Recommended Halal Restaurants in Koramangala
Luxury apartments, posh bungalows, Instagram-worthy restaurants, and commercial structures line the wide, tree-lined boulevards of Koramangala. This is one of the largest neighborhoods in Bangalore. I joined Masood on his recent business trip to this city that is dubbed as the “Silicon Valley of India” or the “IT capital of India” mainly because of its role as the nation’s leading information technology exporter. While he was busy with work, I explored the neighborhood and came up with a list of halal restaurants in Koramangala, Bangalore that I would recommend.
This is one of the halal restaurants in Koramangala that I would highly recommend to those visiting Bangalore. It’s run by a Muslim couple, and they claim making their own spice mixes and relying on recipes passed on through the generations.
We went to have dinner the day we arrived in the city. The narrow entrance within the restaurant have the grill and BBQ station on the left separated by a glass wall. Chairs line up on the opposite side for when it gets crowded and people would wait for their turn to be seated. The restaurant is small and cozy, with dim lighting and tables close to each other. The staff is very attentive, knowledgeable, and respectful.
We started our meal off with the Paya soup—a rich, hearty, vibrant broth that’s infused with spices and very soft lamb trotter (pictured lower right). The heat and warmth of the soup felt good specially since the weather was getting colder at night. This was a first for me; having paya as soup. We usually have this as one of the main courses served during winters.
Our appetizer was Lal Mirchi Gosht Ki Sukhi Phaal—special cut mutton ribs, flattened then simmered in a sauce made of red chillies, coriander, onions and other spices. The meat is first cooked on stone and then finished off on a tawa. As you can see in the picture above (upper right), that’s a large serving but only consists of two small pieces of mutton ribs. However, the meat is well-marinated and tastes very delicious.
For our main course we ordered Nalli Nihari—a rich, thick mutton shank stew that is slowly cooked with roasted spices.
Traditionally, people left their nihari to slowly cook over low flame the entire night and then serve it for breakfast at dawn. Some say the nihari originated in Old Delhi in the late 18th century during the last throes of the Mughal Empire, the others claim they were first cooked in the royal kitchens of Awadh, in modern-day Lucknow. The word ‘Nihari’ originates from the Arabic word “Nahar” which means “morning”. It was originally eaten by Nawabs in the Mughal Empire as a breakfast item after their morning prayers (Fajr). After a hearty breakfast of Nihari, the Nawabs would take a nap till afternoon, when they would wake up for afternoon prayers.
While our nalli nihari at Sharief Bhai’s was good and flavorful, I wouldn’t say it’s close to the authentic ones served in old Delhi or Karachi. When it comes to authentic Mughlai food and Hyderabadi cuisine—both of which I have extensive experience eating—I have very strict criteria. But if you’re in Bangalore and never had nihari before, I would recommend this place!
Sharief Bhai and his wife both run this place together. The lady, in fact, makes the delightful effort of visiting each table, providing recommendations and, later, to ask how the food was. The presentation is good, the place is clean and tastefully decorated.
The servings, however, are on the smaller side (although we ordered large portions). Besides the three items mentioned above, we also ordered a couple of bread (paratha and shermal) and asked for regular water. Our total bill was ₹940 (USD 14.50).
Opening hours: 12 Noon to 1 AM
Address: 66 Ground Floor, JNC Road, Koramangala 5th Block, Bangalore
Phone: +91 8049652995 (I would suggest making a reservation)
The Imperial Restaurant
Contrary to its name, there is nothing regal about the appearance of this halal restaurant in Koramangala. This was where we had our first meal in the city because it was conveniently located a few steps from where we were staying. The layout of the restaurant is simple and the furniture basic, but I loved the natural light pouring in when we went for lunch. We arrived late and the restaurant was empty so we had the full attention of the staff.
We tried their grilled chicken on sticks, egg fried rice, dosa (pictured left) and coin paratha (pictured right). You guys, coin parathas are so cute! They’re tiny, adorable discs of flaky goodness that are so addictive.
The place was crowded when we returned for dinner the next evening. What I like about the Imperial Restaurant is that they take customer feedback very seriously. If you’re unhappy with their service or food, they urge you to report the matter.
The menu is extensive containing both south and north Indian cuisines, Indo-Chinese food, and salads. They have a lot of vegetarian options, too!
Opening hours: 12:30PM to 11PM
Address: 47, 6th Cross, 6th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore
Phone Number: +91 8792003031
We went for lunch and the entire place bathed in natural light. Stepping into the restaurant immediately takes you to a different time and place. Colorful chandeliers hang from the high ceiling supported by several white columns. Wooden mesh panels with geometric designs common in the Arab world cover the wide windows all around the place. The furniture and decor are a mix of Persian and Arabic elements.
We ordered Murgh Pulao—long grains of fragrant basmati rice coated with chicken cooked in spices and yoghurt, and then topped with coriander leaves and golden-fried onion. This was delicious!
Another dish that we ordered was Murgh Pakiza Tikka—marinated boneless pieces of chicken which were slowly grilled over charcoal. The meat was tender and well-seasoned, but nothing out of the ordinary.
I was particularly excited to try their falooda that looked similar to my favorite from Karachi. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite the same BUT it was pretty close!
After we paid our bill, I accidentally knocked on a bowl of sugar-coated fennels—typically served as at the end of the meal in because fennel releases oil that help kick-start digestion and act as a mouth-freshener too—sending the tiny white seeds flying in all directions!
Downstairs the restaurant has a shawarma station and a queue forms up in the evenings. There’s also a paan station that they put a flaming paan directly in your mouth! Do give this halal restaurant in Koramangala a try!
Opening hours: 12Noon to 1AM
Address: 104, 5th Floor, Industrial Area, Koramangala 5th Block, Bangalore
Phone: +9180 40222700
What is your favorite halal restaurant in the Koramangala area?