Like every other country of the Indian subcontinent, Bangladesh also has a variety of cuisines. From lip-smacking snacks to yummy desserts, Bangladesh has everything. Sadly, most people think that Bangladeshi and Indian cuisines are the same. To bring you out of this thinking, let me introduce you to the 30 Famous Foods in Bangladesh that are a must-try.
The Best 30 Famous Foods in Bangladesh to Try
1. Shingara and Samosa
Shingara and Samosa are two popular snacks in Bangladesh. They are a triangular-shaped fried pastry filled with vegetables or meat. The difference between Shingara and Samosa is that, shingara is a bit flaky, whereas Samosa is crispy. Samosa is mainly filled with meat, and Shingara is filled with spiced potatoes.
Samosa first originated in the 10th century in Central Asia. Later on, when the potato was introduced in the Indian subcontinent, the potato became the main filling of Samosa. That’s how Samosa revolutionized as Shingara.
Samosas and Shingaras can be found in middle-class restaurants and street food carts in Bangladesh.
You can consider pitha similar to pancakes, dumplings or fritters. Pithas can be made all around the year, but Bangladeshis prefer to eat pitha, especially during Winter. Pitha reminds every Bangladeshi of their childhood days back in their village.
Pithas can be both sweet and savoury. They are made of rice or wheat flour. In Bangladesh, coconut, jaggery, cloves, vegetables etc., are used as fillings in different varieties of pitha. Making a pitha requires a lot of skill; you can’t make them just by watching a recipe video on Youtube.
Another thing that makes Pitha one of the top Bangladeshi foods is that it was originated in Bengal. Some famous varieties of Pitha are- Puli pitha, Chitoi pitha, Vapa pitha, Dudh chitoi, Narkel puli, Pagan pitha, Nuner pitha, etc.
You might have heard of Paratha, the standard breakfast dish of every Indian. Porota and Paratha are the same things actually. Among Porota and Paratha, there is only a difference in pronunciation of the two words, whereas the recipe of the dishes remains the same.
Porota is a flaky bread made of flour, salt and oil. You can eat Porota with any sort of curry or vegetable. There are different varieties of Porota as well. Fulkobi porota stuffed with cauliflower and Aloo porota stuffed with potato are the two most popular varieties of porota. This dish first originated in India and later became popular in the subcontinent.
The process of making luchi and porota is quite the same. But porota is thicker compared to luchi. It originated from the Bengal region and is famous in Bangladesh, Assam, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. It is a deep-fried, perfectly round-shaped, puffed flatbread.
Luchi can be served with vegetables, mutton, or any sort of curry. But it goes perfectly only with Aloor dum or mutton curry. It is really easy to make this dish, and it can be served as breakfast, lunch or even dinner.
5. Mughlai Porota
Mughlai porota is a special kind of porota that came into being during the time of the Mughal Empire. This soft porota is stuffed with eggs, oil, chilli, and onions.
It is pretty hard to make this dish as I myself tried it once. But as this dish is readily available in roadside restaurants, there’s no need for all that hard work. You won’t be able to forget the taste of Mughlai porota if you try it at least once.
6. Aloor Chop
During Ramadan, you will find Aloor chop in every Bengali home, so you can count this dish as one of the top Bangladeshi foods. This dish originated in the Indian subcontinent.
The word Aloor chop means potato fritters. As the name suggests, the dish is stuffed with spiced potatoes, covered with breadcrumbs or pea-flour on the outside and then fried.
Beguni is another popular snack during Ramadan in every home of Bangladesh. The word ‘Begun’ means eggplant. So, beguni is a fritter with eggplant as the stuffing. To improve the taste of the dish, different spices and salts are also used while making it.
Fuchka, one of the most delicious Bangladeshi street foods, is a round-shaped, crisp flatbread stuffed with mashed potato, lentil, onion, coriander, and different kinds of spices. It is served with tamarind water to provide a sour taste to it.
You will be amazed to taste fuchka as you will get a mix of spicy, sweet, and crunch, all in a single dish. It is one of the top Bangladeshi foods, especially for youngsters who love to hang out with their friends and treat them within their budget.
9. Bhuna Khichuri
Rain and Bhuna Khichuri go hand in hand for Bengali people. When people feel lazy to cook something heavy during the rainy season, they prefer to make Bhuna Khichuri.
Bhuna Khichuri is a roasted dish made of rice and lentils. Different spices, vegetables and ghee are used to enhance the dish’s taste. It is served with mutton curry or pickle. It’s a comforting food for the Bengali people and very easy to make.
10. Panta Ilish
If you come to Bangladesh during the first day of Bangla New Year, i.e. on the 14th of April, you will see almost every Bengali eating Panta Ilish. It is a traditional and one of the most popular Bangladeshi foods. Panta Ilish is generally panta bhat served with ilish. Panta bhat is leftover rice soaked in water all night, and ilish is fried Hilsa fish.
The tradition of this dish came from the ancient Bengali people who had nothing much to eat, so they used to soak and then cook leftover rice. And as you might know, Hilsa fish is the national fish of Bangladesh, so the people combined these two food items and turned them into one. Different kinds of dried fish and pickles are also served with the dish.
11. Morog Polao
Morog Polao is one of the top Bangladeshi foods, especially during special occasions, like weddings, Eid, etc. Polao is basically rice, but not regular rice. I mean, it doesn’t taste like regular rice due to the addition of different spices. When polao is served with chicken, the dish is known as Morog Polao.
12. Kacchi Biriyani
Kacchi biriyani is a luxury food of the Bangladeshi people, mostly served at big weddings. If you find this dish at any wedding in Bangladesh, you can assume that the family hosting the wedding is rich.
It is a rich and flavorful rice dish cooked with marinated meat and different kinds of spices. The most amazing thing about this dish is that it tastes amazing even without any sort of curry. You will find Kacchi biriyani in almost every restaurant in Bangladesh. So, don’t forget to try this delicious biriyani when you are in Bangladesh.
Be it poor or rich, bharta is a must-have dish in every Bangladeshi household’s lunch or dinner. Bharta means mashed, and in Bangladesh, they make mashed dishes out of almost every vegetable. You will also find mashed fish items in Bangladesh. Almost every restaurant in Bangladesh has Bharta on its menu.
Just like Fuchka, Chotpoti is another famous street snack in Bangladesh. The word Chotpoti means spicy, so this snack is a spicy mixture of chickpeas, potatoes, onions, spices and tamarind chutney. In short, it is a spicy and sour semi soup. Roadside food stalls and restaurants serve this food. Some people also make this snack at home during family gatherings and special occasions.
Haleem is a Ramadan staple food in every Bangladeshi household. This dish originated in Arab back in the 10th century. At that time, it was known as Harees. Later on, the people of Hyderabad renamed it as Haleem.
Now, this dish is prevalent in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Central Asia, especially in the Muslim countries. Haleem is a soup with lentils, wheat or barley, beef, and different kinds of spices as the main ingredient.
It is a high-calorie dish that provides protein from meat and fibre and carbohydrates from grains and pulses. I guess this is the reason why Haleem is a top Bangladeshi food for breaking fast during Ramadan. You will find this dish as an evening snack during any time of the year in restaurants and roadside stalls.
16. Grilled Chicken with Naan Roti
The most served dish in Bangladeshi restaurants is grilled chicken with naan roti. Chicken is grilled with different combinations of spices and served with an oven-baked flatbread, which is known as Naan roti.
While walking in the markets of Bangladesh, you will see many restaurants roasting chicken in a glass oven near the front door. It is a special strategy to entice customers in, and this strategy actually works.
17. Shatkora Beef Curry
Shatkora is a lemon-like fruit that grows widely in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh. Sylheti people mostly call it Hatkora. When beef is cooked with shatkora, the curry gets a unique taste and aroma that you won’t find in any other curry.
Shatkora beef curry is mainly a homemade Bangladeshi food that is cooked especially during Eid-Ul-Adha. But you can find it in some of the restaurants in Sylhet. The aroma of shatkora is so enticing that you won’t be able to resist tasting the delicious Shatkora beef curry.
18. Kala Bhuna
Another top Bangladeshi food during Eid-Ul-Adha is Kala Bhuna. This dish originated in the 17th century. The place of origin of kala bhuna is still unknown.
The word Kala means black, and Bhuna means deep-fried. So, kala bhuna is made by deep-frying the shoulder pieces of beef marinated with traditional spices. After being fully cooked, it gains dark black colour, so it has been named kala bhuna.
It is generally served with plain rice, roti, and pulao. Other than Eid-Ul-Adha, kala bhuna is also served during Eid-Ul-Fitr, sehri, iftar, and weddings.
Shemai is a very famous dessert in Bangladesh, especially served during special occasions like Eid. It originated in Bangladesh and is considered to be a distant cousin of the Afghani desert, sheer khurma.
Shemai is made by mixing roasted vermicelli with milk, sugar, ghee, nuts, and dry fruits. Despite being extremely popular, this dish isn’t available in food stalls and restaurants. You can only find this dessert at Bangladeshi family functions.
20. Sooji Halwa
Another top Bangladeshi food includes Sooji Halwa. It is made by roasting in ghee or oil and adding sugar, nuts, coconuts, and dried fruits. In Bangladesh, it is an extremely popular dessert item served on special occasions. Other than Bangladesh, sooji halwa is also popular in India and Pakistan.
21. Seekh Kebab
Seekh Kebab, which originated in India and Pakistan, is one of the top Bangladeshi foods. The soft and succulent kebabs are prepared by grilling the mixture of various spices with finely chopped meat. You can eat this dish on its own or with porota, naan roti, and bread.
Rasgulla or Roshogolla is a famous dessert item in Bangladesh. It is a ball-shaped dumpling made of cottage cheese and cooked in sugar syrup. Some people claim that Rasgulla originated in India, while others believe that it originated in Bangladesh.
If we look beyond these claim wars, we will see that this dish is popular in the Indian subcontinent. The reason for the popularity of Rasgulla is that the soft and fluffy dumpling melts into the mouth so quickly. It’s a must-have dessert item in every Bangladeshi household during special occasions.
Jilapi and Jalebi are the same things, but Bangladeshi people extremely hate it when someone addresses Jilapi as Jalebi. So, never address Jilapi as Jalebi when you are in Bangladesh and never address Jalebi as Jilapi when you are in India—confused, much?
Without confusing you more with my blabbers, let me tell you what Jilapi actually is. It’s basically a dessert that originated back in the 10th century made by deep-frying the maida flour in circular shapes, soaked in sugar syrup at the end. It is a crispy dessert, especially served during Ramadan in Bangladesh. Jilapi is also popular in India and Pakistan under the name Jalebi.
24. Ras Malai
Ras Malai or Rosh Malai is another delicious dessert item that probably has originated somewhere in the Eastern Indian subcontinent. Some people mistake Ras Malai with Rasgulla, but these two aren’t the same thing.
Ras Malai is made of flattened balls of cottage cheese soaked in clotted cream. You will find this dish in almost every confectionary of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. But the Ras Malai of Comilla District in Bangladesh and Kolkata in India are extremely popular.
Falooda, a cold dessert item that originated in Iran, is now one of the top Bangladeshi foods. It is a mixture of noodles, milk, rose syrup, sweet basil seeds, and vermicelli. It is most delicious when it is served with ice cream.
Falooda tastes different from every other desert due to the presence of different ingredients. You will find it in every Bangladeshi restaurant. It is also made at home by Bangladeshi people during summer.
26. Chingri Malai Curry
Chingri Malai Curry or Prawn Malai Curry is a popular dish throughout Bengal. The main ingredients of this dish are prawns and coconut milk, mixed with turmeric powder, onions, garlic paste, ginger paste, ghee or mustard oil and various flavorful spices. In Bangladesh, Prawn Malai Curry is mainly served at weddings and different family functions.
27. Shorshe Ilish
Shorshe Ilish is considered to be a favourite food item in every Bangladeshi home. This dish is cooked by mixing hilsa fish with mustard, chopped green chilli, turmeric powder, black cumin, red chilli powder, and salt.
28. Kacha Golla
Kacha Golla is one of my personal favourite desserts. It is a ball-shaped dessert made with cottage cheese, sugar, and milk. The difference between Kacha Golla with other Bangladeshi dessert items is that it isn’t juicy like the other ones. And even without any sort of sweet syrup, the dessert is so soft that it melts inside the mouth very quickly.
29. Mishti Doi
Mishti Doi that originated in the Bogura district of Bangladesh, is a fermented sweet yoghurt. It is made by a special technique. Even though it can be found in every confectionary of Bangladesh, Mishti Doi of Bogura still holds the highest level of fame.
In most Bangladeshi weddings, guests end their meal by drinking Borhani. So, I’m also ending my list with this traditional spicy drink. Borhani is made from sour yoghurt, coriander, mustard seeds, black salt, and mint. It aids digestion, so I guess this is why it is drunk after heavy meals.
Now tell me, how many of the top Bangladeshi foods have you tried? Before you leave, let me tell you that other than delicious cuisines, Bangladesh also has some beautiful tourist destinations. So, when will you be coming to Bangladesh?