A Bangladeshi Wedding is full of gaiety, fun & laughter, and of course, delicious mouth watering food. Great care is taken in planning every aspect of the Bangladeshi wedding, and equal emphasis is placed on decorating the venue, dressing up the bride and groom, and on the jewelry that they wear, and finally- the menu. Bangladeshis are known for their excellent hospitality and if you were invited to a Bangladeshi wedding, make sure you do not miss it at any cost; you are in for a great time!
Let me tell you about a Bangladeshi Hindu wedding I happened to attend recently. It was my colleague’s wedding, and we had been awaiting the D-day eagerly. The wedding day finally arrived, and my colleague was naturally overjoyed! I will not go into detailed descriptions of the wedding ceremonies, but I will tell you about my experience in the dining room! If one word could describe it, it would be ‘Wow!’ The number of items being served was astonishing, and I thank God I had a large appetite that day; otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do justice to the wedding feast!
Let me give you a sampling of the wedding menu that day: The meal was arranged in the buffet style, and there were items like a variety of breads including naan, and three different types of pulao. These were accompanied by dal makhni, lamb korma, a delectable mushroom and vegetable curry, vegetable cutlet, vegetable jhalfriezi, and Fish paturi. Paturi is an exotic steamed Bangladeshi delicacy created with fish marinated in ground coconut, white and black mustard paste and freshly ground green chilies. A salad bar with different type of salads was displayed cleverly in the corner. On the side were a fascinating array of pickles and chutneys. For dessert, there was a large variety of traditional Bangladeshi sweets including gulab jamun and rasgolla, dark chocolate and hazelnut truffles. I am afraid I could not do that part of the Bangladeshi menu full justice; I had stuffed myself full already!
I was talking to the Grandmother of my colleague, and she told me that the buffet style presentation of the wedding menu was part of the changes taking place in Bangladesh today. She sighed and said that in older times, the wedding feast would be served on fresh green banana leaves. The menu would start with rice, and would be accompanied by moong dal. Alu bhaja and brinjal deep fried in gram flour batter would add to the taste. Chanchra, a typical mixed vegetable curry with fish head and ruhu fish kalia, a gravy sweet water fish preparation would also be served with the rice. This would be followed by a sweet pulao and a rich Mutton curry, spicy Tomato chutney, and crunchy papad. Desserts would include sweet curd, rasogolla, and sandesh. A bite of paan would provide the full stop to the sumptuous feast.
Now let me tell you about a typical Bangladeshi Muslim wedding menu. Most Bangladeshi Muslims prefer to remain more or less traditional in their choice of menu. This includes starters like alu chaps and a tasty cucumber and tomato salad. Burhani, a flavorsome lassi is served as well. This is followed by the main course of mutton biriyani and freshly baked paratha. These dishes are accompanied by chicken champ, tehari or pulao, chicken Q roast, and rezala. Exotic traditional Bangladeshi desserts like firni, mishti doi, gulab jamun, rosagulla and ksheer are served at the end of this wonderful meal. Interestingly, ksheer, a dessert prepared with milk and rice and garnished with cashews and raisins, is the preferred dessert for a traditional occasion by Muslims as well as Hindus.
A traditional Bangladeshi wedding menu is neither too spicy, nor is it too bland. It is rather flavorsome, and is prepared lovingly for the invited guests. I can truly say that I have never enjoyed a wedding feast as much as I did at my colleague’s wedding. I am waiting with great anticipation my next wedding invitation, and to savoring my next traditional Bangladeshi wedding feast! I wish it would come my way soon!