Rabiul Haque: On the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, the traditional Iftar Bazaar of Chawkbazar in old Dhaka is jammed. However, in the beginning, the traders were obstructed by the police for setting up an iftar market without permission, but the traders set up shop ignoring it. The Iftar market has become more and more crowded as the day progresses.
Yesterday, the Chawkbazar was visited and the traders were seen arranging various flavors of bahari along with the traditional iftar. Eaters from far and wide have come to enjoy these Iftars. There has been a long struggle to buy the traditional dynastic Iftari.
Like every year, the biggest attraction of Iftari in Chawkbazar is a special iftari called ‘Big father eats pola, thonga bhaira takes away’. Buyers are likely to call everyone who looks appropriate, if there are only a few. Meat, cotton kebabs, minced meat, dabli, boot pulses, eggs, nuts, potatoes, ghee, raw and dried chillies, as well as various food items and all kinds of spices are required to make ‘Big Daddy eats pola, thonga bhaira takes away’. It is being sold at Tk 400 to Tk 480 per kg.
Six-five years ago, in 1945, a man started selling this food commercially in the premises of Shahi Jame Mosque. That dish is now known as an attractive iftar item in the whole capital including old Dhaka. Shahidul Islam (52) is from Jurain. He came to Chawkbazar to add bahari items for the first Ramadan Iftar for his family. He told that he comes here every year on the first day of Ramadan to buy other iftars including eating at his father’s pola.
Couldn’t come because of Corona for last two years. I have been here since 2006. However, only the first fast came. Today I have bought some items including Pasta Sharbat, Daibra, Jilapi, which are eaten by my grandfather’s pola. The taste of this iftar in Chawkbazar can’t be found anywhere else. I would come every day if I had the chance. Mohammad Nayan, a vendor, told that he had not been able to do business for Corona for the past two years. This year also prevented us from sitting, later we were allowed to sit after request. It is traditional that people come from far and wide to buy Iftar. Everyone wants to eat it. We have many types of iftari. So far, I have not been able to sell it. This crowd will grow even more.
In addition to all the interesting items, the value of the traditional Iftar is also much higher in this Chawkbazar. It has been seen in the Iftar market that jilapi kalai items are being sold at Tk 240, flour jilapi at Tk 200 and large size jilapi at Tk 300 per kg. Shingara Tk 6 per piece, Samucha Tk 8, Chicken Toast Tk 30, Chicken Parota Tk 50, Beef Parota Tk 60, Normal Parota Tk 30, Purple Tk 5, Potato Chop Tk 5, Onion Tk 5, Vegetable Pakora Tk 5, Dimchap each It is being sold at Tk 20.
Besides, Ghumni is being sold at Tk 60 per kg, Chhola at Tk 150 to Tk 180, Vegetables at Tk 10 each, Beef Vaccine at Tk 30 and Chicken Vaccine at Tk 20.
Jali kebab is being sold at Tk 50 per piece, sasalik at Tk 50, tika kebab at Tk 50, quail bird roast at Tk 85 to Tk 100, chicken roll at Tk 60, whole chicken at Tk 350 and cheese at Tk 650 per kg.
Among the drink items, pesta sherbet is being sold at Tk 200 per liter, matha at Tk 60 per liter, borhani at Tk 120 per liter, faluda big bowl at Tk 200, faluda small bowl at Tk 100 and daibra big box at Tk 220.
Drink item seller said. Babul said, everyone wants to have a fun iftar. For centuries, people have been obsessed with pesto sherbet. This is a very popular item here. I am selling at Tk 200 per kg. Besides, I am selling some items including faluda and borhani. Selling well. I haven’t been able to do any business in the last two years. I hope I can do good business this year.
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