Ramzan is a pretty exciting time for me for obvious reasons – The Food! My father is a doctor and every year during Ramzan almost all his Muslim patients bring him heaps of Biryani, Chicken curry, Mutton curry and Sheer Khurma. That got me addicted to the cuisine and left me waiting for Ramzan every year!
This year I decided, instead of waiting for the food to come to me, I should go to it! So I will try to visit as many joints serving lip-smacking Iftar fair as I can and also try to uncover some obscure, lesser known ones around Pune!
My first haunt was the immensely popular Imdadi in Camp. Imdadi has been serving Iftar exclusively during the month of Ramzan for 32 years running. They serve all sorts of stuff ranging from juicy kababs, delectable curries, biryani as well as mouth-watering desserts! The Imdadi Group is a trust which donates all profits to charity.
Location – Mominpura, Camp, Synagogue Street.
They have a coupon system. You get coupons at a counter and give them to the vendors or servers for the food. There is a decent seating area too.
The range of food leaves you in splits. It’s a constant struggle between savouring everything you see and amount of space left in your tummy. My main attraction for the day were the Beef Items and Quail!
Beef Items – I had been looking forward to this the most. This is the first counter there, serving variety of kababs and sweet dishes. Meat sizzles in the background over charcoal and on massive tavas.
I ordered every Beef item on offer, Beef roll, Samosa, Stuff Paratha, Seekh Kabab and Deep Fried Kabab.
The Beef roll was amazing! Thick paratha on the outside stuffed full of flavourful beef filling inside. A tad oily, but I suppose it added to the wonderful richness of the roll. The Stuffed Paratha was similar in taste and as a result, tasty. This too is shallow fried in oil. Watching them sizzle away just leaves you craving for more. The outer paratha layer gets nice and crisp and the stuffing is soft and melt in the mouth.
The Samosa was crispy but seriously lacked beef filling as well as flavour. It was a bit bland and oily. I would suggest to give it a miss. The deep fried Kababs I was served were cold and again lacking any punch in terms of flavour. Again, missable. Beef Seekh Kabab was good but not great. I’ve had much better ones at Madinah Restaurant, Camp.
I wanted to have charcoal grilled whole quail, but unfortunately due to communication error, I ended up with a Masala dish. No issues though, because seeing the whole quail arriving doused in the red curry was worth it! I ordered a Rumali Roti to go with it and dove into the spicy, rich chilly curry! So good!
Then came the most important part. I cleared off as much masala off the quail and dug into the meat! My God! Just juicy, tender and meaty. I am quite fond of Quail mainly because of the intense flavour and juicy meat. I hogged on till I was left with just the delicate bones and the innards, which were still intact as the quail was literally marinated and then fried whole! You can give the innards – liver, kidneys, lung etc – a try but it is quite a funky smell and taste.
Kashmiri – This is one of their most popular drinks. It’s a green pistachio and dry fruit milkshake. Not overly sweet and extremely refreshing.
Kharbooza Faluda – Another specialty! Musk melon overload! Musk melon syrup, musk melon ice cream, sev, sabja seeds topped with musk melon cubes and musk melon milkshake! Utter heaven. No artificial taste or excessive sweetness. Just perfect. You could get arrested if you leave Imdadi without having this!
Other Must Try Dishes –
Chicken Tandoori, Tangdi Kabab
Various Chicken Kababs like Russian kabab, Arabic Kabab, Seekh Kabab etc.
Beef/Mutton Dalcha, Khichda, Tava Fry etc.
Biryani! (Of course! They serve Hyderabadi style.)
Hope you have enjoyed this post, there are many more to come! Don’t forget to give your suggestions in the comments about your favourite Iftar joints even if they’re not well known. I’m always looking for new places and in my experience, small family run joints are much better than bigger places. There is just more flavour and more character.
Stay tuned for the next part of the Ramzan fair! Ramzan Mubarak!