For the last 26 years, 50 year old Haji Bhai has been mastering his technique of cooking meat, fish, rice, vegetables Chinese that are desi on big slabs of rock. Such is his popularity that very few really know his real name - Nafees Ansari.
Addressed as Haji Bhai Patthar Ke Sanam, he's the only chef in Mumbai who cooks on a rock. Trying to describe his tedious procedure to Mid-Day, Haji said,"The slabs, two-feet-long with a width of 2.5 feet, have been imported from Saudi Arabia, and each weighs close to 50 kgs".
Apart from the delicious chicken tikka masala, bakra tandoor etc., dabba phantom, he also takes pride in vegetarian dishes like vegetable korma and palak paneer. He also cooks known Desi Chinese dishes like fried rice and chilli chicken on it.
He feels that cooking on stone gives the dish a distinct flavour. Flavours of meat and vegetables that would otherwise get diluted on the tawa, are absorbed by the stone, making the dish absolutely irresistible.
Not only does his food make people keep coming back for more, Haji Bhai also takes pride in recalling how Shah Rukh Khan loved his food when he was invited over to Juhi Chawla's Breach Candy residence last year to prepare food for an IPL party.