during the holy month of ramzan, bangalore’s mm road lights up every night with street stalls selling all sorts of goodies. for a food-obsessed person such as myself, it’s kind of like finding a sunken treasure. so for the final week of ramzan, avni, gayatri, and i made our way over to frazer town to sample as much as our stomachs could fit.
in our two-and-a-half-hours on the street, we walked from one end of mm road to the other and back, and we tried a nice variety of eats along the way. we had biryani, mutton pathar ka gosht, samosas, and an assortment of desserts. we also got some free chicken pathar ka gosht, and i scored a free afghani kebab and a free hyderabadi kebab. and then i wrapped up the night with some beef chops at sait’s where i got to very briefly catch up with melvin. [note: the kebabs and the chops were beef, and as avni and gayatri don’t eat beef, i only tried samples of them. also, i tried the haleem at pista house on a quick visit a few weeks before, and it was also delicious]
prices along the way vary from stall to stall, and there are people crowded around and lined up as far as the eye can see, so it can seem a little overwhelming upon first arrival. that’s why i was glad we took our time deciding what we wanted and where we wanted it from. none of us were in any kind of hurry, so we were able to enjoy the experience as well as the food.
this was somehow the first year i have made it to mm road during ramzan, and i cannot believe it took me this many years to check it out. it’s a great time to see people of all backgrounds and faiths mixing together, and it’s an opportunity to try some great food that you might not otherwise have the chance to eat.
with ramzan coming to a close over the weekend, the stalls have shut until the festival rolls around next year. when it begins in 2016, be sure to make your way over to try some of the delicious offerings. i promise you won’t regret it.
some tips + tricks:
go in a group. there are so many different stalls offering so many varieties of food in such huge quantities that there is no way one person can try all of it. but you’ll want to try all of it. so get a group together and head over so that you can get a lot of different things and share them.
take your time. between the crowds and the seemingly endless choices, you’re going to want the freedom to move at your own pace. if you are on any sort of time limit, you might miss out on something amazing, so make sure you have at least 2.5-3 hours to really soak in the experience and try as much of the food as you can.
be open to trying new things. while all the normal suspects are available, such as beef, mutton, chicken, and even fish and prawns, there are also a few out-of-the-ordinary delicacies up for grabs. i spotted one place selling emu and another offering up camel soup, but my compatriots were not up for trying them and i couldn’t eat it on my own. but i’m filing both of those away for next year.
scope it out before you buy. one of the best decisions we made was to walk from one end of the road to the other, checking out all of the stalls along the way, before we bought anything. each of us had one or two things in our minds that we wanted to try, so this gave us the opportunity to see what all was available and where before buying. it also gave us the chance to see if anything else stood out that we had not yet thought of. we also got to try a few free samples from one or two places. and best of all, the walking built up our appetites 🙂
check out the cross streets. at two of the junctions there are a few stalls on the cross streets, so be sure to swing by those and see what they’ve got on offer. the best things i tried during our visit – the afghani and hyderabadi kebabs – were from one of these stalls, so i am extremely glad we followed our instincts.
carry water with you. i don’t know about you, but i am always immensely thirsty and rarely go anywhere without a water bottle. and especially when i eat, i am forever wanting to wash it down with something to drink. water and soft drinks are available at many of the stalls, but they will cost you extra. your best bet is to carry a bottle of water with you for your stroll along the road.
save room for dessert. you will be tempted to use up your entire appetite on the mouth-watering kebabs and rolls and biryani, but be sure to save a small iota of space for dessert. there are some traditional desserts on offer as well as the standard – and my favourite – gulab jamun. whatever you decide to try, it’s a great way to finish off your visit.
next on my street food list is a return visit to thindi street in v v puram. who wants to join?
have any of you had street food in india? what is / was your favourite?