Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 28, Tuesday, January 18, 2005
















diary of a
obsessed person

Dearest diary,
Don't you just love this season? Yeah! Though it just passes even before I can give my first duvet to the laundry and get my second one out, I still enjoy and treasure every second of my deshi winter.

While growing up I remember how October used to be pleasant and then November, December, January would be cold, and finally in February winter would peter off. But now-a-days, at least in the city, winters are becoming extinct. I know that for a fact because all the matching shawls, which I have collected over the years don't even get a one time airing. How sad. I did not know what "pashminas" were while I was growing up and now that I do know, winters have disappeared. Maybe from now on I will take my "summer holidays" during winter.

My mother is another great fan of the winter season. The other day I walked into her house and saw her sitting regally in her drawing room, with a steaming cup of coffee, wearing a Kanjeevaram saree with all the works (meaning jewellery and make up). I stopped in my tracks and asked her why she was dressed up to the nines, and whether she was expecting anybody else other than me. She in a very matter of fact voice informed me that she was giving her out of fashion Kanjeevaram sarees for airing. Whew! Between me and my mother, the air is sure going to be very heavy.

My brother celebrates his winter in an another kind of a way, which I call the gastronomical delight way. He celebrates winter with food. Hot dal-puris, mughlai parathas, pasta, and chhit pithas with bhuna duck curry, sujir halua, spicy thai soups, followed by steaming coffee are just to name a few. Just before his arrival from work every evening, the whole house gets geared up for "bhaiya's nashta". There are certain rules here. The menu can't be repeated in quick succession. At least a week's gap has to be there before a certain item is repeated. So everyday before his homecoming, a mini conference between my mother, Chand Miah the cook, and Saidul the valet takes place with great solemnity and thought. So when he walks into his castle with his entourage in tow, the aroma of his "nashta" puts him and his pals in a good mood and hence….party time!

Before penning off diary, I just want to say Eid Mubarak to you as Qurbani Eid is just around the corner. I'm glad for this Eid the razzmatazz is not as much as the last Eid. But since meat will be the main thing going around, I thought a few beef and mutton recipes would be appropriate. So, happy cooking!
By Sam Q


Sizzling Steak (serves 4-6)
1 garlic clove crushed
1 inch fresh root ginger, finely chopped
2tsp black peppercorns
1tbsp sugar
2tbsp tamarind sauce
3tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
4 slices of rump steak (7 ounce each)
Vegetable oil for brushing
* This steak has to be done over a charcoal grill. It is great for an outside barb-e-que party.
(1) Pound together the garlic, ginger, peppercorns, sugar and tamarind sauce in a mortar with a pestle. Mix in the soy sauce and oyster sauce then spoon over the steaks. Marinate for up to eight hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
(2) Heat grill till coals are red. Scrape the marinade from the meat and reserve. Brush the meat with oil and grill till done.
Meanwhile a dipping sauce has to be made.
Dipping sauce
5 tbsp beef stock
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp chilli sauce
juice of 1 lime
(3) Lastly, pour the scraped off marinade into a saucepan and add the stock, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce and lime juice. Set over a low heat and simmer to heat through. Serve the steak with the dipping sauce spread over it.
Beef Rendang (serves 4-6)
2 tbsp oil
1 kg beef steak, chopped
2 medium (300 gm) onions, sliced thinly
2½ cups (600 ml) coconut milk
4 cardamom pods (elaichi)
1 tbsp vinegar
Curry Paste
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp chopped fresh lemon grass
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 small fresh red chillies, chopped
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted ghee
Blend or process all the ingredients of the curry into a paste.
Heat oil in a large pan. Fry the beef in batches, until well browned all over. The beef does not need to be tender at this stage of the cooking. Remove from the pan. In the same pan, cook onions, stirring, until soft.
Add curry paste, cook, stirring over low heat for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Return the meat to the pan. Stir in coconut milk and cardamom. Bring to boil, simmer, covered, for about 1 hr. Simmer uncovered, for a further 15 minutes, or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Lastly stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt.
Serve with steamed rice, if desired.
Middle Eastern-Style
Meatballs (serves 4-6)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large (200gm) onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamom
? cup (50 gm) dried raisings
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 kg beef mince
1 tsp tom yum paste or red curry paste
1 cup (70gm) breadcrmbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
* tom yum paste or red curry paste can be bought from, Agora, the grocery store in Gulshan or Dhanmondi.
Yogurt Sauce
1 ½ cups (375 ml) yogurt
2 small cucmbers, seeded, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tsp lemon juice
Combine oil, onion, garlic and ground spices in a pan and cook over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Add raisins, coriander, beef mince, red curry paste or tom yum paste, bread crumbs and egg. Mix well. Shape mixture into desired shape and size balls. Then deep fry the meat-balls and serve with the yogurt sauce.
Yogurt Sauce
Combine all ingredients in small bowl.













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