Once you get a taste of Bangladeshi food, it will definitely convince you that the culture is one that is built on harmony. Ethnic diversity has adorned the country with a multi-faceted folk heritage.
Jatra Biroti, the brainchild of musician Seth Panduranga Blumberg and Anusheh Anadil is one such place that aims to bring folk culture to the new generation.
This place also serves some long lost recipes, dishes and delicacies from all over Bangladesh. The menu emphasises on local home-cooked, healthy vegan fare which they termed as 'Shadhu Bhojon'.
The exquisite bright colors radiating on the walls depicting regional artwork and stories of Bangladesh, soft lights and billowing fabrics make it a magical setting. Recently my friend and I visited this place to sample their veggie delicacies.
To begin our culinary journey we started off with Water Melon Juice (BDT 180), Coconut Blend (BDT 180) and Mint Lemonade (BDT 140); the perfect thirst quenchers for this summer. For starters we tried Mushroom Halim (BDT 180) and Puli Pitha (BDT 220). The very unique meatless halim comprises of mushroom and mixed lentil cooked in an assortment of spices served with lemon, fried onions, chilli and corriander. This spicy, melt-in-the-mouth rich delicacy actually looked and tasted similar to the non-vegetarian original.
Puli Pitha is basically a sweet rice cake. But here at Biroti they are serving savory puli where steamed rice dumplings are filled with Dhakai cheese and spinach and served with mustard dip. This puli turned into a savory avatar which is really intersting and yes it tastes great.
Moving on to main course, we tried Sticky Rice Platter (BDT 420) and Khuchuri Platter (BDT 420). Sticy Rice or Bironi Bhaat is a popular Sylheti dish comprised of Binni rice served with plaintail flower paturi, five kinds of bhorta, guava salad and mushroom achar.
Khichuri Platter, on the other hand is a hot selling item at Biroti. This particular Khichuri, also known as Niramish Khichuri is made with nutty, roasted moong dal, fragrant rice and mixed seasonal vegetables. Served with fried eggplant, sesame seed and eggplant bhorta, achar and salad this tastes divine and the aroma is heavenly.
Ending the meal, we sampled Bhapa Pitha (BDT 60) and Home Made Yogurt (BDT 80). The classic Bhapa Pitha filled with grated coconut and jaggery makes it divine.
Home Made Yogurt served with palm molasses wasn't overly sweet, yet provided a lovely soft ending to our gastronomical journey.
Being a hard-core non-vegetarian, I rarely step inside any vegetarian restaurant but this one stole my heart. So if you want to have a holistic vegetarian meal which is local, organic and seasonal Shadhu Bhojon, Biroti is the right answer for you.
Truly commendable hospitality by Shuddoh, the general manager of Biroti who explained to us each and every dish with utmost details and patience.
Jatra Biroti is much more than only a restaurant serving authentic vegetarian fare. Through its food and taste, it captures our Bengali culture in every way that is rooted in our soil and touches us in every sense.
Place - Jatra Biroti, 60 Kemal Ataturk Ave,
Banani, Dhaka 1212
Pocket Pinch - BDT 1000 for two (approx)
Opening Hours - Mon to Sat
11am to 11pm