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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

Lifestyle

Tour de feast
Sneha Mahale, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, August 02, 2013
First Published: 13:21 IST(2/8/2013)
Last Updated: 19:12 IST(2/8/2013)
Women offer prayers in Jammu. Eid festival marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramazan.

Mohammad Ali Road takes on a festive feel at this time of the year, attracting crowds from all walks of life. Every night for the 30-day fast kept during Ramadan, people gather at the busy street food markets of south Mumbai for iftar, the breaking of the fast. Vendors offer culinary delights — from fried starters to the sweetest treats — to ensure that Mumbaikars don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate in the festivities, Reality Tours and Travel is organising a special guided visit to the area.

“Our tour manager Asim Shaikh, who also developed our regular street food tour along with our CEO Stephanie Hays, knows Mohammad Ali Road like the back of his hand. He is excited about the tour and has so many stories and memories of past Ramadans to share along with its traditions and rituals,” says Adina Goerke, marketing director, Reality Tours and Travel.

The original plan was to organise a 2.5 hour tour only on August 8, when markets would be more packed with gift stalls and food vendors than the rest of the year. However, as that tour has already been fully booked, visits are now being scheduled on August 6 and 7.

As part of the outing, the group will take a taxi from Grant Road to Minara Masjid on Mohammad Ali Road. Most of the evening will be spent in the area trying out authentic fare on offer. “During Ramadan, and especially on the last few days before Eid, there are countless delights to taste, like Chota Kebab, Baida Roti, Tandoori Chicken, any offal food from liver to heart and kidney, Jalebi, Falooda, dates and Halwa Roti. It will be a feast,” says Shaikh. Later, the group will head to Bhendi Bazaar, Chor Bazaar and end the tour at MS Ali Road with the traditional paan.

Right click
Snack on scrumptious authentic Haleem from Hyderabad’s popular Pista House, which will be delivered right to your doorstep. If you live in Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune or New Delhi (select pin codes), you could log on to the website, www.gaticonnect.com, and place your order online. The dish, made with meat, ghee, a mix of spices, wheat and dry fruits, is packed in one kg airtight containers. It is then sent via air to these destinations daily and to Coimbatore and Vishakhapatnam on a weekly basis. Priced at R575 per kg, orders placed before 8 am are delivered on the same day.

Fast feast
Crowds stop you from participating in the feasting at street markets? Now you can order a Ramadan thaal and have it within the comforts of your home and celebrate iftar. Jantar Mantar is offering what it calls Daawat-E-Ramzaan, where one can order meals that consist of tender, succulent meat served over a bed of aromatic biryani garnished with dry fruits and silver warq. Delicious kebabs and saalan also come as part of the package. “Ramadan is all about valuing food and brotherhood. In order to celebrate the same in a grand manner, the concept of the thaal was implemented,” says Dharmesh Karmokar, director of Jantar Mantar.

An average thaal serves 12 people and consists of Mutton Biryani and five kebabs — Mutton Mince Kebabs, Chicken Hazabi Tikka, Lahori Kebab, Seekh Kebab and Chicken Basil Kebab. The minimum order has to be for 12 people and will cost between R5,000-R15,000, depending on the food items you choose. “This way you can call your friends and family and celebrate iftari together,” says Karmokar.

Be appy
Don’t know where to head to try out traditional meals during Ramadan? For Nokia users, Zomato has introduced a special iftar section, enabling users to easily find out the best eating options available across countries, like Dubai. Download the app from the Ovi Store.

Web special
And while Mumbai gets into the festive mood, Google too has got in on the act with a special site, google.com/landing/ramadan, that brings together all its services, Hangouts, Maps, YouTube videos, Google+ at one spot. This allows users to make full use of them to celebrate Ramadan. The site is live and will run till August 9.

As part of the services, you can watch Ramadan-related videos on YouTube, live streaming of events happening at Mecca’s Grand Mosque and plan your trip using Google Maps. The website also features other real-time broadcasts from events across the world.

Reality Tours and Travel (realitytoursandtravel.in) is organising the tour on Aug 6 and 7.


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