For the first time in nearly 250 years, Mumbai’s world-renowned and iconic 'Mohammed Ali Road street food market’ is wearing a deserted look this Ramzan month, starting April 23. Sigh! Irrespective of the religion, Mumbai’s crowded and noisy Mohammed Ali Road has always been a treasure mine for foodies. From seekh kebabs, tangdi kebabs, niharis, paya soup to firni, malpua, and jalebi, it has always been a mecca for non-vegetarians and dessert lovers.
Thousands of people used to enjoy the food and delicacies served during the Ramadan. However, this year is different as roads wear a deserted look due to COVID-19 outbreak. The coronavirus outbreak has taken away all the charm of the iconic road that used to be a mecca for food lovers especially during this holy month of Ramadan. This iconic road was not only visited by the common man but also Bollywood celebrities used to come here to enjoy the food and fervour. Some of the popular celebrities that have been seen as a regular visitor to Mohammed Ali Road are Shilpa Shetty, Kangana Ranaut, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Sharad Kelkar.
If we see the stats then on an average the food market attracts around 40000 people daily and during the weekend the count shoots up to 100000, with an average of 1.50 million hungry customers a month. Therefore the shutting of the market would affect hundreds of stall owners and helpers. Thousands of families work only during the Ramzan and survive the remaining 11 months on the income earned during this period. The iconic Mohammad Ali road not only showcases delicacy but also displays an undying spirit of fraternity and solidarity. It was clearly demonstrated, when the road remained open even after the 1993 serial bomb blasts on March 12.
About Mohammed Ali Road street food market
The Ramzan market started with tiny food stalls around Minara Masjid, which kept expanding over the centuries. Today, the main market is spread to an area of 1 km with over 400 extra stalls during Ramzan to cope up with the huge demand. There are a certain variety of foods and desserts that are specially prepared during the Ramzan time. According to Karim Patel, a local businessman, Muslims comprise only 25 percent of the patrons. Around 60 percent are the non-muslims and the remaining 15 percent are foreigners or tourists.
This market's reputation has spawned many similar 'Ramzan markets' in Mumbai at Mahim, Kurla, Bandra, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Mira Road, Vasai, Pune, Malegaon, Nashik, Sangli, Surat, Delhi, Hyderabad, etc but die-hard connoisseurs swear that the 'Mohammed Ali Road food bazaar' beats them all..!
Out of all the states in India, Maharashtra has seen the maximum number of Covid-19 cases which touched 9915 so far. The total number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 33277 with 1081 deaths. If you want to know the coronavirus outbreak in India check the latest COVID-19 updates. It seems that even after the lockdown is lifted, it will take long before the road springs back to life.
Sadly this year’s Ramzan will not be the same as the last 250 years for the Mohammed Ali Road street food bazaar, but there’s always a next time! Here’s to the next halt at Iconic street food market being larger and fuller. Till then stay home, stay safe. Stay tuned to the Trainman blog to get the latest updates on news and COVID-19 virus. The Trainman team advises all the people to maintain social distancing and not social media distancing.