While Sanjay Dutt survives on one chapati, dal and rice in jail, a dish named after him is selling like hot cakes at Noor Mohammadi Hotel in Bhendi Bazaar. Called Chicken Sanju Baba, the recipe was given by the actor himself two years ago.
Khalid Hakim (40), owner of the hotel, said: “Dutt used to frequently place orders to be delivered to either his home or where he would be shooting, and my brother Rashid would deliver it.” And the actor’s favourites: nalli nihari, shaami kabab and white biryani.
Dutt’s association with Noor Mohammadi goes back to the 1980s. “He would come here with his cousins,” said Hakim. “One day, Dutt and Rashid got talking about food and the actor revealed his own recipe, which was then prepared.”
After some alterations, Dutt gave his stamp of approval to include Chicken Sanju Baba on the menu. He didn’t charge Hakim for it either. “He could have sold the recipe to a five-star hotel, which would have bought it at any price,” said Hakim.
Munawwar Shaikh (30), a Jogeshwari garment trader, said: “Whenever I visit this part of the city, I go to the hotel to enjoy Chicken Sanju Baba.” Shaikh said he likes it because it tastes different. “It is neither too spicy, nor sweet,” he explained.
Many actors, including Salman Khan, are also fond of Chicken Sanju Baba, said Hakim. “Salman’s favourite is mutton paaya, but he also likes Dutt’s recipe,” Hakim added.
Now, Hakim wants to deliver Dutt’s favourite food to Yerawada jail. “If the court allows him home food, and his family permits me, I will deliver it myself,” said Hakim, who has also planned a celebration if he gets bail.