Food

This Ramzan, restaurants across Chennai find innovative ways to deliver ‘iftar’ meals

Ramzan looks very different this year. However, restaurants across the city are finding innovative ways to serve iftar, with thoughtfully curated packs, which can be delivered to customers’ homes. To counter the economic and practical myriad challenges posed by COVID-19, menus are cost-effective and focussed on traditional comfort food.

Abid’s

This Ramzan, restaurants across Chennai find innovative ways to deliver ‘iftar’ meals

“This year, we have made sure that our prices are less than the previous year, mainly due to the crisis,” says Abid Zahid, of Abid’s.

The restaurant has only take-away, and has limited the iftar box combo to four varieties this year. They have also come up with a nombu kanji combo. “In Chennai, breaking the Ramzan fast with nombu kanji is the tradition, and this nutritious, delicious rice-and-lentils porridge is usually given at the mosque free of cost. But this tradition has to be discontinued this year, and therefore, we have come up with the nombu kanji combo,” he says.

Priced at ₹150, this includes 350 ml of kanji, spring rolls and samosa. They also offer haleem, Hyderabadi dum biryani and khubani ka meetha.

While the restaurant usually offers a festive, extensive menu, this year due to the lockdown, they are sticking to their signature dishes. Try the pathar ka gosht, chicken samosas and kebabs.

“Since we have our Hyderabadi chef working full-time in Chennai since last year, all his speciality items, including the haleem, are available on all days of the year,” says Abid. He adds, “But the only difference this year is that we have limited the celebratory menu.”

Abid’s, Spurtank Road, Chetpet. Contact: 9841284703. Available on Dunzo, Swiggy and Zomato.

Al Souk

The iftar box here has a selection of Turkish, Arabian and Egyptian dishes, such as chicken kabsa, Egyptian chicken sambusek, mahalabia (a creamy milk pudding) and karkade, a drink made with hibiscus.

“During this period of uncertainty, I wanted the iftar box to be special, affordable and value for money. Without prioritising our profit, we fixed the cost at ₹375 plus taxes, and it would be sufficient for two,” says Mohamed Moiz, managing partner. All orders are to be placed before 5.30 pm.

Al Souk, Nungambakkam. Contact: 9884995557. Available on Dunzo, Swiggy and Zomato.

Shiraz Art Cafe

This Ramzan, restaurants across Chennai find innovative ways to deliver ‘iftar’ meals

Iranian chef Nasrin Karimi, who runs the Shiraz Art Café, has been curating thoughtful meals for customers all through the lockdown. “This is the first time that I am offering combo meals packs for iftar, and I have made sure that it is elaborate so that families can can sit together and enjoy it,” she says, adding that she works with a small team that stays in the restaurant now.

For the month of Ramzan, she has three different meal combos: mutton, chicken and vegetarian. The chicken combo (Rs 1500) includes chicken biryani, kebab, saffron rice, pita bread and an Iranian dessert. While the mutton combination (Rs 1800) offers mutton biryani, for vegetarians (Rs 1300) she offers paneer with BBQ sauce and kadai vegetables as well. All these meals come with a complimentary serving of 500 ml of nombu kanji.

“I also make special items such as Iranian barbari bread with murabba jam and butter, garlic bread, fish fingers and chicken schnitzel,” she says, adding that they are taking orders for their signature drinks such as rose sharbat and Shiraz tea.

Prebook your meals a day ahead. She has partnered with Dunzo for delivery within a five-kilometre radius and she has made arrangement to deliver in and around RA Puram, Nungambakkam, Kilpauk and Anna Nagar on Fridays and Sundays.

Shiraz Art Cafe, Neelangarai. Contact: 9840572126.

Bayleaf

This Ramzan, restaurants across Chennai find innovative ways to deliver ‘iftar’ meals

“Last year, we had a Ramzan special menu for only one weekend, but this year, we have come up with combo boxes for the entire month,” says Abhyuday Purkayastha, who runs Bayleaf, a Bengali-speciality restaurant. The boxes are packed in sealed single-serve trays and are cutlery-free. They offer Biryani combo (Rs 350), the naan/roti combo (Rs 260) and Rolls combo (Rs280).

They include chicken biryani along with a kebab, raitha and dessert. There is also a version with naan, and chicken samosas. For the vegetarians there is paneer gravy and vegetable samosa.

“Our kitchen now has an alarm that rings to remind the staff to sanitise the surface and wash their hands. We also do daily temperature checks for the staff and everyone wears a mask and gloves,” says Abhyuday.

Take-away and home delivery is available from noon to 3 pm and from 5.45 pm to 9.30 pm, available on Dunzo, Swiggy and Zomato.

Bayleaf, Gopalapuram. Contact: 28114557.

Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road

This Ramzan, restaurants across Chennai find innovative ways to deliver ‘iftar’ meals

Chef Kalaiselvan, executive chef, Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road, got together with his team to curate an affordable iftar pack that is value for money, despite the fact that it is coming from a luxury hotel. The box, designed for three adults, includes Hyderabadi mutton dum biryani, chicken tikka, dal makhani, rumali roti, saffron rice kheer and is priced at ₹699, all inclusive. “Chefs have been staying in the hotel since the lockdown and workstations are sanitised thrice a day,” says chef Kalaiselvan, adding that the chefs now wear masks and gloves.

The meal box is available for lunch and dinner. Customers need to call one hour ahead, both for take-away and delivery.

Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road, Nandanam. Contact: 7824808009.Available on Dunzo, Swiggy and Zomato.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 3:56:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/happiness-arrives-in-a-box/article31463446.ece

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