Bangladeshi-Inspired Pizzas

BANGLADESHI-INSPIRED PIZZAS

Mark Stens Land

1/10/20234 min read

Bangladeshi-Inspired Pizzas
Bangladeshi-Inspired Pizzas

Bangladeshi-Inspired Pizzas

Let’s get weird and make Bangladeshi-inspired pizza! This essay takes you through the most famous, classic, and popular foods of Bangladesh, cleverly reimagined as mouthwatering pizzas. We'll explore the regional flavors, the history of flatbreads, and the culinary legends who have shaped the country's food scene.

Dhaka: The Capital of Culinary Creativity

Dhaka, the bustling heart of Bangladesh, is a melting pot of flavors and innovations. Imagine a pizza crust infused with the essence of Dhakai Paratha, a flaky, layered flatbread that’s a breakfast staple. This crispy, golden delight forms the perfect base for a pizza topped with spicy chicken curry, reminiscent of the famous Dhaka Kacchi Biryani. Oh, and don’t forget the dollop of tangy tamarind chutney drizzled over the top—pure magic!

Transitioning to another delight, let's talk about Bangladeshi Cheese. Marinate paneer with mustard oil, turmeric, and green chilies—ingredients that scream Bangladeshi cuisine. This unique cheese adds a creamy, spicy kick to our pizza, making each bite a celebration of flavors.

Chittagong: Where the Sea Meets the Slice

Chittagong, known for its seafood, inspires a pizza that’s a true oceanic delight. Picture this: a crust made from Chittagong’s rice flour, giving it a light, crispy texture. On top, we have a sumptuous topping of prawn bhuna—a spicy, rich prawn curry. The crowning glory? A sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime, capturing the coastal zest of Chittagong.

For the cheese aficionados, marinate mozzarella in a blend of lemon juice, garlic, and coriander, adding a tangy, aromatic twist that complements the seafood topping perfectly.

Sylhet: The Land of Lush Flavors

Sylhet, famed for its lush tea gardens, brings a unique touch to our pizza adventure. Imagine a flatbread made from atta (whole wheat flour), reminiscent of Sylheti roti. This sturdy yet soft base is ideal for holding a hearty topping of beef shatkora—a tangy, spicy beef curry made with the region's signature citrus fruit, shatkora.

For an added Sylheti flair, how about some Sylheti Flakes? Blend dried shatkora rind with red chili flakes for a zesty, spicy sprinkle that’ll make your taste buds dance. And the cheese? Oh, marinate feta in shatkora juice, garlic, and mint, creating a refreshing, tangy, and slightly salty cheese that pairs beautifully with the beef.

Recipes: Bringing Bangladesh to Your Kitchen

Dough: The Foundation of Flavor

Dhakai Paratha Pizza Crust

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1/2 cup warm water

- 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)

- 1 tsp salt

Mix the flour and salt. Gradually add warm water, kneading until smooth. Roll out the dough, brush with ghee, fold, and roll again. Repeat twice for flaky layers. Bake at 400°F until golden.

Chittagong Rice Flour Crust

- 2 cups rice flour

- 1 cup water

- 1 tsp salt

- 1 tbsp olive oil

Combine ingredients, kneading until smooth. Roll out dough, brush with olive oil. Bake at 375°F until crisp.

Sylheti Roti Crust

- 2 cups whole wheat flour

- 1/2 cup warm water

- 1 tbsp olive oil

- 1 tsp salt

Mix flour and salt, add water, and knead until smooth. Roll out and bake at 375°F until lightly browned.

Toppings: From Classic to Creative

Dhaka Spicy Chicken Curry

- 1 lb chicken, cubed

- 1 onion, chopped

- 2 tomatoes, chopped

- 2 tsp garam masala

- 1 tsp turmeric

- 1 tsp chili powder

- 2 tbsp yogurt

- Salt to taste

Sauté onions until golden, add spices and tomatoes. Cook until soft, add chicken, and cook until done. Stir in yogurt and simmer for 10 minutes.

Chittagong Prawn Bhuna

- 1 lb prawns, cleaned

- 1 onion, chopped

- 3 cloves garlic, minced

- 2 tomatoes, chopped

- 2 tsp chili powder

- 1 tsp turmeric

- Salt to taste

Sauté onions and garlic until golden. Add spices and tomatoes, cook until thick. Add prawns, cook until pink and tender.

Sylhet Beef Shatkora

- 1 lb beef, cubed

- 1 shatkora, sliced

- 2 onions, chopped

- 2 tsp cumin powder

- 1 tsp turmeric

- 2 tsp chili powder

- Salt to taste

Sauté onions until golden, add spices and beef. Cook until beef is tender. Add shatkora slices, simmer for 20 minutes.

Cheese: A Bangladeshi Twist

Mustard Paneer

- 1 block paneer, cubed

- 2 tbsp mustard oil

- 1 tsp turmeric

- 2 green chilies, chopped

- Salt to taste

Marinate paneer in mustard oil, turmeric, green chilies, and salt for 30 minutes.

Lemon-Garlic Mozzarella

- 1 cup mozzarella, cubed

- 1 lemon, juiced

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 tbsp chopped coriander

Marinate mozzarella in lemon juice, garlic, and coriander for 30 minutes.

Shatkora Feta

- 1 cup feta, cubed

- 1 shatkora, juiced

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 tbsp chopped mint

Marinate feta in shatkora juice, garlic, and mint for 30 minutes.

### Flakes and Seasonings: Spice Up Your Slice

Sylheti Flakes

- 1 shatkora rind, dried and ground

- 1 tbsp red chili flakes

Combine and sprinkle on pizza for a tangy, spicy kick.

And there you have it—Bangladeshi-inspired pizzas that take your taste buds on a wild, flavorful ride through the vibrant regions of Bangladesh. From the bustling streets of Dhaka to the coastal zest of Chittagong and the lush flavors of Sylhet, these pizzas are a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Bangladesh, hilariously reimagined for the pizza lover in you. So, roll up your sleeves, grab those ingredients, and let the pizza-making madness begin.

References

Dhaka Kacchi Biryani is a renowned dish made with marinated meat, basmati rice, and a blend of aromatic spices.

Prawn Bhuna is a traditional Chittagong dish where prawns are cooked in a thick, spicy gravy.

Shatkora is a citrus fruit native to Sylhet, known for its distinctive tangy flavor.

Rahman, A. (2019). Flavors of Dhaka: A Culinary Journey. Dhaka: Dhaka Press.

Ahmed, S. (2020). Chittagong Cuisine: A Coastal Treasure. Chittagong: Coastal Publications.

Hossain, M. (2018). Sylhet: The Land of Flavors. Sylhet: Sylhet Press.