A trip to Bangladesh isn’t complete without tasting the hilsa and bhapa pitha (a derivative of the pancake).
Yes, for Bengalis this is not the season for hilsa. That’s just before monsoon.
But this is the land of hilsa. Some people do not like it because of its smell or the numerous little bones that need skillful fingers to work on.
But for the connoisseurs, there is nothing like the bhapa (steamed) hilsa with mustard.
The best place to have it, according to the locals, is Mawaghat, in Munshigunj, some 20km from Dhaka, on the banks of the river Padma.
But then, the quality of hilsa the Kasturi restaurant in Dhaka serves even during off-season is a lot better than what is generally available in India.
Long after dinner’s over, the tangy taste of mustard lingers.
When it comes to pitha, an assorted spread of at least 14 kinds is available. Though most are generally made at home, the type one can feast on is the bhapa.
It is available in roadside stalls. A touch of date jaggery supplements the taste. “It’s amazing, not very sweet, just right,” a Tamil journalist, who had walked up to the stall thinking that he had finally found idli, remarked to the amusement of people around.
Build up to 2011
The 2011 World Cup is more than a year away. But because Bangladesh holding its first ever, the cricket board has already started a build-up campaign.
From the airport to the roads leading to the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium, banners and posters talking of the World Cup look at you from all directions.
“I am impressed by the way Bangladesh is gearing up for the opening ceremony and the event,” International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat had said during his visit here.