If you’re a Mumbaikar, you mouth will start to water just at the thought of vada pav and keema pav because pav is the heart and soul of the city. Come to think of meat and chicken curries, you mind might wander into the dingy lanes of Chandni Chowk and the luscious fare at legendary restaurants like Karims and Moti Mahal. However, there are plenty of such delectable dishes being offered at small, lesser-known eateries too. One such eatery that has been running on the street of Mohammad Ali Road is Noor Mohammadi. 

This humble, hole-in-the-wall restaurant is famous for its nalli nihari and several other meat-intensive dishes. While the place is usually jam-packed during festive season like Ramadan and Eid, there is hardly any day of the year that you wouldn’t find people queued up outside for their order. The interesting bit is that Indian celebrity and actor, Sanjay Dutt chanced upon this simple eating joint and changed the fate of the restaurant. 

After the first visit to the restaurant, Sanjay Dutt became a patron. Beyond the biryani and nalli nihari, what is sold the maximum today is Chicken Sanju Baba. But how did it get this name and what’s the story behind it? 

The owner of the restaurant narrated in a report by Mumbai Mirror, that they had developed a new chicken white biryani and wanted to get feedback from Sanjay Dutt on it. This is a lesser-known fact that Sanjay Dutt is a huge fan of eating as well as cooking food. While the actor loved the dish, he took the owner’s brother by his arm and dragged him into the kitchen to show how he prepares his signature chicken curry. 

Source: Foodie Hun Main/Instagram

The good part was that he gave away the recipe to the restaurant and it has been selling like hot cakes ever since. That’s when the restaurant owners decided to name it as a tribute to the actor. Chicken Sanju Baba is not only a favourite during Ramadan and iftar, but a regular item on the menu that is ordered even more than biryanis. Although the exact recipe isn’t available, the restaurant has hooked on a framed poster, acknowledging the real creator of the dish i.e. Sanjay Dutt with a list of ingredients like onions, curd, ginger, saffron, bay leaves, cumin, lime juice, green onions and many others. 

Fun fact is that the day Sanjay Dutt was released from prison, the dish was served for free to all customers at Noor Mohammadi restaurant.