Pajon, Bachchuri,Hhurro hurrbo - these names were unknown to us, as were their taste until we found Sabereng, a food page on Facebook that sells traditional Chakma cuisine. We decided to taste some of the dishes and give a review for our readers.
They were very flavourful and made with traditional herbs and spices sourced from the hills. One or two dishes were a bit too hot for our palate since pahari morich or green chillis from the hills were used, but they were delicious nevertheless.
We ordered Bamboo Chicken, Pajon (mixed vegetables with shutki pieces), Bachchuri (bamboo shoot curry), Spicy Crab Bhuna, Mangsho Morich Godiyye (chicken and chilli bhorta), Hurro Hurrbo (chicken salad with chilli), and Binni Chaal er Payesh.
Parahita Chakma, the owner of Sabereng, was kind enough to stick name tags of each dish on the boxes. We ordered everything in 1:2 portions and did not order rice.
Pajon is a mixed vegetable curry with pieces of shutki or dried fish in it. Those who like shutki would like this dish with a plate of steaming white rice.
Bamboo Chicken (Tk350)
The bamboo chicken was really light and not spicy at all. The dish did not have bamboo shoots in it, it was stuffed inside a bamboo shoot and then cooked.
The meat pieces were well cooked and tender.
Bachchuri or the bamboo shoot curry was a delight to taste. The thin bamboo pieces were separate but somehow came together with the thin gravy. It was not too spicy or oily, very well balanced and simply delicious. A must-try for those who like bamboo shoots.
Spicy Crab Bhuna (Tk240)
The large crab pieces were mixed within thick, reddish gravy and although spicy, we did not taste a lot of heat in it. The crab meat was perfectly cooked and the shells could be easily removed. It went really well with white rice.
Mangsho Morich Godiyye (Tk100)
This is a bhorta made with chicken and pahari morich. If you do not like chilli, mix a small amount with rice and see if you like the taste. The green chillis from the hills taste great, especially for those who like fiery hot food. For others, our suggestion is to start slow and gradually build up the heat.
Hurro Hurrbo (Tk200)
The chicken salad with chilli was also a bit hot and we were cautious with our portions. The chilli pieces could be seen mixed with the chicken and it was a lovely looking dish. But as mentioned earlier, if you are not a fan of chilli or have trouble digesting it, better to eat this in small portions.
Binni Chaal er Payesh (Tk100)
Our dessert was aromatic and lightly sweetened binni chaal er payesh or binni rice pudding. Binni is a traditional sticky rice and used a lot in indigenous cuisine, especially in desserts. The payesh from Sabereng was not heavily milk-based or with lots of cardamom and raisins, as we are used to seeing in Bangali payesh dishes. It had coconut pieces and peanuts which gave it a nice refreshing taste.
Overall, Sabereng is a great place for traditional Chakma food and we recommend you to try out their dishes. We ordered seven items, but there are many more on their menu. The dishes are affordable, the portion sizes are good and the flavours are unique.