Gone are the days, when people in the Valley used to make a dash to their homes to open their fast (usually referred as Iftar) in the holy month of Ramadan. Nowadays, many, in pursuit of socializing and to break the monotony of life, prefer to break their fast outside their homes.
To answer to such customer needs, many young café owners in Kashmir have come up with creative ideas to give such people a space, where they would not only socialize, but would also relish exotic Iftar meals.
Valley restaurants are treating the rebel palates with all sorts of mouth water dishes. From Butter Chicken to Kadhai, and from Zeera Rice (rice flavoured with cumin),to Tandoori momos, to Mughlai cuisines, food lovers are treated with absolute delicacies.
The restaurant owners are leaving no stone unturned to lure their customers by serving the deserts like Falooda. And for those who believe in love, beverages like Sharbat e Mohabbat would surely quench their wet throats with the sweetness of "love".
The restaurant owners are pulling out all the stops by offering special menus and dishes to tempt the taste buds of diners.
In Srinagar, Zehranz food delivery, Parsa Foods, and in Baramulla Lazeezo have come up with special dishes for Iftaar and are getting a good response from the customers.
Javaid Parsa, owner of Parsa Food at Sarah City Centre, said the trend of breaking fast outside the home is picking up in the valley.
He said that they are offering Mughlai, Butter chicken, Mutton and Chicken Korma, Kadhai chicken and other dishes. He also offers sweet dishes for free. They also offer complimentary welcoming Iftar drinks and dates.
“Youngsters and families are often visiting us during the month of Ramadan. We are getting 40 to 50 orders every day. We also have arrangements for offering prayers. We have provided a space for them to offer prayers,” he said.
He said that his food outlet is known for Kathi rolls, but during Ramadan they offer special dishes to the people. They also offer Iftar and different sweets for free.
“Initially the culture was different. People were hardly going out to break their fasts. However, things have changed now. Now people do go out and people are visiting my place,” he said.
Like Parsa’s , Nizam’s Restaurant has designed a special ‘iftar platter @786’ . During Ramadan they serve this platter with Khajoor, Sharbat, Keeme ki Goli, Malai Tikka, Chicken Tikka, Kebab, Biryani and Shahi Tukda.
The spices used in these spices are procured from Delhi to give a special feel of ‘Purani Dilli’ to customers.
Another outlet, Zehranz Food delivery, is the only food outlet which delivers food in whole Srinagar during Ramadan.
They blend the contemporary with the traditional to cater to different generations.
“We offer Malai Tikka, Tandoori Momos, Special Chicken, Biryani, Chicken Shawarma, and Chicken Kaanti. We have combos for Iftar. We have special combo offers and discounts for the month of Ramadan," said Zehran Hamdani , who owns Zehranz food delivery.
Zehran said that he also offers customised desserts like Fruit Salad, Kheer, Gulab Jamun or Gajar Ka Halwa especially for Iftari.
Zehran began selling and delivering his food products in 2018. He is also receiving orders on Instagram and Facebook pages under the name of Zehranz food delivery.
The young restaurant owners said that they wanted to bring together the young and old to enjoy new and traditional and special dishes.
Away from the city ambience, Lazeezo in Baramulla too remains open for customers at Iftaar time. For Ramadan only we serve special Sharbat e mohabbat drinks and other combo meals. We have Iftar takeaways as well,” said Junaid Mohjoo , owner of Lazeezo.
He said that cafe people can eat and relish till late night hours.
“We are also encouraging people to have Iftar parties at the cafe only,” he said.