Visiting Bhopal during Ramzan has been such an outstanding experience for us. The rich history, the pleasing architecture and sights, the genial and spirited locals, and most importantly the amazing food helped us weave some cogent memories in this city.
In this episode, we have embarked on an inquisitive culinary journey to know the post-Iftar street food scene at a place called the Qazi Camp and to our wonder, we realized that the foodstuffs available here are both delectable and insanely pocket friendly. So let’s see what all did we try.
The perpetual crowd in front of the tea stalls across the city is a telltale proof that here tea is not just a beverage but a way of life. Our first stop was Pappu Bhai’s Tea stall selling the quintessential Namkeen Chai, a specialty of the city, in which salt is one of the key components. It was interesting to note that most of the shops still follow the traditional way of making the tea, where a strong brew is prepared in a copper vessel using water, tea, sugar, and salt and while serving it is mixed with a generous measure of creamy milk. As a result, the taste was quite distinct and appealing.
The next stop was Rafiq Biryan, where a hearty plate of their special Biryani was either available for just rupees 20 or 30. The interesting part was the thoughtful sitting cum serving arrangement inside the joint where three kinds of chutneys and Raita were openly placed in large vessels on the tables for us to take while eating. We also liked the Zarda which was a sweetened rice preparation. No wonder the place was buzzing with a crowd.
Then we came to an open shop selling Iftari and Sehri snacks like different kinds of traditional bread, Khajla, Nukhti Khara, and Sevain.
Moving ahead we reached Pappu bhai’s Khichda Stall to try one of Bhopal’s popular street food fare, the Khichda which was a slightly different variation of Haleem. We were completely stunned by the fact that a plateful of this nutritious, one pot lentil and meat preparation cost us just rupees twenty.
Next stop was Mohsin Ali bun kebab wale, a small joint selling one of Bhopal’s most delicious and iconic non vegetarian street food offerings, the Bun Kebabs. This small, scrumptious Indian styled burger made of soft and delicious kebab stacked between mildly sweet buns was available for rupees 6 only. With one single bite we were convinced of its stature.
Soon we were drawn to a stall selling a melange of traditional Indian breads. The sight and smell of the lovely assortment made us joyous.
Our penultimate stop was the Shabir stick kebab wala, whose stick kebabs were an amusingly thoughtful take on the familiar kebabs that we usually eat. The tasty deep fried kebabs that came mounted on a stick resembled a lollipop in experience, appearance and convenience. It was fun to grab one and take a bite. All the pleasure was just worth rupees five.
We ended our amazing journey with the Bhopal styled Namkeen tea and Khajur a deep fried, sweet, disc shaped snack at Zaheer bhai Chai wala because it was undoubtedly addictive and we were convinced that in Bhopal tea is one of the most effective means of furthering and consolidating human connections.
We express our deep gratitude to our host Hashim Bhai for bringing us to this foodie haven and showing us around with so much patience and care.