Festival Weekly Planner
You must have already passed through the shop till you drop phase by now. So unless you are one of those people who leave things for the last minute, do join in the window shopping this last week. Going round the shopping zones nearest you (which would not involve travel by car, rickshaw or anything else that can get stuck in traffic) and just checking out new things coming in last minute and people going crazy waiting in queues to pay up and leave can be quite entertaining.
Some of the shops like Aarong release exquisite pieces in their Eid collection during the very last week so even if you have already finished your Eid business at these stores, do check them out if you have the time to spare.
Time to get your act together in the beauty arena! You'll be keeping those appointments at the beauty salon you made earlier this month now. But remember not to do anything that can go wrong and take several weeks to get fixed- you don't have weeks, you only have a few days now.
Cook the stuff on the Eid menu you've already prepared- get the meat ready for kebab, cook the shemai and refrigerate. Take out all the plates, cups and saucers for special occasions and get them cleaned and organized. And do remember to go out and get some flowers to add to your Eid décor- they'll be outrageously expensive now, but good atmosphere can really add to the fun and warmth of a great Eid. Here's to a great one where we not only enjoy ourselves, but make way for others to do the same, include them in the celebrations, in our lives.
This is the last day to go to the bank for those sparkly 10 and 20 Taka notes that you'll be giving out as Eidy or Salamy to your little nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters (who may be 85 but younger than you!). If you want to be innovative, you can also give out something else as Salamy, like little bags of candy or small gifts or even little cards with special messages written on them. Dare to be different.
Most stores are closed on Eid day, so you don't want to run out of sugar, tea or soft drinks, etc during this time. Stock up. Buy anything that is likely to fall short in case at least 20 extra guests decide to show up. If you have teenage children, or even university goers, you never know when their entire class will decide to show up for an Eid embrace. And it's not too early to be doing this. Last minute is never good.
This is the last Friday this Ramadan, so use it well. If you've been busy and putting off your Friday prayers, say them today. Make a mental note of all the things you have done during this month and think of anything you might have missed out, like visiting your grandmother's grave to say a special prayer, or buying something nice for your maid to show you appreciate the work she does everyday. This would be a good day to finish off these little forgotten jobs. Also, get together with your family to do the last minute decorations and come up with great ideas to make your home super attractive for Eid.
It is one of those times we (especially us men) love. Eid offers us the best of food. For some reason, 'shemai' and 'polao' never tastes as good, jilapi never any crispier, and the kitchen aroma never any sweeter to the olfactory senses. So, in this special edition of Lifestyle we go behind it all- the meticulously prepared dishes, the alluring garnish of fruits and nuts and the secrets of those ladies who weave magic with their culinary skills. We go in for a kitchen market shoptalk…
The flaming mistress of spices…
A touch of spices can make all the difference to a dish. It can radically alter the flavour, the smell, the texture and the very look of an item. These spices, mind you, love the attention. And since each has a flamboyant colour of its own, this comes as no surprise. With our love for spicy food, the tradition of spices in this sub-continent is deep-rooted. The night before Eid, the kitchen is overridden by the nose-tingling scent of spices being crushed with pestles. Enough of the small talk… here are the current market prices:
Tamarind (per kg) - Tk.80 (dry), Tk.120 (powdered)
Chilli (per kg) - Tk.160 (dry), Tk.180 (powdered)
Cumin (per kg)- Tk.280
Jaifal (per piece) - Tk.3
Jaitri (per kg) - Tk.1000
Cloves (per kg) - Tk.600
For the sweet tooth…
For a perfect Eid day meal, it is important to top the spicy main course off with an assortment of desserts- 'shemai', 'payesh', 'jorda', 'jilapi' and so much more. Of course, they do not just appear on the table like that- you need to be a little thoughtful with the ingredient shopping. A whiff of grounded cinnamon and cardamom still manages to entice the connoisseurs of food. Nuts should also top the list- they are good for the garnish (and if you happen to be "helping out" in the kitchen, you cannot help but pop some in your mouth).
Cinnamon (per kg) - Tk.700
Cardamom (per kg) - Tk.800
Almonds (per kg) - Tk.720
Pistachio (per kg) - Tk.900
'Khurma' (per kg) - Tk.120
And some more…
If you are out for a kitchen-shopping spree, there are some miscellaneous items that you should not ignore. Some of these are diverse in their qualities, blending in with both sweet and spicy foodstuff. Others are simply indispensable.
'Aloo Bokhara' (per kg) - Tk.500
Jafran - Tk.60, Tk.80, Tk.90 (per packet- depending on quality)
Rose Water (per bottle) - Tk.12
Food Colouring (per bottle) - Tk. 45 (foreign), Tk.10 (local)
Hunting for spices is an art and often an activity as delectable as eating the final product. If you have not mastered it as yet, it is high time. So, let the hunt begin…
Note: Prices subject to fluctuation.
By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky
Photo: Munem Wasif
On the cover
Star Lifestyle wishes its readers a warm and hearty Eid Mubarak. It's been one amazing journey with four back-to-back bumper issues. We're taking a breather on Eid, so there won't be an issue on October 24. Hope to see you soon, and have a wonderful festive season!
With love, the LS team
Hair, make-up and styling: Farzana Shakil, Photo: David Barikdar
Romjaner Oi Rojar Sheshe…”
Eid is here, and it is essential to chalk out a plan for the day. There is so much to do- prayers, family and social visits- and so much to eat! Many like to rush through all the activities, aiming to get a flavour of everything Eid has to offer. On the other hand, there are others who would settle for a more comfy day, taking some time to relax at home with ample food, old friends and family. Whichever category you fall into (most people prefer a subtle mix of both!), a plan is a must…
It is an amazing feeling to wake up to the aroma of 'shemai' and 'payesh'. The first activity of the day is the morning prayers. Make a point not to sleep it away- as much as it would pay off in terms of spiritual satisfaction, the mosques provide a forum for socialization. When you get back home, sit with the whole family for an Eid breakfast. After breakfast, go out to visit the neighbours.
This is the time for a short snooze. Grab a quick wink, so that you feel energized for the activities yet to come. This can be followed by a hearty lunch prepared at home. Invite some friends over and use this opportunity to catch up on some gossip. The afternoon is also the perfect time to get into your new clothes.
Go out for a long drive with your girlfriend. If you have a family, that is even better. Imagine having a loving wife by your side, and the kids bickering over who would earn the highest "eidi". You may choose to enjoy the sunset, or drive to a serene place.
As the saying goes "save the best for the last". People tend to reserve their best new clothes, shoes and accessories for a glitzy Eid night-out. The convention is to have the whole family (cousins, aunts, siblings, parents, grandparents, etc) gather at someone's house (usually that of the parents' or grandparents'). Again, allow the 'adda' session to heat up. An interesting idea might be to sit together with old photo albums, and relive the days past. Of course, there is the dinner- the most special meal of the occasion. Ease off on your diet for this day though because (trust me) otherwise, you may risk ending up sick.
By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky