Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Bangladesh, Food, Fish, Kitchen, India, Cuisines, Mustard, Rice

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/02/06

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The influence of the Shah Era, Mughal Empire, and the British dynasty made Bangladesh the home of numerous ethnic foods. The British, Arab, and Indian immigrants brought their cuisine and unparalleled cultures into Bangladesh and enriched the country’s culinary heritage. Bangladesh’s culinary customs are related closely to the traditions of the northeast India and Bengal. Fish and rice are the traditional favorites with lentils and vegetables creating a significant portion of their staple diet. Moreover, the river Brahmaputra, which flows into the Bay of Bengal, has a prominent impact on the culinary art and culture of Bangladesh. Numerous illustrious filmmakers, poets, musicians, and writers have also shaped the country’s traditions significantly.

Necessity of Writing 'A Bangladeshi Food Guide'

Some of the food items prepared in Bangladesh are considered popular across the nation, whereas other foods are regional predilections. Thus, it is decisive for a foreign visitor to understand the various cuisines characteristic of Bangladesh. The foreigners who are less familiar with the country’s cooking styles will require a Food Guide to assist them in ordering the suitable cuisines. Consequently, the writing of a Bangladeshi Food Guide increases the understanding of the foods that are likely to be encountered in different regions of the country. In the Rangpur and Rajshahi areas, for example, the freshwater fish is a primary food item. Additionally, the town of Comilla is well-known for its unique food culture, particularly the rich based dish Tehari. The saltwater fish are typically caught in the Khulna and Barisal regions, which are further renowned for their hefty utilization of the spice Piper chaba. In Bangladesh, the cuisine staples are primarily rice and the flatbread roti. The foods are typically eaten with beef, vegetables, poultry, fish, and the mutton curries. In the rural areas, birds such as ducks and pigeons are also consumed. The country also provides different vegetables, which include a variety of gourds, tubers, and roots. Succulent stalks, leafy green vegetables, limes, and citrons, as well as eggplants and red onions, are cultivated extensively in different regions of Bangladesh.
The sunflower, vegetable, and mustard oils are predominantly employed in cooking various dishes. Moreover, ghee is sometimes used to ameliorate the flavor of individual food items. The Bangladeshi food often ranges from sweet to mild or exceptionally spicy, and characteristically matches the cuisine of Pakistan and Northern India. Furthermore, the Bangladeshi foods have a slight similarity with the cuisine of northeast India, especially in the method of fish cooking. In Bangladesh, the principal fish types eaten include the rui, chingri, katla, rohu, magur, and hilsa. Nevertheless, the most savored item in the country is the panta ilish platter, which is a dish comprising curried hilsa fish and rice. In addition, the primary course includes flatbreads and rice, such as the porota, luchi, and naan. However, the curried dishes of beef, chicken, mutton, fish, and daal are often cooked as accompaniments. On special occasions, foods such as machher jhol, biryani, and gosht bhuna are often served. The Bangladeshi cuisine is also widely known for its rich tradition of sweets. For example, the Mishti doi, which is a baked yogurt containing charred sugar, is typically consumed between the primary course and the desserts. Nonetheless, the principal desserts and sweets, such as the rosh malai, roshogolla, malapua, sandesh, and phirni, are usually prepared during exceptional occasions such as festivals and weddings. Another significant Bangladeshi sweet is Pitha, which is made from sugar and rice flour.

Bangladeshi Cuisine Guide

Bangladeshi culinary art has been shaped by different cultures from various parts of the world. Typically, the cooking technique involves a mixture of traditional culinary styles and the cuisines of countries such as China and India. The incorporation of foreign foods into the Bangladeshi cuisine has established a symphony of flavors that makes the country’s culinary style exceedingly exotic. Some of the typical Bangladeshi foods are described in Table 1.

Some of the typical Bangladeshi cuisines are depicted in the figures 3, 2, and 1.

Figure 1. Paratha (Khadiza’s Kitchen, n. d.). The image shows the Bangladeshi paratha bread.
In Bangladesh, the paratha (Figure 1) is flat circular bread prepared using flour, salt, milk, and margarine. It is typically served with fried eggs and garnished using cucumbers and sliced carrots.
Figure 2. Cooked Hilsha (The Bangladeshi Kitchen, 2014). The picture shows the hilsha fish prepared with the mustard sauce.
The Hilsha or Hilsa is a significant fish that is utilized in the Bangladeshi Cuisine. Moreover, the creature is considered as the country’s National Fish and has extreme popularity in Eastern India. It is harvested preeminently during monsoon when the fish migrate upstream from the ocean. The Hilsha curry is characteristically sweet and spicy (Figure 2).
Figure 3. Ada cha (AOB Bangladesh, n. d.). The picture depicts a Bangladeshi serving a cup of cha.
The Ada cha (Figure 3) is ginger tea prepared by boiling water, ginger, and milk in a saucepan. Afterwards, tea leaves are added and allowed to simmer for nearly six minutes. Eventually, sugar is added to the simmering mixture, before straining and serving the tea.

Bangladeshi Restaurant in Vancouver

Dhaka Fish & Biryani is a significant Bangladeshi eatery located in Vancouver. The restaurant is a family operated business that specializes in biryani and fish. It provides home-cooked foods, numerous fish options, as well as halal beef and chicken. The management provides efficient purchasing methods, as well as an affordable cuisine. Typically, the restaurant closes at 9.30 pm and opens at 11.30 am every weekday. From the outside, the eatery resembles a hole in the wall but the inside is spacious with candle lanterns and wine glasses on every table. The dishes served at the restaurant are slightly sweeter but less spicy than the cuisines served in most Indian restaurants. The dishes are typically sweetened with cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Unfortunately, the dine-in menu at the restaurant is similar to the take-out menu and lacks a description of the various food items. Consequently, it is difficult for a stranger to determine the most suitable food type to order. As a result, the individuals who are new to the eatery frequently request the owners’ recommendations or follow the suggestions of the regular customers. Nevertheless, the restaurant is very casual and predominantly attracts the Punjabi and Bangladeshi consumers.

Conclusion

Bangladesh shares a typical Bengali culture with its neighboring countries and, therefore, has incorporated various Indian dishes into its cuisine. Moreover, Bangladesh has adopted the culinary styles of countries such as China and Britain and developed a unique Bangladeshi cuisine. Nevertheless, the visitors to the country will require a Bangladeshi Food Guide to help them in evaluating the different Bangladeshi dishes. Although the Bangladeshi cuisine is primarily South Asian in nature, it is unparalleled in its copious utilization of a variety of pastes made from different spices and ground roots. Another principal aspect of the traditional Bangladeshi cuisine is its frequent employment of the mustard oil, which adds a characteristic bitterness. The making of a Bangladeshi Food Guide, therefore, is significant for both the locals and foreigners because it describes the typical dishes found in the country.

References

AOB Bangladesh (n. d.). Serve Bengali Tea ("cha"). AOB Bangladesh. http://www.aobbangladesh.org/node/87
Khadiza’s Kitchen (n. d.). Tag Archives: Paratha recipe. Khadiza’s Kitchen. Retrieved from http://khadizaskitchen.com/tag/paratha-recipe/
The Bangladeshi Kitchen (2014). Shorshe Ilish – Hilsa in mustard sauce. The Bangladeshi Kitchen. Retrieved from http://www.thebangladeshikitchen.com/recipes/shorshe-ilish-hilsa-in-mustard-sauce/

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