While historians debate over how the city was founded, there is no doubt that Dhaka has been a witness to time, and all the changes that come with it.
As a city of prominence, the bustling metropolis has been a centuries old hub of commerce. It has embraced mass migration at various periods of time, and the flow continues till this very day, even though Dhaka, a city of 14 million people already seems heavily burdened with the population it now shelters. The city is now taking the form of a cosmopolis. In a time when the world shrinks by the passing of each day, one cannot simply withhold assimilation of ideas and culture, and to change and adapt is the way to go.
Bengalis have always been foodies. We loved our fish, our curries and our desserts; we also loved our 'deshi' Thai! Yet, there is an observable shift in our mindset, our palate has somewhat transformed. From our spiced variant of 'Deshi Thai' (whatever that is!) the shift to Tom Yum Goong, Gaeng Daeng, or even Somtum, has been a ceaseless one.
Dhakaiites are now devouring convenience food in buckets. International franchisees no longer solely catering to the demands of the monied class have opened their chains at even relatively lesser known neighbourhoods. Certainly, that is an inevitable trend. But there is a revolution going on, even if it seems like a silent one. Our diet and our mindset regarding everything 'palatable' has changed, for good!
This week Star Lifestyle hopes to present this very development, how our kitchen has seen a revolution! We pay our respects to Siddika Kabir, the iconic figure in Bangladeshi cooking heritage; we look into how 'recipe hunts' have evolved over the decades; we revisit spices, a seeming anomaly (which it is not) as this is secret ingredient was what brought globetrotters to this region in the first place.
And then there are musings, anecdotes and a feature on kitchen furniture, for the 'revolution' is not only about what we eat, but also how we cook!
— LS Desk