• Friday, Jan 27, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

Is Kishwar of Bangladeshi or Indian heritage? Actually both

  • Published at 03:27 am June 30th, 2021
A mother of two, Chowdhury is pursuing her dream of becoming a cookbook author Collected

It looks as though both Bangladeshis and Indians have a point when they claim Kishwar as one of their own

Much to the chagrin of Bangladeshis the length and breadth of the world (or at least online anyway) an Indian media outlet recently touted the Indian origins of famed MasterChef contestant Kishwar Chowdhury. 

The article, which was about Kishwar’s grainy kulfi, made no mention of Bangladesh.

Bangladeshis online, who have been cheering Kishwar's tour de force on the show and taking pride in her showcasing of Bengali and Bangladeshi dishes, have expressed their outrage at such blatant Indian appropriation of what they considered to be a Bangladeshi icon. But is there a grain of truth to the Indian claim?

Also read: Bangladesh’s Kishwar takes fuchka-chotpoti all the way to MasterChef Australia

Actually, there is. Kishwar's heritage, while 100% Bengali, is half Bangladeshi and half Indian.

In her interview with Dhaka Tribune, Kishwar said: “I was born and bought up here in Australia. My father is from Bangladesh and was a freedom fighter, he came out here as a student after the Liberation War. He met my mother, who is from Kolkata, West Bengal and they married and settled here in Melbourne. I have a huge extended family here in
Melbourne and Dhaka.”

Also read: Exclusive: MasterChef’s Kishwar Chowdhury talks secret recipes and more

Kishwar has so far leaned into her proud Bangladeshi and Bengali heritage on the popular cooking show week after week, preparing such Bengali delicacies as khashi rezala, macher jhol, bhapa mach, fuchka chotpoti, and more.

In the latest episode, she made a vanilla and pistachio kulfi she called “Persian and Vanilla Roses,” the presentation of which was inspired by henna art.

So it looks as though both Bangladeshis and Indians have a point when they claim Kishwar as one of their own. Though it should be noted that she mentioned a huge extended family in Dhaka but not anywhere else outside Australia, so perhaps: Advantage Bangladesh?

And of course let's not forget that she was born and brought up in Australia and so is Australian above all!

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