Ramzan Trail

If you happen to be in Mumbai and a nonveg worshiper or a bicurious (with bicurious I mean, someone who's curious about veg as well as nonveg delicacies), you have to, I mean absofuckinlutely have to visit Mohammed Ali Road atleast once during the holy month of Ramzan. It's almost like a ritual for nonveg lovers.

So, after the Mohd. Ali Road plan getting screwed up multiple times, our stomachs did a round table conference for full 127seconds and finally decided to go there on Wednesday night (about 4 days before Eid).

I'll start from the time when I reached Grant Road Station as Miillee (ex Miss Safedi ki Chamkar from Indibloggers meetup) suggested that its nearer to MAR (Mohd. Ali Road) compared to Churchgate. Guess she was correct, or maybe not. Anyways, so she being a sweet girl that she is (not), she reached before time. She had told me that she's bringing her sister alongwith, which was one of the rare good news I heard from her in a long time. So, I being a gentleman came perfectly on time at 8.30ish. Apparently, we both were looking for some cash and so decided to meetup at this particular ATM. I walked towards the said place and there she was, standing in blue jeans, bluish top & a turquoise umbrella with FRILLS. :O

Knowing the kinda nice guy I am, Miilee never bothered to introduce me to her sister, Janhavi and so I had to introduced myself with casual hi-hello. Since the girls came before me, they utilized the time well by using the ATM and it was my turn now. Apparently, the ATM was already occupied by a fat lady who was taking more time to take the cash out then it would take for you to read this crap that I've written. At this point I thought of going and telling her that since she's taking so long, she can take out some cash for me as well. My bad, she heard my loud mental thoughts and rushed out. Anyways, so after taking out the cash & knowing the per capital income of Dharavi in the form of my bank balance, we took a cab and headed towards MAR. In the cab, a very genuine and formal discussion took place between me and Jahanvi as to why we both think that Miilee is a "blonde".

In a while we reached some place leading upto MAR and owing to the smooth traffic, we decided to leave the Cab and walk with half a million other people towards MAR to meet all the other guys who were waiting for us. Finally, we reached Suleiman Mithaiwala and met Ranjeet (the man-in-charge), Rajesh (the guy with the car), Mohit (a typical engineer. *hi5*) & Harmanjit (the guy who thought he was duped, as he was the first & only one to reach at one point of time). :P

From there Mr. Ranjeet took the charge and informed that, we'll be starting our food endeavor not from this tourist place where all the amateurs eat but from this other place called Baarahandi or something, which is less crowded and where all the pros hog. Sounded like a plan. Indeed it was. Walked through the traffic for a while and reached at this quite looking lane where a couple of food joints were visible. Ranjeet told us that this where we'll start bothering our collective digestive systems and so we obliged.

Anyone who's even partially aware about having food at road side stalls know that the sensitivity of your tastebuds is directly proportion to your distance from the drainage. Okay, please stop making those weird faces and be honest, we all know the source of water in which they cook those delicacies and honestly speaking, the "water" adds a peculiar flavor without which it'll taste just like our home food (healthy & tasteless). :P

Anyways, so the same thing happened to me. At baara handi we ordered Paya Soup, Nalli nihari & but ofcourse Baara Handi. While everyone else were indulging in the food I could barely taste let alone smell it, only to realize that I was sitting at the furtherest end of the table barely a chair away from the drainage opening. :-S I somehow tried to squeeze myself towards the inside of the table and away from the coverless drainage opening and literally buried my nose (well, almost) thrice into the food and finally jump started my taste buds. Baara handi simply means 12 bowls. It consists of 12 different types of curries whose taste I can't describe it to you, as my tongue was hibernating at that time. Then I tried Nalli nihari which is basically the thigh bone according to Ranjeet. They told me, its tasty but what I ate was certainly a thigh bone of a leprosy patient. At this point of time, Mohit told us a creepy story about his childhood. When his mom used to make Nalli nihari, he'd eat the meat off the bone and use thigh bone as straw to drink the curry. Wow, now that'll make any schizophrenic bone collector proud. :| Though I tasted Paaya Soup, I'm not the right person to tell you, how it tastes? I'm not a soup person, so it's better you try it out yourself.

After that funny experience, as we were about to move, it started pouring. So all the wise men (baring me ofcourse) decided to give their valueable belongings like wallet, mobile phone & Rajesh's bone shattering Blackberry to Miilee as she was the only one who had a big bag and a bigger umbrella (with FRILLS).

Just 25 yards later we saw this place....

...and couldn't resist sitting by the hot grill in crazy rain. We had 3 different types of chicken - green, white & saffron colored; which was aptly named Chicken Tiranga. I, being a chicken enthusiast hogged onto it till everyone stood up from their seats making me look like an Ethiopian drought victim.

Just then Ranjeet announced that its time for all of us to bid adieu to the lane of pros and head back to the more famous, tourist lane for more food. This post is already too long, so without boring you guys (those, you've managed to read this far without fainting, sleeping or killing themselves) with the route that we passed by and the number of steps we took, I'll direct take to the destination.

*Cut to the famous lane on MAR where most people hog.*

Our food guide, Ranjeet ordered couple of Khichdas. For those wondering, what it is? It's basically Khichdi on steroids. In other words you can say, it's the nonveg loving hubby of Khichidi ben. :P
Since 6 of us were sharing 2 Khichdas, I never got the actual meat piece which is the essence of it and so my opinion towards Khichdi, Khichda & their kids is indifferent as far. In the middle of all this Miilee drank all the remaining liquid from the bowl showing us what a Khichda sucking pest she is. I know, you could've lived your life without reading that line, but it was such a nice phrase that I had coined for Miilee at that time,  that I couldn't resist putting it here. :P (Sorry Miilee. *hi5* Jahnvi)

Following which we went to the next lane to a downmarket restaurant as we thought it was a bit too filthy to sit outside, only to come and sit outside a minute later for reasons yet not known to mankind & me.
While Ranjeet was still busy outside, trying to figure out where else we can eat. The rest of us thought of ordering a couple of things just so that we're allowed to sit in  the wet chairs instead of standing in the rains. So, we ordered Chicken 65 which strangely had only 15 pieces. No kidding. :/

Also, the manager thought that it'll be cute if he'd order half-cooked Kheeri for us. To add to the misery, when asked for green chutney, he gave us a Chlorine based flourescent green pesticide. Impressive!

These is the second of the two pics I could take before which my cellphone battery passed out.

After tasting some Chlorine, we had a genuinely genius idea of learning about a goat's anatomy by tasting its different organs. Hence, we moved to a food stall next door and had Bheja Fry (yes its actually a dish and not just a lingo that Harmanjit thinks it to be), Gurda Fry Masala (after putting the goat on dialysis) & Kaleji (cut a goat's heart out, add salt & masala & fry it. Basically its the same thing that your exes have done to you).

By the time, we finished our goat, our media friends Abhinn, Anil, Subhashish & Prasanth had arrived with their colleagues . Much to their horror, we were almost done by then and so they had to hog on their own without any help from us. And while they were at it, we made ourselves diabetes prone by heading over to Noorani Mithaiwala. Everyone  outside of me had Lassi and I being a non-sweet-toothed creature, tasted Malpua as if obliging. Huh, lucky them! :P

After this we all unanimously agreed that we shouldn't have anything more else the blog post will become harrowingly long and so we headed home. The contents of what happened after leaving MAR till we reached home would not be disclosed by any of us, as agreed upon. :P

Note: The font colors are not just for show or to keep the readers anchored to the blog, they automatically appears as I write the name of any food item, representing the ideal color of that delicacy.


Poonam said...

Now that is what I call a blow-by-blow account. :) Though I get an idea that other chicken you really didn't like anything else much. But it's an interesting eating experience. I'd loved to join, had I been a non-vegetarian. :)

P.S: Tell me how Millee takes her revenge for all those digs you took at her. :P

Phoenix said...

@Poonam... Ya I like blows... :P
And as far as Miilee is concerned, she's a very sweet girl...she won't mind it. Right Miilee? :-S *shivering in fear*

miilee said...

@Poonam: am used to him... I just put up an indignant fb status update and tag binoy...

@Binoy: U r a bloody attention seeker... saala beizzat karke attention attract karta hai...

But nice post... (and the first place was not called Bara Handi! It was Naagdevi street. Second, Kaleji is not heart; its kidney... Ask Ranjeet what Gurda is.. Also, I myself liked the khichada sucking pest phrase.. :) )

ranjeet walunj said...

lol --- I did not realise you were so near to drain .... and i was next to you :P

We will do the tourist lane on some other day when it is not raining ... and prolly will eat at single place :-)

Phoenix said...

@Miilee ... You always put up an insulting post on fb tagging me. :/ God knows what I've done to deserve that...tsk tsk... :'( :P

FYI... Harmanjit told me about Kaleji & Gurda...I dunno.

@Ranjeet... Pakka...we'll do this once again and hopefully I'll have nicer & lesser content to write. :P

Accounting Wiz Mumbai said...

I practically do the bi-curios foodie thing (as Binoy puts it) every year, considering I work next to the touristy lane, but this was the best Ramzan trail i've done! Thanks guys and gals!
@Ranjeet we shud also explore a few other places that you were discussing and prolly enjoy there as well.

Magali said...

Hah, you make me jealous because I didn't go. And you guys didn't even bother to call me :(
And yeah, we really *believe* your little note! (NOT)

Phoenix said...

@Accounting Wiz Mumbai... We should do more of these food trails man, what say?

@Magali... Awww sorry, didn't had your contact details.

Surubhi said...

hahaha i wish i was there....or maybe not :P wloved the post :)

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