Ramadan or Ramzan is a religious practice that Muslims around the world take part in every year, consisting of fasting from sunrise to sunset for all the 30 days during the month of Ramadan. Normally the Muslim families wake up in the middle of night and gather around the table as early as 4:30 to 5 a.m. to share a meal and get ready for their fast for the day. While most foodies may be shocked to hear that Muslims are able to get through a 17-hour fast with absolutely no food and not even a drop of water for the full duration of the fast. At the exact moment of sunset, the traditional choice to open the fast is by plain Medjool dates followed by a spread of foods that often varies by culture. This meal is called Iftar. After 30 days of fasting, Muslims from around the world celebrate Eid. The day starts off with morning prayers and the celebration continues with friends, family and lots of food. Traditional foods vary by culture on Eid, but usually always include a delectable dessert.
Kolkata is considered to be a food paradise in India. During Ramzan, various streets and corners are occupied by vendors selling lip-smacking Iftar treats like kebabs, samosas, biryani, nihari, seviyan, phirni, malpua and others. Not just Muslims, but food connossoirs of all religion are seen hopping around different streets and bylanes near Nakhoda Masjid through Chitpore Road, Colootolah Street, Zakaria Street etc. to enjoy the delectable foods with great enthusiasm. The hissing of the meat made from the barbeque, the crowd shouting out for their kebabs and the delectable sweets take you on a food journey that cannot be missed. So, get set yourself to enjoy the delicacies from all across Kolkata and compile the best Ramjan eateries for this Ramadan season.
Many of these islamic cuisine usually don't get available at standard Mughlai restaurants through out the year. The appetising aroma lingering in these lanes will surely get you hungry. Some of the Century old food joints have been popularised near different mosques or masjids around Kolkata.
Zakaria Street is famous for the limited edition ‘Special Aminia Haleem’ only during the month of Ramadan which is a must-try for all food lovers. Royal India Hotel, just a few blocks away, is most authentic for its Mutton Chaap (mutton spare ribs), Mutton Biryani. One mustn't leave Kolkata without pleasing their taste buds by having a Roasted chicken or Kheeri Kebabs or Mutton Rezala/stew induced with spices which is the best served at Sabir’s Hotel near Colootolah Masjid.
There are a lot of food stalls around Park Circus area that server finger-licking biryani and haleem. As the clock hits the iftar time, shutter of Rahmania rolls up and the long queue flock the counters for their Haleem. Their biryani is indistinguishably brilliant. One can experience a vibrant Ramadan bazaar with the kiosks selling Samaiya/Semolina, mixed fruits, Firni mix, Faluda (concentrated saffron flavoured milk topped with chopped pistachio nuts and rose syrup), Sahi Tukda (piece of butter fried bread dipped in highly concentrated kheer, along with a dash of chopped pistachio, almonds and resins) to satisfy your untimely cravings.
Finally its time to call it a day and if you are still hungry for more you can wrap it up with some exotic puddings, custards and jelleys. And above all, get into the spirit of the occasion!