Ahmedabad’s Bhatiyar Gali: A Street Full of Cooks
- Sidharth Bhan Gupta
Updated : August 24, 2022 03:08 IST
The history of this famous culinary street goes back 600 years, when, Ahmed Shah Badshah set foot in Ahmedabad and constructed ‘Bhadra Fort'
If you visit Ahmedabad for culinary exploration, The name ‘Bhatiy\ar Gali’ is a definite giveaway to the city’s most legendary street for non-vegetarian delicacies. Bhatiyar Gali, which means ‘A Street Full of Cooks’, justifies its name by the number of eateries it hosts.
The history of this famous culinary street goes back 600 years, when, Ahmed Shah Badshah set foot in Ahmedabad and constructed ‘Bhadra Fort. Bhatiyars were the cooks for the royals, as they say, the recipes and masalas are handed down from one generation to another, and today, it’s a perfect specimen of India’s culinary traditions, especially Ahmedabad’s rich Mughlai cuisine.
Although Bhatiyar Gali comes alive in the evening and continues late till night, an afternoon or an early evening visit will help you explore delicious snacks, with which we, too, will start our Bhatiyaar Gali food trail.
From the historical ‘Teen Darwaza’ of Ahmedabad, as we walk towards Bhatiyaar Gali, we can start to smell the aroma coming from the famous ‘Bera Samosa’ inviting passersby to enjoy some delicious mid-day refreshments at this iconic snack shop. Samosas are stuffed with uniquely spiced minced meat, onions, and an unmissable flavour of the mint leaves. Bite-sized and crispy, these mini triangular samosas are a perfect companion to a cup of chai we so often see Ahmedabadis indulging in. ‘Keema balls’, deep-fried mince meatballs, are another hot favourite at ‘Bera Samosa’ and must be tried to enjoy the whole experience of Bera Samosa.
Another exciting dish you can find at a food cart outside ‘Bera Samosa’ is ‘Silli Gosht’. Silli means Stick, and these deliciously spiced mutton sticks, egg washed and deep fried, are one of the tastiest dishes I tried on my Ahmedabad trip. It’s fluffy coating, blanketing the soft, tender mutton, makes this innovative and easy-to-eat street snack one of the key finds of my exploration in Bhatiyaar Gali.
Haleem – Biryani
As you move ahead inside Bhatiyaar Gali, a cart famous for its unique offering of Ahmedabad style ‘Haleem’ should be tried by all meat-lovers. various cities that are famous for their haleem have their unique style of preparation, In Ahmedabad, the meat is cooked along with chana dal and spices, which, when simmered for long hours on low heat, results in an irresistible flavour. Garnished with Fried onions and chopped green chillies, Ahmedabad’s ‘Haleem’ is a must-try delicacy at Bhatiyaar Gali.
Not to miss the flavourful ‘Keema Biryani’ served on this cart, which is often preferred as an accompaniment to the Haleem you get here. This combination of ‘Haleem’ and ‘Keema Biryani’ is a match made in heaven and creates a flavour that makes you come back for it.
Bhatiyaar Gali is famous for its ‘Tawa’ outlets. You will find street food vendors with their ‘Tawas’ dotted across the ‘Bhatiyaar Gali’ area serving a variety of non-vegetarian dishes Tawa chicken fry is one such speciality, where marinated chicken is fried over a thick flat griddle with spiced juices oozing out, watering the mouths of many onlookers.
‘Jhinga’ (Prawns), ‘keema’ (Minced Meat), mutton, and different kinds of fish are ready to be prepared as per your choice from the long list of dishes offered on the menu. ‘Z.K. Tawa Fry’ is a famous shop that often succeeds in persuading the hungry to try a few items. You, too, must try it out.
Every famous culinary hub of India has one such outlet which offers its patrons the finest dishes of the cuisine it represents. For exploring Ahmedabad’s Mughlai cuisine, ‘Akbari Hotel’, one of the street's most famous and busiest food joints, is your place to visit.
With multiple handis filled with unique dishes and a couple of ‘Tawas’ preparing succulent dishes on order, ‘Akbari Hotel’ can satisfy every food-lover’s craving. It’s the quality of their curries that stands out. My top recommendation is ‘White Chicken’ prepared in nutty and creamy white gravy, Another must-try is the delicious ‘chicken hara-bhara’ or Green chicken that has a terrific flavour of Coriander, There are a few delicious red curries such as chicken masala, mutton masala (Bhuna Haddiwala), and Mughlai gravy dish, which goes by an unusual name ‘Manchurian’. “Name is Manchurian, but the taste is Mughlai”, reconfirms Zubair Bhai, the owner of Akbari Hotel.
The ‘Tawa’ items at Akbari Hotels are a must-try, too, especially their ‘Tawa Chicken Fry’, which is one of their hot sellers. This flavourful ‘Tawa’ dish is best enjoyed with ‘Roomali Rotis’ to enjoy the crispy outer layer of the chicken and its juicy inner layers.
This Beautiful heritage restaurant was recommended to me by fellow diners at Akbari Hotel, and I readily took their advice. Like me, if you love the old-world charm and chai of Irani cafes, then this unmissable restaurant on the main Bhadra Road (Just Outside Bhatiyaar Gali) is your place.
Famous for its ‘Chai and Bun-Maska’, this Irani restaurant has the heart of the city’s foodies in its grip for generations. Chai was refreshing and just the thing I was looking for after a hardcore food exploration at Bhatiyaar Gali; the ‘bun-maska’ accompanied the chai and my thoughts, which were in constant awe of Ahmedabad’s gastronomical might.
Bhatiyaar Gali experience has to be one of the finest foodie experiences across India for its excellent and culturally rich Mughlai cuisine. It’s situated in the heart of the city, with heritage structures all around it, giving it an epic vibe, and your trip to Bhatiyaar Gali is even more worthwhile. You can’t help but imagine a world 600 years ago, when the town was new, and these culinary ideas had just started to brew. In the 21st century Ahmedabad, many of those culinary traditions are still alive and thriving, courtesy of the families of Bhatiyaars. They have served the Badshahs and many generations of food lovers from the city and its many visitors. And thus, a visit to ‘Bhatiyaar Gali’ is a must to celebrate the centuries-old culinary traditions and our love for good food.