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Archive for the ‘Celebration’ Category

Serving Bangla bites

Posted by Osman on June 27, 2007

| Wednesday, April 13, 2005 The TelegraphServing Bangla bites
 
 
 
(From top) Bangladeshi culinary experts Saukat and Nahid Osman at Sonargaon; Pictures by Rashbehari Das

Flavours from across the eastern borders have wafted into the Sonargaon with the ongoing Bangladeshi food festival. Under the able guidance of culinary experts Saukat and Nahid Osman, authentic Bangladeshi recipes have been cooked up to celebrate Poila Baisakh with a 10-day food fiesta, ending April 17.

?Poila Baisakh is celebrated on a grand scale in Bangladesh. Starting at 5 am, the streets fill up and everyone is out to have a good time through song and dance, and especially food. Without the specially-cooked Ilish, no festival can ever be complete,? said Nahid.

?Cooking, eating and drinking are my passions. My mother and mother-in-law are excellent cooks. In fact, when I got married, my mother was rather worried that I might starve. Though my wife started her culinary journey as a novice, today she?s a better cook than both of them!? added Saukat.

Nahid?s first official culinary visit to India was for a Bengali cooking show at the Hilton Hotel in Mumbai. ?The response was tremendous, with people queuing up to take tips. One of the people who used our recipes was Tarla Dalal,? she said.

Speaking on the differences in Bangla and Bengali cooking, she explained how posto (poppy seeds) is very popular in Calcutta, while in Bangladesh it?s sesame seeds.

With an extensive menu laid out for the festival, one can start with a Bhorhani (whisked yoghurt spiced with ginger, mustard and other spices) or Matha (whisked yoghurt diluted with water and seasoned). The Aalu Cheese Chop, Golda Chingri Chita Bhaji (shrimps cooked with red chilli paste and garlic) and Ilish Tikka (hilsa meatballs) are good options.

Progressing to the main course, the Enchor (green jackfruit cooked in garam masala and ghee), Lebu dal (masur dal with paneer and lemon rind) and Potol Dolma Jhol (pointed gourd stuffed with spicy paneer) are sure to appeal to vegetarians.

For fish and meat lovers, the Dhakaiya Golda (river prawn cooked in hot masala), Chital Khari (meat extracted from the hump of the chital fish) and Shorshe Mangsho (mutton cooked with yoghurt, mustard paste, green chilli, salt and garlic) are must-tries. A number of interesting vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis are also available.

To round off the meal on a sweet note, one can choose from the Gur Payesh (pounded aromatic rice cooked with date molasses and thickened milk), Dudh Puya (rice cake cooked with milk solids, honey and milk) and Zarda Shemai (vermicelli cooked in ghee and garam masala).

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Posted in art, art club, bangladesh, Bangladeshi Artists, Bengal, blog, Celebration, cooking, culinary, culinary arts, culture, food, happening, india, society, Tarla Dalal, tour | 1 Comment »

The Origin of Bangla new year & celebrating Pahela Baishakh

Posted by Osman on April 12, 2007

The Origin of Bangla new year and celebrating Pahela Baishakh

Syed Ashraf Ali

Pahela BaishakhWE celebrate Pahela Baishakh or the Bangla New Year’s Day today. Everything under the sun looks gay and cheerful and colourful, one is suddenly struck by the beauty of the grass, the sky, the trees – each and everything around looks pretty and radiates joy and happiness. It seems that the tired and weary sun of 1405 that set last evening carried along with it all the gloom, all the sorrows, all the melancholy and misery. Nothing that is painful or dull or dreary is left for 1406, and the sun rising with a new spirit and vigour this morning, rises in its full glory, radiating nothing gloomy, nothing sad, nothing pensive but only hope and happiness for the days to come.

 Pahela Baishakh is indeed a momentous occasion in the life of each and every Bengalee. It is the first day of Bangla calendar year. To every Bengalee, young and old, rich and poor, wise and ignorant, it is a time of gaiety to be celebrated with great merry-making, to be enjoyed in every possible manner, an occasion which enables us, in the words of Tennyson, to drink life to the lees.’ It is a cruel irony of fate that a few orthodox Muslims in our country, shrouded by sheer ignorance, look down upon this Nababarsha festival, simply because they inadvertently consider it to be a festival of non-Muslim origin. But there is no shadow of doubt that the Bangla calendar that we follow today was introduced by the Muslims in this sub-continent.

The Pahela Baishakh so warmly celebrated all over the country today originated not from Bangladesh, but from an entirely different part of this sub-continent more than thousand miles away. What is more, the Bangla Saal was introduced not by any Bangladeshi but by a non-Bengalee in whose grandfather’s vein flowed the blood of both Gengis Khan and Tamerlane. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Agriculture, art, bangladesh, Bengal, Calendar, Celebration, culture, Gengis Khan, happening, Moghul, New Year | Leave a Comment »