Ramadan 2024: 7 Unmissable Foods At Kolkata's Zakaria Street

Kolkata’s Zakaria Street is the best place you can be during Ramadan! During Ramadan, the street is smattered with varied sellers offering their Iftari specials. Foodies flock to this bustling street to savour iconic dishes such as seekh kebabs, the famous sutli kebabs, Kolkata biryani and a lot more! The biggest attractions are the dishes which are made only during the Ramadan month; like the Kolkata-style haleem, which is available only during these few weeks.

There are plenty of other Mughlai, Awadhi and cult street food items which you can find in Zakaria Street and a few shops which have been running for more than a century! If you’re planning to explore Zakaria Street anytime soon, bookmark these Iftari specials!

Suta Kebab

Also known as Sutli Kebab this cherished delicacy features succulent minced meat and its been named ‘suta’ kebab since the meat is wrapped around a skewer and delicately encased with thread (or sutli). The kebabs are first marinated with a blend of unique spices, following which they are grilled till they acquire their distinct smoky flavour and tender texture. 

Usually, the thread is removed before serving, so the kebabs can reveal their juicy filling which has a savoury goodness and a spiced profile. Pair it with a crisp paratha or a smokey tawa roti.

Recommendation: Adam’s Kebab Shop

Price: Rs 150-200

Battisi Halwa

If you want true indulgence, you have to check out the Battisi Halwa at Haji Alauddin Sweets. The smokey, slightly charred halwa is a Ramadan specialty but you can also get it year-round. The story behind Battisi Halwa may be even more interesting than its taste! It’s called ‘Battisi’ because it needs 32 main ingredients, symbolizing the 32 tales of the legendary Vikramaditya's throne. It has ghee, nuts, sugar, and spices like cardamom and saffron and has a complex sweetness which is unique. 

Recommendation: Haji Alauddin Sweets

Price: Rs 250-300


Very few restaurants in Kolkata serve haleem year-round, which is why locals wait Ramadan season to experience this amazing delicacy. The hearty stew brings together the robust notes of spiced meats with the goodness of dal. It’s generally prepared with a blend of meat (or just lamb), lentils, wheat, and spices and undergoes slow cooking for hours until achieving a thick, creamy consistency. It’s infused with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cumin and it’s served with a squeeze of lime or fresh herbs. You can pair haleem with some paratha or with fragrant biryani.

Recommendation: Sufia Restaurant

Price: Rs 250-300


This soft, Persian bread attracts a host of foodies to Zakaria Street every Ramadan and with good reason! Made with flour, milk, sugar, and saffron, it boasts a unique golden hue and a soft, pillowy texture. It’s infused with the subtle fragrance of saffron and cardamom; it’s often topped with sesame or poppy seeds and it pairs perfectly with savoury dishes. Your best bet to score some hot, crispy sheermal at Zakaria Street is after 4 pm as most sellers make this bread during tea-time.

Recommendation: Taskeen

Price: Rs 50-75

Khiri & Boti Kebabs

Khiri kebabs are a beloved Mughlai delicacy which are made from minced meat, typically lamb or goat and blended with aromatic spices and herbs. The diced kebabs are moulded onto skewers and grilled. Boti kebabs are another festive delicacy which Zakaria Street is famous for. It is made with both chicken and lamb and are marinated in yoghurt, and seasoned with chillies. 

Recommendation: Abdul Hamid’s Kebab Shop

Price: Rs 100-200

Malai Seekh Kebab

This soft, juicy kebab is one-of-a-kind and will have you coming back for more for its umami-rich flavour. It is usually spicier than most kebabs and is made with finely minced meat, typically lamb or chicken and infused with plenty of herbs. These kebabs are renowned for their melt-in-your-mouth texture, since it’s made from a soft minced mixture which is blended with yoghurt. The meat mixture is delicately shaped onto skewers and grilled to perfection, imparting a smoky charred aroma.

Recommendation: Adam’s Kebab Shop

Price: Rs 150-200

Mohabbat Ka Sharbat

Don’t miss out on all the seasonal coolers in Zakaria Street, which is an ice cream and sharbat, all in one! This beloved beverage from the streets of Old Delhi is made from a blend of Rooh Afza, milk, basil seeds (or sabja), and topped with a scoop of creamy kulfi ice cream. The perfect meal-ender has a vibrant pink hue and the sabja seeds lend a slightly chewy texture to the drink which gives it an interesting taste.

Recommendation: The street near Haji Alauddin Sweets

Price: Rs 75-90