Monday Meal Review: Bangladesh


Entertaining tip: If the food is going to be spicy, invite people who can take the heat! Sounds like a no-brainer, but little details like this are important. Not knowing your guests' preferences can turn a great night into a total buzz-kill. "Oh, I didn't know you don't like spicy food!" "Oops, I had no idea you were allergic to shellfish." "What do you mean, you are vegan!?" "What does kosher mean?" "Oh, you don't approve of drinking alcohol with lunch?" See what I mean? Awkward, awkward, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Vermicelli in Sweet Custard (Shemai Custard)


Serves 8-10 This sweet custard reminds me of rice pudding. The man who taught me all about how to make this dish told me that the mixture should neither pour off the spoon, nor stick too much to the spoon. I love directions like that - they make sense! Anyway, if you want to increase this recipe, or decrease it, use this guideline: for every cup of vermicelli, you need 4 cups milk. Ingredients: 3 oz roasted vermicelli - about 2 cups (about 1/2 the package pictured) 8 cups milk pinch of … [Read more...]

Recipe: Fish and leeks in Hot Mustard Sauce (Sorse Bata Diya Maach)


Serves 4 We made this flavorful dish with salmon which became incredibly tender after an overnight marinade and gentle steaming. Although not very spicy, the mustard sauce reminds me of wasabi. Ingredients: About 1 1/2 lbs of fish pieces or 4 fish filets (salmon or trout are ideal) 1 large leek, cleaned and sliced thin (only white and medium green, not dark green parts) 4 green onions, sliced thin For the sauce: 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 4 cloves garlic, crushed 1 1/2 inch … [Read more...]

Recipe: Spinach Bhaji (Palong Shaak Bhaji)


Serves 4 The haunting spice of the panch phoron (fennel seed, mustard seed, black nigella, golden fenugreek and brown cumin seed) really makes this dish unique. Panch phoron is not blended into a powder. Instead the seeds are added whole, creating a subtle crunch. Very tasty variation on spinach. Ingredients: 1 Tbsp vegetable oil 3 green chili peppers 1 small onion sliced thinly 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tsp panch phoron 1 lb chopped, frozen spinach 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp … [Read more...]

Recipe: Potato Curry (Aloor Dom/Aloo Dum)


Serves 4 The curry sauce is fire-hot (I was sweating while eating), however the potatoes do not absorb the heat so you can easily control how much chili you get in a bite. To make this dish more mild, adjust the amount of chili powder (or remove this spice completely). NOTE: This recipe makes a LOT of curry sauce, so you could freeze half of it and save for another dish if you wanted to - unless you think you'll sop it all up. Ingredients: 20 baby red potatoes For the curry: 1 … [Read more...]

Sights of Bangladesh This short slideshow of travel photos will give you a peek into beautiful Bangladesh! :) … [Read more...]

Fun Fact Friday: Bangladesh


Happy Friday, everyone! Here's a few fun facts about Bangladesh: - the country earned it's independence in 1971. - "Bong" is a nickname for people whose mother tongue is Bengali (this applies to people in Bangladesh and some parts of India - check out Desihomecook's comment on this post. - The weather is terribly dangerous. Floods, cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores are almost yearly occurrences. According to Wikipedia: In September 1998, Bangladesh saw the most severe flooding in … [Read more...]

Technique Thursday: Whole Spices


The people of Bangladesh typically store their spices whole. This is because husks, shells, and pods keep spices' sizzling potential sealed in better than any Tupperware or glass jar. To season food they simply dry roast a small batch of whole spices and then grind them into powder. Preparing spices as needed ensures food with the most vibrant, intense flavor. After all, spices dramatically lose their pungency after only 6 months (sooner if exposed to heat and sunlight). The flavor … [Read more...]