Baishakh is a festival that roots deep into our identity as Bangalis.
The musical soiree at dawn, the traditional festive rally of the fine
arts institute, the countless melas all bring out the Bangali within
us. It is no wonder that the grandeur of these public events obscures
subtle traditions like a family get-together. But who can deny the
sense of joy that can only be felt by seeing a face that has long
been out of touch. Words can barely do justice. The rigors of daily
life mean a lot as the close ones hardly ever get to meet. Such an
occasion is the prefect time for rekindling old acquaintances.
Batamul is one place that should definitely be visited. Women attired
in 'shada saree with lal-par' and men in panjabis,
the true Bangali spirit of the occasion may be experienced here. However,
we do say that the panta-ilish at Batamul is something that
can be enjoyed by all members of the family, mainly because of the
atmosphere and the festivities accompanying the food on Pohela Boishakh.
the outing in the morning, how about relaxing at home? The food only
spices up the conversation and as time progresses the mood for a pleasant
day just sets in. Gathering in a cosy corner of the family living,
sipping hot tea with salted nuts and lentil seeds the conversation
can continue till the heart is fully satisfied. Just in the middle
of the conversation in comes kacha amer sherbet or the cool
tarmarind juice to supplement the snacks. Before you can keep track
of time lunch is served. Mother's take pride in what they serve on
such special occasions.
is placed not on the dinner table but on the floor. The aroma of steaming
lal birohi, fried egg plants, and bhaja rui tantalizing
the taste buds and watering our mouths. The garnishing takes centre
stage, as it has become a form of art. Before your tongues can relish
the food that is already served out comes the delight's of mama's
kitchen in the order of mint chatni, shutkir bhorta,
and kathaler echor cooked with shrimp or chicken. Shundhi
daal (a concoction of five different kinds of lentil) cooked
with ghee is the next attraction. Finally time for dessert- yoghurt,
chomchom and kulfi.
Boishakh is finely associated with walks on the streets, which are
colourful from all the other pedestrians, and the one highlight that
adds spice to the whole occasion is the enjoyment of the vibrant street
life during the festival. People sing and dance, play their dhols
and really have a blast throughout the day. If arranging a feast at
home seems too much of a hassle on Pohela baishakh, you can very easily
go out for lunch. Some restaurants have a name for themselves in the
field of Bengali food while others offer special dishes highlighting
the festive occasion. Keeping this in mind, we bring to you places
you can visit on Pohela Boishakh for a meal or two, in the company
of loved ones and with the Bengali New Year out in full swing.
is the one name that is prominent when it comes to Bangali cuisine.
The restaurant has been maintaining its great quality food for a decade
or so now. The restaurant is a great place to take your friends and
family, although it may be a bit hard on the wallet. Kasturi sets
great standards with service and it also offers good food. Muri ghonto,
fish cutlet and shorshey ilish are items that stand out in the menu.
They also have a good variety of bhortas. Kasturi has a good atmosphere
and does give its customers something to talk about later. An average
meal for about 4-5 people would cost around Tk.800-1000.
Hotel is another small hotel located near Bakshi Bazar, which is renowned
for its variety of bhortas. It has about 20 different types bhortas
and its mogoj masala (brain masala) is also worth trying out. Nirob
has been a great place for food lovers to eat to their hearts delight
and is pretty reasonable.
food court, located in Mumtaz plaza (Road#4) at Dhanmondi, is relatively
a new place offering different cuisines, such as European, Indian,
Thai and Bangladeshi. However, Suruchi shall offer traditional Bangladeshi
cuisine on Pohela Boishakh. The food court shall offer dishes such
as panta-ilish and 'morich-piaz bhaja' from 6 in the morning. For
lunch, they shall offer a variety of 'bhortas', tomato chatni and
the traditional 'ilish with kochu shak', a dish that should not be
missed. Amongst other dishes, narikel chingri (prawn with coconut)
and deshi chicken dopiaza stand out. The restaurant has a nicely decorated
interior and the prices are pretty reasonable. It's a nice place to
take the family and the service is very good.
food place in Dhanmondi, offering good Bangali cuisine is Boishakhi.
The restaurant is located in the Kashba Centre, just on top of Western
Grill. Boishakhi has been known for its Bangali cuisine for quite
some time now, and their usual menu offers great bhortas, together
with rice. Amongst their bhortas, the chingri (prawn) and the daal
(lentil) are items that must be tried out. Boishakhi also has beef
and chicken curry. Amidst fishes, they have different dishes for 'rui
mach', pomfret and hilsha.
Khabar, with its branches in Dhanmondi and Gulshan-II, is another
Deshi restaurant that can be vouched for it's quality. Dhanshiri
gives Gulshan dwellers a good taste of Bangali cuisine and at reasonable
prices. The restaurant intends to celebrate the Bengali New Year with
a month-long Bengali Food festival, and event that promises to be
great for food lovers. On Pohela Boishakh they shall also offer special
dishes marking the occasion and shall introduce a 10% discount for
all customers. The special dishes for Pohela Boishakh include pantha
ilish, ilish khichuri, shorshey ilish and ilish polao. The spotlight
definitely falls on hilsha and rice at Dhanshiri. Amongst other dishes,
the different bhortas should also be tried out. The Dhanshiri branch
in Dhanmondi is located in the 2nd flood of the Orchid Plaza, whilst
the one in Gulshan is located near the ex-Gulshan-II circle on the
other hotels or restaurants, Sylvana Foods and Mouly Restora in the
BSMMU (formerly IPGMR) building, are quite popular with the students
of Dhaka university. They do offer Bangla food at cheap prices although
the quality may not be the same as other restaurants. However, the
atmospheres in these small hotels are definitely 'jomjomat' or hustling,
adding a different experience with the cuisine. Hotel 3 Star, near
the Moghbazar crossing and at the end of Bangla motor, is a restaurant
that has a rich history. The hotel serves good quality bengali food,
all at really reasonable prices. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner,
all Bangali style. This is again a nice to place to go with your friends,
but it probably would not be good to visit it with your family. They
are not organising anything special for Pohela Boishakh but their
usual menu does offer a lot of variety when it comes to dishes. The
'Pangash and the Rui mach' should definitely be tried out here, along
with the different curry's. They also have great taki mach and chingri
Bondhu, located opposite to the Ittefaq office, is one place that
is reknowned for its bhaji and paratas. The bhaji is a combination
of different vegetables cooked together with pachforon (five different
spices), giving it a unique taste. This can be a nice place to check
out a new style of cuisine during the afternoon on Pohela Boishakh.
good meal should always be wrapped off with a mouthwatering misti
paan and stadium market is the best place for that, however
a small paan stall besides Hotel Nirob is our recommendation. You
can get the sweetest of paan here served with even sweeter smile from
the paanwalla. You can visit the new Paan Supari at Momtaz
Plaza in Dhanmondi but be aware of their rude mannerism.
you plan to do try to have a blast on Pohela Boishakh and remember
that everyone is celebrating for one purpose; the crowning of a New
Year, Bangali style.
Mishel Ali Khan and Mannan Mashhur Zarif