The word “fast” has become very significant in our lives. The world has gone fast and keeping pace with that, the food has gone fast as well. And we have very much welcomed the entry of fast foods into our lives. Before we realised burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs have managed to become an integral part of our food habit. For some, surviving without these foods even for a single day is impossible. However, caught in the web of fast food our very own local food is losing its identity. Once a common delicacy for all, these foods are slowly moving out of our food list or some are already extinct. Let us rediscover some of them.
Cream Roll and Butter Bun
Cream roll, a crunchy round roll with cream inside, used to be a very popular snack. Now a days it has become pretty rare. Some parts of the old town still sells cream roll. But chicken roll seems to beat it out of competition! Another very popular food was the “butter bun”. It was a round bread supposed to have butter inside but in reality with no trace of it at all! Yes that's right, though called the butter bun it contained “dalda” inside. With or without butter it was very popular then but now it has gone extinct.
“Bakorkhani” is a name, which everyone has heard and maybe tasted once. A round crispy “roti” made mainly with flour and baked in “tandoor”, bakorkhani is one of our very traditional foods. Though some of its popularity still exists it has managed to lose a lot of it. Bakorkhani comes in varieties. “Chinshukha roti” is a type of bakorkhani especially made of sugar, while 'nimshukha roti” is the dry bakorkhani. “Kaicharoti”, “mulam” are also other forms of bakorkhani. “Crush” used to be a bakorkhani like item, which was a bit sweet in taste. A very popular food once, it does not exist anymore. Old Dhaka is still a heaven for bakorkhanis.
Rose biscuit, Kulicha, Salbrete, Nankhoti
Sounds like Hebrew? Never heard of them? It will be very surprising if you did. Well these are varieties of biscuits, which have got lost somewhere with time. Actually there is an exception, rose biscuit. Rose biscuit is actually the old name for our very own “toast biscuit”. Toast biscuit nowadays come in different forms- plain toast, butter toast, baby toast etc. They also differ in their ingredients. The old form “rose biscuit” or “Lora rose' also differed in preparation. It was longer, crunchier and more burnt than modern day toast. “Salbrete” used to be an egg shaped white biscuit. Kulicha and Nankhoti were soft biscuits.
So which flavour do you prefer for ice creams- chocolate? Vanilla? Strawberry? How about trying out some kulfi baraf? No you don't get them at Baskin Robbins or Andersen's or Club Gelato. In fact you don't get them anywhere now. Ice mixed with sugar with “malai” added served in a paper that is kulfi baraf for you. The great great grandma/grandpa (whichever you prefer) of ice creams. Kulfi baraf is only in myths and stories now.
There are so many more delicacies left to be written about and each and every one of them is entangled with our culture. They may be delicacies lost in time as long as our culture exists they will keep on reminding us about our history, our rich past.
By Nozaira Sultana
Tommy Miah lends a helping hand to Flying Eye Hospital ORBIS the Flying Eye Hospital has invited celebrity chef Tommy Miah, to help them in raising support and awareness about the plight of the 1 million adults and 40 thousand children in Bangladesh who suffer from avoidable blindness and severe visual impairment.
Tommy will be joining the ORBIS team during their visit to Chittagong. He will be hosting two VIP Dinners at the Landmark Hotel, Chittagong, as part of its ongoing Food Festival celebrating Tommy Miah's “Bangla-Fusion” cuisine. This will be followed by a fund-raising VIP event at The Chittagong Club, on November 29, to celebrate and promote the work of ORBIS.
Tommy's work with ORBIS will continue on returning to the UK where he will host a fund raising dinner in January, which will be targeted at the Bangladeshi community in London, to highlight the work of ORBIS. This will be followed by a launch event at the House of Commons.
Tommy Miah is a well-known benefactor and supporter of the CRP and Shishu Polli charitable foundations in Bangladesh.
Aangan Ki Khaas Tikki
4 large russet potatoes
3 cups plus 3 tablespoon oil, divided (about)
Salt to taste
2 cups matzo meal, about, divided, (see note)
Paprika and parsley to taste
2 medium white onions, peeled and finely chopped
inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 small chile peppers, or less to taste, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound ground beef or chicken
1 teaspoon garam masala (or teaspoon freshly ground pepper)
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
Medium bunch of cilantro, washed and finely chopped (or to taste)
In a pot, boil potatoes until tender. Drain water. Run potatoes under cold water and peel skins off. Return potatoes to pot and with a potato masher, mash until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and a pinch of salt. Add paprika and parsley to matzo meal to give it color and then add cup matzo meal to potato mixture.
With your hands, knead mixture together, adding more matzo meal if necessary, until a dough is formed. Shape into a ball. Place ball of dough into bowl and set aside.
In pan, heat one tablespoon of oil and saute chopped onions until translucent. Add ginger and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add chiles and saute another 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic, stirring to incorporate. Add beef, garam masala, turmeric, cilantro and additional salt if needed. With wooden spoon, break up beef until very fine. Saute 15 minutes, stirring regularly, or until meat mixture is well cooked and all ingredients are finely incorporated. Remove from heat.
Crack egg and place into bowl, mixing with fork. In different bowl, pour remaining matzo meal. Take small portions of dough, (the size of a small peach) and form into balls. Make a well in center of each ball that reaches about three-quarters through the dough, but not completely piercing through the dough. The shape will resemble a cup. Fill well with spoonful of ground beef mixture. Pinch sides together to bring edges of dough forward in order to seal meat in. Slightly flatten patties between your hands. Dip each patty in beaten egg, roll in matzo meal, and place in single layer on cookie sheet or plate. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Remove patties from refrigerator. Pour oil into large skillet to depth of about 1-inch. When oil is hot, place patties in pan and fry each side over a high flame until golden brown and heated through. (When patties are added, oil should come half way up their sides. Add oil between batches if needed. The length of time patties cook will depend on their size, and the number of patties cooking at one time.) Makes 20 to 25.