• Thursday, Nov 15, 2018
  • Last Update : 10:53 pm

Wedding food for vegetarians

  • Published at 03:37 pm January 25th, 2018
Wedding food for vegetarians
We all know that weddings in Dhaka equate to biryani and roast (and the elusive aloo, if it's your lucky day). But there are many of us out there who, whether for religious, moral or health issues, have chosen to refrain from eating all sorts of meat and fish products, even if it's wedding season. While I am yet to attend a vegetarian wedding in Dhaka, there are increasingly more and more weddings that are catering to the needs of vegetarian and vegan guests instead of just assuming they'll go carnivorous for your sake. So if you're planning a wedding and wondering what to feed your animal-friendly friends, here are a few food joints that can provide you a limited edition, vegetarian menu.

Ramakrishna Mission

Starting off as a society following the teachings of philosopher and spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda way back in 1899 (it's been around so long that even the road it is on is named after it)--the Ramakrishna Mission in south Dhaka isn't where you would expect to find food fit to serve at your wedding, but you'll be pleasantly surprised. Alongside its spiritual and humanitarian efforts, the Ramakrishna Mission also has an excellent kitchen cooking vegetarian delights only, and at extremely affordable prices. Starting from soya curry to palak paneer and luchi and aloor dum, this is definitely the most cost effective place to source your food, especially if it's for a few guests only. Must try dish: Vegetarian kofta made with spicy, soya nuggets.

Sajna Restaurant

Sajna has seen its ups and downs in the last 22 years, going from one of Dhaka's most jam packed restaurants to slowly slipping into obscurity in the face of new and constantly increasing competition. Yet many of us have a soft spot for this oldie but goodie, especially when it comes to its vegetarian food. One of the best things about getting your vegan fix from Sajna is that they are very responsive to your needs—if you let them know in advance, they will custom-make most Indian, vegetarian dishes for you and even adapt them to specific diets without you having to worry about giving them proper guidance. For example, I ordered a Jain menu from Sajna, which meant they made sure no root vegetables were included in the dishes. Must try dish: The best chana masala in town.

Handi Indian Bistro

While vegetarian curries are all great and fine, what's a wedding without biryani? Handi Indian Bistro brings you the best of both worlds—a vegetarian curry that is really worth having (and if you're a proletarian, a prawn biryani that is also out of this world). It's not just the biryani though, Handi's paneer and daal are also really delicious with some fresh naan, and I guarantee any vegetarian out there will happily lap up their Indian delicacies, wedding or not. In terms of price, Handi is also more affordable than Sajna, although Ramakrishna Mission is still definitely your cheapest option. Must try dish: A beautifully creamy paneer butter masala.

Paturi

One of my favourite restaurants in Dhaka, Paturi's specialisation is unique amongst the myriad of restaurants in town, which is surprising given how much each and every person loves this specific cuisine—homemade food. With recipe's that are straight out of your grandmother's cookbook, Paturi's food really is unparalleled in its authentic, Bengali flavours. You might argue that this really isn't the sort of food one tends to serve at a wedding, but if it looks good and tastes great—why not? If you are specifically aiming for a traditional event and have quite a few vegetarians in attendance, Paturi is a great choice, especially if any of these guests aren't local and have never been exposed to the wonder that is a bhaat-bhorta-shobji meal. And if there are any proletarians in attendance, the bhetki paturi is just out of this world and of course, don't forget to try the lassi. Must try dish: Chapra—this unassuming bread is actually the key to balancing the jhaal of the bhortas and enjoying the explosion of flavours in your meal.