Why women are the future of Bangladeshi food
Traditional food from Bangladesh has long been masked as Indian food in British curry houses, cooked and served solely by men. But Dina Begum is changing these false perceptions of this misunderstood cuisine.
As a Bangladeshi woman growing up in London in a fairly conservative family I rarely visited restaurants.
Bangladeshi or "Indian restaurants" as they were known, were owned and run by men, for foreign clientele and the home kitchen was considered the domain of women.
"Restaurant food" translated to tandoori chicken smothered in a red hued paste and nondescript curries in sauces cooked according to varying levels of heat tolerance.
Words such as vindaloo, pathia, phaal and madras did not feature in my culinary vocabulary and nothing in the restaurants was representative of the delicious and varied food my mother prepared at mealtimes at home.
At the heart of Bangladeshi food is rice and fish, but there is also a rich vegetarian core which accompanies and also steps in as the hero of many meals. Read more..