Ramzan Eatup at Batla House ~ By Vineet Malani
Post in : Category Raids, Restaurants
I’m a relatively new member of the group and was yet to join a eatup/raid with the gang. When the event of Ramzan food walk at Jamia was created, I was so excited that I joined it within the first 10 minutes. Over the next week or so the numbers swelled to in excess of 90 and there were all indications of this being a super-hit with the members.
Almost everyone turned up on time at the designated meeting point from where we proceeded on rickshaws and bikes to the interiors of Jamia and Batla house, where food magic happens. Our first stop was Famous restaurant where the food truly lived up to its name. A huge kadhai frying sumptuous pieces of chicken outside had all of us licking our lips. The kebabs made of buffalo meat were so tender and juicy that the plates got cleared as soon as they appeared on the tables. Tandoori chicken made an appearance on some tables (there were about 30 of us occupying close to 7 tables), while I didn’t taste it but people were talking about it till late in the walk. Overall, a better beginning to the walk would have been impossible.

Delighful Tandoori Chicken..

Buff Seekh Kebabs and Khamiri Roti..

Nahari at Famous was quite awesome

Our next stop on this walk was merely two shops away, so our long line practically left Famous and entered Moonis Kada. This was one of the smaller restaurants of our trip and it really had to stretch itself to seat all of us. Shaky stools and chairs appeared from everywhere but the genial servers ensured that we all were seated. Everyone was in mood for some gravies and Qormas and Niharis is what this place is famous for. While mutton and chicken Qormas got mixed responses, Nihari was almost universally appreciated. The succulent morsels of mutton, aptly spicy and dipped in liberal quantities of ghee, Moonis Kada’s Nihari was my favorite dish on this walk, I was tempted to even lick the plate! Words like Palak Paneer were overheard too but such delicacies were best left alone for the vegetarians who were grossly outnumbered among us carnivores.

Moonis Kada

Good Times at Moonis Kada

Next up was a restaurant called Al-Umar but on the way was an elderly gentleman selling Sherbet by the glass. Made from Rooh-Afza, it was perfect to offset all the spicy food we had just had. By now, this large group of people walking together in the middle of the market was beginning to pique local’s curiosity. They kept inquiring our purpose and when I explained to one that we are just a bunch of food enthusiasts, he wanted to know when our programme would be telecast on TV and what channel!

Sharbat waala on the roadside

On to Al-Umar then which was the biggest of all restaurants we visited. They managed to arrange a table long enough to seat all of us together. All the foodies, members of Eatlo and tied together by the common thread of love for food, breaking bread together, it truly felt like the highlight of the evening. Everything that was ordered appeared under a thick layer of butter. So we had Butter Afghani Chicken, Butter Tandoori Chicken and Butter fried Chicken. At this point, the majority was feeling full and only a handful soldiered on to the main course of Butter Chicken. It tasted heavenly; I wished I had saved up some appetite for it. Handful of Rumali rotis being dipped into Butter Chicken, the foodies were truly in culinary heaven.

Butter Chicken @ Al Umar

Another Type of 'Butter Chicken'

As we came out, small earthen bowls of Phirni were being handed out. It is always the perfect way to round off a Mughlai meal. The cold, sweet, laden with nuts Phirni was my cue to finally call it quits, while the spirit was willing, the stomach would have revolted had I tried anything else. A lot of other group members said their goodbyes too coming out of Al-Umar while a handful still had plans of continuing with the walk. Feeling slightly jealous but still saluting their true foodie spirit, me and my brother decided to head back home with a boat load of tasty memories.

Phirni to wind up

Text by Vineet Malani
Pictures by Anurag Mehrotra, Shashank Aggarwal & Ajay Soni
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