Most self-professed curry connoisseurs would suggest London’s Whitechapel as the place to find traditional Bangladeshi food (admittedly often buried beneath all the loose interpretations of Indian dishes touted to tourists). But in Sparkhill, Grameen Khana proudly sings its Sylheti heritage, with a specific section of the main menu devoted to Bangladeshi dishes.
As far as BYO curry houses go, Grameen Khana is a cracker, dishing out fine examples of all the old favourites in a nicely modern dining room where you’ll find it hard to spend more than £15 a head. Only a selection of the traditional Bangladeshi dishes are available on any given day – often featuring various river fish whose sweet flesh is so prized in that part of the world – but there are a smattering available on the main menu too.
Of those, the £2.95 chot poti is a lip-licking ingredient assemblage: a mix of potatoes, onions and eggs in a tangy masala. More piquant flavours appear in meat stews cooked with shatkora, a Sylheti citrus that chefs use judiciously to add a musky, inimitable flavour to the dish. However you feel about vegetables, try the aloo uri, where potatoes pair up with the earthy seeds plucked from Bangladeshi runner beans.
And, if you really can’t be convinced, Grameen Khana also knocks up a rock-solid balti.