Eat, Pray, Love Food in Bangladesh
Here are some quick and dirty numbers to put the importance of food into perspective in Bangladesh.
A fresh layer of alluvial soil straight from the heavenly Himalayas comes down to the biggest delta of the world , Bangladesh making her earth, one of the most fertile soils on the planet. Now imagine Persians kings and Moghuls who all fancied good food that marked regal living. They got their royal friends, and merchants to bring them seeds of 100s of varieties of fruits and vegetables that inspired us to cross-pollinate them even more and end up with 400 types of mangoes alone.
We are also known for our meandering canals, rivers and waterways that are home to 750 types of fishes. With 160 million people living in Bangladesh in a fairly conservative society, FOOD is one of the main sources of entertainment for Bangladeshis and this is how we show our LOVE to our family, friends and strangers alike. We are known to EAT to live and indigenous foods in the different corners of Bangladesh include everything from ceremonial special dishes that we celebrate our religious holidays with, to an incredible selection of finger foods that we have embraced like kebabs and a soft fluffy bread called naan. We PRAY at religious events and remember the holidays by the foods we had such as: Shemai (milk and semolina), Firni (rice pudding with pistachios & almonds), sweet yoghurt served in earthen bowls, paratas (flaky fried breads) with beef and chicken curries.
Bangladesh is also known for our incredible variety of vegetables that ooze with a sweet after taste with every bite. Our preparations are light and we look at food as if it were colors in a painting when we set a menu for a meal. One spice is selected to saute a type of vegetable in, after the staple frying of onions and garlic as a base for the vegetable curries.
For hot summer days, we take our vegetable boiled and smashed to a paste called “bhorta”, mixed in mustard oil and chopped onions, cilantro and green chilli. In Bangladesh, you can expect smashed dishes out of every type of vegetable, its “skin”, and fish. Ever imagined having the bhortha of the casing of young unripe bananas? Bangladesh is the place to have it!