and the madness around you. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you should visit if you are in Mumbai during the magical month of Ramzaan.

P.S. We were so in love with the food here that we went back twice, with two different sets of friends. Because there was just so much to see and eat! We hope you enjoyed this little write-up and the food photos!