Bangladeshi cuisine

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Bangladeshi cuisine (Bengali: বাংলাদেশের রান্না) refers to the food and culinary traditions prevalent in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi culinary traditions and processes date far back in history. Differences in history and geography have also led to regional variations in traditional cuisine.

The culinary tradition of Bangladesh has close relations to surrounding Bengali and North-East Indian cuisine as well as having its own unique traits. Rice and fish are traditional favourites. With an emphasis on fish, vegetables and lentils served with rice as a staple diet. It also has the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent that is analogous in structure to the modern service à la russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once.

Regional cuisines[edit]

Shorshe Ilish, a dish of smoked Ilish with mustard-seed paste, has been an important part of both Bangladeshi and Bengali cuisine.

In Bangladeshi Cuisine, some foods are popular across the entire region, while others are specific to a particular area.

Rajshahi and Rongpur: There is a propensity to use more freshwater fish in this area. Rajshahi mangoes are considered the best across the country. Sweet dishes are also well-esteemed.

Sylhet: A citrus fruit called hatkora is sometimes used in meat dishes. Freshwater fish are more readily available than saltwater ones.

Chittagong: The cuisine in Chittagong city and other small urban centers of greater Noakhali and Comilla is similar to the cuisine of Dhaka. Sweet dishes of Comilla are highly regarded. Tehari is a specialty of the region. Ziafat or Mezban feasts are popular throughout the area where characteristic ‘heavy’ dishes--dishes rich in animal fat and dairy--are featured. Saltwater fish, seafood, and Shutki (dried fish) are more available here than in other parts of the country.

Barisal and Khulna: Saltwater fish and seafood are quite prevalent in these areas.

Dhaka- Many of the rural districts in the outskirts have food customs similar to the north or central parts of the country. Much of the city’s cuisine is essentially Mughlai Cuisine that is considered to have shaped the cuisine of surrounding areas as well. The most prominent dishes are different varieties of roti, kabab, bakhorkhani, biryani, and faluda.

Foreign cuisine restaurants, especially Chinese and western fast-food, have become more visible in the urban centers of Dhaka, Chittagong, and Sylhet.

Staple ingredients[edit]

Bangladeshi Biryani

Cooking medium and spices[edit]

Typical spices used in a Bangladeshi household. Clockwise from top left, dried red chili and bay leaves, cumin powder, cumin, red chili powder, turmeric powder, panch phoran, coriander powder and mustard.

Mustard oil and vegetable oil are the primary cooking medium in Bangladeshi cuisine, although sunflower oil is also used. However, depending on type of food, clarified butter (ghee) is often used for having aromatic flavors.

Bangladeshi food varies between very 'sweet' and mild-to extremely spicy. It resembles food in other parts of southern Asia, especially North India and Pakistan. There are also slight similarities with South East Asian and North East Indian food customs. The most common condiments, herbs and spices in Bangladeshi cuisine are garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, lime, saffron, ghee, coriander, cumin, mint- and bay leaves, turmeric and chili. The pãch poron is a general purpose spice mixture composed of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts.[1] This mixture is more convenient for vegetarian dishes and fish preparations. The use of spices for both meat and vegetable dishes is quite extensive and includes many combinations. The combination of whole spices, fried and added at the start or finish of cooking as a flavouring special to each dish. Whole black mustard seeds and freshly ground mustard paste are also a typical combination. A pungent mustard sauce called kashundi is sauce in snacks or, sometimes makes a base ingredients for fish dishes & vegetable dishes popular in Bangladesh.

Common Bangladeshi recipe styles[edit]

The following are a list of characteristic Bangladeshi recipe styles. You can note the influence in the food here. Each entry here is actually a class of recipes, producing different dishes depending on the choice of ingredients. There are different tastes to which the Bangladeshi palate cater to.

Bangladeshi meals[edit]

Each dish is to be eaten separately with a little rice or 'ruti' so that the individual flavours can be enjoyed. The typical Bangladesh fare includes certain sequences of food. Two sequences are commonly followed, one for ceremonial dinners such as a wedding and the day-to-day sequence. Both sequences have regional variations, and sometimes there are significant differences in a particular course in Bangladesh.

Ceremonial occasions such as weddings used to have elaborate serving rituals, but professional catering and buffet-style dining can sometimes be seen now. The traditions are far from dead, though; large family occasions and the more lavish ceremonial feasts still make sure that these rituals are observed.

Main course[edit]

বাংলাদেশি খাবার Meat Delicacies of Bangladesh containing curries made of beef, mutton and chicken

Bangladeshi foods contain staples like rice and flat breads. Different traditional flat breads include Luchi, Porota, Bakhorkhani, Nan, Roti, rice flour flatbread, Chitai Pitha, and many more. Dishes from chicken, beef, fish or mutton, dal (a spicy lentil soup) and vegetables commonly accompany rice and flat breads . Traditional dishes can be 'dry,' such as mach dopiaza (fish), gosht bhuna and tandoori gosht (chicken/beef/mutton). Or they can be served with gravy such as Nihari (beef/mutton shank) and murgi rezala (chicken). Items with jhol (sauce) are often curried. Bangladeshi cuisine frequently uses fresh vegetables, which generally vary with season. Vegetables are also used for light curries, bara, salads or stir-fries. On special occasions like wedding or other similar ceremonies, Bangladeshi people serves guests with Biryani which is very popular in the cities and urban areas.


Pickles called 'achar' or murabba are made usually with sharp-tasting fruits such as raw green mango, tamarind, plums, bilimbi or olives. Mustard oil and rice vinegar are used extensively for pickling.


Sandesh, created with milk and sugar

The last item before the sweets is Doi or baked yogurt.It is generally of two varieties, either natural flavour and taste or Mishti Doi (sweet yogurt), typically sweetened with charred sugar. This brings about a brown colour and a distinct flavour. Bangladeshi cuisine has a rich tradition of sweets. The most common sweets and desserts include:

Bhapa Pitha, often sweetened with molasses, is a popular Bangladeshi style rice cake.


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