Midnight Maddness at Mohammed Ali Road

[Phirni - A Creamy Rice Pudding, seen here in flavours of Safron and Almond]

The Minara Masjid twinkles a glorious light green under a cloud of tiny fairy lights as chaos entralls the streets below. In what now has become an annual Ramzan treat for me I decided to haunt the Khao Galli at Mohammed Ali and yes ofcourse savour every lastbit of food I could find.

It's a sweet Ramzan
[It's a sweet Ramzan]

Here's a snippet from my last years visit

The red hot charcoal solder as the smoke rises through the tenderised chicken and kebabs into the air, wafting into my nostrils, air such divine. It's a frenzied scene as full pitched bazaar flows by with smiles and sighs under the green glow of the well adourned mosque and the orange glow from the alleviating traffic behind me. I glance at my wrist watch and it blinks backs 00:00 am at me. I frown in disbelief think out aloud, "It can't be tomorrow already, the city is alive and awake" My words at any other time would have been audible but today they seem to have been drowned by the life around me.

"Aao Aao Sahb, Mensahb .. Humare Badiya Khana Khao", "{Come one and all try out our delecious fare} shouted the man next to me in his crisp white kurta and colourful skull cap. Seeing that I was paying him some eye contact he diverted his sales touts to my directions.
People think Indian Bazaars are haphazard, I disagree each market has a finely planned out anatomy. Just like when you're in a department store and you find the Womens section on the first floor, childrens on the second, and mens wear on the third or sometimes on the fourth depending on where they want to put the lifestyles stuff. In the same way the midnight bazaar has womens shoes, everything from skilettos to juttis on the outer rim. There is also other stuff hair-bands, clothes, costume jewellery etc etc but since I'm not the target consumer I ignore. I by pass the shoes with out second look and move on directly to the good stuff, the food. Back to the anatomy we have the dazzling variety of methais [sweets] and food of all shapes and sizes on the left. Food Court Style yet outdoor very cool.

I was there for the sweets and Suleman Usman Bakery was the place to enjoy them. Phirnis, Maalpuas yum. I lapped down a rich and creamy kesar Phirni till my plastic spoon scrapped the bottom of the terrecota cup it was served in. The Maalpaus pure heaven served hot with their crispy brown honey dipped sweet exterior and their custard creamy interior melting in you mouth as your palate just wanted more. Sensory overload.

Midnight Bazaar

My this showing at Mohammed Ali Road was pretty much like last it was just the quantity of food intake was doubled. The list included Maalpaus and Phirni at Suleman Usman (obviously), Pathar Ghosh (hyderabadi dish where pieces of meat at cooked on a preheated slab of granite absolutely delicious), Tongue Soup at Bademian, a generous intake of sugary faloodas, some sheikh kebabs and finished off with some excellent dudhi ka halwa.

Tongue Soup
[Susanna and Paul trying out their tongue soup at Bademian

It was good I can tell you that.]

Excuse me I have a lot of digesting to do before my Diwali post.

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carri said...

My name is Carri. I'm a screenwriter in Los Angeles, California doing research for a TV program on the sleeping habits of children all over the world, ages 6 to 12. I'd like to include children from India. I'm wondering if you could help me. I'm specifically looking for information on where children sleep (In the same bedroom with other siblings? On the street? What do their rooms look like? What are their bedtime rituals? I’d like to send parents (or anyone who works with these children) a questionnaire that better explains what I’m doing. My story is meant to be sweet piece on children, for children, but one that also enlightens them to the lives of other children around the world.
Please email me at ckaruhn@msn.com.
Thank you

Laith said...


Man, i'm fasting and reading your post made me hungry. i think i should spend the last 2 nights of ramadan taking pictures of the bazars of amman.

Would love to try the pathar ghosh.

Lee said...

cool pictures. nice and colourful =)

Vi said...

Bangles! I haven't visted a bangle shop in ages.

That phirni looks mighty yummy, too.

Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

I am still groaning from all the Bhai Tikka, Mha Puja and Diwali food (here in Nepal). Bademian's rocks!

Melody said...

Dropped in to say Happy Diwali & got blown away (as usual) by your pics!

Loved especially the bangle pic in this post and all the pics in the Bandra Fair post (tugged a chord in my Catholic heart). The "great Indian bus" was hilarious and then scarily-not-funny too.

Akshay you're a genius. May the new year be a blessed one for you.

Santosh said...

Did you find anything like this in Pune?

Rajesh Chavan said...

ilike ur blog

Ashish said...

The photo of the phirni was great. The other 3 photos I thought could be sharper. Maybe they did not come out so well on the browser where I was looking..

savante said...

hey, this is paul and God, I love your site! :) Cute musings on life.

Ms.N said...

lovely pics... i mean u have given the most usual of scenes a life of their own! Love it... will drop in more oftn!

Sib said...

Ah ... nice blog ... and nice pics too to make people hungry.
I am from Kalyan

Mayank Austen Soofi said...

Hello Akshay,
Your post and pictures on Bombay's Muhammad Ali were fabulous. It was really good. Believe me. I'm so glad I chanced upon your site. But have you even been to Delhi's Jama Masjid during a ramadan evening? if not, perhaps you can visit it at my blog - The Delhi Walla.

Active Computech said...

People of Jannat (Paradise) will eat foods and fruits continuously up to 40 years. Every bowl will have a new taste. They will take eructation which will digest the food and there will be perfumed sweating for the digestion of water. There will be rooms in Jannah in such a way that every room will have seventy thousand (70,000) dinning sheets. On every dinning sheet 70,000 types of foods will be served. One bunch of dates will be equal to the length of 12 arms. The size of a date will be equal to the big pitcher.
These will be whiter than milk, sweeter than honey and softer than butter and free Of seeds. There will also be gardens of grapes. The bunches of grapes will be very big. The size of a single grape will be equal to a big pitcher.

May Allah shower His glorious mercy on entire Muslim Ummah! and safe us to His great shelter forever. Ameen!

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