The fixed iftar menu consists 5g of date, 50g puffed rice, 7g piaju or onion fry, 100g chickpea, one banana, 7g molasses, 5g or one piece of jalebi, 3g of chira or flattened rice and plain water with freshly squeezed lemon.
According to jail authority, the government allots only Tk20.64 for each inmate's iftar. For convicted inmates, however, the allotment is Tk24.11; the extra money allows them to have a couple of extra pieces of piajus on their plate.
Although inmates can ask for a little more food, but jail authorities hardly get to fulfil their requests as they stay busy in distributing the iftar.
Asked whether inmates are allowed to have home-cooked iftar brought in by their relatives, the jailer of Dhaka Central Jail, Nesar Alam, told the Dhaka Tribune that food from outside is usually not allowed in the jail because of security reasons; but in some cases, exceptions can be made after a thorough security check.
The jailer added that hygienic food is provided to the inmates in a proper way during the month of Ramadan.
The Dhaka jail, which currently has around 9,000 inmates, also houses some important inmates such as Narayanganj seven-murder case accused former RAB commander Tarek Sayeed and Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna.
A senior jail official, on condition of anonymity, said the iftar items were the same for these special inmates as well; however, they enjoyed a bit more flexibility when it came to food from outside – albeit after proper security check.
Meanwhile, at Kashimpur High Security Jail 2, inmates are also served food similar to that of Dhaka, said the prison's Superintendent Prosanta Kumar Banik. The menu is the same in jails across the country, he said.
At Kashimpur, Prosanta said the important inmates can also purchase food of their choice from the prison canteen where different fruits and sweetmeats are available.