Kensington

A visit to Bangla Nagar Supermarket in Kensington

November 16, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This is Bangla Nagar Supermarket in Kensington, where we went shopping the other day for ingredients that we hope will inspire us to try harder in the kitchen. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

Eye On Real Estate

Do you know what fresh Thai eggplant looks like?

We didn’t — until we went shopping the other day at Bangla Nagar Supermarket in Kensington.

The store at 87 Church Ave. sits smack in the middle of Brooklyn’s Bengali immigrant enclave, which is concentrated around the intersection of Church and McDonald avenues.

You can get there by riding the G train to its Brooklyn terminus, the Church Avenue Station.

Anyway. About the Thai eggplant.

Sometimes we think we should learn how to cook, instead of always eating the astonishing array of offerings dished up by Brooklyn chefs and food entrepreneurs.

When this notion strikes us, we seek out shops selling ingredients that might inspire us to try harder in the kitchen.   

Bangla Nagar Supermarket is one such shop, with spices, rices, packaged goods and produce that bring a taste of Bangladesh to Church Avenue.

The owner, Migan Rahman, kindly showed us around the produce aisles and explained what’s what.

The Thai eggplant was one of the first things that caught our eye.

It’s a small vegetable, about the size of a lime, and green-skinned.  

We saw banana-plant trunks, which are used in Bengali dishes. These long white cylinders are thicker than a human forearm.

Foot-long, stemmed green gourds on another shelf turned out to be Bengali squash.

On yet another shelf we found karela, also known as bitter gourd. It’s a spiny, cucumber-shaped vegetable that’s said to lower diabetics’ blood-sugar levels.

Long beans are also in the fresh-produce lineup. They look like green beans but are exponentially longer.

Packaged goods include Royal Bengal Tiger-brand basmati rice, which comes in a cloth bag that has a handle and a zipper, the kind of zipper you find on an item of clothing.  

There are plastic sacks of brightly colored lentils and jars of ghee, the clarified butter that’s a staple of Indian cuisine.

The building in which Bangla Nagar Supermarket is located, 87 Church Ave., belongs to Phivos C. Enterprises LLC, with Phivos Chrysostomou as managing member, city Finance Department records indicate. The LLC bought the building for $412,500 in 2005.

That year, Phivos C. Enterprises LLC also bought the building next door, 85 Church Ave., for $412,500, Finance Department records indicate.

By the way, the records also show that a rowhouse right up the block at 95 Church Ave. belonged to Andreas and Paraskevou Chrysostomou for two decades. In 2013, they transferred the ownership of the building to Andreas C. Realty LLC.

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