Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 36, Tuesday April 18, 2006



News flash

Keya Seth in Dhaka

Did you know that fragrance has the power to heal? We're talking aroma therapy, folks, and its now available in Dhaka. Eminent Indian aroma therapist, cosmetologist and Ayurvedic practitioner Dr. Keya Seth has just visited Dhaka, courtesy of Hairobics the beauty salon.

Aroma therapy is the use of fragrant essential oils and herbs to promote natural healing and health. The use of pleasing, scented herbs for their medicinal and spiritual properties has been recorded since ancient Egypt and Babylon. Egyptian pharaohs were embalmed using herb oils to purify their bodies for the afterlife, while Egyptian priests used oils and incense in their duties as healers.

Seth has years of experience in treating different cosmetic as well as chronic problems of skin and hair for thousands of male and female patients in her beauty clinic “Priya Darshini”. While visiting Dhaka she gave special training to the beauty experts of Hairobics. This June the salon will open up special skin care and aroma therapy zone for men.

FID's fashion course

The Fashion Institute of Designing Ltd (FID), a premier Fashion School at Dhaka, affiliated with ALT Training College, Bangalore, India invites the creative minds to join their 9th batch of 1 Year Diploma Course on Fashion Designing.

The one-year course focuses on areas of Element of Design, Fashion Illustration, Art of Draping, Pattern Making, Garment Construction, History of Costume, Textile, CAD, Apparel Technology, and Merchandising. It also offers two months' internship at reputed organizations. The programme offers to enable the students to develop their own personal styles and express themselves, and job placement is also facilitated to the deserving students.

The last date of admission is 25th April 06. For further details, visit Tower Hamlet, 5th Floor, 16 Kamal Ataturk Avenue, Banani, Dhaka.

Edible pictures

The Canada-Bangladesh joint venture Yummy Yummy has introduced a new product “Picture Cake”. Made by experienced chef in hygienic conditions the Picture Cake is a unique translation of any sharp image delivered by the buyer into a rendition that is 100 per cent edible. Available at an affordable price, one can place an order and receive the delivery from any Yummy Yummy branch in Dhaka. The company also offers a special Stone Bar-b-Q.

LS Desk

A true taste of asia

Pasta Masala
3 cups Vegetables such as onions, peas, broccoli, carrot, cabbage
½ cup Butter
½ tsp. Tumeric Powder
1 tsp. Garlic(paste)
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 tsp. Green Chili Paste
1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 pack Pasta(any shape)
Spring Onion for garnishing
Salt to taste

Boil pasta as per instructions on the packet Cut all vegetables in long pieces....

In a vessel, put oil and fry all the veg on high flame for 2 minutes add a pinch of salt to taste and keep aside. In a pan put butter....add cumin seeds fry for 1 minute. Add green chilli and garlic paste..fry for 1 minute. Optionally add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder for colour. Add pasta and vegetables. Add salt to taste Garnish with finely chopped greens of green onions and serve hot.

Spring rolls
1 cup sweet chili dipping sauce
(store-bought is fine if you're in a crunch)
1 pound small, cooked bay shrimp
1 large mango, peeled and sliced lengthwise
2 cups shredded cabbage (about one whole cabbage)
1 cup julienned carrots
1 package thin bean thread noodles (sai fun)
1 bunch coriander
2 Tb sesame oil
2 Tb fish sauce
2 Tb soy sauce
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
1 package Chinese spring roll (egg roll) wrappers
salt and pepper, to taste
egg wash: 1 egg beaten with ¼ cup of water

Make sweet chili dipping sauce. (see recipe at bluerice.com)
Soften noodles as directed on package (or pour boiling water over noodles for 20 minutes).

Saute cabbage in canola oil on high heat for one minute, or just until it starts to wilt. Remove from heat immediately and season with salt and pepper.

Gently add all remaining ingredients except shrimp and mango. Mix thoroughly, then place the cabbage mixture in a strainer and push out as much moisture as possible. (Wet ingredients will cause your spring rolls to burst) Fold in shrimp.

Remove one spring roll wrapper at a time (keep the remainder under a damp towel) and place the wrapper on a dry surface. Arrange about ¼ cup of the shrimp mixture on the lower third of the sheet, leaving a 1-inch border on the bottom edge and on each side. Place 1-2 strips of mango on top. Add 4 coriander leaves on top of the mango.

Roll up filling in sheet tightly, folding in sides after first roll to completely enclose filling. Brush the edges with egg wash and continue rolling. Place spring roll seam side down on a tray and place a damp towel on top of the spring rolls to keep them from drying out. Continue with remaining filling.

In a deep heavy skillet or wok, heat at least 3 inches of oil (approximately 2 cups) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and fry 4 spring rolls, turning once, until light golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer spring rolls to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat procedure with remaining spring rolls. Serve immediately with sweet chili dipping sauc

Spicy dipping sauce
8 Thai red chili peppers, seeded
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 shallot, minced
one 28-oz can of tomatoes
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until sauce is thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Transfer to small dipping dishes.

For the love of food

By Kaniska Chakraborty

Food for thought

I had an invitation for dinner at a friend’s place. Fellow foodies will be there, I was informed. I was looking forward to it.

Come d-day, my wife and I dressed in our casual best. After all, there were fellow foodies to be impressed. The invitation was for 7.30 p.m., which essentially means “Don’t even think of showing up before 8.30.” We followed the dictum and were pleasantly surprised to be one of the last ones in.

Now, with foodies around, the talk quickly veered toward the inevitable. The recent trip to Bangkok and the fabled street food thereof, the trip to Calcutta and the kati rolls, the trip to China and the Peking duck. There was even talk of the recent trip to Sylhet and the Pabda fish with Hatkora (beef would have been too obvious).

Keeping with the spirit, the food served was quite out of the ordinary. There was tender chicken breast (pre avian flu days) stuffed with mildly sautéed shrimp in béarnaise, steamed asparagus with garlic mayonnaise, fish fillets seasoned with parsley, lightly battered and shallow fried to perfection, a stir fry of fresh oyster mushrooms and cauliflower. There was bread with extra virgin olive oil. Not to mention the wonderfully crunchy green salad with nice light vinaigrette. For desserts, we had fresh kiwi fruit sliced and a delicious lemon tart. All in all, a great experience, an eminently enjoyable dinner, albeit no wild mushrooms, not even Norwegian salmon, no truffles, no airy fluffy soufflés. It still was unique enough and nice enough.

Out of the wonderful array of food on offer that night, what impressed and left a mark on me the most was the garlic mayonnaise. Creamy, thick, pale yellow, it was the epitome of decadence. I went up to the hostess and asked for the particular recipe. She smiled and said, “You know, lots of garlic, lots of mayo and beat it to death. Oh and don’t even think of adding salt.” Simple enough. Only problem was, I did not taste the customary aftertaste of real mayonnaise. Got me thinking.

Few days after that, garlic mayo forgotten, I was at home, channel flipping. Actually, I was hoping to catch one of the cookery shows that come on latish at night on TV. The Spanish channel that we get had a TV chef on. He proceeded to take a lot of olive oil (I love the way the Spanish and the Italians use olive oil liberally) and dropped a few cloves of garlic in it and let it simmer for some time. For lack of language, I do not know how long the simmering went on. All I know is, after a while, he fished out the garlic, soft and redolent with oil, put it in an old fashioned stone mortar and pestle and ground it with lot of care. All the while, he kept on drizzling the olive oil he used. That oil must have been infused with garlic. At the end of the adventure, he came up with something creamy, thick, pale yellow. And then it struck me. This is garlic mayonnaise.

He then proceeded to sautée two steaks of some white fish in the infused oil and slathered the garlic mayo on top of them. Then he stuck the entire combination inside an oven and took out a nicely gratinated final product. The garlic on the top had lightly browned and the olive oil had slightly separated. He then put a sprig of parsley on top of it and my word, didn’t it just look heavenly!

I realized that my smart host of the other evening knew all along that there was no real mayo used in the dish. Maybe she was just testing my knowledge, maybe it was foodie rivalry. I would never know. What I do know is that she provided me with food for thought, and I thank her for that…and not to mention, for the wonderful dinner.


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