Ramadan (or Ramzan as it is more commonly known) is the time most looked forward to by Muslims around the world. It was during this month that the Quran came into being with Prophet Mohammed’s (peace be upon him) revelations. The month is spent observing fasts from the break of dawn to the beginnings of dusk – over 12 hours usually – without ingesting a morsel of food, drinking a drop of water or even swallowing one’s saliva. After 30 days of fasting, the month of Ramadan culminates in Eid – a celebration of the month gone by.
But this is not the only reason that Ramadan is well-known in India. The biggest reason behind a large population looking forward to this time is because of the food. Obviously when people have been fasting for over 12 hours, they will not tolerate average food during the opening of the fast at dusk. So the spread is a choice of delectable meats, rices, savouries, sweets and soups. You’ll see hundreds of shops and eat streets across India catering to this rush of people.
In Bangalore, there are a handful of places that come alive during Ramadan, and Mosque Road is one of them. The mosque takes permission for letting people put up rows and rows of stalls that stretch a kilometre, with mouth-watering foods from various parts of South India. This phenomenon was hidden from me for the better part of this month till I happened to travel past it one evening and watched agape at the culinary orgy being displayed to attract the passing crowds. And I’ve been wanting to capture it ever since.
As I recuperate from Eid excess, I want to leave you with my epicurean adventures on Mosque Road three nights ago.
First, it is important to soak in the atmosphere and become one with the mass of bodies screaming their orders and belting food like a famine’s about to strike the world in a couple of hours.
Second, take a look around. See which stalls have interesting names and which ones have interesting food.
Third, start with an appetiser. Kababs are the perfect beginning to a two hour-long meal. Choose from chicken kabab, mutton kabab, veal kabab, shaamis, boti kabab, chicken stick, chicken shaslik, vegetable patty…
Fourth, walk around a little more and see what gets your taste buds going for the main course.
Fifth, when you know you can eat no more, eat a paan.
Sixth, because you can be such a glutton and are constantly greedy when it comes to food, grab a kulfi.
Getting there: Go by auto, especially if you decide to visit during Ramadan next year. Taking a cab or bike is utter chaos. Almost all autos know where Mosque Road is, so just say that.
Go if: You love food, meat, biryani, pulsating crowds because they make you feel alive.