BANGKOK: Come, enjoy Halal food in Bangkok this Ramadan.
Bangkok’s halal food market has become one of the biggest attractions in Thailand.
Rotis, curries, noodles, skewered and grilled meat with peanut sauce, and murtabak — fried crepes stuffed with egg, chives, and minced meat are attracting even non-Muslims this holy month.
Islam is a minority faith in Buddhist-majority Thailand, where only around five percent of the population is Muslim.
In Ratchathewi, one alley, Petchabury 7, is the center of Ramadan fare, where faithful visitors have been coming for years in the Holy Month.
“I don’t live in this area,” Lek told Arab News as she ordered Pattani-style chicken curry. “But I come to this street market during Ramadan every year to try the food.”
One of the most popular spots is TeHo, a Pattani shop right at the entrance of the alley. It is popular with young people who hang out there eating roti and drinking tea until the early hours of the morning. During Ramadan, the shop sells hundreds of rotis every day.
“My husband was from Pattani and he told me that in the deep southern provinces, this kind of small shop — selling roti and hot tea or coffee — is on every corner,” Kulchalee Na Pattani, who has been running TeHo for 14 years, told Arab News. “There were no shops like this around here until he started one.”
Besides various sweet and savory types of roti, TeHo also sells chicken curry and other halal items. A full meal will cost no more than $3.
For Nisrin Chekoh, a 24-year-old student visiting TeHo with a friend, it is not only about the food but also the ambiance.
“Roti is (easy) to find in Bangkok, but I like the atmosphere of this shop where you can sit for a long time and chill. And it opens at night so it’s a good place to hang out,” she said. “My favorite dish is roti bomb — fried roti with a lot of butter — and my friend likes roti with cheese.”
Although most tables along the alley were full, vendors say there are still fewer visitors than before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“This street-food market used to be very busy, with more vendors and visitors coming to buy food,” Kusuma Poomdokmai, who sells halal deserts, said. “This market is on only during Ramadan. There is a lot of halal food that is not very common to find.”
But as we are only at the halfway point of Ramadan, Poomdokmai added that she is hopeful that sales will continue to gain momentum. (Arab News)