A meat lover’s favourite in a vegetarian state
For the non-veg
Gujarat is a vegetarian state, but here in the old town you find exceptions to the rule. In this narrow lane called Bhatiyar Galli, is the home of Mughlai and Persian cuisine. Here they serve minced meat samosa’s, mutton kebabs, chicken lollipop, chicken tikkas, mutton biryani and other non-vegetarian curries.
We like Bera Samosa, a 100-year-old family business. One of the best places in town to have a samosa. It was Mohammed’s grandfather who started selling samosas from a cart and business slowly grew from there. Now Mohammed sells as far as the USA, Dubai and London. He even has Bollywood stars as clients. The third-generation owner, Mohammed recalls: “As a kid I used to find long lines of customers outside the Bera samosa shop early in the mornings waiting for the restaurant to open. It was then that I understood the value of the family business.”
Another local favourite is Madina Bhatiyarkhana or popularly called the Bara Handi. Over 125 years old, it is currently being run by the fifth generation. They are famous for their slow cooked lamb, buffalo and lentils, they have no less than 12 big pots of the popular mixture brewing overnight in an underground kiln.
Another famous stall is the ZK Fry Centre which is popular for its tawa grilled and fried dishes. If you are not big on non-vegetarian affair, we recommend Mansuri Halwa House, well known for its halwas, milk based sweet delicacies. There are a variety of flavours such as pineapple, dry fruits, bottle gourd and the oldest and most popular the charmagaj or the watermelon seeds.
During Ramadan, when Muslims fast, it gets quiet here during the day and buzzing at night when they break fast. Many stalls serve free food to the poor, a popular practice in India, especially at religious sites. Here at Bhatiyar Galli, for just Rs. 100, a stall will feed five people on your behalf.
What’s in a name?
Bhaityara is a title given to a person who prepares and cooks food for social gatherings. The name Bhatiyar Galli goes back almost 300 years back, when the local residents started cooking and selling food from this very alley.