Book: The Global Foods and Recipes
Author: Smita Dey - Researcher, Healthy Food and Recipes
The main foods for dinner in Bangladesh represent the food habits of 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 need to be acquainted with the food habits of its natives. The effort is to let you know about the Bangladeshi food.
“Bangladeshi cuisine has been shaped by the diverse history and river-line geography of Bangladesh.”
The climate and soil of Bangladesh are 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 the 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.
A Bangladeshi cannot think of his meal without rice. Rice is the main dish of a dinner plate for a Bangladeshi. The presence of fish and rice in the dinner plate is prominent for a Bangladeshi throughout the ages.
“Machhe Bhaate Bangali” is a common proverb for Bangladeshi, which 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 the Bengali dinner plate, for its delicate taste. However, it does not mean Bangladeshis eat only rice and fish at dinner time or lunchtime. 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.
The presence of rice is a must on the dinner plate of a Bangladeshi. They usually take plain rice at dinner. Basically, Rice is eaten with two or three items. These items are prepared with vegetables, Bhaji, fish, meat, dal, and bhorta, etc. Dry fish or locally known as ‘shutki’ is another popular item in Bangladesh. 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, the Bengali dinner plate cannot be imagined without any vegetable items.
It is applauded to all for its cheap price, availability, and different cooking process and overall its delicious taste. Mixed vegetables named as ‘Vegetable Bhaji’ is a very common and popular item for all. It is prepared with one vegetable or mixed vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, potato, etc. Vegetables are fried with onion, green chili, cumin seed to prepare the recipe. You can try ready mixed vegetable curry to have the taste and flavor of the common dish of Bangladesh.
Mashed items are known as ‘bhorta’ in Bangladesh. 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 bhorta (Mashed Dry fish), potato bhorta or mashed 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 of 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 the Bengali dinner plate. It is cooked with plenty of chopped onion, chili and turmeric powder, cumin seeds powder, and other spices.
As dry fish is a popular item in Bangladesh, they have dry fish in various forms. They consume dry fish bhuna or curry, dry fish with various vegetables. Among various types of dry fish dried loitta fish curry or bhuna is really amazing.
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. Masoor dal is more lovable to all among other types of pulses.
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/recipes do not match with the traditional dinner habits of Bangladesh. I will come to you very soon with food for the 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, but these also assure nutrition requirements.
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.
I hope, the effort regarding dinner foods in Bangladesh can help you to know the traditional dinner food culture of Bangladesh. It also can help those who are interested to know the Bangladeshi food culture.