The legacy and facts surrounding ‘Boro baper polay khay’

Hundreds of people from all over the country flock to the century-old Chawkbazar Iftar bazaar, which is the biggest and most well-liked iftar bazaar in the capital. But among their well-liked traditional iftar items, Boro Baper Polay Khay has been quite well-known in recent years due to its distinctive preparation, presentation, and public appeal.

Made with 12 ingredients and 31 spices, Boro Baper Polay Khay is well-known for its catchy motto, “Boro Baper Polay Khay, Thonga Bhoira Loiya Jay.” According to the merchants, it consists mostly of a mixture of chickpeas, minced meat, potatoes, goat brain, flattened rice, egg, chicken, spices, and ghee. It was sold for Tk 500 last year, but it is now available for Tk 600 per kg.

Hundreds of people swarm the market, which consists of more than 100 improvised businesses, every Ramadan to purchase a variety of iftar products made from milk, meat, vegetables, sweets, and other materials. There are objects from the Mughal era that are used at iftar.
Boro Baper Polay Khay is regarded as the most exquisite item from the array of iftar marketplaces situated along Old Dhaka’s Chawkbazar, Nazimuddin Road, Chawk Circular Road, North-South Road, and Shahi Masjid sectors.



It was unable to determine who first introduced the unusual item, despite the claims of the local traders that it was first used during the Mughal era. Vendors asserted that the item was originally known as “Sheikh Churar Bhatta” and that its name was changed following the 1971 War of Liberation to increase publicity and highlight the aristocratic and noble past of Old Dhaka.

Pic: Collected

The beloved item gained a lot of exposure through mass media channels in the ensuing decades, making it a necessity for those who had recently moved to the capital. It was  discovered that practically every trader in the Chawkbazar neighborhood claimed to have learned the recipe from their forebears on a recent visit.

Running an establishment in Chawbazar and well-known for his rendition of Boro Baper Polay Khay, Mohammed Hossein said that the delicacy was first presented some 85 years ago by his ancestor, Mohammed Kamal Mahmud, also known as Kamel Miah. The piece was previously sold by Kamel in banyan leaves. His students carried on presenting the object to succeeding generations after his passing.

To the surprise of the store owners, however, locals in Old Dhaka refuted their assertion, claiming that the item was unpopular even ten years prior.

Some other local of the old town said this reputed meal was never a part of any custom. Some dishonest vendors brought it in with the intention of tricking residents of the new town into thinking it was a customary treat. It’s merely food leftovers, sometimes rotting and unsafe for ingestion.

These disputes, which were primarily stoked by Old Dhaka residents, did not, however, discourage the demand for or sales of the much-discussed delicacy. Every year, a number of vendors add the item to their menu as their own, drawing hundreds of people to the improvised stalls to sample the delicacy


A vendor who sells, Boro baaper polay khay stated: “We combine a variety of ingredients, such as ghee, fried potatoes, minced meat, lentils, flattened rice, yogurt, aubergine fritters, chicken, and 12 different types of spices.”

Pic: Collected

“Our forefathers started the iftar business during the British period,” he said, explaining that they are currently producing the item to uphold the custom.

According to him , they had to begin preparing the item the night before since they wouldn’t have enough time to finish it in time.

Health Concern

The well-known iftar dish, which is offered outdoors, has drawn criticism from nutrition and culinary experts for being unhealthy for people who fast because it is made with a variety of spices and coloring agents.

Pic: Collected

Health experts warned that  it is sold on the road without any cover, so flies sit on the food and dust also gathers on it. Those who prepare the item perhaps mix in rotten food from the previous day. If someone takes such stale foods then they will fall sick and vomit or suffer from diarrhea

More Items

The well-known Chawkbazar dishes “Boro Baper Polay Khay” and others include roast beef, chicken, and mutton, borhani, chicken tikka, chatni, keema roll, murog musallam, pakora, ghugni, doi bora, kathi kabab, suti kabab, faluda, tehari, fruits, shahi parata, and a wide range of sweet and savory foods.


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