The fasting month of Ramadan has begun on Friday turning several localities in the old part of the capital city into open buffets with eateries flanking the streets.
The aroma of freshly cooked food wafts through the air in Chawk Bazar and other roadside makeshift Iftar stalls.
On the first day of Ramadan, the stalls in Chawk Bazar and other parts of old Dhaka were chock-a-block with customers beelined for traditional Mughlai cuisines. Gourmands thronged there to buy some traditional special items which are rare in other areas of the capital.
In Chawkbazar, vendors in makeshift shops offer a variety of iftar items. These include “borobaperpolaikhai” (a mixture of chickpeas, minced meat, potatoes, chira, eggs, chicken, 13 kinds of spices and ghee), shahijilapi, shahiparatha, beef, chicken, mutton, pigeon, quail roast, keema roll, keemaparatha, doi bora, borhani.
The exquisite variety of kebabs attract food lovers from far and wide, reminding them of the existence of Mughals through different food menus — offering tikka, shutli, jaali, shami, irani and other kinds of kebabs.
Fasting city dwellers enthusiastically snapped up these traditional iftar items on the first day of the holy month with an extra fervour as it was also the day of Juma prayers.
From Friday afternoon, shopkeepers of Chawk Bazar and other areas of the capital’s old part started setting up their stalls with a full range of Ramdan delicacies. As the day progressed, the crowd also increased.
The customers of all ages jostled with each other to get the delicacies of their choice. Once delivered, they rushed back home with satisfaction.
Though the price hike of commodities jim-jams consumers, the festive mood and the sacred feelings of breaking day-long fasting with friends and families turns the 400-year old part of the city into a buzzing spot for thousands of Muslims.