As the mercury rises in summer, the Zakaria Street food comes alive, particularly for those observing fast in the holy month of Ramzan. Therefore, Zakaria Street Kolkata is a melting pot of the city during this time of the year, not limited to particular food bloggers and photography enthusiasts. Thus, the labyrinth of alleys got delicacies prepared live round the corner. Winter is subsequently the second season to explore the food galore.
Zakaria Street (Jacquaria Street) is located near Chitpur, one of the oldest localities in Kolkata. The lanes are under the shadows of Kolkata’s biggest mosque, Nakhoda Masjid. Undoubtedly, the architectural grandeur of Nakhoda Masjid still defines here the Mughal influence. Consequently, during Ramzan (Ramadan), Zakaria street comes alive, bustling with various food stalls. So, this blog will be a guide for your Zakaria street food trail.
Few Well-Known Shops
Adam’s Kabab Shop
In this case, we start with Zakaria Street food from Phears Lane, the first shop we encountered was the legendary and one of the oldest shops in the vicinity, Adam’s Kebab Shop. The shop was established 150 years back! They specialize in Suta Kabab and Boti Kabab.
Suta Kabab is prepared with beef meat paste of meat and spices around iron skewers and subsequently tied with a cotton thread or suta. Otherwise, the meat will fall off while barbecued on the flat-laid charcoal bed. Boti Kababs are beef chunks tied in a skewer. In short, this is the softest, juiciest kebabs you can have.
Do note that the permanent shops are operating all around the year.
A couple of steps ahead towards Colootala crossing, a new age shop Al Baik, prepares mind-boggling Chicken Special Kabab and Chicken Malai Kabab. In short, they are similar preparation where the special kabab is grilled with skewers on flatbed charcoal. Malai kabab is a tikka cube version roasted inside a tandoor. In brief, both ooze the goodness of malai, with each bite melts inside the mouth.
Dilshad Laziz Kabab
Furthermore, taking steps ahead through the narrowest lane at the end of the tunnel is waiting for us, Dilshad Laziz Kabab with the cheapest and most popular Malai Kabab and Dahi Kabab. Incidentally, Dilshad Bhai is a customer-friendly person in the area with modesty at ground level, always smiling and answering all our questions. Generally, he prepares live beef delicacies in front of us. Thus we witnessed how whitish cream-coloured meat turned to golden brown through searing on fire charcoal bed.
The place is not for hygiene freaks or fine diners. The visuals take you back in time to how we use to cook in a rustic way.
Behold, we set our foot at the famous Khau Galli corridor. The most popular and crowd puller Taskeen is waiting to welcome us with Murgh Changezi. The chicken breast or leg portion is marinated in 50 plus spices before double fried in boiling oil and copped in pieces before serving. Chicken measured in weight and around 200 grams should be enough for a single person. It’s a glorified crispy fried chicken – at Rs 600/kg, it is overhyped.
Keep space for those luscious, thick, creamy Falooda and Lassi. These are a must to wash down the spice and keep your energy quotient high in this sultry weather.
In brief, Taskeen is the trademark holder of Murgh Changezi? Usually, that is what they claim.
Besides Taskeen, their closest competitor and another crowd puller is Dilli 6. Dilli 6 is famous for the smoky and creamy indulgence of Afghani Chicken. Tandoor roasted chicken mixed with fresh cream, butter, and chat masala is a crime to skip. Do not miss trying Afghani Chicken with Sheermal. However, Afghani Chicken price at Rs 600/kg is steep compared to the Zakaria Street standard.
During Ramzan, if there is one dish representing the aura of Zakaria Street food, then daleem at Sufia tops the chart. Nonetheless, the daleem is a watery dal (hence not haleem) with a few pieces of meat inside the bowl.
However, the daleem here lasts for only 3 to 4 hours. It is affordable and filling. Therefore the stock gets over by iftar. Moreover, enjoy Beef Magaz Daleem with a bit of fresh lemon juice on top to enhance the taste. Do not expect any birista, but they will pass on some chopped onions if you ask nicely.
Furthermore, one must miss the Bombay Hotel for some mind-boggling Beef Boti Kababs and Beef Chaanp. Not only can you roll Beef Boti stuffed inside paratha with chopped onions and green chilli, but you also can relish beef chaanp with paratha. The outlet prepares the best beef chaanp in the city. Also, if you still have space left inside, try some Phirni at the Bombay Hotel.
Haji Allauddin Sweets
Indeed, do not forget the legendary Battisi or Batteesa Halwa from 100 years old Islamic sweet shop Haji Allauddin Sweets. The dark-coloured halwa is prepared with 32 ingredients enriched with dry fruits and leaves a wonderful taste. In contrast, the light-coloured Mawa Laddo made of a mix of mawa (reduced milk) or khoya with boondi leaves a sign of balanced sweetness.
Equally, Gulab Jamun is a best seller here, different from the big brand commercial shops in Kolkata. Smaller size, no fuss in looks, but a burst of ghee flavours. Alternatively, Akhrot Halwa is an unsung hero and full of akhrot (walnut) in a serving. Another must-try even though it is lesser know too many. The shopkeepers are so decent and experts in hospitality. Once you become a known face in the outlet, they will pamper you by tasting their new arrivals.
During Ramzan, For Foodies, the best time to visit Zakaria Street food is after Iftar or 6 pm. However, For photographers, there is no time bar.
Few Lesser Known Shops
Sutli Kabab beneath Albela & Muradabadi Laziz Kabab
Beneath Albela Hotel sits a noble older man with a cart full of Beef Sutli Kababs. On the contrary, I wouldn’t say I liked it much due to the minced mix’s overpowering garam masala. Yet, it might suit your taste palate compared to Adam’s Kabab.
From Albela towards Taskeen, look for a roadside kiosk Muradabadi Laziz Kebab. The stall has various fishes and chicken marinated in crimson red marination of secret spices. You can get lobsters or fish heads on a fine day if you are lucky. Price is on per kg rate.
Bread, Biscuit & Lachha
Outside Nakhoda Masjid, there are a series of makeshift stalls selling iftar-special bread on the sidewalks. Saffron-flavoured milk-based flat soft bread is Sheermal. In contrast, Bakarkhani is not as soft as Sheermal. It has a hard crust often decorated with poppy seeds and other ingredients. This bread makes a perfect combo to scoop up gravy or dip in tea.
Besides, Muslim bakeries are also famous for Pakeeza biscuits or biscoot. These biscuits are available in different shapes and sizes. They sell Lachha or vermicelli in large heaps at Zakaria Street and come in fried and unfried varieties. Also referred to as pheni is a flour-based savoury that comes coated with clarified butter. Moreover, lachha is a key ingredient for making Eid’s signature dish Sevai Kheer, Sheer Khurma, Lachha Sevaiyan, Sevai Halwa, etc.
Sweets & Savories
Sweet lovers shall not feel shy to explore hot, juicy, and crunchy jalebi and imarti from roadside stalls.
Dry fruit stuffed gujiya and warm and crunchy chirwa (flattened rice) mixture in savouries. There are barely one or two stalls selling—furthermore, a few stalls selling ghugni salad and dahi vada.
- Suta Kabab from Adam Kabab Shop
- Dahi & Malai Kabab from Dilshad Laziz Kabab
- Chicken Special Kabab from Al Baik
- Beef Boti Roll from New Lucknow Hotel
- Beef Chaanp and Phirni from Bombay Hotel
- Haleem from Sufia
- Falooda, Lassi from Taskeen
- Afghani Chicken from Dilli 6
- Battisi Halwa from Haji Allauddin Sweets
How to Reach?
The Zakaria Street food trail shall start from Phears Lane. Meet your gang beneath the Maharana Pratap Statue opposite the Central Metro Station and walk towards Phears Lane.
In the meantime, the street food stalls are gradually coming up in New Town. Please do read the blog below.
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