Think Ramzan, and we think bheja, paaya, nihari, bater, malpoa, falooda, and of course, biryani. The only problem with these delicious eats is that they’re temporary: around only for a fleeting month during the festival period.

So, what do we do if you if we’re still hungry for the warming richness of nalli, or the soothing sweetness of falooda? We seek out the eateries where it’s Ramzan all-year around.

Sarvi

Photo Courtesy: Athul Prasad/LBB

Photo: Athul Prasad/LBB

A visit to Sarvi is all about the seekh kebabs. Smoky, fatty, juicy and laced with just the right mix of spices, citywide consensus is these are the best seekhs in Mumbai. Go in a large gang and wolf them down by the dozen.

Noor Mohammadi Hotel

Photo Courtesy: Ashish Gautam

Photo Source: Ashish Gautam

Melt in your mouth beef or mutton shank that’s been gently simmered for hours in a rich and savoury stew, and then topped off with the most generous dollop of buttery bone marrow – that’s Noor Mohamaddi’s nalli nihari for us. There’s no better cure to Mumbai’s rainy gloom. A special shout-out to the white biryani, shami kebabs and daal gosht.

Surti 12 Handi

If Noor Mohammadi has the most talked-about nihari, then Surti’s is the one with the equally passionate cult following. After the shuttering of Vallibhai, this is probably Bohri Mohalla’s last surviving practitioner of the fine art of bahra handi – a technique of simmering offal and the tougher cuts in delicately spiced wheat or dal-based gravies, further enriched by the adding fat or marrow.

Our picks – the pichota {buffalo or ox-tail} and bhel {a medley of different cuts and gravies} wiped clean with khameeri roti.

Olympia Coffee House

Photo Courtesy: Athul Prasad/ LBB

Photo: Athul Prasad/ LBB

Probably Mumbai’s most well-known and beloved breakfast item, there’s many a great keema to be had around the city. We choose Olympia as it’s the most convenient and consistent of the lot. Tip – take the walk down to the Gateway to help aid digestion.

The Bohri Kitchen

Photo Courtesy: Bohri Kitchen

Photo Source: Bohri Kitchen

What started as a small pop-up out of a cosy Colaba living room is now probably the country’s trendiest and most talked about food-start up. The TBK delivery service definitely serves one of the better raans and biryanis in the city. But for the real deal visit the Kapadia family home, where Nafisa aunty still personally prepares gems like her mutton undhiyo and paaya with keema khichdi.

Timings: 10am to 5.30pm for home delivery

The Big Spread

Photo Courtesy: The Big Spread

Photo Source: The Big Spread

Our first stop at any flea market, this stall, run by home-chef Farida Kutianawala, makes our favourite haleem in town. Also, try her yummy take on the naan-chaap, as good as any we’ve had in Bohri Mohalla.

Timings: 10am to 9pm for home delivery

Jeff Caterers

Photo Courtesy: Medini Pradhan

Photo Source: Medini Pradhan via Facebook 

Having a party and you live in Bandra West? Chances are the beer came from Deepak or Pinky, and the kebabs and biryani came from Jeff. Delicious, convenient, consistent and pocket-friendly, any party is incomplete without their biryani and mutton cocktail kebab.

Nice Fast Food Corner

Drop by this conveniently located stall on S.V. Road, off Khar Subway, for some of the yummiest kebabs and Baida Roti this side of the Sea-link. Also, offal lovers, don’t forget to try the Khiri Kaleji.

Kurla (E) and Jogeshwari (W)

Can’t make it all the way to Mohammad Ali, then the stretch of eateries down LBS Marg in Kurla West, and down SV Road in Jogeshwari West are probably your best bet. Our picks – The Seekhs at Nawab’s in Kurla {where the seekhs are served with a bush of mint leaves} or Farid’s at Jogeshwari.

Garam Masala

One of Juhu’s hidden gems, this delivery joint specialises in Moradabadi biryani – a distant cousin of the Mumbai version – characterised by delicate and fragrant garam masala spicing and a kick of green chili. A must-visit for people who’ve grown up eating, and miss, the biryanis of Purani Dilli and Lucknow.

Also, they’re open till 4 am!

Kakori House

Photo Courtesy: Kakori House

Photo Source: Kakori House

The easiest and most convenient way to satiate a craving for nihari, haleem or biryani, these guys have an outlet in almost every corner of the city and will home-deliver. It also helps that they’re not as greasy as the likes of Shalimar, Lucky or Jaffer Bhai, and make fantastic kakori and galouti kebabs.

N Lookmanji’s Mithaiwala

Photo Courtesy: DP Vijaya, Ajay Sabharwal

Photo Source: DP Vijaya via Facebook (L), Ajay Sabharwal via Facebook (R)

This is one of the best and most conveniently located stores that makes the Ramzan-favourite sutterpheni through the year. Lookmanji stocks both the kadak and naram variety, that come with their signature sprinkling of green elaichi. They also make a damn good cream-puff that comes with its own special gift-wrapping.

Swati Snacks for Malpua

Photo Courtesy: Athul Prasad/LBB

Photo: Athul Prasad/LBB

While it’s nothing like the famed malpua at Suleman Usman, it is equally delicious and satisfying in its own way, as well as available all year round.

Irfan Caterers and Hanif, the Biryani Guy

Google both these guys and you’ll probably find nothing. Yet chances are, one of these two contacts is saved on the phones of most Muslim families around the city. Both caterers make a stunningly good biryani and khichda. Hanif is also renowned for lesser-known specialities like chana boti {a mutton preparation made with doodhi and chana dal}, and patra with mutton. As for how do you get their number? We suggest you ask around for a reference at the next Iftaar party you attend.

Featured Image Source: Kakori House