Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 13, Tuesday April 03 , 2007




Yet another round of mocha mania…

There is a certain aroma to the brew of rich coffee beans. It evokes memories of those empty jars of Ovaltine biscuits that were so popular in the 90s. Coffee World offers its customers such a nostalgic whiff. As an additional treat, it also makes a point to make eye candies out of its leaflets and menus. This is what a typical Coffee World promotional photo would look like: a dollop of vanilla ice cream sitting atop a freshly-baked waffle, with a generous drizzle of maple syrup. With this classy edge, the 6th outlet of Coffee World premiered on the 26th of March. Accompanying it, was the 2nd outlet of Books Express.

For those in need of a little memory prod, Coffee World is an international franchise and is a part of Global Franchise Architects. With its reputation as a world renowned coffee house, it has to offer a comprehensive range of premium hot, iced and ice-blended coffee. Also available are sandwiches, salads, pies and brownies. Since its inception about a year and a half back, the food has been hailed for its quality, particularly the Chicken Loaf Sandwich and the Mocha Chip Frappe.

Books Express is a concern of Etcetera Bangladesh Pvt. Ltd., shedding its focus on book lovers. It is known for its stock of 'just arrived' reads and bestsellers, as well as for holding a wide range of DVDs, music, toys and stationery.

When asked to comment on the corporation's rapid expansion, A.F.M. Ismail Chowdhury, the Manager of Store Operations, said: “It is important for us to branch out, given the high levels of demand that we are faced with. We, as a corporate entity can proudly say that we have managed, to make coffee popular in a tea-loving country.” He further adds, “Moreover, we wanted something to present to those who love to read. This is where Books Express comes in.”

Interestingly, the store has its way of showing consideration to its clientele. They have ample space for parking cars. “We want people to relax while they eat and chat with their friends and families. Nobody wants to worry about whether their car is being hacked while they are enjoying they food.”

The only flip side of the store maybe that it is a little on the high-end when your wallet is small. Nonetheless, the prices are well justified. The quality of food, the cozy atmosphere and the level of hygiene makes up for all that bling bling.

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky

Tangy & Healthy

The blossom of the krishnachura and shimul, sporadic though in the concrete jungle that our metropolis has transformed into, is a real treat to the eyes. Their flaming hues in the spring, symbolic of youth and vibrancy, reminds us of the simmering heat to follow in summer. Emotive by their beauty, our poets have always hoped that the summer heat would purify our souls and do away with all that is undesirable.

Boishakh, the first month of the Bangla New Year, marks the onset of summer. Despite the discomfort the heat causes, the New Year (or Nobo Borsho) is most welcome. For generations we have embraced the advent of summer. And we have observed Nobo Borsho festivities within family and social environment with tremendous fervour. Sadly, I feel a sense of soullessness in how they are observed nowadays. Overt commercialization has eroded the inner joys our tradition brings.

To beat the summer heat, I am giving three recipes for shorbot, which may be served as welcome drinks to celebrate the Nobo Borsho. The other dishes are also ideal for serving with steaming rice for the same occasion.

Photo Courtesy:Tommy Miah

Aamer (mango) Shorbot

Recipe 1
Green mango: 1 cup (chopped)
Green chilli: 1 (sliced, with seeds removed)
Sugar (or sugar substitute): according to taste
Black salt (bitlobon): ½ tsp
Mint leaf: 1 tbsp (chopped)
Water: 3 cups
Blend all ingredients very smoothly. Strain, chill and serve.

Recipe 2

Green mango: 2-3 whole, unpeeled (to make 1 cup pulp)
Sugar (or sugar substitute): according to taste
Black salt (bitlobon) or chat masala: ½ tsp (or according to taste)
Water: 3 cups
Heat skillet (tawa), place mangoes and cover with a lid. Keep on turning so that all sides are burnt evenly and the mangoes are soft. Cool and take out the pulp; strain to avoid lumps. Mix all ingredients, chill and serve.

Bel (Wood Apple) Shorbot

Wood apple pulp: 1 cup
Yoghurt (fat free): 1 cup
Sugar (or sugar substitute): according to taste
Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp
Blend all ingredients very smoothly. Strain, chill and serve.

Holood (turmeric) Bagar

Turmeric: ½ cup (ground)
Onion: 1 cup (chopped)
Ginger paste: ½ tbsp
Garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Chilli powder: 1½ tbsp
Bay leaf: 2
Oil: 3 tbsp

Heat oil and fry onions till light brown. Add all the others ingredients and add ½ cup of water. Keep stirring until oil settles on the surface. Garnish with fried whole red chilli.

Posto Dana (Poppy Seeds) Bhaja

Poppy seed paste: 1 cup
Cinnamon: 2 sticks
Cardamom: 2-3
Clove: 3-4
Onion: 1 cup (chopped)
Chilli powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: ½ tbsp
Ginger paste: 1½ tbsp
Garlic paste: 1½ tbsp
Oil: 4 tbsp

Heat oil and fry onions till golden brown. Add all ingredients except the poppy seeds and garam masala. Add a little water and keep stirring for about 2 minutes. Mix poppy seeds, garam masala and ½ cup of water. Stir until oil settles on the surface.

Narkel (coconut) Bhorta

Coconut: 1 cup (freshly grated and lightly ground)
Oil: 1 tbsp
Onion: 1 tbsp (chopped)
Dry chilli: 2-3 (torn in half)
Salt: to taste

Heat oil and fry onion until soft. Add chilli and fry until dark brown. Put in coconut and salt and stir for a few seconds. Mash very well with a spoon.

Chingri (shrimp) Bhorta

Shrimp: ¼ kg
Oil: 1 tbsp
Onion: 1 large (sliced)
Green chilli: 4-5
Coriander leaf: few stems
Salt: to taste

Heat oil and fry onion until soft; add shrimp, chilli and salt. Fry for about 5-6 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked. Add coriander leaves, mix well and remove from heat. Grind and garnish with coriander leaves.


News Flash

Pohela Boishakh at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel

To celebrate Pohela Boishakh, Dhaka Sheraton Hotel is hosting a Pohela Boishakh festival with traditional music and Boishakhi ambience. And to make the festivities truly reflective of the essence of Boishakh, Sheraton's Bithika Restaurant will prepare hot “pithas” right in front of your eyes during lunch and dinner. To find out more, please call 865 3636, extension 4221.

Swimming lessons at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel

Dhaka Sheraton Hotel will be initiating a program titled Learn-to-Swim to provide swimming lessons and instructions on water safety skills. The program, commencing on the 6th of April is aimed at teaching students aquatic and safety skills in a logical progression, under the supervision of both male and female professional swimming instructors. The lessons will be offered under four categories for different age groups:

Group A: Boys of 6-16 years
Group B: Girls of 6-16 years
Group C: Males above 16 years
Group D: Females above 16 years

Enrolment fees for groups A and B are Tk 8000 each and Tk 9000 each for group C and D. Advance bookings are essential for those who wish to enrol. For more information please contact 8653636, ext 4115.

-LS Desk


Summer heat precautions

During a heat wave the body has to work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. Excessive heat can result in serious health threats by pushing the human body beyond its limits. Young children, elderly people, and those who are sick or overweight are most at risk.

Measures for Preventing Heat Related Illnesses

· NEVER leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
· Slow down, avoid strenuous activity.
· Avoid too much sun.
· Plan outdoor games and activities for early morning or evening.
· Avoid extreme temperature changes.
· Stay indoors as much as possible; use fans or air conditioners to cool the air.
· Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing that will cover as much skin as possible.
· Protect face and head by wearing a wide brimmed hat.
· Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty, and avoid alcoholic beverages.

-LS Desk


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