Guwahati, the most important city of Assam in India is famous for its wide range of ethnic and tribal food. Northeast is home to a large number of tribes and sub-tribes and Guwahati being the gateway is home to a large number of restaurants that sells popular ethnic food of the various Northeastern states of India. But when it comes to Ramadan special food Guwahati is not far behind. Each state in India is famous for its particular style of Ramzan special food. There are many restaurants and hotels having their own tailored menu during the holy Ramzan month.
There are so many locations in Guwahati, Assam famous for its street food, but for Ramadan special food there is only one place that instantly comes to my mind. Machkhowa, in Guwahati, is famous for its various stalls which sell Ramadan special food. Since the past few days, I was drooling over the various food items that some of my friends were sharing in their Instagram Feed.
Finally, I gave in to my temptation and contacted one of my friends Priyanka, who also runs a popular food-related Instagram account. She was also planning to pay a visit to Machkhowa, so why to look back! The weekend was near and we selected Sunday to conduct our own personal Ramadan food walk at Machkhowa Guwahati.
I have seen numerous videos on Ramadan Special Food walks and what caught my attention was the spread at Zakaria Street in Kolkata. It is humongous. However, on my last visit to Kolkata, I couldn’t make it there owing to the extreme heat and temperature. So the idea of visiting Machkhowa for the food walk cropped up in my mind as I was bent upon exploring the Ramadan Special Food. If not Kolkata, why not my very own Guwahati! And I was quite surprised how Madina Sweet House offered an array of dishes to select from.
The choices here in Guwahati were less yet enough for food lovers like me. In Machkhowa, Guwahati there is a shop named- Madina Sweet House which is the main centre of attraction. As I reached the location, I was amazed to see the huge crowd gathered in front of the shop. Someone was asking for Biryani, while someone was asking the price of Halwa. I was very excited and at the same time confused, what to eat and what not! Well, there were few more stalls which sold equally delicious dishes and that were prepared with utmost hygiene.
How to reach Madina Sweet House in Machkhowa?
Get on a bus from anyplace which will take you to the Machkhowa Bus-stop, near Alfresco Grand and enter the lane just opposite to it. The Machkhowa ITA centre is also nearby. You need to walk a few steps ahead, you reach near a Masjid where the road bifurcates. Take right and there you are at the Madina Sweet House. In the corner of the road, there are a few more stalls to explore Ramadan Special Food.
Which is the best time?
The best time is probably after 3.30pm since most of the stalls starts in the evening time. If you are interested in a food walk, try to reach a bit earlier to avoid the evening crowd.
Let’s get into the food-
The first thing that we tasted was the Biryani. Yes, it’s my favourite and I was dying to eat it. A huge Gamla was lying in front of us as the man sat quite higher pouring in Biryani in packets according to the quantity the customer asked for. Half plate Biryani cost Rs 80 which was a bit expensive. Moreover, the Biryani was different than the regular Kolkata style biryani that we get to eat in the majority of the restaurants in Guwahati. There was no potato and egg, only chicken pieces. Though the biryani was a bit dry and spicy, it tasted divine.
Next on our plate was the Gajar ka Halwa which was full of dry fruits. There were two different kinds of Sooji Halwa- one prepared in Ghee which priced Rs 80 / 250 gms and the other prepared in refined oil that was priced Rs 40/ 250gms. There were some other snacks made of Rice and sesame seeds, dates, etc. Onion pakora, jalebis were the commonly available snacks so we kept it for some other day.
However, the one thing that I felt was missing here at the Madina Sweet Shop, were the kebabs. It could have added more to the flavour of the season. The food items they sold were common and people from all religious beliefs love eating them. I was expecting some more items that may include some different chicken items, rolls, but I was a bit disappointed. Nevertheless, the food we relished upon purely depicted the grandeur with which the festivals of our country is celebrated.
I do remember how I and my sister used to get excited when my mother’s colleague Begum Aunty invited us for Eid dinner. It is in her house we had our first plate of Biryani. Back in our school days, early 90’s to be precise we didn’t have much exposure to biryanis and kebabs. It was with time that we got to know the taste and later which became a favourite part of our food journey.
Another interesting item that Madina Sweet House sold was the jumbo-sized paratha that they sold according to weight (Approx Rs 40 / 250 gms). The chicken masala was tasty but was also seemed to be a bit expensive. For two pieces of chicken, it was priced at Rs 80.
After devouring food at Madina Sweet House our next stop was the nearby stall at the corner opposite to the Masjid. We had the show stopper of the day which was a bowl full of Phirni. It was absolutely delicious, priced at Rs 40. The shop also sold Tandoori Chai but unfortunately, we were too early for it.
The owner said the man who makes the tea comes after 5:00 pm. So make sure you are there by 5 pm if you are interested in tasting the sizzling Tandoori Chai.
This was the first time I was on a Ramadan special food walk, especially in Guwahati. When I uploaded the pictures in my Facebook profile I was amazed at the overwhelming response I received from my friends and relatives.
Dabeli at Fancy Bazar
After almost filling our tummy to the brim, Priyanka suggested we should also visit the Fancy Bazar near the old jail road to enjoy the street food there. The evenings are generally crowded and noisy. But that day it was different as we had reached too early. Most of the stalls start selling only after 5 pm so we had to wait for almost an hour, only to taste the Dabeli for the first time.
Yes, that is the first time I ate a Dabeli because I didn’t know there was a stall that sold Dabeli in Guwahati. This man has a small stall which sells Vada Pav and Dabeli and it sells like hot-cakes. Within 15 min the man started with the first sale of his day, you must have watched the crowd that gathered around him. It was amazing. I visit Fancy Bazar quite frequent yet, I never knew about this stall. Sometimes, the city which we think we know to the core gives us little surprises and never fails to amaze us.
It was almost evening and by then we were both quite tired, filled up and it was getting darker. That was so much fun, one of a kind Ramadan special food walk we enjoyed in Guwahati.
I had recently read an article on the Ramadan Special food at Zakaria Street where the writer narrates how the breaking of the fast surprised him. I wish I could witness something like that, as I believe the experience would have been similar here in Guwahati as well. But since it was slowly getting crowded and we had other places to visit as well we had to make a move, with a hope of returning to experience the grandeur at some other time.
The numerous blogs that I have read and the tons of videos that I have watched, on food trails at Delhi during the Ramzan month have left me wondering about the plethora of items they have to offer. I just hope to make it to the other states of India someday, where the Ramadan food is famous and is no less than a celebration itself.
Hope you liked reading the post and if you are in Guwahati you must make your way to Machkhowa and enjoy the Ramadan special food. Do share, Like and Follow my social profiles. Thanks for reading.
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