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Foodpanda to add female riders to its delivery fleet

For the first time ever in Bangladesh, a food delivery company is recruiting female riders. Thanks to a partnership between Foodpanda and FEM.

Foodpanda is dedicated to bringing food lovers around the world their favourite meals from curated local restaurants. Since its creation, the on-demand food delivery service has grown to more than 30,000 partner restaurants in more than 120 cities across 10 Asian and Central European countries globally. Foodpanda is now one of the top contenders in the food delivery industry of Bangladesh alongside the likes of UberEats and homegrown service HungryNaki.

A step in the right direction

With its decision to add female riders to its delivery fleet, Foodpanda is taking a step in the right direction in ensuring gender equality in the country and adding a culture of diversity in the industry. Especially at a time when Bangladesh needed it more than ever. With big companies like Foodpanda setting an example like this, acceptance and equality is a coming change for sure, if not just around the corner.

Foodpanda to add female riders to its delivery fleet

“The rider fleet of food delivery is entirely male dominated. But there is a scope for women to work as riders here. We are just creating a platform for this to happen.”

According to Shafayat Sarwar, the Head of marketing of foodpanda.

“The partnership will encourage an increase in mobility and visibility of women in Bangladesh followed by income opportunities which is a step to women empowerment”.

Zaiba Tahyya, Founder of FEM, said during the signing of the MoU between Foodpanda and FEM.

The female riders will be working from October for Foodpanda. 

Read more: HungryNaki goes green, introduces eco-friendly, electric delivery vehicles

About FEM

Foodpanda to add female riders to its delivery fleet
Zaiba Tahyya, Founder of FEM

FEM is a non-profit organization that aims to empower women through various unique projects. The main aims of the projects include training and employing underprivileged women. FEM also supports creating accessibility to basic necessities for women.

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Where to eat in Dhaka after midnight

Midnight? Hungry? We have all looked at our clock, hungry, thinking its too late to get food. Feel no despair at the next all-nighter, missed bedtime. Press yes for ‘Are you still watching?’ on Netflix, because there are selected places to get food from, in Dhaka, after dark. Yes, the options during these hours limited, but here is a list for the night owls with unusual appetites:

Pizza Roma

Pizza Roma Dhaka late night

Pizza is a safe bet for night cravings. Pizza Roma serves (arguably) the best pizza in town. They stay open until midnight. Pizza Roma takes late night orders through their Facebook page or through their website for delivery in Gulshan, Banani and Dhanmondi. Try their Pizza Diavola while you’re at it. Thank us later.

Tel: 01755660039

Tehari On Wheels

Where to eat in Dhaka after midnight 14

Don’t want the usual pizza or burger? Craving overflowing plates of rice and Bengali food? Tehari on Wheels serves traditional Tehari . They are open 24 hours. They also offer other items such as beef khichuri, hasher mangsho bhuna, etc. A plus, food delivery is available all day, all night. Find them on Facebook or give them a call for delivery services.

Tel:- 01902363697

Tehari Avenue

late night dhaka food

Tehari Avenue in Gulshan Road 119 has a simple straightforward menu that consists of tehari/chicken pulao and water/coke. The price tag does not take a toll on the ol’ wallet and it tastes amazing. They stay open until 1AM on Thursdays and Fridays.

Tel: 01617-138138

Herfy

herfy banglaesh late night food

Herfy is the latest in a long line of international food joints setting up shop in Bangladesh. This Saudi Arabian fast food joint offers up Burgers, Rice Meals, and Combos, French Fries, Chicken Fries etc. Their Gulshan outlet stays open till 2:00AM on weekends and till 2.30AM on weekends and holidays and offers both dine-in and takeaways. They offer free delivery service within Gulshan, Niketon, and Banani from 10PM to 1AM.

Tel: 01709-991000

Premium Sweets

Premium sweets late night dhaka

The Gulshan 2 branch of Premium Sweets is open till 2AM. Get delicious khicuri, kala bhuna, walimar roast as well as the usual sweets. Combo meals start at BDT 795.

Gulshan 2 Tel:  01759115124

Gulshan 1 Tel:  01755997678

Uttara Sector 7: 01796632672

Gloria Jeans Cafe

gloria jeans late night dhaka

For something light or just coffee, go to Gloria Jeans. The Australian coffee chain stays open till 1:00 AM. Other than coffee, the chain serves sandwiches, light meals and baked goods such as lamingtons, chocolate mousse etc.

Gulshan Branch Tel: 01929-333999

Star Kabab and Restaurant

Star kabab dhaka late night

The most obvious choice is Star kabab, a landmark institution in Dhaka City. Get your fix of rice, fish, veg, mutton to kebabs 2 AM and offers late night dinner and snacks.

Nazirabazar, Old Dhaka

nazirabazar dhaka late midnight food

As always, we saved the best for the last.

If you’re hungry AND in a mood for adventure, head out to Nazirabazar in old Dhaka.

 There is no traffic at 2 AM, So, it matters little where you’re staying. Given, you have a safe mode of transportation, of course. These buzzing lanes in old Dhaka stay open till very late and arrays of street food stalls and local cafes remain forever crowded. Chicken kebabs, beef chaps, lassis, fire paan, you name it. Fancy a cup of tea? Even the tongs will stay open. Eat to your heart’s content, the world is yours.

Check out the fanfare of Nazirabazar here.

One thing to note here is that if you plan to order takeout at this time, only Hungrynaki offers their service around 3: 00 AM. Foodpanda and Pathao foods are closed during those hours.

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An ode to deshi winters

Other countries get snow and all the wonders that come along with the soft white stuff, but having a mild, temperate winter means we Bangladeshis get a very different kind of experience. We have our own ways of celebrating and staying warm; our own culture and heritage define a lot of what we do in these months.

The fashion

Dust off the kombol suitcases and bring down the woolen sweaters tucked away in the back of the closet. You can spend away on faux leather jackets and Kashmiri shawls, how more often than not, winter clothing is strictly a fashion statement rather than being absolute necessities. It just doesn’t get that cold. Bangladesh’s mild winters mean the thermal underwear that you’d typically need to not die in the barren, frozen wastes of Canada is not needed. There is plenty of room to mix and match your winter style. Winter—the best season in Bangladesh 4 Anything goes—from the traditional shawl wrapped over a suitably ethnic Panjabi, to hoodies emblazoned with the logos of your favorite English Premier League football team. Winter is a chance for already expressive Bangladeshis to show more of their style with each additional layer of clothing. The cold can still get to you (2018 saw the lowest temperatures in nearly 50 years), especially at night. It’s a good idea to cover up and take extra protection in the form of mufflers. 

The weddings

Summer weddings in Bangladesh are a terrible idea. Who wants to see the typical local aunty’s face-paint melting in the sweltering heat? How do you get around that? You shift the wedding plans to the end of the year and minimize the heat. Everyone has the same idea, and as a result, come December, you’re flooded with wedding invites and calls for holud dance rehearsals. It can get chaotic, but the serial wedding invites make winter a festive, happening time. Winter—the best season in Bangladesh 2 It’s also prime relationship forging time. The single and ready to mingle crowd emerges. Winter weddings are a fortuitously romantic time to pine after well-dressed people you’ll never meet again.  We almost relish the hundreds of hours of ridicule from friends and family as you repeatedly claim that that the good-looking boy/girl totally smiled at you when you looked at them.

The winter sports

The Bangladeshi version of the Winter Olympics consists of hundreds of hours of badminton and some more badminton. People all over Bangladesh take to the streets and the fields, draw up badminton courts and pull out tattered nets, racquets and corks to jump, run and keep their bodies warm. Winter—the best season in Bangladesh 3 Like everything else we Bengalis do, access to the court is determined through seniority and how well connected you are with the local boro bhais. If you’re just a young thug trying to make it big in the world of badassminton politics, you’ll probably be banished to a side court with no net and no lights. You’ll be lucky to get your hands on a racquet. Count your stars that you actually get to play some form of badminton each winter. Nonetheless, badminton is more of a community sport than anything else, and the strong sense of Bengali togetherness comes out in full force in winter.

The food

Does anything attain a special corner in Bengali hearts without some mention of food? Winter is no different. Winter means weddings. Weddings mean steaming plates of kacchi biriyani with a mouth-watering aloo on top. Winter—the best season in Bangladesh 1 If that doesn’t make your mouth water, how about the plethora of different kinds of pitha? Cooked in oil, dipped in pungent shutki or wrapped in a sickly sweet coating of heaven, these diverse delicacies are something to look forward to all year. The melting mouthful of gur conjures up images of a simpler time and fill you with an incredible warmth in the winter chill. 

The empathy

Winters in Bangladesh may be mild compared to much of the rest of the world, but it does induce a lot of suffering in the less fortunate. While charity is far from the best method of alleviating that, it does play its part in bringing together people. Winter—the best season in Bangladesh 5 Every blanket and donated clothing counts. It might just be the line between someone staying warm or suffering needlessly. So stack up and donate as much as you can, because that’s what we try to do—look out for one another.

Nights at Nazirabazar

One of the few places that stay open late enough to meet the mid-night cravings of Dhaka’s nightbirds – Nazirabazar. An Old Dhaka hotspot for those in the know, this place offers delectable items for your taste buds – from kala bhuna dripping in gravy to fiery sweet paan (for those brave enough to try it), Nazirabazar has it all. Try it. Get your friends, make the trip. Well worth it – it’s not like Dhaka has traffic at 2 AM.

Ramadan Iftar offers in Dhaka: our picks

Ramadan Kareem guys. If you don’t like Chawkbazaar’s mouth watering iftaar meals, then rejoice! It’s that time of the year when almost every restaurant in Dhaka city offers a special platter for Iftar or has a variety of Iftar items for take away set up in front their respected restaurants. With each passing year the Iftar frenzy reaches new heights. It can be confusing for the uninitiated, so we’re here to help with 10 hand-picked places that we think offer up the best deals.

For a budget of 300/- to 500/-

SMLXL Open Lounge, Dhanmondi:


Platter 1: Egg fried rice, beef with chili, sauté vegetables, Asian salad, drinks, dates and fruits and desert priced at 449/-
Platter 2: Egg fried rice, butter chicken, sauté vegetables, Asian salad, drinks, fruits, dates, dessert, priced at 399/-
Platter 3: Egg fried rice, sweet & sour prawn, sauté vegetables, Asian salad, drinks, fruits dates, dessert, priced at 479/-
Platter 4: Lounge special burger (medium), chicken lollipop, french fries, Hawaiian salad, drinks, fruits, dates, dessert, priced at 479/-
Platter 5: Chicken steak, chicken lollipop, french fries, Hawaiian salad, drinks, fruits, dates, dessert, priced at 439/-
Platter 6: Chef’s special burger (medium), lollipop, french fries, Hawaiian salad, drinks, fruits, dates, dessert, priced at 499/-

Bheja Fry Dhanmondi:

instagram: @dafoodaddicted

Platter 1: Chicken chaap, kebab rice, chicken jhuri jhol, 2 big deep fried luchis, raita, chutney, 2 dates, extra butter shahi tukra priced at 395+
Platter 2: Beef chaap, kebab rice, chicken jhuri jhol, 2 big deep fried luchis, raita, chutney, 2 dates, extra butter shahi tukra, priced at 395+
the Dhakaiya Way : 2 chaaps (chicken/beef), kebab rice with chicken jhuri jhol, chicken reshmi kebab, chicken boti kebab, sheekh kabab, bheja fry, haleem, 2 parathas, jilapi, 2 dates, 2 lemonades, chutney and onion salad, priced at 999+

Da Rooftop


Platter 1: Apples, beguni, chickpeas salad, chop, chola boot makhani, fried rice, jalebi, khejur with cashew nut, lemonade, tangerine (malta), pakora, piyaju, tandoori chicken, water, priced at 400+
Platter 2: Apples, beguni, chickpeas salad, egg chop, chola boot makhani, fried rice, jalebi, khejur with cashew nut, mango juice, tangerine (malta), pakora, piyaju, chicken saslik, halim, water, priced at 550+

For a budget of 500/- to 1000/-

Manhattan Fish Market


Up for something fishy?

Platter 1: Fish and calamari and chips priced at 549/-
Platter 2: Fish and chicken tenders and chips priced at 549/-
Platter 3: Fish and chicken wings and chips priced at 549/-

Cold Stone Creamery Bangladesh


Mexican Grilled Chicken Platter: Cajun grill chicken breast, crusted prawn, herbs rice, egg chop, cabuli chana, spring roll, beguni, onion ring, felafel, date, orange, mixed salad, mustard mayonnaise, Rooh Afza, priced at 745/-+.

Fool’s Diner


“The Ramadan Bento” offer for both Iftar & Sehri consists of: Amazonian chicken, French grilled fish, Kyoto fusion Maki, cheesy chicken Salad, chicken strips, prawn cake, fried rice, vegetable soup, mint lemonade, mango kulfi, dates & dips, priced at 995/-

For Budget TK 1200 – 2000+

The Pit Grill


Platter 1: All you can eat signature wings, BBQ wings, BBQ beef ribs, spicy BBQ ribs, chopped steak & gravy beef steak, pepper chicken, priced at 1800/-

Sultan’s Dine


Nothing beats getting together with friends over Kachchi, right?
“KACHCHI” Platter for 5 persons,priced at 2850/-

Dawat-E-Mezban Dhanmondi


Dawat-E-Iftaar Platter(1:4) includes: Afghani biriyani rice, Hyderabadi biriyani rice, Kashmiri polao, Chicken reshmi kabab, chicken tikka kabab, chicken boti kabab, chicken tangry kabab, fish kabab, special chicken Karahi masala, firni, salad, soft drinks, dates priced at 1499/-

Lakeshore Banani


Buffet Buy 1 Get 1 offer for Iftar followed by [email protected] ++

In addition, we’d like to point out Madchef, Takeout and Chillox as they have branches all around the city even in the outer realms of Mirpur and Uttara. If you’re in Dhanmondi, there’s Tao Town as well if you want more Asian fusion bistros in your life. Be a nice lad or lass, and share with your friends. ‘Tis the season of sharing, after all.

5 top tips to staying healthy during Ramadan

Every year for Muslims all around the globe, Ramadan is an opportune time to worship and contemplate. It lets us strengthen our familial and societal ties while it bathes us in spiritual cleansing. But Ramadan brings in a way to kick-start our body as well, given that we apply the learnings of restraint and discipline of this holy month to our daily routine and food habit. The balanced mix of a healthy diet, a harmonic sleep cycle and a pinch of exercise is crucial to survive fasting under the summer’s scorching sun. Let’s get into it.

Do not skip sehri

There is this burning desire in many of us to skip sehri during Ramadan so that our beauty sleep remains intact. However, sehri is the most important meal of the day (night?) which keeps us energized until iftar. Skipping sehri will prolong the fasting period and you’ll feel tired and groggy throughout the day. Sehri should be wholesome and moderate- it has to be filling and should provide sufficient energy throughout the rest of the day. It should also include complex carbohydrates which digest slowly so that your body functions properly even when you are not eating or drinking anything.

Iftar is not a feast

The temptation of devouring all of the delicacies from Ramadan bazaars in front of you will always be overbearing. But the excessive consumption will end up being detrimental to you in the long run. Always strive for a well-balanced, nutritious iftar to keep your metabolism steady and your stomach healthy. By the time iftar comes around, we are all extremely hungry and our bodies will crave greasy carbohydrates. Satiating that craving will fill your stomach temporarily, but the lack of nutrients in iftar will end up harming it long term. Therefore, a Ramadan diet should include foods from all the major food groups- fruits, vegetables, bread, meat, fish, milk, dairy foods etc. Aim for a well-balanced meal rich in carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Fried, fatty foods and curries with excessive oil should be avoided along with foods that contain too much sugar. Grilled or baked food is considerably a better option than those.

Keep yourself hydrated when not fasting

Being sufficiently hydrated is the key to keep being healthy during Ramadan. 10-12 glasses of water daily is a preferred recommendation among researchers for those who want to keep their body fluids balanced – since you can’t drink anything during the day, make sure to cover up during sehri and after iftar. Coconut water is a great alternative for rapid hydration containing electrolytes, vitamins and nutrients. You can also have sugary drinks and other fruit juices if you so choose but don’t make them a priority. Having lots of actual fruit will go a long way to keep you hydrated as well because of the high water content.

A healthy sleep cycle

To function properly and not to let fasting hamper the daytime work you are supposed to do, your body needs to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep. Otherwise, you might get exhausted sooner than you expect. Make a routine according to your daily work requirements and make sure your sleep slot is properly maintained.

Exercise appropriately

The best time to exercise in Ramadan is right before iftar. Because you can push yourself a little more knowing you are going to break your fast soon. If your busy schedule doesn’t allow that, exercising about one hour after iftar is a good alternative. By that time, the food will already be digested and you’ll have more energy. This goes without saying but DO NOT hit the gym in the middle of the day. For the first couple of days, stick to low-intensity workouts of approximately 30 minutes to let your body get accustomed to the new routine. Then you can increase both the intensity and time according to your needs. Make sure you treat Ramadan as a time to maintain and not push your limits further than you should with physically grueling exercise routines. Strength training and non-rigorous cardio will be beneficial for you during this month. And if you are not into working out, lighter physical activity such as walks and stretches would serve you greatly as well.

There you go. Make the most of this blessed month, both spiritually and physically. Your own body is the greatest temple and you should treat it as such. Eat well, sleep tight and work hard this Ramadan. Ramadan Mubarak!

Challenges of being a vegan in Bangladesh

One or another form of animal product is present in most of the popular foods in Bangladesh, be it biriyani, mishti, or doi fuchka, or the distinctly non-vegan or non-vegetarian menu at desi weddings. Just the thought of giving up any one of these for life seems unbearable to most Bengalis. Vegetarianism itself is a difficult feat to follow through here, considering the kinds of food items usually available at dawats and restaurants. For vegans living in Bangladesh, this journey is packed with ten times as many hindrances, but – as many a  successful vegan will tell – with sufficient perseverance, achievement is not only possible, but sweeter. Biplab Das is one such Bangladeshi vegan.

Image : Gemma Correll

While vegetarianism – where one can consume dairy products and eggs in their diet while avoiding meat – is more of a diet, veganism is its own lifestyle.

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from consuming all sorts of animal products, particularly in diet, and is associated with the philosophy of abnegation of any kind of harm to animals.

For Biplab, a follower of the Vedic philosophy, just the knowledge of the requirement of veganism in this philosophy was insufficient in strengthening his efforts to convert to veganism for four years. Biplab had considered going vegan several times since 2012, but what finally helped him stick to it was the renewed revelation of the core idea of the Vedic philosophy – to never cause violence to any animal. With the realization of the true essence of this ideology, helped achieved by a friend, turning to the vegan lifestyle was a simple choice for him, and he has been following it for two years now.

Image : kondratya

Like the adaptation of any other major life-altering philosophy, the beginning was awkward – not because of the diet itself, but the idea behind it. While family members resisted a little at the beginning, and the cultural practice of over-hospitality at dawats even hurt a few hosts when he refused to “try just a little bit of this non-vegan dish, it won’t count!”, those family members are now Biplab’s strongest supporters, and the same dawat hosts are now so understanding they even prepare special meals for him.

While vegetarianism – where one can consume dairy products and eggs in their diet while avoiding meat – is more of a diet, veganism is its own lifestyle.

The awkwardness of having to customize orders at every restaurant still lingers, and decent ready-made vegan meals are still unavailable at a lot of places, but having friends of the same lifestyle and learning to adapt has helped Biplab in seeing through this. With the help of a nutritionist, he started by creating a diet chart to ensure that his nutritional needs are still met. It’s an ongoing hassle to pick out the right items and go through every ingredient list to make sure it’s vegan – finding a suitable salad dressing took a whole year! With places like Unimart, Gourmet Bazaar, and even the food places near Hindu temples, it has become easier for Biplab to maintain his diet.

Photo : Nataliya Arzamasova / Shutterstock

Practicing veganism – or any kind of diet – purely for reasons of personal health can prove to be difficult – after all, who hasn’t retorted to just a small plateful of kachchi the day after vowing to go on a diet?

The real trick to sticking to this lifestyle is the acknowledgement, appreciation, and embracing of the core idea behind this lifestyle – that is, the abstinence from harming any animals.

Once the philanthropic element behind the philosophy is ingrained into one’s decision, nothing can sway them from the vegan lifestyle. Whether it is to convert to the vegan lifestyle or not, there are some beautiful lessons to be taken away from Biplab and other vegans living in the very meat-obsessed culture as is in Bangladesh – lessons of perseverance, strength, and core values. Theirs are the stories that teach us that the incredibility of spirit needed to achieve anything is always matched with an equally incredible feeling of accomplishment. As Biplab himself would tell, the only regret is not having started earlier. Be it veganism or anything else, to feel that way about any aspect of one’s life is truly the essence of fulfillment in life.