The house of curds
While visiting Hemayet Uddin Road in Barishal city you will notice an enthusiastic crowd waiting in front of a small tin-shed shop.
The worn-out banner of the place reads, "Dadhighar".
Stepping inside the tiny shop, you will immediately be teleported to the early 90s, with a vintage radio playing in the background. Old school wooden chairs and brass pots line the store. Often, there are people inside, urgently sipping on "ghol" before they eventually return to their daily rush.
Standing tall for the last 93 years, this sweet shop is the first choice for lovers of local curd and butter-milk.
Freshly fermented from cow milk, the taste of this creamy and delectable curd has been the same for around a century, thanks to the consistent use of the same traditional recipe and method initiated by one Abdul Aziz during the colonial era.
"My grandfather, Abdul Aziz, migrated to the city from Babuganj in 1930 and started this business. Even today, his menu and customs, like serving ghol in brass bowls, still remains," said Mahamudul Hasan, the shop's current proprietor.
Alongside ensuring high quality ingredients, the strenuous and complicated preparation process are key contributing factors to the unparalleled taste of these scrumptious delights.
To begin with, the milk is brought in on small dinghies from Char Kawa area of the Sadar upazila by sunrise.
The liquid is heated on an earthen stove for at least five hours before being transferred in small amounts into hand-moulded clay-pots, explained Md Zahangir, a confectioner of the shop.
He has repeated the same process almost every morning for the last 45 years.
"Controlling the temperature while transferring milk is the trickiest part, as otherwise the milk will curdle," he said. At least five to six maunds of curd is prepared daily, ensuring daily sales worth Tk 25,000-30,000."
The milk used in the process costs Tk 60-80 per kg and the curd is then sold for Tk 250 per kg. It is often served to customers with puffed or flattened rice, in brass bowls, for Tk 70 each. The shop also sells ghee for Tk 1,400 per kg.
Sovon Karmakar, a poet and regular customer, said, "My first visit to Dadhighar was 30 years ago. I was with my father. Since then, this shop has been one of my favourites. It takes me back to the Barishal I saw 30 years ago as a child."