There are so many things to learn about Bangladeshi foods and drinks. Indeed, you can find various types of curries to taste and so many drinks to sip on when you first encounter this cuisine.
Moreover, many may assume Bangladeshi cuisine is no different from its neighboring country, India. That’s why I’m here to help you figure out just how unique the foods and beverages in this country can be, and that you’ll become fond of them in no time!
11 Bangladeshi Snacks For You To Munch On
Bangladesh is a country that has countless tasty street foods or snacks. From flatbread to puffed rice, you will always find that a simple bite can contain so much joy and tastiness. Read on to find out what Bangladesh snacks are all about.
You will see that the name is quite self-explanatory, as Jhal means spicy and Muri means puffed rice. Therefore, you may have already guessed that Jhalmuri is a spicy puffed rice snack with many exotic spices.
This snack is a dish from puffed rice, onion, chili, and mustard oil, along with different masala, and chanachur, a snack mix. The seller will place these ingredients into a big pot and mix them. Jhalmuri is a fun snack as it usually creates a popping sound when you eat.
It’s also very common to see people selling this snack at the gates of schools in Bangladesh on big occasions. This snack is so tasty that it has gained its reputation in New York City thanks to the Bangladeshi living abroad.
To make Jhalmuri, try this tutorial for a no-fail recipe.
Nimki or Kucho Nimki is a fried snack prevalent during Durga Puja, a holiday the Hindu community in Bangladesh and other Hindu countries celebrate. These are diamond-like strips of dough that bathe themselves in a seasoning of kalonji and oil.
The preparation for these crackers usually takes around 10 minutes and another 20 minutes for cooking. For those unfamiliar with Nimki, this dish usually tastes a lot like Samosa pastry, with the appearance and shape of a diamond.
Before the beginning of Durga Puja, people will make and serve Nimkis in Bijaya Dashama, an important Hindu festival. After Bijaya Dashami, people will visit their loved ones’ houses as part of the tradition, and serving these Nimkis to them is also an essential custom.
Beguni is a snack Bangladeshi people make with eggplant, also known as brinjal. They usually make this snack by slicing the eggplants and dipping them in a chickpea flour batter and deep-frying them in oil.
The unique part about this dish is that they use the special ingredient of chickpea or gram flour to make the frying batter. These fritters are a type of flour appearing in various foods from Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.
Beguni is a snack that Bangladeshi people usually enjoy with tea. It’s delicious on rainy days or during the winter. The explanation is because of its crispy outer layer and the smoky flavor of the eggplant.
Chicken Tikka is a popular BBQ dish that people usually eat with a side of flatbread or rice. This dish is pieces of chicken that people marinated in spices and yogurt. They would cook this chicken by placing them over hot charcoal.
While cooking chicken Tikka on the charcoal stove, the Bangladeshi people would continuously brush Ghee or clarified butter on the chicken to keep it moist and tender. A typical serving of chicken Tikka usually includes some onion rings, some coriander, and tamarind chutney.
This dish is a must-try menu for anyone visiting Bangladesh for the first time. It’s a simple yet delectable dish with an inviting flavor and tender texture of the chicken. The best thing about it is you can eat it alone as a snack or together with some rice or flatbread as a meal.
Bhapa Pitha is a rice cake from the Easter Indian subcontinent, with regions like Bangladesh, East, and Northeast India. This is one of the most traditional winter dinner dishes people usually enjoy in Bangladesh.
To be specific, Bhapa Pitha is a rice cake with the typical ingredients of rice flour, coconut, and date molasses. People usually steam these cakes until soft. In some variations, people substitute date molasses with brown sugar or jaggery, a non-centrifugal cane sugar.
In Bangladesh, you will often see wide varieties of Bhapa Pitha. Some of the most common ones are Vapa Pitha, Puli Pitha, or Pagan Pitha.
Bhapa Pitha is a Bangladeshi snack you can easily make at home if you follow this tutorial.
Ghugni or Ghuguni is a chickpea curry. The dish can also use different peas such as black gram, green or white peas. This famous dish comes from different Indian regions, especially in East and Northeast India.
To prepare Ghugni, people soak the peas overnight and then boil them in water. Then, they make gravy from cumin, cilantro, coconut, and pastes from tamarind, garlic, and ginger. They will then add the peas to this gravy and enjoy it with puffed rice.
Ghugni is a simple yet wholesome snack you can enjoy at any time of the day. The subtly sweet flavor of the curry blends in very well with the texture of the tender peas. You can either enjoy Ghugni with rice or some Paratha flatbread.
Pakora is a type of spicy fritter rooted in the countries of the Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh. Pakoras can include different ingredients, like vegetables, together with spices. It’s a famous street food menu that vendors and diners all around South Asia usually sell.
The most popular Pakoras are onion Pakoras that people deep fry in a mix of batter and seasonings. The seasoning varies based on chefs, but usually includes chili, coriander, and fenugreek (a clover-like herb). Pakoras are spicy, thanks to this seasoning.
You can find many common variations of Pakora in Bangladesh that use onions, eggplants, potatoes, chili peppers, or cauliflowers.
Paratha is a popular flatbread dish in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Paratha, meaning layers of dough, has other names like Paratha, Prontha, Parontay, or Paronthi.
Usually, Bangladeshi people eat Paratha plain, without any filling. However, there are variations where Paratha has a part of stuffing as well. The most popular stuffing for Paratha would have to be spiced potatoes and lentils.
This is a light and quite plain bread, making it a perfect partner for curries and stews. In addition, combining Paratha with sugar, honey, or some clarified butter makes a great snack.
An easy step-by-step instruction to make Paratha.
This is a popular Bengali street food mainly in Bangladesh and West Bengal, among other urban areas. Chotpoti, which means spicy, is a tasty dish consisting of beans, potatoes, tamarind, and some spices.
Chotpoti has many variations. In some regions, the dish includes coconuts, while there are other places where people add boiled eggs to their Chotpoti. This snack is such an ideal snack for when you’re looking for something light yet soothing for your stomach.
Chotpoti is special due to its spicy and sour taste and how the flavors cover every bit of peas and eggs beautifully. People usually eat Chotpoti hot since only then will you be able to taste all the spices like cumin, coriander, or chilies better.
Lucchi is a flatbread that uses Maida flour or all-purpose flour. Along with Nimki and Narkel Naru, this is another dish many people enjoy making and eating during Durga Puja.
To the people here, Lucchi isn’t just a type of flatbread. It has long been an essential part of their culture and cuisine. You can see the people of Bangladesh eating Lucchi for a weekend breakfast or gathering around making them for Durga Puja.
People begin making Lucchi by mixing salt, sugar, oil, or Ghee (clarified butter) with the Maida flour. Then they will knead and divide the dough into small portions and flatten them out. The last step will be deep-frying the dough in oil.
Traditionally, Lucchi uses ghee in its recipe. This brings out the fragrance and the unique flavor of the flatbread. However, people have made many adaptations to this dish and started using oil, which also makes great Lucchi.
Fuchka is a popular street food menu in India and Bangladesh. It’s a dish of hollow dough balls that people deep fry and fill with potatoes, chickpeas, or white peas curry. The locals here in Bangladesh usually pair these dough balls with special spicy water and chutney.
The chutney that goes with Panipuri is Meetha Pani, which means “sweet”. It’s a chutney with the main ingredient of tamarind, together with some cumin and chili powder. The water that goes with Panipuri is Teekha or Theeka Pani, which is mint with masala spice in water.
There are other Pani water and chutney that people often eat their Panipuri with. A few of the most common Panis besides Theeka and Meetha are Jeera, Lahsun, and Amchur. Each type of Pani has a vibrant color with a special taste that will make you keep eating these balls.
10 Savory Dishes That Are Staple In Every Bangladeshi Meal
Bangladesh, among other Southern Asian countries, is a country that consumes a notable amount of rice. They have come up with many recipes using rice. These recipes are very filling and pleasant to eat. Let’s learn about them right now!
Aloor Dum is a potato-based side dish loved by almost every Bangladeshi household. The name literally means “slow-cooked potatoes”. The dish comprises deep-fried potato cutlets in a sauce with some spices.
This potato gravy is a rich and flavorful dish thanks to the starchy texture of baby potatoes with the sauce itself. You will see that this dish uses ingredients like yogurt, onions, and cashews to make the gravy.
One notable thing about this dish is that people usually blend the cashew and onions with the yogurt to create a creamy texture of the gravy. Taking a bite will result in finishing the whole dish in no time.
Biryani is a rice dish with many spices like mustard or cumin seeds, chili, and turmeric. There is also an addition of protein like chicken, beef, prawns, or in this case, mutton. Mutton Biryani is the variation most preferred by the people of Bangladesh.
The key to making a tasty pot of Kacchi Biryani is to cook the rice together with the raw mutton meat. This technique will ensure that the mutton will release its flavor to the rice. Bangladeshi people also use special aromatic rice called Chinigura rice, which is only available in this country.
When biting into the mutton, you will be surprised by how soft and insanely tender it is. The tenderness comes from the yogurt in the cooking process. This ingredient helps soften up the texture of the mutton and makes it melt into your mouth.
Take a look at the preparation of a big pot of Kacchi Biryani in the capital city of Bangladesh.
In South Asian cuisine, there’s a dish called Khichdi. It’s a dish consisting of rice and dal or lentils. Bhuna Mug Daler Khichuri is a famous variation of Khichdi with some meat. It’s one of the easy and lazy meals that many Bangladeshi enjoy eating.
In the original version of Khichdi, the dish mainly consists of rice, lentils, and other vegetables. Whereas Bhuna Khichuri is a non-vegetarian version where there’s also mutton or chicken. Interestingly, in Bangladesh, it’s one of the first solid foods for babies to eat.
This dish is dry in texture, since “Bhuna” means “fried”. The meat and the rice will come out with a grainy texture and less moisture than the usual rice dishes. Therefore, it is ideal that you pair your Bhuna Khichuri with stew or curry.
Panta Ilish might be an ordinary dish by its name. But most foreigners have once mistaken this fact. Panta Ilish is a combination of two dishes which are Panta Bhat and Ilish Bhaja.
Panta Bhat means “overnight steeped rice”. The Bangladeshi people prepare this dish by soaking leftover rice in water overnight. Then, they will serve the rice the next morning with salt, onion, green chilies, and Aloo Bhorta or mashed potatoes.
Besides, Ilish Bhaja is fried fish with a unique flavor. It isn’t as pungent and fishy as any other conventional fish menu. The fish is simple in the making. With just a sprinkle of salt and turmeric, the locals will fry up this fish and drizzle some mustard oil on top.
When combining these two dishes, you will have a beautiful combo of fatty fish accompanied by some hearty and smooth soaked rice. Though the fish is not complex in taste, its flavor is nothing to be underrated, and the rice makes just the perfect side dish.
Morog Polao is an easy-to-make food for the Bangladeshi people. This dish is a famous dish in daily meals or large family gatherings. Like Kacchi Biryani, Morog Polao is a dish in which people cook rice together with meat.
This chicken rice dish is subtle yet full of flavors. The slow-cooking process gives it time to release all the aroma and pleasant taste that charms people’s taste buds. The complex spices that people use in marinating the meat and cooking the rice also boost the overall flavor.
You can recreate this Bangladesh comfort food of Morog Polao at home with this recipe.
Chingri Malai is a curry dish with the main ingredient of tiger and king prawns. This curry is a special dish that people usually serve during important occasions like weddings and celebrations.
The curry consists of prawns and a curry paste. This curry paste consists of garlic paste, onions, turmeric powder, ginger paste, and other spices. When making Chingri Malai, people usually marinate and deep fry the prawns before cooking them in the curry paste.
When tasting this dish, you will feel several different flavors hidden in the firm flesh of the prawns. This is because people always marinate the prawns with a special paste. This paste includes sesame and posto seeds.
Haleem is a stew that originated from an Arabian dish called Harees or Jareesh. This dish dates back to the 10th century when it first appeared in a cookbook from Baghdad. It was one of the most popular dishes among the kings and lords of this city.
Haleem is a dish with a H at the beginning that people from India and Bangladesh love. Despite the many variations, it often uses lentils, different meats, and barle as the main ingredients. To make Haleem, blend or mash the meat and cook it in the stew before serving.
To give Haleem its flavorful taste, people also use different components to enhance the flavor. For example, Haleem requires a broth or in some cases, milk to cook. The addition of spices like cassia and fennel is also present in this dish.
Haleem is a dish that requires time and effort. Thus, the taste of this dish is something that you will never forget.
Chorchori is a mix of vegetables like pumpkin, radish, potatoes, and brinjal (eggplants). People prepare Chorchori by first stir-frying spices like mustard seeds and ginger roots in Ghee (clarified butter). They will then add the vegetables and a few other spices into the pan.
The dish has a special charred flavor that is unique compared to most vegetable dishes. This is because how people leave the vegetables frying in the pan once they have absorbed all the moisture and start to sizzle on the pan.
The creation of Chorchori was due to how there were leftover vegetables in the houses of the Bangladeshi people, especially the local households. They started making a stir-fried dish that could help use up these leftover vegetables and somehow created Chorchori.
Dal or dhal is one of the most hearty and nutritious soups in Bangladesh cuisine. Although the word Dal translates into “lentil”, people generally refer to Dal as a spice lentil soup dish.
This dish can be either thin or thick in texture. People also use different kinds of lentils like Masoor Dal (red lentils) or Moong Dal (green lentils) to make Masoor Dal. In addition, the recipe includes cream and butter to create a smooth mouthfeel.
People usually season the soup with salt, turmeric, and tamarind. Bangladeshi people usually serve Masoor Dal with rice, veggies, or bread. This soup is extremely healthy as it contains iron, zinc, and folate.
Switch up your dinner with this recipe for Masoor Dal Tadka.
Aside from Pan Ilish, Shorshe Ilish is another dish featuring one of the most common fish in Bangladesh. This menu item is a curry with a subtle and mild flavor, which uses less pungent and powerful spices and pastes.
The dish consists of many complex ingredients. Such ingredients that help create the depth for Shorshe Ilish are white mustard, mustard oil, green chili, cumin, turmeric, and basic seasonings like salt and peppers. People usually mix these into a paste in which they marinate the fish.
Shorshe Ilish is an excellent dish to highlight the natural taste of the Ilish fish. The flesh is firm yet exudes so much flavor. This type of fish is what people combine with the curry to help complement the aroma of the curry coming from the mustard seeds.
4 Bangladesh Desserts To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Bangladeshi desserts are known for using ingredients like nuts, spices, milk, and coconut and turning them into the most delicious recipes. Below are some of the best dessert menu items in Bangladesh.
Bhapa Doi is a famous dessert among the Bengali people in Bangladesh. The word Bhapa Doi directly translates into “steamed curd”. It’s a dish you can serve cold with some fruits and nuts on top.
Bhapa Doi consists mainly of hung curd or yogurt separated from its water. Another few ingredients are milk and condensed milk. This milky dessert will leave a sweet and pleasant ending note with its silky texture and subtle flavors.
Make this delectable pudding at home with this instruction.
Narkel Naru is an integral part of festivals like “Durga Puja” or “Bhai Dooj” in Bangladesh, especially among the Hindu community. In every household, you will see people preparing this treat during the festive seasons.
Narkel Naru is a simple yet delicious dessert with only four ingredients. To make this treat, people will grate coconut and cook it in sugar, cardamom powder, and khoya (milk solids) until it turns sticky. Then they will shape the coconut into small balls.
The pleasant sweet taste and a hint of cardamom coming from Narkel Naru will remind you of the hard work and the love the people in Bangladesh have for their loved ones. You will not be able to resist yourself once you take a bite.
Jilapi is a staple in the category of snacks and desserts for the people of Bangladesh. These are sugary fritters that are chewy. The appearance of Jilapi is worth noticing as well, as they come in little spiral-shaped small discs.
Traditionally, the people of Bangladesh make Jalebi by deep-frying flour in oil. Then they would coat these fritters in sugar syrup. In some variations, people add lime and scented water to this syrup. You can eat jalebi with some yogurt or Rabri if you’re in North India.
Rabri is a traditional dish originating in North India. It’s a sauce that people make by boiling milk until it thickens. Spices like cardamom and nuts like pistachios are also present to make the dish more flavorful.
It usually takes some time to make Rabri since you have to slow cook the milk until the liquid becomes dense and shifts its color from white to pale yellow. Although it can be quite a process to make, Rabri’s taste will surely pay off and give you a creamy and delicious dessert dish.
This is how you can make delicious Rabri at home.
5 Traditional Bangladeshi Drinks For When You Are Thirsty
Along with the foods, Bangladeshi beverages are something worth trying as well. These drinks are pleasantly light and ready to enjoy whenever you want to.
Lassi is a mixture of yogurt, water, spices, and fruit. This is a refreshing and cooling probiotic drink perfect for the hot summer days in Bangladesh.
There are many variations of Lassi that you can find in Bangladesh and other countries in the Indian subcontinent. The most common variations of Lassi would have to be mango Lassi, salty Lassi, sweet Lassi, and dried fruit Lassi.
Lassi is a hugely preferred drink for its cooling sensation. People traditionally make Lassi with a wooden churner and blender. Though you can also use a conventional blender to make Lassi, making it with a wooden churner is the authentic way that helps bring out the best flavors.
27. Green Coconut Water
Coconut water is a cooling summer beverage as it’s quick to prepare and tasty to drink. Coconut water is such an enjoyable drink on its own besides the use for making curry and stews.
You can enhance the natural sweetness of the coconut by asking for a pinch of salt in the drink. By adding this component, you will feel that the taste is perfectly balanced and very satisfying to drink. Remember to look for these coconuts to sip on the sweet juice they offer.
28. Sugar Cane Juice
There’s no need to elaborate much on how delectable and refreshing sugar cane juice is. This drink is a top favorite for many Bangladeshis.
In many countries, sugar cane is a plant people use to make sugar. But for countries like Bangladesh, this makes a great drink as well. Though as simple as juice pressed from sugar canes, this drink is something you can find everywhere on the streets when visiting Bangladesh.
Make sure to look for some of this juice from street vendors when you have a chance to visit Bangladesh. I’m sure you will love its sweet taste and refreshing feeling.
Borhani is a variation of Lassi that many Bangladeshi people enjoy drinking daily. It’s a yogurt-like drink in which people add mint and coriander leaves, along with some sugar and spices like green chili, mustard seeds, etc.
This drink is widely consumed throughout Dhaka and Chittagong in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, people usually serve this drink in important ceremonies and events like weddings.
It is also a great drink to accompany hearty dishes like Biryani or Polao as it enhances digestion.
Sathukudi juice is a healthy and refreshing juice coming from sweet limes. These fruits are called Mosambi in Hindi. It’s one of the simplest and most popular juices full of vitamin C which relieves inflammation.
This type of lime isn’t acidic compared to the regular limes you would see. Sometimes, the taste is even bland. However, this lime is the perfect ingredient for a drink since it isn’t too sour and very pleasant.
Most people in Bangladesh make this drink at home. But you can also look for it in cafes and street stalls in this country.
How Do You Feel About Bangladeshi Cuisine?
I hope by now you have already gained a better understanding of the delicious Bangladeshi foods and drinks. The cuisine here is truly amazing and rich in culture and history.
Have any of you had the chance to travel to Bangladesh before? If yes then I would love to hear from you the impressions you had when setting foot into the country. It would also be very meaningful if you could share this post so more people can learn about Bangladeshi cuisine.
I believe you have enjoyed reading this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it. There is a lot more to Bangladeshi cuisine that I’ll have to put off next time. Thank you!