The sweet flavours of life
again it is time for Devi Durga's visit. Devotees all around Bangladesh
will visit the mandaps offering their reverence to the goddess.
Flowers and fruits will be offered.
ceremonial dinner of the devi will be decorated with delicious goodies.
Yet, no matter how lavish the thali is, the puja bhog
will not be graced if there are no sweets in the offering.
sweet items are always served with style before the goddess. It is not
just the favourite dessert item of Devi Durga; it is one luxury
that people gladly became used to. Any occasion in this continent requires
the presence of a sweet flavour.
For ages it is our
culture to treat people with sweets during happy moments. Only hundred
years' back from now the custom was to prepare the delicacy at home
during puja or any other religious or social event.
then sweetmeat shops were very limited. Most of the misti karigors
or Moyra at that time came from Hindu families. In Dhaka during
the end of British rule there were some mishti ferrywallahs. Halwa
and morobba was the most popular treats. Mishti sellers
were known as 'Halwaiwallah'.
1885 to 1890 Mother Boksho and Alauddin came to Dhaka from Lakhnow,
India (Dhaka Pachas Baras Pahle by Hakim Habibur Rahman, translated
by Hashem Sufi). They opened sweetmeat shops in Chakbazar of Dhaka.
They introduced Hindustani mishti to Bangladesh. Kalachad appeared
in the scene before 1947.
then, main ingredient of Bangali mishti was chhana.
Boksho and Alauddin introduced maaoa. The most popular mishti
at that time was Chondropuli. Back then shaal leaves
were used instead of packets. Relatives used to visit with specially
designed clay pots full of sweets.
The art of making this delightful dessert is being passed down generation
by generation. All around Bangladesh many tempting flavours were created
by karigars whose names are still remembered and the flavours
are still produced by their heirs. Chomchom of Porabari, Tangail
is one such flavour that is yet desired by many. There is a saying that
sweet water of the area is the secret behind it's amazing taste. Roshmalai
from Comilla is another wonder. In the early stages of 19 century it
was called maliakari, with a little modification it became
khirbhog and finally it became known as the roshmalai. Balish mishti
of Netrokoan is another awesome treat. Because of its huge size it is
called balish (pillow). One piece of Balish can weigh
up to two kgs. One interesting fact about this giant is that it can
be preserved for several days without refrigeration. During the summer
it remains perfect for 2 to 3 days and during winter it can last for
7 days. Jogar mishti of Patuakhali, Ghuthiar shondesh
of Barishal are also two precious tradition of Bengal.
many renowned flavours have lost their originality because the use of
artificial elements and powder milk is rising. Yet without any doubt
Mishti is still an essential part of Bengali lifestyle. Chic
paper packets may have replaced the clay pots or shaal leaves. "Mukh
mishti kora" is still the popular expression during happy
moments, as it adds flavours to life.
Gradually more shops appeared. The tradition modified a bit, as people
often brought in readymade sweets. Many luxurious sweetmeat shops are
now in town. Lets start with some of them who left their mark in the
According to one of their karigars, the history of this sweet
shop goes back more than hundred years and it still rules. For three
generations, the Ghosh family is passing down this culinary heritage.
First outlet of Moronchad, which is known as Adi Moronchad, is situated
at 18, Nawabpur road old Dhaka. There are now 13 outlets, all of them
owned by the grandsons of Moronchad Ghosh. There is one more outlet
at Nawabpur road. If you wish to take delight in their sweets you can
also visit their kalabagan or Farmgat outlet. Moronchad's yoghurt is
so far the best in town. Their rajbhog, lalmohon, kalojaam, and roshmalai
are still relished by Dhakaities.
The two shops opened by Alauddin at Chakbazar are still there and to
this day their loyal customers pay regular visit to the place. Currently
Alauddin sweetmeat has 8 outlets in the city. They are situated at opposite
Dhaka collage, beside Shaheen collage, Gulistan, Baitul Mokarram, Magbazar
and at Jinjira. Their shon papri is still very dear to many. Lalmohon,
chomchom, malaichop, cream jaam, and roshmalai are their most sold item.
Muslim sweets started way back in 1968. Since then it has been wining
the hearts of Dhakaities with their scrumptious savouries. Their most
sold items are lalmohon, kalojaam, roshogollah, and shondesh. Current
owner of the shop Mohammad Ali tells us "the name Muslim is being
used by so many shops these days. Not all of them belong to my family."
If you wish to savour the sweet flavour of original Muslims visit their
outlet at Bijoynagar, Kakrail and Hatirpool.
Sweets by Central
Premium Sweets is Dhaka's latest luxury. This exclusive sweet shop has
taken the age-old tradition to the next level. The atmosphere in all
of their outlet is friendly, offering a free piece to everyone who visits.
Before coming in to business, premium studied the existing market even
in abroad. Their realisation is, the presentation of these delicacies
needs a new touch. So they have come up with chic boxes, wrappers and
laces creating a whole new sense in packaging. Their best sellers are
khir toast, khir mohon, malai chop, rosh malai, raabri, motichur laddu,
maoa laddu, malaikari, premium brownie, and langcha. Each pack of sweets
comes with a guarantee card. If you have any complains simply return
the pack, of course in the same day of purchasing and a replacement
free of charge is ensured. They believe the making of traditional sweets
is an art. The mystery lies within the use of pure ingredients in right
proportion, and of course leaving all the artificial elements out of
the kitchen. Premium's outlets are situated at Gulshan 2 circle, Momtaj
plaza at Dhanmondi 4, BNS centre at Uttora sector 7 and at ZIA departure
Rosh is also the hot new sweet shop in town. Among all of their delicacies,
customer's most favourite is the malai shorai. Their customers also
crave for langcha, rosh cha, kaacha cchana, jafran vog, cream jaam,
khir toast, and their roshogollah. What makes their customers go crazy
we asked their head karigor Salauddin, the person who creates magic
in the kitchen? "It requires some special personal techniques that
one acquires throughout time. The most important element that one must
have is passion and attachment to work." In his 15 years of work
Salauddin learned that pure milk is the secret behind the great taste.
Decoration and the use of artificial elements downgrade the quality
and taste. "Which is why our products are so plain", adds
Salauddin. Rosh is situated at Momtaj Plaza Dhanmondi 4, Green road
and at Gulshan 2 circle.
With about 60 varied sweet items Prominent has earned the confidence
of Dhakaities. Prominent's special items are Irani bhog, prominent shar
toast, shondesh, shar mohon, shar roll, khir mohon, khir shagar and
malai chop. The shop was inaugurated just a year back and now has three
outlets in the city situated at Dhanmondi tower, Kulsum tower shantinagar,
and at Banabi 11. .
offers from Pizza Hut
here's a way to spice up your Ramadan and add a little extra something
special to your iftars. Pizza Hut has a bag load of wonderful offers
that'll keep you going back there for more.
October 15 to November 15, dine-in customers can order Pepsi for Tk
30 and get free refills. There's an all-you-can-eat offer for lovers
of the BBQ Chicken or Beef Lovers Pan Pizza and Cheese Garlic bread.
Order these items for Tk 200, and you can have as much as you want.
customers can also look forward to a special Pepsi offer. You get
a free 1ltr Pepsi bottle with any Medium Pizza, and a free 2-ltr.
Pepsi bottle with any Family Pizza.
Still need a reason to go there? We thought not.
LS Desk ~
out a Nissan
We seem to have more cars than we have roads but that
does not stop the manufacturers and importers from offering us more.
Pacific Motors, the importer of Nisssans in Bangladesh, has taken
a step forward in offering a test drive of its vehicles since October
14 onwards. You get a choice of four of their cars. There is the X-Trail
SUV and a four door pickup truck that comes with all the creature
comforts like air-con, factory tinted windows and even CD player.
It feels like a car but drives like a truck. Good over the potholes
though. There is also the Nissan Sunny and the larger, more expensive
and flashier Cefiro. Take your pick, fix an appointment by phone and
take a spin to see if any fits your needs.
Ehsanur Raza Ronny
Finally we Dhakaites have a reason to plan daylong family outings
within the city. With its multiplex movie theatre, indoor theme park,
exclusive gym, and endless shops selling everything from cameras to
condiments, this metropolitan microcosm is any mall-manic's dream
come true. Or is it?
There's no doubt
that the architecture of Bashundhara City is really beautiful, especially
with the sleek exterior, and the spacious atrium inside, topped off
by a stunning stained-glass dome. However, one would expect the layout
of the shops in a modern mega-mall like this one to be less…well,
less ordinary. Once you get past the gleaming glass doors at the entrance,
the shops look like anything you'd find in any shopping centre anywhere
else in the city, to put it simply, they lack style and individuality.
although they deserve credit for trying, still seem rather uncoordinated.
Whatever happened to the concept of 'service with a smile'? Head for
the ticket lines at the indoor theme park, and you'll find the tellers,
ushers and guards all wearing a bemused expression on their faces…which
is rather disconcerting to first-time visitors. Finally, people with
chauffeur-driven cars face a devil of a time retrieving their cars
from the parking lot, because no one in the drive-by area seems to
have any clue as to where the announcement booth is located, and if
there is such an arrangement in the first place.
What really takes
the mickey out of mall-hopping here, though is the crowd. Brandishing
video cameras (filming a trip at the mall?), pushing and shoving at
the ticket lines, it's like we don't know how to behave in a public
place. The movie-going crowd is a category unto itself. Talking on
the cell-phones while the movie is being shown, hooting and catcalling
through some of the scenes…
please, even the crowds at the old cinema halls are better behaved.
We may have shiny
buildings, fancy shops, and hi-tech entertainment facilities, but
we're still a long, long way from deserving them.
article was not written to attack or demean the wonderful facilities
at Bashundhara City; rather, we just wanted to point out how it could
be improved even further.
L S Desk