Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

Food

During my induction month in Dhaka, I made it a priority to buy a little oven to bring with to my placement so that I would not have to live on just fried or boiled food. And besides, I love cooking.

To date (5 months here) I haven’t used the oven. Not even once.

Many reasons

1) Cooking should be fun and relaxing. Not in the dark, sweating.

2) Cooking should be done while listening to music, drinking wine. Rice wine does not substitute well.

3) Electric ovens (obviously) don’t work when there is no electricity. Never knowing when the electricity will go, or for how long, makes using the oven seem even less fun.

4) Here, I’ve become really lazy eater. Normally (in any other country) food is very important to me. I plan(ned) my days around meals. Here, if I don’t have left over food from lunch (when Memory does cook for me, she generally cooks enough for lunch and dinner), I have been known to eat 1/2 tin of condensed milk for dinner. Or sometimes Milo (I found Milo!) straight out the tin with a spoon. Or a bag of bombay mix. Or mango ice lollies. It’s like food as lost all meaning to me. Or at least it has when I personally have to cook it.

But tonight, I use my oven. To make potato wedges. Hardly a culinary masterpiece, I know. But it’s important to start small. I’ve checked that the oven actually works (it does, electricity allowing), have bought hot tomato sauce. And I’m even thinking of making mayonnaise. After much sweating, numerous shops and good use of my English-Bangla dictionary, I managed to track down vinegar in the market today. After all that effort I OWE it to myself to make mayonnaise. But it’s the eggs isn’t it. The raw eggs involved. Eating raw eggs of (potentially) dubious origins is not a good idea. My Traveller’s Health book tells me so. Wish I’d thought if it before tracking down the vinegar. Or actually, the vinegar straight on the wedges/chips is probably also worth the market sweat-fest.

2 Comments»

  Amanda wrote @

Hey I hear Nigella has “Bangla Express” out🙂

Perhaps you can start a 2nd blog called ” Adventures of a little electric stove rarely used”.

Well, wedges are a start …

P.S. Had a look at the Rick Stein book that accompanies the series you checked out, the Bangla recipes look gooood …….

  estellevisagie wrote @

Ha ha. Yes, the little oven that could… if only her owner gave her a chance. FYI – my potato wedges rocked last night. Definite motivation to future culinary adventures.

If anyone can make Bangladeshi food taste good, it’s our Rick. Maybe I should invite him round mine to show me the way.


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