CHENNAI: Almost two weeks into Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, one entrepreneur decided to try his hand at something new — a food court that offers delicacies from three south Indian states among several other varieties from out of the country. The food court dubbed ‘Ramadan Bazar’ started on June 7, the first day of fasting. Mohammad Ali, organiser of the company Food Consulate, said he was inspired by Bengaluru’s Food Street in Frazier town and Mohammad Ali Street in Mumbai.
“I knew that we don’t have anything similar in Chennai. So I worked on this idea. I approached people at the Daily Express hotel. After much convincing, they agreed to it,” he said.
However, he insists that his pilot project was not the same as a ‘Ramzan package’. “Being from a south Indian state, why should we restrict ourselves to a combo of sorts? What we tried to come up with is a multi-cuisine Ramzan experience,” he said.
Ali boasts of running the only place which provides a variety of dishes — from Telangana, the famous Hyderabadi Biryani, Haleem and Khurbaani ka meetha are served. From Kerala, you can have Unakkai (stuffed banana), Chattipatri (a layered crepe cake), and Bun nerachadu (bun stuffed with egg or chicken). Not to be outdone, Tamil Nadu has its own representation among the food stalls with its typical chicken biryani, mutton stew, chicken curry and chicken Murthabag.
“Our nombu kanji is excellent. It is a famous dish comprising rice, coconut, chicken or mutton, some mild spices and pulses,” said Mohammad Suhail, who has come from Hyderabad to set up a stall at the Ramadan Bazar that offers good business.
“The difficult part is to convince these people to come with us and take part in this venture. It takes a lot of convincing and cajoling. Once they come here and do well, it becomes easy,” he smiled.