What are some of the commonly found dishes in Rajshahi cuisine?

Rajshahi, the northern region of Bangladesh is well known for its rich cultural heritage and food. The food culture of this region is influenced by the Mughal era, Nawabi traditions, and local tribal food habits. It is undoubtedly a food paradise for food lovers. The people here are very particular about their food and prefer to use locally grown ingredients to prepare their dishes.

One of the popular dishes of Rajshahi is Polau. This dish is made of basmati rice, fried onion, and aromatic spices. It is usually accompanied by mutton curry or chicken rezala. To prepare Polau, first, soak 2 cups of Basmati rice in water for at least 30 minutes. Then heat oil in a pan, add whole spices like Bay leaf, Cumin seeds, Cardamom, Cinnamon, and fry till they release an aroma. Next, add sliced onions and fry them until they turn golden brown. Then add the soaked rice and sauté till the rice changes its color. Finally, add warm water to the pan and let it cook for 15-20 minutes on low flame. Serve hot with your favorite sides.

Another popular dish among the locals is Kachchi Biriyani. This biriyani is made of flavoured basmati rice and marinated meat. The unique feature of this biriyani is that the marinated meat and raw rice are cooked together in the same pot, which imparts an exquisite taste and aroma to the dish. To prepare Kachchi Biriyani, marinate 1 kg of mutton with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, salt, and biriyani masala overnight. Then heat oil in a pan, add sliced onion, green chili, and fry till they turn brown. Add the marinated mutton and cook until the meat becomes tender. In another pot, boil water, add basmati rice, whole spices and cook for 10 minutes. Then layer the rice and meat in a biriyani pot and cover it with a lid and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. Serve hot.

If you are looking for a vegetarian option, then don’t forget to try out Shukto. It is a traditional Bengali delicacy made of mixed vegetables like drumsticks, eggplant, potatoes, beans, etc., cooked with bitter gourd, and flavored with panch phoron (a blend of five spices). To prepare Shukto, cut the vegetables into small pieces and fry them with mustard oil until they become soft. Add water and bring it to boil. Then add the bitter gourd, salt, and spice mix. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Apart from the traditional dishes, Rajshahi is also famous for its mouth-watering sweets. You cannot leave this place without trying desserts like Rosogolla, Rasmalai, Cham Cham, and Sandesh. These sweets are made of cottage cheese, milk, sugar and flavored with cardamom and saffron.

Some popular restaurants to visit in Rajshahi are The Mango Tree, The Evergreen, and Purnima restaurant. These places serve authentic Bengali dishes prepared with locally grown ingredients. They also have a wide variety of sweets to choose from.

In conclusion, the food culture of Rajshahi is something that should not be missed by anyone who visits northern Bangladesh. Its unique blend of traditional and regional cuisines is a testament to the rich and diverse culinary heritage of Bengal. So, go ahead and indulge in these culinary delights when you are in Rajshahi.

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