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Coming together for the love of food

Staff Reporter
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While Muslims head to Mosque Road to break their fast, others stroll in to excite their taste buds

Tasty and cheap:The street fare near Masjid Haji Ismail Sait Mosque, Fraser Town, includes delicacies such as haleem, mutton samosas, kebabs and phirni.— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
Tasty and cheap:The street fare near Masjid Haji Ismail Sait Mosque, Fraser Town, includes delicacies such as haleem, mutton samosas, kebabs and phirni.— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

It is 6.51 p.m. on Saturday and the roads near the Masjid Haji Ismail Sait Mosque, Fraser Town, are jam-packed. While a large number of people are there to break their fast, others are lined up to treat their taste buds.

Apart from ‘haleem’, a sought-after delicacy during the holy month of Ramzan, the street fare includes deep-fried chicken, mutton samosas and tender-cooked kebabs.

Traditionally, the fast is broken with water and fruits, but today, many break it with cola and chicken wings.

This year, the masjid committee has arranged for a pavilion, where vendors have set up stalls, making it easier for customers to find everything they need under one roof.

As you make your way to the pavilion, the stall owners compete with each other to catch your eye, using their lung power to draw you to their corner.

Treat for foodies

There is a difference in the crowds that throng the road. Most people who fast crowd up at the stalls around Iftar, but late in the evening you see people from all communities coming together for the love of food. Sapna Sunil Singh, who works with a multinational company, said as she relished a chicken wing, “The food available here is not something that you can find anywhere else. Moreover, it is cheaper.”

Haleem seemed to be the favourite — a dish of minced meat, broken wheat and spices, served with a dollop of ghee and fried onions. Kaushik Ishaan and his four friends tasted three mutton haleems from different stalls. “We are here just for the food,” he said, before digging into another helping.

There were shutterbugs too, documenting their experience. Veda Roy, a student, exclaimed, “It gets crazy during Iftar time and it feels like a celebration as people of different communities have come together here.”

Experimenting

The owners of the stalls made sure they left no stone unturned in providing hospitality, even as they counted their notes. Mohammed Abdul Haibagmar, owner of the Masterchef stall, said the place was crowded during weekends. “While a few are regulars right through the month of fasting, most people come here to experiment with new dishes.”

Your meal is not complete without the array of sweets. From phirni to apricots soaked in sugar syrup to rasgoollas, take your pick.

The stalls are located near the Masjid Haji Ismail Sait Mosque, Fraser Town and are open from 4 p.m. until midnight.

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