By Smita Dey
The main foods for dinner in Bangladesh represent the food habits of a Bangladeshis. Like all other countries, Bangladesh has its own traditional foods for dinner. The people of Bangladesh cannot think of their meal without the main traditional foods during their dinner time.
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell what you are”-Anthelme Brillat- Savarin
If you are interested to know about Bangladesh, you will need to be acquainted with the food habits of its natives. It’s my effort to let you know about the dinner food habits of Bangladeshi people.
“Bangladeshi cuisine has been shaped by the diverse history and river-line geography of Bangladesh.”
Climate and soil of Bangladesh is favorable for rice production. Bangladesh is the sixth largest rice producer country in the world. About 70 percent of the land is used for rice production. About 170 million peoples of Bangladesh depend on rice as their staple food.
Bangladesh is known as Mother of Rivers as it has thousands of rivers throughout the country. Bangladesh is not gifted with rivers only, it has canals, haors, baors, ponds, lake and on top the Bay of Bengal. Bangladeshi fishes are available in the water of these sources. Hundreds of species of fish are available in Bangladesh.
Content in this article
Bangladeshi cannot think of his meal without rice. Rice is the main dish of a dinner plate for a Bangladeshi. Presence of fish and rice in dinner plate is prominent for a Bangladeshi throughout the ages. “Machhe Bhaate Bangali” is a common proverb for Bangladeshi, that means Bengalis’ /Bangladeshis’ food habits mean rice with fish. The food habit of fish and rice was grown up in Bengali culture for the availability of these items.
It is true fish is an integral part of Bengali dinner plate, for its delicate taste. However, it does not mean Bangladeshis eat only rice and fish in dinner time or lunch time. They take other items with rice at their dinner time. Let us see some Bangladeshi dinner foods.
Dinner is as important as lunch for a Bangladeshi family. Usually almost Bangladeshi family takes same their lunch items in dinner. Presence of rice is must in dinner plate of a Bangladeshi. They usually take plain rice in dinner. Basically, Rice is eaten with two or three items. These items are prepared with vegetables, Bhaji, fish, meat, dal and bhorta etc. Let’s see how they eat these foods.
Bangladesh can be considered the land of vegetables. Many types of vegetables are available throughout the year. In fact, Bengali dinner plate cannot be imagined without any vegetable items. It is applauded to all for it’s cheap price, availability and different cooking process and overall its delicious taste. Vegetable Bhaji is a very common and popular item to all. It is prepared with one vegetables or mixed vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, potato etc. Vegetables are fried with onion, green chili, cumin seed to prepare the recipe.
Bhorta is another item served with plain rice. Bhorta or Mashed items are prepared with many types of vegetables, cereals, or fish or dry fish. Shutki (Dry fish), potato and eggplant Bhorta (Mashed) are luscious among all bhortas.
As various species of fish are available in Bangladesh, so it is difficult to think a Bengali dinner plate without fish; though it depends on financial stability for the high price of fish nowadays. However, sometimes fish is prepared with various types of vegetables and spices like chili powder, turmeric powder, chopped or paste garlic and onion, cumin seeds and other spices. It is commonly known as “Machher Jhol”. “Fish Bhuna” is another item that is common in Bengali dinner plate. It is cooked with plenty of chopped onion, chili and turmeric powder, cumin seeds powder and other spices.
The common meat item of Bangladesh is chicken, mutton and beef. As the price is not accessible to lower income people, it is difficult for them to afford it at dinner and other meal times. The middle class and high class families usually get meat at dinner time. Meat is usually cooked with various spices such as chili, cumin seeds, onion, garlic, ginger, and other flavorful hot spices to increase its taste and smell.
Dal is known as the “Protein of Poor People”. Not only lower income earner people but people from all classes take dal with plain rice at dinner time. It is usually served as the last item of dinner or lunch. Masur dal is more lovable to all among other types of pulses.
Dessert is not mandatory for the Bangladeshi dinner menu. Sometimes they have Doodh Bhat (milk and rice) with seasonal fruit like mango, jack fruit, and banana.
Please be aware that, all these foods are regular dinner items. The occasional dinner menu is slightly different. Any occasional Party menu is designed depending on the religious, social and economic stability of the host. Party foods/ recipe do not match with traditional dinner habits of Bangladesh. I will come to you very soon with foods for dinner party in Bangladesh.
You will not find any Bengali dinner plate without any of these items. These are traditional Bengali dinner foods. These foods for dinner in Bangladesh are not only delicious to taste, these assure nutrition requirement. You can try once any of the recipes of Bangladeshi dinner foods to have a different taste of dinner skipping your regular dinner menu. Hope you will not be disappointed.
My effort regarding dinner foods in Bangladesh will help you to know the traditional dinner food culture of Bangladesh. It will help those who are interested to know the Bangladeshi food culture. Please be with easydinneridea.com, I will be with you soon about dinner foods of another country in my next article.
By Smita Dey Post : Jan 15, 2019
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