Every day at the ruin of sunrise, Yakub Ali heads out to his bakery at Nazira Bazar.
The 70-12 months-vintage resident of Old Dhaka walks slowly, however confidently via quite some alleys, sooner or later on Siddique Bazar Road.
He has been taking the same direction for over six many years. Many matters have changed alongside the manner — the neighborhood, quantity of people, forms of shops, amount of piled up rubbish on roads, and his strolling pace. Then once more, some things did now not — his dedication and vacation spot.
He reaches the save after 15 minutes. It’s already bustling with sports. His two sons — Younus and Lokman — are busy with instruction. Younus has already rolled the dough and reduce it into small round pieces. Lokman, sitting after a clay oven, was hooking people with a metallic pointer and sticking them to the sides of the oven.
The vicinity hasn’t changed plenty. Yakub still makes and sells one object at his keep — Bakar Khani.
Ask anyone in the old town approximately this crunchy delicacy, and also, you’ll quickly learn that Bakar Khani is private. There is something deeply comforting approximately this traditional bread.
When this correspondent stuck up with the trio on a Saturday morning, the first batch of Nadarkhani’s — eaten as snack or breakfast with a cup of tea — came out of the oven.
A sweet aroma crammed the air. The flatbread was dry and crumbly. The Bakar Khani, with a kiss of sweetness, melts inside the mouth with each chew. It also comes in diverse flavors — everyday, candy, and paneer (cheese).
Though stacks of freshly-baked Bakar Khani at bakeries are a not unusual sight in Old Dhaka, it nonetheless has now not lost its attraction.
“It’s not pretty much-making bread; it’s about doing what you like,” said Yakub while handing a p.C. To a patron.
The longtime purchaser nodded. “Bakarkhani is a must-have object on weekends.”
Bakarkhani is part of the Mughlai delicacies that include dishes developed within the medieval Indo-Persian world at the Mughal Empire’s center.
Amid diverse Mughal cuisine, what makes this biscuit-like bread unique is the records at the back of it, as narrated by using Najir Hossain in his “Kingbadantir Dhaka.”
It turned into around 1700 whilst Murshid Quli Khan became Dewan of East Bengal and came to Dhaka. With him, he delivered along with a young boy named Aga Bakar.
Khan took a liking to the boy from the beginning and educated him in the arts of statecraft and war. Bakar changed into a brief learner too, and underneath Khan’s patronage, he proved his mettle. Soon, he has become the commander-in-leader of Khan’s army in Chattogram.
“This is wherein our story begins,” Yakub takes a sip of tea and adds. He is outwardly privy to the legend as well. He stated he heard it from his father. “It changed into in Chattogram, in which Bakar met Khani Begum. She was a famous dancer from Arambagh.”
“For the two, it turned into love at the start sight,” he adds.
“But Kotwal Jainul, son of a highly authentic in Khan’s court docket, had his eyes on her. One day, Jainul tried to force himself on her. She changed into saved with the aid of Bakar. Soon afterward, Jainul and Bakar ended up having a duel, which brought about Jainul fleeing the location,” Yakub continues.
Utilizing the opportunity, Jainul’s friends unfold a rumor that Bakar had killed him and hid the body. Even Khan becomes satisfied. He sentenced Bakar to loss of life and ordered to throw him in a tiger’s den. After a fierce conflict, Bakar became able to get out with the aid of killing the animal.
Meanwhile, Jainul resurfaced and forcibly took Khani to the south-east part of Bengal and hid in a forest. By the time Bakar reached, it had become too past due. Jainul, out of jealousy, had stabbed her along with his sword. She died in Bakar’s palms.