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Remembering Siddika Kabir: The Queen Mother of Bangladeshi Cuisine

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Jan 31, 2013
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In a country like Bangladesh almost every women cook to relish her family throughout her life. But a woman took the cooking up to an art. She brought innovation in traditional culinary and made them as relishing as you wish, sometimes, more than your wish. While switching on Television people watched her guiding someone or presenting some mouthwatering recipes. She wrote, she taught how to cook and she inspired people to cook and eat nutritious foods. She is our beloved Siddika Kabir.

Say, you are going to a foreign country to have higher education. You have to cook yourself there. But you know nothing about cooking. Don’t worry. Just walk for a while to your nearest bookstore and ask for a book on cooking guidelines. In most cases, the salesmen there will give you book named “Ranna khaddo Pusti” (cooking, food, nutrition), with a sweet smile, which is written by Mrs. Kabir and one of the Bestseller books of Bangladesh. Purchase the book and try to follow the recipes. May be you can’t cook that type of “mouthwatering” menu first time but you will be satisfied with your cooking.

Her work was not confined in the area of mere cooking besides she made us to understand the nutritional value of food. She made it enough clear for our people that cooking delicious food is not enough you need to ensure its nutritional value too.  She had insights to follow to lead a healthy life. She advocates not eating indiscriminately after crossing 20. After the age of 40 you should maintain a diet routine. She preferred less spicy healthy food. She herself a portrait of healthy life span of 80 years.

Today, 31st January is her first death anniversary. On this day of 2012 she passed away. We remember her contribution to Bengal culinary with utmost homage. She was born in Makim Bazar of Old Dhaka in May 7, 1931. She received secondary education from Eden College. After graduating on Mathematics from University of Dhaka She taught in Viquarunnisa School & College for some days and then joined Eden College as a Lecturer. By the time she received a scholarship from Ford Foundation. She went to Oklahoma State University of USA and completed Masters on Food and Nutrition Science back in 1963.Then she came back to Dhaka and joined Home Economics College as Assistant Professor. In 1993 she retired from her teaching profession.

Her appearance in media started from when she was a first year student in University of Dhaka. She worked as a presenter in Pakistan Radio of Erstwhile Pakistan. Then in 1965 she started to present a cooking program in Pakistan Television named “Ghare Baire”. Then after a long time she started a program named Siddiqua kabir’s Recipe in a Private Channel NTV. That program was so popular to the people of all walks of life.

Professor Siddiqua Kabir had the same experience like J.K Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, the world bestseller book. When Mrs Kabir first wanted to publish her first book “Ranna khaddo Pusti” publishers didn’t pay heed to her. Then she published it bearing its whole cost by herself. Then it got an unprecedented hit in the market. She also wrote a book on Cooking in English “Bangladesh Curry Cookbook”. She used to write a cooking related column titled “Rasna” in daily Janakantha back in 1997. Later those columns were published as a book named “Khabar Dabarer karcha”. Besides She worked as a consultant of some national and Multinational consumer food brands like Radhuni, Dano and Nestle.

Mrs. Kabir received many awards and recognitions from the food and television industries, including the Sheltech Award, which was given to her in 2009. However, we believe awards can't signify Mrs. Kabir but the word “Mother” from so many fans of her.

She was a woman with passion, brilliance, and love for doing something amazing that will keep her alive for years. Her works will always be a source of inspiration for us and our next generation to do something different and doing it well.


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Mr. Julfikar Islam is currently studying Marketing (4th year) at University of Dhaka. He is truly an organizational being. He has been working with a number of knowledge-based organizations for last 3 years within the University. His area of specialization is Supply Chain Management. He also has an effective knowledge about Branding, Current Market trends. He has been blogging for last 1 year about these issues in a number of national blog and community website.

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