What's a broke student's best friend in times of hunger?
Fair warning before I start – I'm not going to talk about jhaal muri or bhel puri because despite my love for these classics, they are usually tummy turners and it's best to not take risks with them on empty stomachs. It also excludes Old Dhaka's new Tk. 10 Biriyani because I have yet to try it out for myself hence I can't recommend it.
Arguably the most versatile snack on this list, these fully puffed up packs are amazing for calming your tummy down when you're stuck in traffic. Popcorns aren't however, the best choice for satisfying your appetite, though they are amazing for working your jaws and for passing the time. A solid 8/10 for taste and a 9/10 with the right amount of salt, popcorns are sold by vendors from carts and off the side of roads for Tk. 10.
Now, these are the real kings of no grease. Purely organic, straight from the shell, peanuts are a joggers dream. They are healthy, and a Tk. 10 pack will have enough peanuts to fill an elephant's appetite so needless to say, it will fill you up as well. But don't be THAT person; take an extra paper pack from the vendor or sit down while you're eating but whatever you do, do not litter. Be wary of some bad nuts however, because sometimes they will pop up in your pack so keep an eye out for the bruised shells.
WIDELY AVAILABLE CUPCAKES AND BREADS
I once came across a status on Facebook which proclaimed that the cheapest and best breakfast is a cup of tea and a pack of butter buns. This revelation changed my life forever. A usual butter bun will set you back by Tk. 8 and gets a 10/10 for me on taste, and a perfect score for appetite fulfilment. Couple that with a cup of tea and you have perhaps the most efficient solution to your hunger at the price point.
Another contender is the recently released laddu that's widely available. It is also Tk. 8 and manages to hit the spot in all the right ways. I'm not a big fan of sweets, but this one took the cake for me. It blew me out of the water with how good it was. All of this praise for a laddu might seem redundant but it is surely the most wholesome food item on this list.
Last but not least, we have the ultimate beast. The radical being which changed the scene – yes, I'm talking about the classic singara. The reason I put it at the bottom is despite being a timeless classic, it is the one which most people run to for their cheat cheap meal fix so there's not a lot to say about it. However, I will say this though – this potato wrapped doughy goodness is a hit or a miss on most cases. You might be handed a cold one, one which has too many onions for your liking, or it might be too greasy. The quality of your singara all depends on where you buy it from. Two singaras will set you back by Tk. 10 but they will fill you right up. I would like to add that, samosas and egg chops are good alternatives too, but I personally prefer the singara.
While not necessarily the most healthy recommendations for meals, these wholesome goodies are amazing for the purpose they serve, which is to fill you up without putting a hole in your wallet.
Asif Ayon's favourite colour is a particular shade of ash but he tells everyone that his favourite colour is blue. The alliteration in his name bothers him a lot too. To inquire more about what else keeps him up at night, hit him up at email@example.com