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The Sylheti Silhouette - Of Fish, Fritters and a Fruit named "Bubbi"

The Sylheti Silhouette – Of Fish, Fritters and a Fruit named “Bubbi”


The Sylheti Silhouette - Of Fish, Fritters and a Fruit named

“Hono loia zao ..” (* take me there) a chorus that resounds annually because the monsoon reaches the jap a part of the nation, Shapla’s house, not likely, she prefers to name it “the residence” – this simply cannot be her house, even her Beloved fruit, “the Bubbi” has a reputation that is unknown to her, they name it the “Lotkon” or the “Leteku!” The sweeping rains lashing into the valleys of the river Barak acts precursor to the reminiscences of her house, a house she needed to depart behind not for struggle, poverty or the plague… it was only a curious case of artifical boundaries based mostly on her religion which Most likely she by no means took that critically as these nation creators. Ideas traversed the hills and vales of the Surma, flowing eloquent at occasions, largely surging with swarms of the freshly spawned silver shot and golden purple hilsa or the “jatkas” that at all times got here again not like her who might by no means return to the place that after was her house. House the place the mango timber bowed their branches laden with the lucious “aams” that her “Thamma” the beloved granny fed her with the bowl of soaked sabudana, milk, jaggery and a chunk of sonIndianh – the “Sabu Makha,”

Sabu Makha

Excellent non cooked however a whole meal for the recent Sylheti summers. The texture of the tender gooey sabudana pearls on the tongue interspersed with juicy bits of the mango slices and an awesome sweetness of the jaggery and diced bananas all fused in unison with the heat of the thick milk – the ever present “Sabu Makha” – a soul meals… a consolation meals for the soul looking for her misplaced house !!


Sabudana (tapioca pearls) – 1cup

Milk – 2 cups

Gur (jaggery) – to style

SonIndianh – 1 piece

Contemporary Mango – 1 reduce into slices

Banana – 1 diced

Grated coconut – a handful


Soak the sabudana pearls in a single day in heat water.

Heat the milk, combine the tender sabudana with the milk and jaggery. Add the grated coconut, diced banana, sliced ??mangoes and the piece of sonIndianh which is non-obligatory.

Combine properly and serve.

Shapla left the bounties of her house in her early twenties alongside together with her household of one other twenty individuals coming into “the residence” one other valley surrounded by hills with the Surma taking one other identify and kind. It was her “misplaced nation” in one other state although the one thread that stored her alive all these years was the lucky presence of the geographical and cultural continuity of the land the place she belonged. The Hilsa, her favourite carp was referred to as the ilisha however the flavors remained the identical, although Shapla in her die onerous sylheti spirit at all times named the fish dish because the “Ilish Barishali” (Barishal being a district from the erstwhile East Bengal).

Ilish Barishali

“Dhan, nadi, khal ai teen e Barisal” – paddy, the rivers and the canals that is what makes up Barisal says anybody taking delight in his hilsa or the ilisha which teems in perfection with the particular basmati rice “the Balam” produced within the Barishal district of East Bengal. And to complete off this fancy meal with the king carp and the queen of the paddy is the particular “phan” or the betel leaf relished with the “guwa” or the betel nut.


Hilsa / Ilisha – 4 giant items

Tumeric – 1and a ˝ teaspoon

Salt – 2 teaspoons

Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Kalonji / Kal jeera -Ľ teaspoon

Mustard seeds – 2 tablespoons

Poppy Seeds / Posto dana – 1 tablespoon

Curd / Dahi – 2 tablespoons

Coconut paste – 2 tablespoons

Inexperienced chillies – 3 – 4

Mustard Oil – 2 tablespoons


Marinate the hilsa / ilisha items within the salt and tumeric Make a easy paste of 1 – 2 inexperienced chillies with the posto dana and the mustard seeds.

Warmth some oil in a frying fan and frivolously fry the fish items until gentle brown. Drain the items and hold it apart.

In the identical pan and the lfetover oil splutter the kal jeera, add the mustard / posto dana / chilli paste together with the coconut paste, remaining salt, chilli powder and the tumeric. Combine properly and let it cook dinner on medium warmth for a couple of minutes. Combine the curd or dahi properly in a bowl. Add it to the masala on the pan together with a cup of water. Combine properly and permit it to simmer for some time.

Add the items of frivolously fried fish and cook dinner for 5 minutes underneath low flame.

Garnish with slit inexperienced chillies and serve scorching with rice.

Shapla beloved “Bosonto” or the spring season, she beloved the whole lot that got here with it, the “khowsa” – greens of the Shojne (Moringa) timber, a certain shot remedy for the seasonal hen pox as believed by the previous girls’s story. “Khat Gulab” was one other favourite whereas the “Shuli Phool” stuffed her winters with the hope of the following spring and the following that will bloom alongside together with her Surma.

Shojne Phooler Bora

Shojne – the miracle plant grew in each yard of virtually all households for generations. The ivory coloured flowers plucked every morning, boiled with the morning tea for its therapeutic properties, blended with a coating of flour – corn or in any other case to be relished at meal occasions because the golden fritters of fame


Shojne Phool / Moringa Flowers – a bunch

Rice flour – 3 – 4 tablespoons

Water – as required

Salt – to style

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Kalonji / kaljeera seeds – 1 teaspoon

Oil – For Frying


Combine the bunch of Shojne Phool / Moringa Flowers together with the buds with the rice flour, salt, tumeric powder, kal jeera seeds and water to kind a lump or ball with the blended flowers.

Warmth the oil in a frying pan.

Pinch out a small bit from the lump and fry within the scorching oil as fritters until crispy and golden brown in shade.

Drain and serve scorching with rice.

“The place is Shutki? Who faimu? – Do you eat shutki? The place can you discover it? ” a query which resonated this half of Shapla’s life in her residency days! Again house her elders certain knew the way to deal with their fish – dried, fermented to perfection and used sparingly blended with seasonal greens as a broth or simply coarsely floor with garlic, ginger and alot of chillies – yours truely and a honest accompaniment together with your meals – the dry fish chutney!

Kumro Patay Chingrir Bora

With the onset of the rains, the pumpkin vines clamored any bystander technique of help with a profusion of the darkish inexperienced leaves able to be plucked and stir fried with a thick mustard paste – the chorchori or as a jacket for the spicy small sized shrimps – the kucho chingri


Shrimps / Chingri – 200 gms (Indiancaled, deveined, head and tail eliminated)

Onion – 2 finely chopped

Inexperienced chillies – 7-8 finely chopped

Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon

Crimson chili powder – 1 teaspoon

Salt – to style

For the Batter

Besan / bengal gram flour – 1 cup

Rice flour – ˝ cup

Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon

Salt – to style

Kumro Patta / Tender pumpkin leaves – 7 – 8

Oil – for frying


Grind the shrimps and 1 / 4 of the chopped onions to a rough paste. Add the chillies, onions, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Combine it properly and hold apart.

Combine the besan with the rice flour, turmeric powder and salt and make a thick batter.

Soak the tender pumpkin leaves in scorching water with a pinch of salt for round ten minutes. Take the leaves out of the water and drain the surplus water. Unfold these soaked leaves on a plate and place a small portion of the shrimp combination on it. Gently wrap the leaves from all siIndian and make a small packet. Repeat for all of the leaves.

Warmth the oil in a deep frying pan. Dip the leafy packets within the scorching oil and deep fry until golden brown and crispy.

Serve scorching with piping scorching chai.

Because the solar dips into the horizon, Shapla whispers to herself, “Eh Khomla, eh Hoilda, Harai gesi Re Ami” (these orange and yellow hues of life, I actually am misplaced…) Misplaced she possibly, life has not misplaced her although, she nonetheless wears these light items of her “comilla cotton” – the dhuti sarees, cuts her greens into these uniform dices with the “Bothi” (sharp knife fastened to a stand), makes good meals with the correct contact of the flavors of Sylhet, eats her “Bubbi” as in “Bubbi” spitting out the seeds upon the shadows and the silhouette of the times gone bye. but she nonetheless goals of the Surma Valley and a sticky rice referred to as Biroin.


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