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Traditional Iftar Bazar

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17th-Jun-2016       
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Sheikh Arif Bulbon :
There is a festive atmosphere before sundown in Chawkbazar market
in Dhaka as makeshift stall owners and itinerant vendors sell food items to customers during the month of Ramzan.
Every day since the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan, thousands
of people from all walks of life have been visiting the market to buy food items for Iftar, the evening meal when Muslims break their fast.
The market, located in old Dhaka’s Chawkbazar area, carries more than
100-year-old tradition of being Dhaka’s largest and most popular
market for items for Iftar. In the
afternoon of each day during the Ramzan, makeshift shops in the Chawkbazar market sell unique and
traditional Ifter items like giant slices of beef, chicken roasts, marinated minced meat and mutton.
Various types of seasonal fruit and local drinks are also being sold
at the Chawkbazar market.
To dwellers in this old part of the city, it is part of their family tradition to buy every day at least a few Iftar items
from this market.
Hundreds of Iftar sellers display a great variety of items, almost all of them taken from beef, mutton and chicken.
Chawkbazar is also well known for fried snacks locally called Beguni (fried eggplant fritters), Piaju (onion lentil
fritter), Alur Chop (potato fritters),
and other delicacies.
The smell of piyaju or beguni or
succulent jilapi being fried on a stove was all around the city since mid-
afternoon during Ramzan.
Traders were preparing the traditional Iftar items in hundreds of makeshift shops all over the city in front of markets and mosques, and at intersections.
Most restaurants, even many tiny tea stalls put a table in front and sold
common Iftar delicacies.
Fasting city dwellers enthusiastically snapped up these traditional Iftar items on the first day of Ramzan with an
extra passion as it was also the day
of Jumaa prayers.
Extraordinary numbers of devotees performed their Juma prayers at
different city mosques with long rows of people praying on the streets, as they could not be accommodated.
Boro Baper Polai Khai (a mixture of chickpeas, minced meat, potatoes, chira, eggs, chicken, 13 kinds of spices and ghee), a popular iftar delicacy sold in old Dhaka, giant mutton and chicken roasts, Shuti Kabab (marinated minced meat), Shahi Doi Bora (fried and spiced lentil balls dipped in yoghurt), mutton and chicken cutlet, kima roll (a roll of chopped meat), different types of kebab, Kima Parata, hilsha eggs, Borhani, Matha and different sweat items are the Chawkbazar specialities.
Some of these items can be traced back to the Mughal era. They start
selling the items since 3:00pm. n

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