Students are returning to their residential dorms after 18 months of the closure of educational institutions.
Now when they are leaving home after a long time, what possibly can they miss regarding this prolonged home life? For most students, without any second thought, the answer would be ‘Mother's cooking.’
“When I was coaching for the admission test, the medical college next to my home tempted me strongly. I wish I could get admitted here, I would be able to attend my classes having smoky hot rice at home,” said Iffat Tasnim Dia, a 2nd-year student of Chemistry at BhawalBadreAlam Govt. College.
Iffat’s wish makes sense since life at the home is so easy. Being choosy and not liking vegetables, fish and many more food items can only be facilitated at home only. Living out of home, at hostels or any other arrangements with friends, won’t allow one to be this much choosy.
Nevertheless, wailing over the home-made food becomes terrifying during the night, especially for those who keep awake. There are few who keep food in a shared fridge at the hostel which is often eaten by others; most don’t have a fridge in the first place.
Only those who keep dry food in their stock smile during midnight. Among dried foods, a variety of nuts provide a lot of energy and nutrition. Some people also love to have cornflakes. However, it is more common to keep biscuits, chanachur, bread and cake.
Many bring homemade Narkel-naru, Chire-bhaja, etc. for taste buds. However, the struggle lies in storing the food. In public university dorms in our country, it sometimes takes more than 2-3 years to get a decent room shifting from a large public room or ‘Gonoroom.’
That food you bring with yourself won’t take long to be consumed by as many as 10-20 students. Again, the food you wish to keep as a midnight solution is often eaten by others during the day, especially as evening snacks.
Instant noodles are a faithful companion in such difficult times. “I had a favourite instant noodle of shrimp flavour, which I cooked in a soupy way and ate by adding lime juice,” shared an anonymous alumnus of Mymensingh Girls ’Cadet College.
It only made sense why she decided to keep anonymous when she said she actually broke some laws there. “Even though it was not legal to eat such foods brought from outside (in the dorms), however, in extreme hunger, that was the name of peace.”
Nevertheless, eating noodles on a daily basis becomes irritating. It is better to try cooking something easy.
Some make ‘DesiChowmein’ by heating up noodles with stale curry, some make ‘Semi Liquid Pudding’ adding extra water, some add so much spice that they end up crying while eating.
“I can never sleep with empty stomach. Sometimes I just have poached eggs, sometimes I make roasted potatoes in short,” said ShahnewazArefin, a BBA 2nd year student at Dhaka Commerce College.
“To make roasted potato, first cut the potato into medium pieces and half-boil it in salt water and drain the water. Then heat the pan on a medium flame with a little oil and fry the boiled potatoes adding little chilli flakes till it turns brown. It will take 5-10 minutes to prepare Roasted potatoes to satisfy your hunger.”
Arefin was asked where he learned this easy roasted potato recipe. "From my mom," he smiled.