Ten years ago, I didn’t eat much chocolate. I found it too sweet. I don’t think I even knew there was something called dark chocolate. Well, that’s changed now, though I am not the one stocking the frig. Jacob likes a tiny square a day, the above 80% percent kind. We stock up in Thailand and slowly savor Christmas gifts! We’ve never seen dark chocolate in Rajshahi, and rarely in Dhaka either. So imagine our surprise when at the local confectionery, Jacob sees a block of Turkish dark chocolate in the freezer! It must have been a miss order. The price was right too, about four times cheaper than other types. We bought two large chunks. Yum.
I have been noticing that my food posts in this blog are usually about the non-Bangladeshi food that we eat. But what is normal fare? Brown rice. Cooked greens with garlic. Lentils with more onions, garlic, and five-spice. Fried fish — today’s was a gift from a friend whose father is in the fish business. And bhorta — today’s being potato. You make this type of bhorta by boiling the potato, then cut an onion and squish it with salt and a chili cut in small pieces. Then add the potato, onions, cilantro, and 1/4 t of mustard oil. That’s the best of Bangladeshi food right there, in the bhorta.
We knew that when Jacob’s brother came to visit with his wife of six months, we’d want to invite friends over to meet them and celebrate with us. But in thinking about this culture and all the friends that wanted to see them, we decided to do a bou-bhat, which is one of the many wedding parties this culture does. We are foreigners, and our understanding of all that would be involved is spotty. One thing we knew we wanted — a decorative meal. Our close friend is brilliant at creating the most beautiful plate. I don’t usually see my artist-genius of a husband remark how incapable he is in a certain art skill, but he said he could not get his tomato roses to look like Tippu’s!