Wednesday, 25 May, 2022

Devout Muslims throng Chawkbazar iftar market

Normalcy returns after 2 yrs of pandemic

Devout Muslims throng Chawkbazar iftar market
Devout Muslims crowd roadside iftar shops at Chawkbazar in the capital to buy various mouthwatering dishes on Sunday, the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. —Reaz Ahmed Sumon

Popular News

People thronged the roadside iftar shops displaying various mouthwatering dishes at Chawkbazar in Old Dhaka on Sunday, the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.

The devout Muslims started crowding the street shops to buy their iftar items soon after the Zuhr prayer.

Visiting the most famous iftar market in the capital in the afternoon, this correspondent found that the Chawkbazar iftar market had returned to life after a break of two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Numerous makeshift shops around Chawkbazar Shahi Mosque were crowded with fasting people from different parts of the city.

The makeshift stalls had occupied the whole street in front of the Shahi Mosque, a scene that is expected to continue till the last day of Ramadan.Sellers were applying all possible oral tricks to attract customers’ attention so that they buy iftar items from their shops instead of visiting other outlets.

Billal Hossain, a roadside shop owner, said that they have finally set up their stalls after a break of two years.

"The government didn’t allow us to set up stalls and sell traditional iftar items in the last two years due to COVID-19 pandemic. It was really heart wrenching for us. Chawkbazar’s iftar items are part of the tradition of Old Dhaka. I am thankful to the Almighty Allah for improving the coronavirus situation," he said.

He also said that no matter how much he would sell, he was happy as he could resume his family business.

Iftar shops of Chawkbazar were full of crunchy and delectable iftar items including Boro Baper Polay Khay, Shuti Kebab, Boti Kebab, Kashmiri Kebab, Jail Kebab, Irani Kebab and Shik Kebab, Tika, Shahi Doi Bora, Beef Roast, Mutton Roast, Chicken Roast and Duck Roast and Jhalfrai, Koel and Pigeon Roasts, Fried Chicken, Grilled Chicken, Chicken Suslik, Mutton and Chicken Cutlet, Paneer Patis and Roll, Vegetable Roll and Kima Roll.

Traditional iftar items like Chola, Piaju, Beguni, Nimki, Ghugni, Egg Chop, Haleem, Shahi Ruti, Shahi paratha, Kima Paratha, Tana biriyani, Khichhuri, Tehari, Kochuri, Malai Samucha, Malai Chop, Chiken Toast and Khasir Raan were also available.

Besides, fasting people were buying different sweet items, including Shahi Jilapi, Giant Jilapi, Kalai Jilapi, Chanar Mishti, Firni, Mishti Singara, Zarda, various beverages like Faluda, Kashmiri Sharbat, Pesta Sharbat, Zafrani Sharbat, Matha, Borhani, Papaya, Orange and Grape Juice and fruits from numerous stalls displaying fresh fruits sliced skillfully.

The beautiful decoration and amazing aroma of the iftar items convinced the buyers to purchase the iftar items.

Mahbubur Rahman came from the capital’s Shatinagar to buy traditional iftar items from Chakbazar. While buying iftar from Baku Shah’s iftar outlet he said that prices of most of the iftar items have increased this year.

"I come to the Chawkbazar iftar market on the first day of every Ramadan to buy iftar for my family members. This is a tradition. I feel my iftar remains incomplete without these items. But this year, prices of some of the iftar items have increased much, "he said.

Apart from roadside shops, Alauddin, Descent, Ananda, Zakir and Amania are some of the reputed iftar shops in Chawkbazar. The shopkeepers have prepared items this year realisiing the demand of the buyers.

Sadekul Islam, a seller of Zakir Sweet Meats, said that they have imported spices from India and Indonesia to prepare iftar items.

"We made iftar with spices imported from India and Indonesia. We have added some new juice items this year considering the increasing heat. Prices of a few items have increased this year as the price of beef and soybean oil have increased, but we are getting a good response from customers, "he said.

"Customers are purchasing a few traditional items like Shuti Kebab and Shahi Doi Bora more," he added.

Being prepared with chicken and beef, Shuti Kebabs were sold at Tk 700. Sellers were asking for up to Tk 10,000 for a Mutton Roast while Boro Baper Polay Khay, the most desirable iftar items of Chawkbazar prepared with 36 ingredients and 18 spices, were sold at Tk 400 to 480 per kg.

Among other items, Ghugni was sold at Tk 80, Chola at Tk 150 to 160, Beef Tika at Tk 30 and Chicken Tika at Tk 20, Shahi Doi Bora at 220 per box, Haleem Tk 100 per box, Chiken Toast at Tk 30, Chiken Paratha at Tk 50 and Beef Paratha at Tk 60, Jali Kebab per piece at Tk 50, Suslik at Tk 50, Chiken Roll at Tk 60 and sweet items like Shahi Jilapi at Tk 200 per kg, Kalai Jilapi at Tk 240 and Giant Jilapi was sold at Tk 300.

Apart from these, Pesta Sharbat was sold per litre at Tk 200, Matha Tk 80, Borhani at Tk 120 and Faluda was sold at Tk 100 small pot and Tk 200 big pot.

Traders have expected that they will do good business this year if the weather remains good and the police or mobile court don’t interrupt their business.