Iftar at Zakaria Street

The month of Ramadan holds unparalleled significance in Islam. It’s the month when the Quran was first revealed to The Great Prophet. Needless to say, the whole Islamic community very ardently celebrates this month. This time period between the sightings of a crescent moon are not just important, they are holy and they are amongst the cardinal practices of Islamic Doctrines. For this entire period of about twenty nine to thirty days, Muslims strive to purify themselves, not just physically but spiritually as well. This effort is underlined by fasting during the daytime, abstinence from physical pleasures, doing generous charity and prayer; and then ending their Ramdan Fast at sunset with a course of hearty evening meal, known as Iftar or Fatoor.
There are a few very famous hotspots when it comes to Ramadan evening food or Iftar all over India. Old Delhi has its very famous Jama Masjid area near Chandni Chowk, Mumbai has Muhammad Ali Road, Triplicane neighborhood in Chennai, or Charminar area in Hyderabad, all these hotspots are bustling with life during the evenings. It is not about caste or creed, it is just about classic delicious food that goes beyond the boundaries of religion and touch the deepest part of our souls.

Kolkata has her own Ramadan food spot and its none other than Zakaria Street. If you are travelling from Esplanade/ Chandni Chowk, you should drive on Central Avenue, when you see Mohammad Ali Park on your right, turn left at the ornate gate and drive straight. I would not prefer taking Rabindra Sarani as it is very crowded and hard to navigate. The area is in the heart of Chitpur, Coolotola to be specific, and being in the vicinity of commercial district of Burra Bazar, is busy throughout the day.

For the month of Ramadan, a section of the street is closed to vehicles. You will find plenty of shops selling garments, topis, breads, sharbat, and obviously Seviyan. The place looks like a small “Mela” during this time.

The stars of the show however are the restaurants serving up lip-smacking non-veg fare throughout the evening. Although if you want to taste Haleem, you need to be at the Bombay Hotel pretty early in the evening, otherwise you will any even scrape their handi. Bombay Hotel also serves very delicious Mutton Korma, Mutton Qaliya and Irani stew amongst other things. The crowd pullers however are the Dilli 6 and Taskeen restaurants. Dilli 6 as its name suggest serves flavours of Old Delhi with their signatures being Afghani Chicken, Fried Chicken or Murgh Fry paired with Sheermal or Rumali Roti and Mint Yogurt chutney. With all that spice, you will need to find something to cool you down. You can head to the front of Nakhoda Masjid to get a 10 Rupees glass of humble sharbat or you could just head to Taskeen which by the way is just neat door. Taskeen serves a mean Chicken Changezi. You can also try the Mahi Akbari which is deep fried fish, crispy outside, juicy inside. What you must try is their Falooda, its rich, flavor packed and will definitely cool your nerves. There whole street is studded with small make shift shops and carts that serve Sheekh Kabab, Roasted Chicken, Rumali and Tandoori roti and Haleem as well.

That’s our brief tour of Zakaria Street. We know we are a bit late, but its never too late when the food that awaits you is that good 
The month of Ramadan is defined by an effort to purify oneself, to do good deeds, to care for one’s community. The awesome food is definitely a bonus. It’s the underlying spirit of brotherhood that we should imbibe into our lives. Eid is just a few days away, we wish you Eid Mubarak in advance, take care and enjoy yourselves.
If you don't feel like going out this weekend, you can just quickly wear that chef cake and try these super yummy Eid special recipes at home ...
Mutton Biryani 
Yakhni Biryani 
Sheer Khurma

Do let us know your plans for Eid this year..!!

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