The holy Muslim month of Ramadan takes place during May or June every year (the exact dates change. In 2019, Ramadan starts on May 6 and concludes with Eid-ul-Fitr on June 5). If you're a hardcore non-vegetarian and you're in Mumbai, it's a fantastic opportunity to feast on fresh street food.
During Ramadan, Muslims traditionally fast daily from sunrise until sunset. In the night, Mohammad Ali Road in south Mumbai is flooded with people and the tantalizing aroma of meat being freshly roasted to feed the famished. The meal, known as iftar, is the most important part of the day. People go all out to honor it by preparing delicious food items, which overflow into the streets. The area around Minara Masjid is the epicenter of the city’s Ramadan celebrations. You'll find stalls brimming over with delicacies all the way from Bhendi Bazaar to Crawford Market.
It's not for the faint of heart though, as the area gets very crowded!
The kebabs are a highlight. Some of the best ones available at Haji Tikka, on Khara Tank Road in Bhendi Bazaar. They're cheap too! You can easily fill your stomach for 100 rupees.
If you're not a really adventurous eater (like me!), be careful to avoid the more exotic body parts. Khiri is a popular delicacy. It's cow's udder, seasoned, cooked, and chopped up into little bite-sized pieces. And yes, it does smell milky (just in case you were curious).
Not keen on braving the rush on Mohammad Ali Road but still want to stuff yourself full? A less crowded option is Khau Galli in central Mumbai (it's situated in the lane beside Midland Restaurant and Bar on Lady Jamshedji Road, in Mahim). Be sure to go after 9 p.m. for the best atmosphere.
Special 2019 Ramadan Food Tours in Mumbai
- Reality Tours & Travel conducts special Ramadan Street Food tours to Mohammad Ali Road and vicinity from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The cost is 1,500 rupees per person, including all food. Book early as spots fill up fast. You'll also get to visit the tour guide's family, and share sweets and Ramadan stories with them. It's a fabulous local experience!
- Viator offers four-hour small group Mumbai Street Food Tours through Mohammad Ali Road, Bhendi Bazaar, and Minara Masjid. The price starts from about 1,800 rupees per person, including food.
- Khaki Tours is leading two and a half hour Ramadan Ramble food walks through the lanes of Bhendi Bazaar and Mohammad Ali Road on May 11 and 18 at 7.30 p.m. Sampling Bohri specialties is a highlight. The cost is 999 rupees per person. Book on their website or phone 8828100111.