Home > Calcutta (Kolkata), Food, General > Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street, Zakaria Street, Kolkata

Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street, Zakaria Street, Kolkata

Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street

Nakhoda Masjid, Zakaria Street, Kolkata

See Also: Eid Nawaz, Nakhoda Masjid and Red Road, Kolkata

“Islam has always been an urban faith, ill at ease with the wilderness; its civilization has always flourished most successfully in the labyrinths of the ancient bazar towns of the East. Certainly there can be no doubt that Islam looks at its most impressive in a great urban cathedral mosque, especially on an occasion like Id.”

William Dalrymple, City of Djinns

Kababs, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street, Nakhoda Masjid, Kolkata (Calcutta)

Kababs, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street, Nakhoda Masjid, Kolkata (Calcutta)

Located on Chitpur Road (Rabindra Sarani) the Nakhoda Masjid, the cathedral mosque of Kolkata (Calcutta) looks spectacular during the occasion of Eid, but during the entire month of Ramadan the entry labyrinths surrounding Nakhoda Masjid turns out into a food bazar!!!!

Rooh Afza Sharbat, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street

Rooh Afza Sharbat, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street

Muslims fasts from sun rise to sun set during the month of Ramadan but the eateries are active throughout the day and feeds hungry souls, who are not on fast.

The entire area located around the Nakhoda Masjid bears a festive looks selling any thing from clothing to atar (traditional perfume).

But the centre of attractions are the food stalls selling from any ting from breads to kababs.

During the summer months the Ramzan (Ramadan) food odyssey can start with a drink of Rooh Afza Sharbat topped with a chunk of ice and its better not to enquire about the source of ice and water.

Cut Fruits, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street

Cut Fruits, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street

The fruit sellers make a brisk business as fruits form an integral part of the Iftar, the fast breaking meal.

Also ready to eat cut fruits are also available but carnivores can always skip it, citing health reasons, but the colourfull platter is always a good subject of photography.

One by one the food options pops up as one makes his way further down the Zakaria Street.

Stalls selling bhajis (deep fried fried snacks), which also forms an integral part of Ifter are also on sale along with gughni, topped with salads.

Ghugni and Bhajis, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street

Ghugni and Bhajis, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street

Again it is an absolutely must miss for hard core carnivores but it is definitely a photographers choice.

Finally its time for the carnivore and no Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Walk can be complete without Haleem.

Hallem a popular stew in the Middle East, Central Asia and Indian Sub – Continent consists of chunks of meat in a soup of assorted lentils and cooked for a long duration over a slow flame.

The eateries in Zakaria Streets and its surrounding lanes and by – lanes comes up with makeshift outlets during Ramzan (Ramadan). They sell halems from large handis and open barbeques roasts an assortment of chicken, mutton and beef kababs.

The most sought after item is the haleem, which comes in a different varieties starting from Afgani, Hyderabadi, Magaj (Brain) and Ispecial (Special).

It is sold from makeshift stalls from outside the eateries with long queues of waiting customers, who are not necessarily patient.

Most of the customers are on fast and pack the halem in containers and take them home, as halem can be heated later and consumed during the iftar.

Haleem Seller od Zakaria Street, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street

Haleem Seller od Zakaria Street, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street

But for carnivores, not on fast, it is the best option to start the the Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Walk of Nakhoda Masjid area.

Lachha (Vermicelli) Shop, Ramzan Food Walk

Lachha (Vermicelli) Shop, Ramzan Food Walk

The Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Walk is not all about eating on the street, it is also a place to stock up supplies of ingredients to be brought back home for cooking and eating.

Lachha or Vermicelli are sold in large heaps all over the the Nakhod Masjid area and comes in fried and non fried varieties.

It serves as a principle ingredient for making savai kheer and lachha halwa.

For years the lachha sold in Chitpur area, is home made but recently branded versions are also available in this makeshift food stalls of Zakaria Street and its lanes and by – lanes.

Bread and Biscuit Stalls, Ramazan Food Street

Bread and Biscuit Stalls, Ramazan Food Street

The Muslim bakeries also comes in with their varieties of breads and cookies. The bread generally comes in two varieties Bakarkhani and Sheemal.

Mahi Akbari (Deep Fried Fish), Ramzan Food Street

Mahi Akbari (Deep Fried Fish), Ramzan Food Street

The bakarkhani bread is a thick and crispy layered bread smeared with poppy seeds, on the other hand sheermal is a soft and sweet as the milk forms an integral part of its dough.

Now its time for stock up your biscoot, home made cookies, and the choices are unlimited with both sweet and salty varieties.

With stock of lachha, bread and biscoot its time for non veg food. The carnivores can head for the Chicken Changreji and Mahi Akbari,  which are a must have during the Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Walk.

Chicken Changreji is an indigenous version of the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), where the chicken is deep fried in batter and served absolutely dry. Mahi Akbari on the other hand consists of large chunks of katla fish fried in similar way.

Assortments of Kababs, Ramzan Food Street

Assortments of Kababs, Ramzan Food Street

Strangely both the dishes are sold not based on piece but on weight. The pieces are weighed along with the batter and then fried. A 500 grams piece of chicken or fish is enough to serve 4 to 5 hungry soles.

Making of Faluda, Ramzan Food Street

Making of Faluda, Ramzan Food Street

Carnivores can now head for the the kababs, open barbeque ovens roast the most delicious chicken, mutton and beef kababs.

From the familiar reshmi kabab and tengri kabab to the more exotic and elusive sutli kabab and khiri kabab.

The sutli kabab or suta kabab is an exotic kabab, so soft that it needs to be tied around the skewer with threads, and hence the name sutli kabab or suta kabab.

Khiri kabab on the other hand is made out of cow’s mammary gland.

After a mix and match of kababs its time for deserts and carnivore finally has to give up his love for meat.

Start with a glass of Faluda, a concentrated saffron flavoured milk. topped with chopped pistachio nuts and rose syrup.

Next opt for the Sahi Tukda, piece of butter fried bread dipped in a highly concentrated kheer, along with a dash of chopped pistachio, almonds and resins.

Finally its time to call it a day and if you are still hungry for more you can wrap it up with some exotic puddings, custards and jelleys.

Desserts, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street, Nakhoda Masjid, Kolkata (Calcutta)

Desserts, Ramzan (Ramadan) Food Street, Nakhoda Masjid, Kolkata (Calcutta)

Each of these comes in an assortment of flavours and an amazing way to end an Islamic feast with a European touch.

Statuary Warning: People concerned with hygiene, should keep away. 

  1. July 22, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    Very well written and informative… Waiting for next Ramadan for another season of food, food and food.

    • July 22, 2015 at 8:52 PM

      Thanks Subhadip, and the article will always be memorable because this is where we met for the first time.

      • July 23, 2015 at 7:59 PM

        Thanks… hopefully this will be a friendship for lifetime🙂

  2. July 22, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    Yummy post!!

  3. July 22, 2015 at 4:28 PM

    Amazing, Rangan da.
    While this post makes me regret not visiting the area this Eid, it fuels plans for subsequent visits! So, thank you very much for that! 🙂

    • July 22, 2015 at 8:55 PM

      Thanks Madhura, really you missed it, but there is always next time. Don’t miss it next year.

  4. July 22, 2015 at 4:43 PM

    Loved this post, festive season is so inviting for a foodie like me🙂

    • July 22, 2015 at 8:56 PM

      Dear Alok, festive food is always tempting so is the atmosphere.

  5. July 22, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    great post- as usual

    • July 22, 2015 at 8:57 PM

      Dear Indrajit, you probably have a better post on this topic. Really admire your extensive knowledge on food.

      • July 23, 2015 at 10:30 AM

        Thanks. Coming from you, its a great thing

  6. July 22, 2015 at 7:09 PM

    Thats mouthwatering and informative. Thanks for the share

    • July 22, 2015 at 8:59 PM

      Dear Datta, nice to hear you after a long time, how is your blog going??

  7. July 23, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    As a Bengali living in Bangalore for many years now, your posts (like this one) always keep me connected to my city, and show me the various facets that I had never experienced in my childhood, or I am missing out on now. Thank you for your extremely informative blog.

    On a different note, we do Ramadan food walks in Bangalore at a very popular place called Mosque Road and it’s nice to know about the Kolkata counterparts.

    • July 23, 2015 at 11:18 PM

      Thanks Maduja for your inspiring comment, frankly speaking these comments are huge source of inspiration and worth a million dollars.

      Also thanks for informing me about the Ramadan Food walks in Banglore.

      Thanks once more and do keep in touch.

  8. July 24, 2015 at 7:39 PM

    You are welcome Sir. I have been following your blog ever since I joined the world of blogging and I really enjoy it.
    Regarding the Bangalore food walks, I’m not sure if any organized walks happen here. I was just mentioning casual walks undertaken by a small group of foodie friends.

    • July 29, 2015 at 10:19 AM

      Thanks Madhuja for following my blog. I am not in for organized food walks I prefer doing it myself.

      Thanks once more and happy blogging.

  9. July 25, 2015 at 8:03 PM

    Try the Chicken Afgani at Dilli6 in that area… it is heavenly…. !!

    • July 29, 2015 at 10:18 AM

      Thanks Amitabha, was too busy shooting this year, will have more food next year

  10. Sahid Imam Mallick
    June 23, 2016 at 9:04 PM

    Excellently written….anybody has gone there for that food walk would know the description is so live….
    I go there almost every year with friends or juniors(though missed last year) and I can visualize entire scenario from your detailed post…thanks for d post 👏👍

    • June 23, 2016 at 9:07 PM

      Thank you Sahid, its an amazing experience I don’t normally miss it.

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