Saturday, June 24, 2017

Iftar In Dhaka, Bangladesh

It's a new job, yet the same corporate life! 

I have been travelling a lot all these months, and therefore haven't been able to devote too much time here. I have been missing blogging so much. 😐 Any transition is not easy and this is one amongst them. While I adapt to the new things in life, I hope I am regular here because it is one of my favourite places, my place of expression 😊😊

As a part of my work routine, I recently visited Dhaka, Bangladesh - one of the distant cousins of Kolkata! If you have ever stayed in Kolkata, you would have definitely heard the great "Ghoti - Bangal" debate.😝 To make things simpler, Ghoti are people from West BengaI and Bangal are people with a Bangladeshi origin.

I was curious to explore the other part of the border, a place I had heard a lot about from almost everyone around me in Kolkata - relatives, friends, colleagues, random strangers! From the famous ilish of Dhaka to the Dhakai Jamdani sarees to feasting on traditional Dhakai cuisine, I had everything on my "things to do" list.(Yes, that is how you tend of talk when you have been a corporate slave for more than 6 years now !) 😁.Even before I had landed, I had a list of things I had to get for people - Dhakai Jamdaani sarees were something I was really eager to buy, hilsa fish for family, biriyani for a mentor and friend from the blogging world, Poorna Di of Little did I know then, I would not be able to do any of them, thanks to the almost packed schedule of my trip. 

While I was busy brooding over what I could not do in Dhaka, I stumbled upon something which was unique in its own little way. It was the holy month of Ramzan time and all the little street corners were buzzing with excitement every evening during Iftar time. 

The city had a distinct excitement during this time of the year.Offices were shut by 4, roads which are choked with cars almost every hour of the day, became desolate by 6, a city which is as excited about its food as Calcutta, none of the lunch joints were open as people were fasting. Lunch for me was mostly KFC or Dominos! It was only in the evenings that you could smell delicious haleem, see hot pakoras being fried, chana, fruits, dates being sold and delectable kebabs in almost in every area. 

Mutton Haleem

I tried out mutton haleem from a small streetside joint in Gulshan area of Dhaka. It was a handi full of deliciousness 😊. Small pieces of mutton which almost melted in the mouth in a delicious gravy of pulses garnished with fried onions, lots of green chillies and a dash of lemon. A huge earthen pot was priced at only 200 BDT. 

Even our guesthouse treated us to some lovely iftar food in the evening one day, including kachchi biriyani for dinner.

Iftar meal at our guesthouse

The luxury hotels were also decked up for the occasion. With elaborate decor to a lavish spread of over 400 exquisite dishes, we were spoilt for choice when we sat down for iftar at Le Meridien Dhaka. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to relish all of them. We were already running late for our flight. I enjoyed the haleem, sheekh kebabs and the savouries.

Decor at Le Meridien, Dhaka

The spread at Le Meridien, Dhaka


Mutton Biriyani

Mutton Haleem again :)


Though even Kolkata has some amazing iftar food, Dhaka's iftar food experience was also something to be cherished forever. I returned as a satisfied person :)

P.S: This post doesn't list the best places to try Iftar food as I didn't get to explore them myself. It just speaks about my rendezvous with their street food and the spread at Le Meridien Dhaka.

Please do read about my experience of the Iftar food walk in Kolkata :)


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