Pune: Foreign students from the Middle East and other Islamic countries residing in Pune have found their own special eating joints during Ramzan.
While they also enjoy the Indian food served at Iftaar stalls, mostly concentrated in Kondhwa and Camp, at times they miss the food served in their home countries. Some restaurants and eating joints in Pune are catering to this particular group of fasting Muslims so that they get their kind of cuisine during the holy month of Ramzan.
There are small food joints in and around the city which serve specific dishes originated from the Gulf and are eaten there during Ramzan.
Specially imported spices
Talking about this hand-picked delicacies, Arabian Bites on NIBM Road is one of such joint which serves lip-smacking Arabian food. Their menu includes some authentic Arabian dishes which is served only during Ramzan.
Falafel crispy balls are one of such appetiser which this place serves. Falafel is rare to get but Abdullah Siddique, owner of Arabian Bites makes sure it’s served during Ramzan. A popular dessert from Saudi Arabia called baklava - a puff with a filling of roasted nuts and caramelised sugar syrup is also famous. “The dishes are made in an authentic way and all the spices we use are imported from Saudi Arabia. I have customers who have been coming here since the very first day and they love the food here,” said Siddique.
Flavours of Yemen,Saudi Arabia
For a typical of Saudi Arabian main course meal, head to Al Arabi Restaurant in Kondhwa.
This place is a favourite among people from Yemen. Asif Khan, owner of Al Arabi said,”People from the Middle East don’t eat spicy food, they prefer less oil and more healthy food. They love meat and they prefer meat delicacies”.
During Ramzan dishes like mutton mandi, which is a very famous dish in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, is in great demand. It consists of Arabia fragrant rice which is slowly cooked with mutton with some traditional spices.
Tabouleh on the other side is a vegetarian salad made up of fresh parsley, tomatoes, cucumber and some lemon juice dressing.
Arabic Foods and Mandi is famous for dishes from Iraq and Arab countries. This restaurant started eight years ago and is famous for its chicken grill and mutton mandi. Chicken farm is new Iraqi delicacy which they have just started serving during Ramzan.
“We have been serving these dishes for very long time now. Our customers love the food here since it gives them a taste of their own country,” said Saheb Rao, the owner of Arabic Foods and Mandi. They don’t have a specific menu during Ramzan since the regular menu includes Arabic and Iraqi dishes.