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check it out

Dhaka International Trade Fair 2004

International Trade Fair: the place that becomes the hotspot for the Dhaka dwellers at the beginning of every year. This grand annual shopping fest takes place not far away from Farmgate, right beside the Bangladesh-China Friendship Convention Centre. The cold wave may be sweeping through the country right now, but with all the hot action going on here, the trade fair is definitely sizzling. You will feel the zeal right at the entrance.

Whether you have money in your purse or not, it is always fun just to hang out and please your eyes. One ticket to get in, and then the exploration begins.
From cars to cosmetics, all sort of items are available in one place and that's the best thing about the trade fair. "In the first week people usually just walk around and check out the stalls and their wares", told us one sales man. When we went to visit the fair, that's what most of the people were doing. Lets give you a general idea about the most interesting things to check out in the fair.

If you are looking for ceramic crockery, check out the Monno ceramic pavilion. Just beside Monno, you will see the Standard ceramic and Peoples ceramic pavilion, both of them selling affordable tableware. Tableware is usually sold in dozens or as a full set but in these two pavilions you will find single pieces of almost everything. Then a little far away there is Bengal Fine Ceramics. These pavilions are drawing a large crowd.

Another pavilion, which is drawing huge crowd, is the Rajshahi silk pavilion with all the gorgeous silk saris.
Walking around you will see Karu Dhara from Chittagong. You must check out their bamboo, wood and coconut shell items. Figurines made of coconut shell and lampshade made of bamboo stems with all the roots still attached to it, are simply exquisite.

Several bangles store in one row is another place you should check out. The sight of all the colourful glass bangles will definitely dazzle your eyes. Aside from the bangles, if you love to adorn your hands with some colour, visit the Ivy Mehendi stall. You can get a free sample of henna decoration there.

Then there is Handicraft pavilion, to look for all the taat or hand-stitched items. This pavilion has 10 to 12 outlets. For more hand-stitched items, you can also visit Baachte Shekha Hostoshilpa Prodorshoni Kendro as well as Arafat Trade International.

If you love to taste spicy, sour and sweet, we mean aachar of course, visit the Rajshahi Mango product stall. Varieties of pickles made of mango, amra (hog-plum), green chilli, olive, saatkora, mixed fruit, garlic, onion, vegetables, potato or eggplant is definitely appealing and worth trying. You should also check out their kashundi, jam, jelly, and drinks.

If you are nuts for nuts check out Tong garden outlet. It is all nutty down there.
For light trendy furniture, check out Otobi. They are giving a special sale in their pavilion. Aziz Furniture is selling exclusive wood furniture. To embellish your house with wonderful glasswork with stained glass overlay, check out Reflections, where their products are on display. You can pick what you like, and place orders.

If you have big bucks to spend then head for the pavilions from Iran, Pakistan and Thailand. Check out marble stone items from Pakistan, and carpets and ceramic vases from Iran. A must-see is the Thai silk, ornament, fruits, cuisine and herbal products.
It is very chilly down there. Don't forget to wear warm clothing as protection from the cold waves. It's a long, long walk inside the fair. Do not try to cover the whole area in one visit. Please be careful about your belongings…
a busy place like this is bound to have pickpockets. The fair is full of food outlets selling all sorts of spicy and juicy stuff. At one point you will definitely fill like recharging. While you are there please check out the popcorns.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get yourself to DITF and join the fun!

By Shahnaz Parveen

News flash

Chabir haat

Haat in Bangla means an open marketplace in the village, where everyone comes with their products and sells it. Every village has a specific weekly day fixed where they set up the haat. You can get just about anything here, starting from bovines to bangles.

Imagine a haat selling only paintings and sculptures. With these art pieces comes a free chat with the artist in person. On January 9th we went to visit such an interesting haat just opposite the Fine Arts Institute of DU. Our intention was to find out what actually goes on down there.

It is a gathering of artists and art enthusiasts, where everyone can express their ideas on art, culture or any other area. Anyone can present his or her work of art at the haat. It can be a painting, a sculpture or any form of performing art. When we were there, even a doctor was present, giving treatment in the little gathering. The visit was cheap, only Tk20.

Chabir haat is a fascinating effort of a few young artists, who believe that fine art is for everyone to take pleasure in. They believe that art should not be a luxury reserved for the wealthy. The group is trying to create a platform. Their intention is to deliver quality work at a reasonable price for the people who usually do not dare even to look into an art gallery.

Chabir haat was inaugurated on December 16th, our victory day. The group plans to hold such gatherings every Friday, from 10am in the morning till sundown and on special days and festivals

By Shahnaz Parveen

A true taste of Asia BY Tommy Miah

Jackfruit Rice
Serves 2-3

2Cups.. Raw rice
2 cups.. Boiled rice
1 1/2 cups Urad dal
Salt to taste
Jackfruit leaves or
Banana leaves
1. Wash and soak the urad dal and rice separately.
2. Grind dal to a very fine consistency.
3. Grind the boiled rice coarsely.
4. When half done, add the raw rice and grind it till it
is of a coarse consistency, mix with the dal and salt.
5. Cover and ferment overnight.
6. Take four jackfruit leaves and join with small slides
to form a cup, fill the cups with batter and steam
till cooked.
Kala Dal Rice
Serves 4
1 cup of rice
¼ cup of black gram skinless (urad dal)
¼ cup of yogurt
1 ½ cup of warm water
Salt to taste
1 one-inch piece ginger
4 green chillies
½ tspn of soda bi-carbonate (baking soda)
1 tblspn of lemon juice
2 tblspns of oil
2 tblspns of coriander leaves
Dry roast the rice and the dal on medium heat for four to five minutes. Cool and grind into a semi-coarse powder.
Put the powder in a bowl. Add yogurt which should be a little sour and to this add warm water. Mix thoroughly so that no lumps are formed and the batter is of pouring consistency.
Add salt and let it ferment for eight to ten hours. Make a paste of ginger and green chillies. Once fermented, mix the ginger, green chilli paste with the batter. Grease the dhokla platter or a thali. Boil water in the steamer/boiler.
Pour half of the batter in another vessel. In a small bowl, add one-fourth tspn soda bi-carbonate, half tspn oil and half tspn lemon juice. Add this to the batter and mix well. Repeat this for the remaining batter just before putting it in the steamer.
Pour this onto the greased platter and keep it in the steamer to steam for eight to ten minutes. Check with a knife. If the knife comes out clean, it is cooked.
Sprinkle some finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with green chutney.
Chef's Tip: You can also put crushed peppercorn or red chilli powder over the dhokla. It is best enjoyed with ghee if desired.



Manly Arts

Fight the Toughest of the Stains


Stains are a part of our daily life, aren't they? Blood, lipstick, oil/grease, wax, nail polish etc are some of the toughest stains one can think of. Let's see how we can make our life smudge-free.

If you spot a fresh blood spot on your clothing then dab with cold water and clean clear. If the blotch persists, then use hydrogen peroxide on the affected area and then cleanse with water.

If your pesky little cousin or nephew has stuck some of that nasty chewing gum on your clothes, then dab ice on the concerned area to solidify the stain, then rub vigorously to remove the stain.

Stains of fruit juices should be immediately cleaned with cold water. Marks of lipstick and makeup are tough to remove; use mentholated spirit or household ammonia to eliminate smudges of makeup. If nail polish marks have ruined your favourite clothes, then dab the area with clear nail polish remover (test fabric first; especially if it's synthetic, it might dissolve), the blot will disappear in a jiffy.

If drops of tea or coffee have tarnished your textiles then rub the affected area with mild soapy water or glycerine, or rinse in warm water; pour boiling water through. Later on, leave them out in the sun to remove traces of the stains.

It's recommended that stains must be treated as soon as they strike. A few other tips that you must keep in mind while removing stains are listed below:

Never rub a wet stain.
Once a stain has dried, brush off what you can before making use of a chemical solvent.

Always test cleaning agents first on an area of the textile that is not readily visible from outside for instance, the hem.

Remember that when you are in doubt, don't do anything. A little mishandling of the stain might ruin your fabric forever. So, to avoid any mishap, consult a dry cleaner. Renowned laundry houses like Bandbox, Ishiya and Lihua offer excellent dry cleaning services for their clients; you can check out these places too.

By Wara Karim

Hanging Out

Wrapper- a roadside café

Have you been looking forward to a place where you can sit quietly with a few friends of yours and enjoy a plate of spicy phuchka or chatpati? To tell the truth, Dhaka is devoid of tasteful places where people can take their friends and family and enjoy mouth-watering hot phuchka or chatpati. If you are one of those people who were in constant search of a hygienic place to relish in palatable chatpati, then don't wait to pay a visit to Wrapper. Wrapper is a roadside food outlet that is located at sector # 7 of Uttara. This food shop has eating arrangement with cute little red tables, chairs and large umbrellas outside their store. You can also sit inside the store and sip hot coffee and chat with your friends. The place also serves us grilled chicken, which is worth giving a try. Besides these, lassi, sandwich, Bihari chaap, tea and so much more are available here. I would especially suggest you to try out their chatpati and phuchka; each plate of these two items will cost you tk.20. At this place, chatpati is served in plastic plates and spoons; but unlike other places the plate is pleasingly laid in a beautiful cane basket.

Fast food stores are mushrooming in this old capital of ours, but there has always been a need of a neat place where people can come and feast on spicy menus like chatpati or phuchka. And Wrapper has indeed succeeded in gratifying the longings of those consumers who have a tongue for the spicy foods. So you too can check out this place for a plate of gustatory chatpati.

By Wara Karim


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