Mumbai's 109 Year Old Sweet Secret- Iranian Sweets Palace

It's not easy to reach Iranian Sweets Palace in Bhendi Bazaar, Mumbai that shall complete 109 years soon. But once you reach this dessert lovers heaven, you shall be tempted with the irresistible- BAKLAVA the diamond-shaped traditional sweet from Iran and much more! Navigating through the heavily crowded lanes of Bhendi Bazaar, we reached the family establishment owned by Hassan Irani who has been managing it for more than 30 years. We sampled some delicious Baklava that we had gotten so used to while living in Dubai and chatted about the humble origins of this Halviyat (sweet shop) and were bowled over by the enthusiasm of the owner.


Every year, Iranian Sweets Palace is in high demand during Navroz- New Year celebrated by Iranis and Parsis of Mumbai with much fanfare. Kilos and kilos of Baklava, made using the best Iranian dry fruits and honey by Hassan Irani are ordered by people queuing up from early in the morning to ensure their share. In fact, the shop gets orders from as far as US, Canada and New Zealand too.

We had called Hassan prior to our visit and he welcomed us with a warm smile, his zest quickly rubbing off on us on a balmy morning. The humble shop is lined by rows and rows of imported Gaz (Iranian nougat), Sohan (traditional Persian saffron brittle toffee), Baklava, Iranian Dry Fruits, Honey, Dried Anjir (figs), Zeresh, RedBerry (used in desserts), Pomogranate Molasis (traditional ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking), gulab water (rose water) and sharbat and more. 

How Did It All Start?

In 1909, Haji Ghulam Ali (Hassan's grandfather) left Iran and arrived in India to start Iranian Sweets Palace along with his partner. The shop bought for INR 30 in Imamwada was still considered an expensive investment but quickly became popular and survived competition. Imamwada in those days had a large Iranian population and the shop carved a name for itself.

Hassan took over the shop and has been managing the shop for more than 30 years now to keep the family tradition alive.



How Is Baklava Made?

The ingredients and dry fruits like pistachio, almonds, walnuts, and more are sourced from Iran. The dry fruits are ground to the required consistency in a hand-grinder and filled between sheets of dough rolled using a huge rolling pin (yes, we tried holding it but failed :D). Copper vessels are used to bake the Baklava in a wood-fire oven and the cooled sweet is cut into diamond-cut shapes for display. Honey and rose water are used to sweeten the Baklava.

One can also place special orders with Hassan Irani for a minimum quantity of 30 kg and above, by informing a week in advance.

Where:

143, Imamwada Road, Haroon Manzil, B Block, Bhendi Bazar, Mumbai400009, Near Metro Optician

How Do I Reach Here:

The nearest railway stations are Masjid Bunder, Sandhurst Road and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Take a cab from these stations to reach Iranian Sweets Palace.

What More Can I Do:

Visit Bhuleshwar market to shop ethnic jewellery or home decor products. One can also explore Colaba Causeway market a major tourist attraction.

Comments

  1. Thanks a lot for this article!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We loved your initiative & effort to keep a legacy alive:)

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  2. More thn Bhakti its all us bawas who should be thankful...

    Merzy Cooper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Baklava too! I hope he keeps making it :)

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