The Foods eaten by the people of Bangladesh

The culinary history of Bangladesh is deeply rooted in its diverse cultural background, geography, and history, including its shared past with regions of India and influence from Mughal and British rule. Over the past 500 years, the diet has been predominantly rice-based but enriched with an array of vegetables, meats, and fish. Here are some key elements of the traditional Bangladeshi diet:

Staple Foods:

  • Rice: The cornerstone of the Bangladeshi diet, consumed as plain boiled rice, or in various preparations like "pilaf" and "biryani."
  • Wheat: Consumed in the form of flatbreads like "roti" and "naan," particularly in the northern regions.


  • Fish: Given the abundance of rivers and ponds, fish has been a significant part of the diet. Varieties like "hilsa," "rohu," and "catfish" are popular.
  • Meat: Chicken, mutton, and beef are consumed but less frequently, often reserved for special occasions.
  • Dairy: Yogurt, milk, and "paneer" (cottage cheese) are also part of the diet.


  • Potatoes, Eggplants, Cauliflower, and Cabbages: Commonly used in a variety of dishes.
  • Various Gourds: Such as bitter gourd, snake gourd, and pumpkin are also consumed.
  • Leafy Greens: Like spinach and "pui shak" (Malabar spinach).


  • Lentils and Chickpeas: Consumed in dishes like "daal" (lentil soup) and "chana masala" (spicy chickpeas).


  • Mango, Banana, and Lychee: Popular and consumed fresh or in desserts.
  • Jackfruit: The national fruit, eaten both ripe and unripe.

Spices and Herbs:

  • Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander, and Mustard: Essential in Bangladeshi cooking.
  • Green and Red Chili Peppers: Used extensively to add heat.
  • Ginger and Garlic: Used as base flavors in many dishes.

Sweets and Desserts:

  • Rice Puddings: Such as "payesh" and "firni."
  • Sweets: Like "roshogolla," "chomchom," and "sandesh" made from milk.


  • Tea: The most popular beverage, often spiced with cardamom or ginger.
  • Fruit Juices: Made from locally available fruits.

Colonial and Modern Influences:

  • British Influence: The concept of eating courses and some baked goods were introduced during the British colonial era.
  • Mughal Influence: Dishes like biryani and certain kebabs.

Over the past 500 years, the diet in Bangladesh has been mainly focused on locally grown rice, vegetables, and freshwater fish. Spices are used generously to create flavorful and aromatic dishes. While globalization has brought new foods and preparation methods, traditional Bangladeshi cuisine continues to be an integral part of the country's cultural identity.

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