Experiencing Ramadan Food Walk in Hyderabad, India

Ramadan Food Walk

Ramadan Food Walk

Ramadan Food Walk

Experiencing Ramadan Food Walk in Hyderabad, India

“Why don’t you take my picture too?” We turned around to see a small boy with an angelic face and a smile that shattered our hearts to smithereens. We were on a Ramadan food walk in Hyderabad, India when we had the “encounter” with the little angel.

Ramadan Food Walk

His demeanour, the pure white dress, and the white skullcap triggered some long-forgotten memories from the unfathomable recesses of my mind and the years just fell away.

I was transported back in time to a Hindi class in school when I listened enthralled to the story of Hamid, a little boy who lives with his poor grandmother. It is Id and all his friends are going to the fair to have fun eating delicious sweets and savouries and buying clay toys. The impoverished Hamid with just 3 paise in his pocket joins them.

He looks at his friends spending lavishly at the fair and thinks how he should spend his own 3 paise. His young mind displays a wisdom far beyond his age as he shuns the momentary pleasure of sweets and toys in which his friends are indulging in. He walks to a small shop which is deserted and buys a pair of tongs!

Why did he buy a pair of tongs instead of a toy or a sweet? Hamid had watched his grandmother burn her fingers daily while making Rotis, so he thought the tongs would help her in cooking and ensure her fingers were not burnt.

This was a famous story written by the renowned Indian author Munshi Premchand in the Urdu language under the pen name Nawab Rai.

Ramadan Food Walk

The young boy with the angelic smile who beamed at us from beneath the Charminar in Hyderabad reminded me of Hamid, the character from Munshi Premchand’s story, his smile had an innocence and divinity that seemed to embody the very spirit of Ramadan.

Ramadan in India

Ramadan Food Walk

Ramadan or Ramzan is a festival that is celebrated with great devotion and piety by those following the Islam religion all over the world. Ramadan commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Mohammed. The observance of the month-long festival is one of the five pillars of Islam. People observe fast during the holy month of Ramadan spend time in prayer and practice abstinence. They fast without food and water during the day.

Ramadan Food Walk

What is Iftar? Iftar food is the main meal of the fasting day when people eat lots of high-protein foods. Ramadan Iftar is done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. They break their fast after sunset with dates and a meal called Iftar. The Iftar meals are Ramadan special food which includes Haleem, Parathas, Dum Biryani, Meat Curries, Shami Kebabs, Sheer kurma, Shahi Tukda, Samosa, Fruit Salads, jalebis, fresh fruit juices, lassi, Falooda, etc.

What is Suhur? Suhur or Sahūr, Suhūr or Suhoor is the meal consumed before dawn. The pre-dawn meal before sunrise which is called Suhur is a vital part of fasting.  Suhoor is the most important meal consumed early in the morning. India which is home to one of the largest number of Muslims too celebrates the holy month of Ramadan across its cities, towns, and villages.

One aspect of Ramadan which transcends the boundaries of religion is food. The exotic food that is available across India during the month of Ramadan is something looked forward to by all, irrespective of religion.

Ramadan Food Walk

The cities in India transform into brilliant night markets during the month of Ramadan as people throng the markets to shop, socialize, stroll, and above all indulge their palates in a variety of dishes, some of which are available only during the month of Ramadan.

Our Experience of the Ramadan Food Walk In Hyderabad, India

Ramadan Food Walk? The question mark was the initial reaction that we had when the proposal for experiencing a Ramadan food walk in Hyderabad, India, which would take us to some of the best Ramadan food to have in Hyderabad, came up.

It was not that we were not aware of Ramadan and the food that is available throughout the night in cities like Bangalore, Lucknow, Hyderabad, and others. We had friends raving about the festive special food during Ramadan. But we must confess that given our vegetarian proclivities, we had never done a Ramadan food walk and had no first-hand experience of the atmosphere during such walks.

The desire to experience something new got the better of our inhibitions and we decided to experience the Ramadan Food Walk in Hyderabad. The nights in Hyderabad transform into glittering havens of food. Experiencing Iftar and Suhoor in Hyderabad during Ramadan is nothing less than a revelation in itself.

The sun was just setting on the western horizon when we gathered at the lobby of the Novotel Hyderabad Airport Hotel in Hyderabad, India. The Ramadan food walk was organized by Novotel Hyderabad Airport Hotel and curated by Mohammed Zubair of Hyderabad Food Diaries.

Ramadan Food Walk

We had an initial briefing about the route that we would be taking for the Ramadan food walk in Hyderabad, after which we were off! We were promised that though as pure vegetarians our options were limited we would still be able to enjoy the whole experience and there would be vegetarian dishes that we would enjoy. We looked forward to an experience that went beyond food and was rich in heritage and history.

Haleem Magic In Hyderabad – Ramadan Food Walk

Haleem is a dish that is prepared especially during the month of Ramadan. This non-vegetarian dish has Arabian origins and gained popularity in Hyderabad during the reign of the Nizams. Haleem takes over 12 hours to make with the ingredients being slow-cooked. The ingredients include meat, pounded wheat, lentils and a generous dose of spices and dry fruits. The food is a power food rich in nutrients and is ideal for being consumed after a day-long fast as it provides instant energy. Hyderabadi Haleem is very popular and has earned the GIS tag in India.

Haleem is prepared in outlets across the cities of India but Haleem in Hyderabad seems to have its own charm as we witnessed crowds milling in hordes to get their bowl of magic across the places we visited on our Ramadan food walk in Hyderabad.

Shah Ghouse- The Place that Weaves the Haleem Magic – Ramadan Food Walk

Ramadan Food Walk

Our first stop on Ramadan Food Walk was at a place called Shah Ghouse. One of the top places in Hyderabad to eat Ramadan food. The brightly lit-up restaurant was buzzing with activity. A few staff members were packing Haleem in plastic containers apparently for take-aways or for couriering to other cities of India.

Ramadan Food Walk

We watched fascinated as they worked with clockwork precision, oblivious of the milling crowds around them. Mohammed Zubair explained that Shah Ghouse ranked among the top places for eating Haleem in Hyderabad, the others being Pista House and Shadab. The gasps of ecstasy from our friends on tasting the Haleem told its own story.

Ramadan Food Walk

In fact, some of them swore that this was the best Haleem they had ever tasted. Of course, Haleem was the showstopper at Shah Ghouse, however, there were other stars like Kaddu Ki Kheer, Qubani Ka Meetha, Double Ka Meetha, which are among the Ramzan delicacies in Hyderabad. They too made their tantalizing presence felt to the milling crowds in search of food nirvana.

Sea of Green at the Pista Cafe – Ramadan Food Walk

Ramadan Food Walk

The night was still young when we left the Shah Ghouse restaurant behind and ambled across towards our next stop of the night. Mosques glittered with brilliant lighting, their pure white hue contrasting with the dazzling lights. The atmosphere seemed to be pregnant with excitement as kids scurried around dressed in their best and men and women sanctified by the day of fasting and prayers came out to experience the joy of Ramadan.

Street vendors did a brisk business selling everything from the famous Hyderabadi bangles to ready-made garments and trinkets. But of course, the limelight was stolen by the Ramadan street food in Hyderabad.

Ramadan Food Walk

Pista Cafe was a sea of bright, vibrant colours. The staff was dressed in pista green uniforms and the restaurant itself was lit up with lights that changed color every minute. One minute it was bathed in green only to be awash in red a minute later. A giant screen telecast live the activities around the restaurant. Pista House is considered by locals as one of the best places to eat in Hyderabad during Ramadan which was evidenced by the milling crowds around the restaurant.

Ramadan Food Walk

Temporary counters sold Haleem briskly while some turned their eyes towards the multi-hued desserts that lined one of the counters. They indeed looked like the last word in temptation.

Ramadan Food Walk

When we walked into the Pista House an array of bakery products that included an exotic variety of cakes and biscuits greeted us. Incidentally, Pista House was started as a sweet shop but slowly carved a name for its Haleem which today is sent to titillate the taste buds of people across the world.

Ramadan Food Walk

Pista House Haleem Hyderabad, Telangana travels to far away from America, Europe, the Middle East, and countries of Southeast Asia.

A Refreshing Stop At Matwale Doodh Ghar – Ramadan Food Walk

Ramadan Food Walk

A couple of men sat cross-legged on a platform in front of the Matwale Doodh Ghar presiding over an intriguing array of pots filled with milk, ice cream, cream, and yoghurt. They poured and mixed the contents into glasses with an air of concocting magic potions.

Ramadan Food Walk

Matwale Doodh Ghar is a small shop that makes probably the best Lassis and Faloodas in Hyderabad. At a stone’s throw away from the Charminar, this place has been satiating and refreshing locals and visitors alike for a well-nigh half a century. If you want to yield into temptation and savor some sips of paradise head over to the Matwale Doodh Ghar for huge glasses of lassi or Falooda laden with oodles of cream and ice cream

Akbar Fast Food- A Rage Amongst Chicken Lovers – Ramadan Food Walk

Ramadan Food Walk

A few paces away from the Matwale Doodh Ghar was a board that was garishly lit up and proclaimed proudly the fact that it was the entrance to Akbar Fast Food. A small stone staircase led to the restaurant upstairs where one can indulge in what is rated as one of the best Chicken 65 in the city. If you are a non-vegetarian then Chicken 65 from Akbar Fast Food is one of the dishes from Hyderabad that you must try. Akbar Fast food is considered by many as one of the mouthwatering places for Ramadan food in Hyderabad.

Milan Juice Centre – A Haven Of Fruit Juices – Ramadan Food Walk

All the walking and the food is sure to make one thirsty and the palate craves for something cool and refreshing. If you are in the vicinity of the Charminar in Hyderabad at that time, the Milan Juice Centre is just an arm’s length of your desire. Its fresh juices and milkshakes made from an exotic range of fruits that include Kiwi, Avocado, Kiwi, Banana, and other seasonal fruits are indeed an indulgence for the palate and refreshing at the same time. A wide range of fruit salads is also available at the Milan Juice Centre, a watering hole for the tired and thirsty.

Nibble On A Piece of Heaven at the Nimrah Bakery – Ramadan Food Walk

Ramadan Food Walk

Bang opposite the Charminar and very near the famous Mecca Masjid stands the Nimrah Bakery. Boasting of visitors who could be part of any international Who’s Who list, Nimrah Bakery is known for its delectable Osmania biscuits and famous Irani Tea. It would be nothing less than blasphemy for a visitor to the iconic Charminar in Hyderabad not to sip a cup of Irani tea and nibble on some soft and crunchy biscuits at the Nimrah Bakery.

Ramadan Food Walk

Apart from the biscuits and tea what caught our eye as well as pleased our taste buds was an intriguingly twisted circle of sweetness which resembled a Doughnut but was thinner and was shaped more like a twisted bangle. We were told that this sweet dessert was Nimrah Bakery’s own version of the Balushahi which is a popular dessert across India. So after nibbling on some delicious biscuits and imbibing the freshness of the Irani Tea, we made our way beyond the Charminar to what would be our last stop for the day.

Shadab – Home of the Iconic Hyderabadi Biryani – Ramadan Food Walk

Ramadan Food Walk

If you walk away from the Charminar and take the Ghansi Bazaar Road, after a walk of about a kilometer you get to Shadab.” Hotel Shadab” announces a luminous neon sign and you find the restaurant humming like a beehive well past midnight. It is of course not surprising considering that it is a night in the month of Ramadan and all shops and eateries are open until the early morning hours. Shadab is known for serving some of the best food in Hyderabad.

No visit to Hyderabad would be complete without savouring the famed Hyderabadi Biryani. In fact, visitors flock to the city of Nizams just to indulge their senses in the flavours and aromas of Biryani. Hyderabadi Biryani is, of course, available across the city, but Shadab is the place which serves some authentic Biryani and the taste and flavours of the Biryani are supposed to transport you into the grand era of the Nizams.

The restaurant itself was pretty crowded as crowds were swelling. A standard wait time of a couple of hours is on the cards to get a table at this restaurant. We too indulged in the famed Hyderabadi Biryani of Shadab, but of course, the vegetarian variant which was served with Mirchi Ka Salan, a curry made of chillies and peanuts.

Ramadan Food Walk

After the Biryani it was time to pamper the taste buds with a crazily sweet dessert, the famous Qubani Ka Meetha. Shadab is rated as one of the best places for Ramadan food in Hyderabad.

Ramadan Food Walk

That brought us to the end of our Ramadan Food Walk in Hyderabad. It had indeed been a unique experience. An amalgamation of sights, sounds, flavours, and aromas. A heady concoction of exotic cuisine and different experiences. In short, an experience to cherish for a lifetime.

Ramadan Food Walk

Hyderabad Tourism

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Driving around Hyderabad, Telangana, India

If you are looking at getting best deals on car rental in Hyderabad, India, then look no further. You can rent a car in Hyderabad, Telangana, India to explore and experience amazing Hyderabad, and in and around areas and embark on a road trip of exploration and discovery of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Alternatively, if you have a valid Indian driving license then you could also rent a self-drive car from Hyderabad which includes free fuel and insurance.

Have you experienced a Ramadan food walk in Hyderabad? Have you tasted Ramadan special dishes? In which city have you tasted Ramzan special dishes? If you have been to Hyderabad during Ramadan which according to you are the places in Hyderabad that will make your Iftar time a memorable affair? Which is your favourite Hyderabad Ramzan special food?

We hope this post about Ramadan Food Walk provides you with an idea of where to eat during Ramadan in Hyderabad. Do let us know your thoughts through our comments section.

The Ramadan food walk was organized by Novotel Hyderabad Airport Hotel and curated by Mohammed Zubair of Hyderabad Food Diaries.

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Ramadan Food Walk

Ramadan Food Walk

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Experiencing Ramadan Food Walk in Hyderabad, India

40 thoughts on “Experiencing Ramadan Food Walk in Hyderabad, India”

  1. its very interesting read, I am eagerly waiting t o visit this city.My husband recently posted here and would love to try food at some of mentioned places here
    Thanks for sharing it

  2. All of the food looks amazing. Indian food is my comfort food, so I would love to go to India someday and eat there.

  3. This sounds like a lot of fun. The food looks so yummy. India is on my bucket list of places that I would love to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love travel and this is a part of the world that I’d love to see someday. The vibrant colors and culture are so intriguing.

  5. I’ve never experienced a Ramadan Food Walk before. It sounds like a lovely experience especially if you’re a foodie. There’s so much food to try!

  6. Ramadan is big holiday especially in India. Lots of food very festive. I enjoy all your photos on this trip. I would want to visit this country someday.

  7. My boss was Indian and celebrates Ramadan. He told me many times about the food walk and the food looks amazing

  8. Wow! A look at all that food made me so hungry. The way you described Haleem makes me really want to give it a try! Thanks for sharing your tasty adventures 🙂

  9. The food looks super yummy! Also, thanks for the detailed information on what goes on during Ramadan, it is certainly interesting to learn about it!

  10. You tell such a great story. Thanks for giving more more insight into the Islam festival of Ramadan (or Ramzan). I am not sure I could do fasting for a whole month – even with a great meal before sunrise or after sunset. We love a food tour and Ramadan is a great reason to take one. What a great variety of food you saw and tried.

  11. I’m a huge fan of an authentic Hyderabadi Biryani (or at least what passes in London for that). I suspect I’d find the ‘real thing’ even more special. What a great experience

  12. What a wonderful cultural experience. I love all of the colorful lights and decorations. I live in an area with many Moroccans and have experienced their food and observance of Ramadan, but I would love to compare it to different parts of the world.

  13. I love learning about cultures through food! I try to find food tours whenever I travel to a new city. This food tour looked so thorough! I think it’s great that they were able to accommodate your vegetarian needs as well.

  14. Great post! I love all the photos and the food looks amazing. I visited Indonesia last year and was there during Ramadan, I think it is a really interesting time to visit!

  15. I love the mix of cultures in Hyderabad. Being able to see (and taste) Ramadan with a distinctly Indian flair would be amazing. The Haleem sounds exquisite and those deserts look so yummy.

  16. Thank you for such a very detailed information on this food walk in Hyderabad. I absolutely will print the map, eat Haleem in Shah Ghouse and try cakes in Pista Cafe. It’s so templed. Thanks again.

  17. I never really thought about it, but Ramadan sounds like a really interesting time to visit India because of the celebration around food in the evening. You Ramadan food walk sounds like a lot of fun! Those bowls of Haleem look delicious.

  18. I can imagine what Ramadaan walk in Hyderabad must be like. Being a vegetarian, I can still find many meat free delicacies at such walks across India. I am a huge fan of Khubani Ka Meetha and Double Ka Meetha. I make sure I eat it many times when in Hyderabad. The taste of Irani Chai in Hyderabad is also distinct! It is good you went with the Novotel. They are local and of course they know the best!

  19. Charminar and Lad Bazaar take such a different color in Ramazan. I always knew that you get the choicest of meals during Ramazan but such amazing choice – you definitely have captured the most lip smacking and delightful experience in Hyderabad. And though I am not a foodie, after seeing this, even I have my mouth watering.

  20. what an interesting way to experience Ramadan! I didn’t realize some of the food available is specific to ramadan. i’ve never been to india during ramadan, but i traveled in morocco during that time and was amazed at how much the cities come to life at night after everyone breaks fast.

  21. This is beautiful. I think looking at the colour, and the sheer energy of the place post sunset is what makes it lovely. I like the fact that you were able to connect a character on the walk to a story earlier read.

    Me being vegetarian too, means I miss out on a lot of food options. But during my time in Hyderabad, I too tried exploring charminar over an evening and early morning, I went to Nimrah Cafe and sauntered through all of these stalls, though not in as much detail like you have. Maybe a food tour with a group can get more context.

  22. This reminded me of Ramzan Food Walk in Kolkata. From what I have heard, Hyderabad has a special recipe for Haleem which we do not get in other cities. Waiting to visit Hyderabad in such a time to taste the delectable and delicious fares!

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