Dhakaiya Profession

Bakarkhaniwalas- A Case Study

Posted in Food-based professions by rrasheeka on February 10, 2009

Photography: Salman Saeed

Wiping sweat of off his forehead, Mohammad Shohid Mia concentrated on preparing the dough for the next batch of Bakarkhani he was going to bake. He was sitting in the farthest corner of the extremely small room they call their shop. He had been making Bakarkhani for as long as he can remember.

His hometown is in Sylhet but he came to Dhaka when he was quite young. since then he has been in this shop. He lives in Nawabganj and walks all his way to this shop which is in Lalbagh. The shop is opened at 5 o’clock in the morning. Many people like to have Bakarkhani as breakfast. From 5 to 2, he makes Bakarkhani. After that he sits and waits for customers to come and buy the Bakarkhanis he made. (more…)

Bakarkhaniwalas (Bread-Makers)

Posted in Food-based professions by rrasheeka on February 6, 2009

Photography: Salman Saeed

Bakarkhani is a traditional food/snack of the people of Old Dhaka. It is a very popular snack among all Bangladeshis. There was a great demand for it in the Royal court of the Mughal Empire in Delhi. It came to Old Dhaka when a certain Chief Officer came to stay in Old Dhaka and brought with him a young boy who could make Bakarkhani.

In the past, the bakarkhaniwalas (bread-makers) used to lit up tandoor after midnight to bring out product by morning. Bakarkhani dough of white flour and mawa thoroughly mixed and kneaded for hours before stretching thin by hand over the entire span of wooden board. Then after spreading ghee over it, flour is strewn on. It was folded and process repeated several times. After sizeable numbers of such small dough are ready, they are made into roti on the board and sesame (teel) seeds are spread on it. The rotis are then put inside the tandoor. (more…)