Menu: Bangladesh

In my hunt to find the perfect combination of recipes I read this old saying, “Mach-e Batth-e Bangali” (“Fish and rice make a Bengali” – “the country of Bengal” is the direct translation of Bangladesh). This saying gives a snapshot of what daily meals are like on the river delta where fish are plentiful and rice is handy. If you have time a pot of Basmati rice goes wonderfully with this menu. Other great sides include naan and chapati breads.

PS. The potatoes were hot. Not advised for children, unless you are ok with the side effect: laser eyes.

Potato Curry (Aloor Dom/Aloo Dum) [Recipe]
Small red potatoes cooked in a blend of spices including cardamom, cinnamon, red chili powder, ginger paste, and onion.

Fish and leeks in Hot Mustard Sauce (Sorse Bata Diya Maach) [Recipe]
Even when marinated overnight, a hearty fish like trout or salmon holds up to a spice bath of turmeric, mustard, cumin, garam masala, cilantro, ginger, and garlic.

Spinach Bhaji (Palong Shaak Bhaji) [Recipe]
Spinach stir-fried with panch phoron, the Bangladeshi 5 spice made up of fennel seed, mustard seed, black nigella, golden fenugreek and brown cumin seed

Vermicelli in Sweet Custard (Shemai Custard) [Recipe]
In this Bengali recipe, vermicelli is cooked in cardamom flavored milk, tossed with golden raisins and slivered almonds. This dessert can be served hot or cold.

Spellings vary by region. Every effort has been made to be accurate. If you notice an error, please let me know.



  1. I am a bong (bong is the urban lingo for bengali) and the spellings are perfect. The saying also is perfectly true. Bengali and food means “Fish and Rice”. Your menu has already got me salivating. I actually posted a recipe of “Sorse Bata Diya Maach” last month on my blog.

  2. Brian S. says

    I am SO looking forward to this. I ate a whole fish in mustard at a Bangladeshi restaurant in NYC in 2005 and still remember it so fondly. Here’s what I wrote about it then: “It was not swimming in sauce. Instead it was coated with a paste made of freshly ground spices, much like a Malayan rempeh. It was very very good. A heady blend of flavors, of sweet and hot and salt and spicy. And so I devoured it, head, tail and all in between.”

  3. Barb Clough says

    Really enjoyed this meal! I did tone down the spiciness of the potato dish. I also found another Bangladesh desert online – banana fritters; they were great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.