Come Ramadan and the city is ablaze with restaurants and eateries selling Haleem and dishing out festive offers on biryani and other iftaar specialties. What’s new this year is the food fests that have been introduced to Chennai and Ramadan Food Street – Iftar 2018, organized by Madras Mela is a pioneer event happening at Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam.
We decided to check out the fare put up by their stalls and try out the chef’s specials that they boast of. From the must-have biryani to 40 different flavors of kulfi, the stalls have on display a myriad number of dishes for the visitors to choose from. It is with much restraint that we settled on a few highlights that included both typical Ramadan preparations and a colorful platter of seafood, desserts, and beverages.
We began with a few starters from Al-Sultan and tried the Grilled Calamari Rings which is marinated in a spicy sauce and prepares the taste buds for the feast ahead. They were spiced to perfection and cooked just right. Calamari is already a crowd favorite and this one definitely made the list.
The Rava-fried Shrimp was another starter that won the show. The prawns were juicy and crusty rava coating went well with the home-made mayonnaise that’s drizzled on top. They also come with a tiny box of in-house mint chutney that gives a tangy aftertaste to the dish.
The selection of starters from Dream-A-Cup comprised of Fish Patties, Chicken Rolls and Chicken Quiches. The fish patties had a crunchy covering stuffed with savory minced fish masala mixture and the chicken rolls were crispy and yummy but what takes the crown is the chicken quiche. A crumbly, buttery tart base filled with delicious chicken filling was a treat all on its own.
The chicken 65 was just how you’d expect it to be. Spicy with a perfect blend of flavors, the chicken was well-cooked and tasted yummy.
Ramadan without biryani is unimaginable! We tried the chicken briyani from Galaxy Catering and it was as delicious as it can get. The chicken was tender and the rice was packed with flavors that highlighted the very essence of Ramadan.
The Haleem, another highlight of the Ramadan season was made just right, packed with spices in a thick meaty stew made of mutton and wheat. No wonder this is one of the most-craved dishes that people absolutely love about the celebration.
Kappa Chakka Kandhari, a stall that boasts of authentic dishes from the cuisine of Kerala, had on display a variety of sweet and savory dishes to choose from. We tried the pazhampori, a classic dish that is the desi version of banana fritters. The pazhampori is slightly sweet and tastes like a little piece of ‘God’s own country’.
For dessert, we tried the brownie from Dream-a-Cup, a warm chocolate indulgence topped with chopped nuts. It was the perfect way to end our meal and just melt in the mouth.
The Food Fest is on until the15th of June.