Pune: Sakal Times takes a food walk through one of the oldest lanes in the city to discover the mood and the medley of culturally influenced food.
The bustling lane of Kausar Baug in Kondhwa offers a variety of traditional delicacies during the month of Ramzan. Preparation of food by stall owners starts in the afternoon to prepare for customers before the iftar that starts around 7 pm and lasts till midnight.
The lane fills with the aroma of kebabs and other vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes sold at the small street stalls, which are not only gastronomic delights but are also a feast for the eyes of visitors.
Salim Shaikh, the owner of Welcome Caterers, said, “Our specialities are chicken Afghani, chicken cutlet and mutton Lucknow pulav. We have been serving these dishes for the past eight years. Also, every year, we bring chefs from various places from across India, mainly Delhi, to serve our customers with unique delicacies from all over the world. We consider the food trend and the new food items from different places and set the menu for each year. We also bring spices from outside the State for the famous starters such as Rampuri Seekh and Afghani chicken leg.”
Speaking about charity during the holy month, Shaikh said they distribute five litres of milk daily to the needy for free. “We earn profit throughout the year. However, we believe in serving the people and not look for profits during Ramzan.” Owner of Sarif Caterers, Sarif Seikh said, “We have been serving customers with our delicacies for the past 20 years during Ramzan. We change our menu with varieties of items, specially non-veg food. Our prices start from Rs 20 to Rs 350, which is the highest price charged for Rann Biryani. People mainly place order for special dishes such as kadi gosht, chicken kadi, mutton kadi, chakori and varieties of kebabs. As we change the menu every year during the festivities, word-of-mouth publicity brings us a lot of customers, specially during weekends, where foreigners and non-Muslims try out the delicacies.”
Saheba Bakers, which has its main branch in Mumbai, offers a variety of starters and snacks. They are also famous for kulfis, channi and Malpua, for which around 200 customers visit their stall daily during Ramzan. Faiz, owner of their city branch, said, “People mainly demand Rabdi-Malpua and Lucknow Phirni, which are typically made in the ‘Bombay style’. People start trickling in from 9 pm and hang out till 4 am. Especially during the festival, we cut prices to half so that we can serve a number of people. The prices range between Rs 20 and Rs 150.”