Ramadan is over, but the streets of Mohammad Ali Road and its amazing food isn’t going anywhere. And this time, its Vegetarians turn to raid it. Yes, you heard me right. Mohammad Ali Road is known to be a meat lovers paradise, especially during Ramadan and is often considered to be no place for vegetarians. But ain’t nobody stopping you from getting a little high on all that sugar. Vegetarian, Non-vegetarian, if you really plan to go, you need to be dedicated to this street food experience. Mohammad Ali Road is the busiest, most chaotic street ever (even more during Ramadan). Getting there itself is no piece of cake.
There are two main eateries that vegetarians can raid and get a dose for their sugar levels later. Tawakkal Sweets and Suleman Usman Mithaiwala are the two must eat at places, very close to each other at Mohammad Ali road.
Here I will only talk about my experience at Tawakkal Sweets, because honestly, I was gastronomically dead by the time I came out of this place (And I don’t regret it).
Tawakkal Sweets is located at Bhendi Bazaar in the street known as ‘Bohri Mohalla’ and is very popular among the Bohri community.
60 years back, Ismialji Mithaiwala laid the foundations for this business. As per his grandson’s, Ismialji was guided by his holiness Syedna Taher Saifuddin to switch from his shoe business to get into preparation and retail of sweets. I must say he was a true visionary in this regard.
The place was perfected by Ismialji’s son late Abdullah Ismialji Mithaiwala. Through the 50s he incorporated what Tawakkal is known for today, not just the taste but the quality of material used in preparation. Started as a small shop, it has now grown into a big brand well known throughout Mumbai, with multiple branches. The business was sometime back divided between Abdullah’s two sons, leading to formation of two shops Shabbir’s Tawakkal Sweets and Tawakkal Sweets.
The original shop is still called Tawakkal Sweets.
During Ramadan/Ramzan, the place is open till wee hours in the morning, closing only for 3-4 hours, opening again at 8:30 am, adding to the hustle-bustle of the festivities.
Now the food: I tried the usual Phirni (mango), Sweet Malai Puff, Aflatoon (yes, there’s a dish by that name), Anjeer Badam halwa, Malai (blueberry and mango flavour) and Dudhi halwa. Well that’s my limit.
Food suggestion: My favorite was the Blueberry Malai, which you must try and parcel a little for home, cause you’ll definitely crave it. The specialty here is the Egg Malpua (eggless variety is available too).
The place is now run by Abdulla’s grandsons, who are more than happy to help you choose the delicacy you’ll like, all the while narrating the story of the sweet heritage their predecessors left them.