First of all I have some great news. Know that fantastic Peanut Soup I talked about a few days ago? Well, I have permission to post the recipe! So, head on back to that entry and make some fantastic Peanut Soup (compliments of the Mennonite Central Committee who publish the fantastic line of World Community Cookbooks)!Bangladeshi Recipes). Bangladeshi Recipes, also, states that these are commonly used: mung beans, ripe coconut, mustard oil and paste. Fish are a major source of protein. From Wikipedia: "As a large percentage of the land (over 80% on some occasions) can be under water, either intentionally because of farming practices or due to severe climatological, topographical or geographical conditions, not surprisingly fish features as the major source of protein in the Bangladeshi diet. There is also a saying which goes, "Mach-e-Bhat-e-Bangali" (Fish and rice make a Bengali)." Beef is also very common. You might find this 'common to region' information interesting (also from Wikipedia):
South - sea fish and coconut milk
Dhaka - fried rice and lot of meat (biriani)
West and NW - Vegetable curries, heavily spiced food and river fish
NE - lake fish, fruit, and pickles
Most important spices: ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili.
For sweet dishes: cardomom and cinnamon.
This meal: I really enjoyed the Potato Curry. The book recommends serving crisp, brown onions on top, which was a fantastic suggestion! I would not recommend serving it on rice, however. It was too dry for that. I think, like the book recommends, that it would be a good idea to serve it with a juicier dish (which you could serve on rice if you wanted). I wasn't a huge fan of the Onion Lentil snack, but I haven't really developed a taste for lentils. Perhaps I will work to develop a lentil treat I like ;)
Potato Curry or Alu Torkari
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 med. onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
12-14 oz. tomatoes
1 t. garam masala
1 t. tumeric
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. dry parsley
1 T. lemon juice (we used lime because we are out of lemon)
4 potatoes, cubed
1/4-1/3 c. water
Fry the thinly sliced onion in oil until brown and crisp, then set aside. Fry onion and garlic until soft (about 3 min.). Add tomatoes and spices and fry until tomatoes are soft (3-5 min.). Add everything else, cover loosely and simmer. Be sure to stir ovvasionally and continue until sauce is thick and potatoes are tender. Garnish with onions.
For more food from Bangladesh, try these sites:
Bangladeshi Food and Recipes
Sify Food - Indian Food