Nirmala March 2, 2021

1. The Kachchi Biriani :

This famous dish is now the mainstay of a wedding in a wealthy family in Dhaka. It is cooked with parboiled rice cooked with layers of raw kacchi mutton pieces, quite distinct from the West Bengal variety, which uses basmati rice and pakki (precooked) mutton pieces . When on dum, i.e., steamed in a sealed pot over slow wood fire [gas fire, or electric cooker will not do] both rice and mutton will cook perfectly. Special spices including very expensive saffron is used by the famous chefs of this special dish.

2. Kebabs :

Many kinds of Kebabs, mostly cooked over open grill. Some of the Dhakas specialty of this genre are: Sutli Kebab, Bihari Kebab, Boti Kebab, etc., made from marinaded (by secret spice mix by each chef) mutton and beef. Kebabs are eaten as snacks or as starters for a big feast. Special kinds of breads: There are many kinds of breads made with cheese mix, with minced meat, with special spices, etc., all are delicacies enjoyed by the affluent classes as side dishes.

3. Bhaja :

Anything fried, either just after it has been salted or dipped in any kind of waterbased batter. Does not include croquettes, or crumbcoated items.

4. Bhate :

A vegetable, that has been put inside the pot in which rice is cooking, and it has been cooked along with the rice. Generally, you get potatoes, butternut squash, raw papayas, bitter gourd, snake gourd and okra in the rice. Bengalis often eat it with a tinge of mustard oil and salt. However, a very popular onedish Bengali meal is alu bhate bhat, which is potatoes boiled along with rice, and then served along with the rice. For this, generally gobindobhog atop rice, which is a shortgrained, glutinous rice that cooks quickly, is used, and is preferred to the longgrained rice, because of its creamy quality, and ability to become ever so sticky, which aids the dish when it comes to mashing. During the serve, some fresh ghee or butter, and salt to taste, to be mixed and mashed by hand into the right consistency, and then eaten. A raw green chili, and a boiled and shelled egg sometimes accompanies this dish.

5. Shak :

Any kind of green leafy vegetable, like spinach and mustard greens, often cooked till just wilted in a touch of oil and tempering of nigela seeds.

6. Cutlet :

Very different from the cutlets of the Brits, this is referred typically to a crumbcoated, thinly spread out dough, made generally of chicken/mutton minced, mixed together with onion, bread crumbs and chillies. Generally it is then dipped in egg and coated in breadcrumb, fried and served with thin julienne of cucumber, carrots, radish and onions. Often an egg mixed with a teaspoon or two water and a pinch of salt is dropped on top of the frying cutlet, to make it into a kabiraji, the Bengali pronunciation of a Coverage or Cover:Egg Cutlet, influenced by the British.

7. Poshto :

anything cooked with poppy seed paste as the main flavouring agent. Often poppy seed paste with some mustard oil is eaten mixed with rice all by itself as a mild beginner for any Bengali meal.