Friday prayer at Haroon Mosque

DSC_0273-Edit The area surrounding Bangkok's Haroon Mosque is one of the city's largest and most traditional Muslim enclaves. The original mosque, a wooden structure, was built back in 1828, but was subsequently torn down, with some of the original wood used in the construction of the current building:


Over the decades, a neighbourhood grew around the mosque, one that today is almost exclusively Muslim, densely populated and relatively poor. It's a pretty sleepy place until Friday prayer, an event that draws local and international Muslims, beggars taking advantage of mosque-goers' adherence to the fifth pillar of Islam:


and vendors, from those selling Muslim paraphernalia:


to those selling food. The latter includes general Thai dishes such as noodles:


to more characterstically Thai-Muslim dishes such as mataba, a type of stuffed pancake:


and a vendor who sells a unique biryani.

A couple vendors also sell unique Thai-Muslim sweets, including phudding (พุดดิ้ง),


which, as the name suggests, is a type of pudding -- in this case bread pudding -- with a dense, moist consistency, a faint floral aroma and a topping of raisins and cashews; tubs of suuyee (ซูยี), a Thai-Muslim take on sooji, Indian-style semolina pudding:


semolina simmered with milk, sugar and spices; and, well, because this is still contemporary Thailand, donuts stuffed with hot dogs and deep-fried:


But probably the most interesting vendor is an older couple who sell a handful of unique and distinctly Thai-Muslim dishes, take-away only, from a cart.


On a previous visit, they had a big pot of kaeng waan, a soupy curry of lentils and dried spices, a dish I've never encountered previously in Thailand. This week, they had a fish curry packed with lots of dried spice, okra, eggplants and a fish head, and usually, made tart by the addition of an entire sour mango; the pit can be seen below:


They also do a dish of birds (and chicken) deep-fried, then fried again in a spicy, oily, thick curry:


There was the remnants of one unidentifiable curry and a curry of hard-boiled eggs, and a woman prepping samosas:


But most the stall's dishes had already been sold out by 11:30am. Like Jiw, this is another place where you'll want to arrive early.

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