Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 26, Tuesday July 3, 2007



Check It Out

Kay Kraft introduces monsoon collection

As the rains continue to simultaneously soothe our souls and submerge our city, the monsoon melodrama maintains its rhythm. With fashion houses all over the city introducing new lines for the season, it is no surprise that Kay Kraft would follow suit sooner than later. Their monsoon collection this year focuses on a colour palette of white, ash, black, blue, green and lemon. In the sari section, there is a wide range of taat, cotton, endi and silk materials to choose from and prices vary in between minimum and maximum ranges of Taka 550 and 3000 respectively. The salwar kameez sets, priced between Taka 895 and Taka 2200, are block and screen printed, tye-dyed or embroidered. Similar embellishments have been maintained in their line of skirts, tops and fatuas. The men's section consists of fatuas, casual shirts and shirt panjabis in cotton, mixed cotton and endi, with a strong focus on floral and geometric motifs brought out in screen print, block print, and embroidery. Panjabis ask for amounts between Taka 525 and Taka 1250, fatuas and shirts Taka 325-750 and T-shirts Taka 175-265. The children's collection has a combination of tops, fatuas, frocks and T-shirts, with all these items priced between Taka 100 and Taka 850. Stop by any of Kay Kraft's outlets in Sobhanbagh, Bailey Road, Banani, Plaza A R, Rifles Square, Mirpur or Malibagh for a well-varied monsoon collection this season.

Shopnobaj introduces branded T-shirts for women

This season Shopnobaj is working a bit out of conventions by introducing their new line of women's wear. For the first time in Bangladesh, deshi branded T-shirts will be available for women as well concentrating on themes such as red and green, Rabindranath Tagore, masks, Che Guevara and others. The T-shirts, made in special cuts for women, have been designed by Ferdous Khan, Joy Shahriar, Rashid Famin, Digonto Rony, Thirteen Screw and so on. The prices are reasonably charged at around Taka 150 each at 86 Aziz Super Market (2nd Floor), Shahbag, Dhaka.

Nipun's new outlet

Nipun, a leading name in local handicrafts ware is now set to open another outlet in Dhaka. The outlet was opened on Friday June 29, 2007 at 11 am and this new branch is housed on the second floor of Pink City at Road 103, Gulshan 2. Shopping at Nipun will be a breeze now for all those in that neighbourhood- so do check this new outlet out.

-LS Desk

Do It Yourself

Quick fix meals for the day

The other day I went to a discussion, where an author chatted with us about her newly released book. In the middle of the conversation, she told us about how a foreign friend of hers had informed her that there is too much talk about food in her novel. She had replied by saying something like, “If you were a Bengali, you would know why.”

The truth in her words cannot be denied. It has irreversibly become a part of our culture (at least for those of us who can afford it) to have extremely long meals twice a day, starting with rice, two types of vegetables, lentils, chicken or beef, different kinds of fish, bhorta and so on. Although these lengthy courses can be a great time for family talks and be very effective in adding to our ever increasing store of body fat, most of us don't usually have the time to indulge in such treats because of a myriad of things such as school or work to name a few.

When caught up in the rushes or daily life, or if you feel too lethargic to prepare a full course meal for yourself, the following are a few of the means you can resort to to satisfy your empty stomachs.

Egg Energy
If you don't want to go through too much trouble, the easiest thing to eat is bread and eggs. All you have to do is beat an egg in a bowl with sliced onions and green chilli, or a little milk and sugar if you want something sweet. Properly soak three or four slices of bread in the mixture, and fry them till they are deliciously crispy and golden.

Another thing you can try is mixing eggs, sliced onions and green chillies with flour and then scooping out dollops. Warm up the pan and fry these dollops. This will turn out to be a sort of pitha that is quite popular in the northern areas of the country.

Both of these quick recipes are high on energy and will keep you in good working condition throughout the day.

Protein Repasts
If you must give in to your carnivorous instincts and have some sort of meat, it is better to opt for chicken over beef. Having some boneless chicken from the store in the fridge always makes life a little easier. Then all you need to do is just add a few spices, some tomatoes, potatoes, capsicums, etc and cook or deep fry in the pan for a few minutes, and instantly devour this healthy dish and burn your tongue out in the process.

If you are not fond of frying your food and usually burn it to a crisp, then choose to have fish for lunch. You can just mix the raw pieces of fish with turmeric, ginger, salt and the spices of your choice; add liberal quantities of lemon and microwave for 10 to 15 minutes. Don't try this with the chicken though, or you might find yourself catching bird flu.

Go Green
Before you make a face and feel nauseous at this idea, just try it out. Take some canned beans, which can be found in places like Agora and Nandan, and, you guessed it, fry them. Take a medium or large sized capsicum and cut it open and stuff it with these beans. Then microwave the whole capsicum for a few minutes, and I guarantee you a highly nutritious and scrumptious snack.

If you want to try something totally different, why not eat some of the stuff you usually throw out as garbage? Potato skins can be your first choice, especially because most of the nutrients of this food are located in the skin. First, add powdered pulse and a little oil with dough and knead it properly. Add salt, turmeric and chilli to this and mix with the potato skins and fry. You will be left with a uniquely appetising taste in your mouth.

You can even try pea shells, which are very wholesome as well. Just warm up some oil in the pan and add tomatoes, turmeric, salt, chilli and some cumin powder. When the tomatoes start to soften, add the pea shells. Leave for a few minutes, add some coriander leaves, take down and enjoy.

Lastly, if you have some leftover rice from the previous meal, you can just turn it into fried rice that will make Cheung Pai chefs green with envy. Just warm up oil in the pan and add the leftover rice with one or two eggs and stir vigorously. After a while, add salt and vegetables such as capsicum, carrots, tomatoes etc. Stir for a while and before taking down, put in a little soy sauce and enjoy your Chinese dish.
So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!

By Shuprova Tasneem


Ways to drink coffee

ESPRESSO- Also known as short black. An espresso is a shot (30ml) of pure bliss. It should have a thick golden "crema" on the surface, proving the espresso was brewed correctly. Espresso is the basis for most other coffee beverages.

Cappuccino- Equal parts espresso, steamed milk and milk froth, sprinkled with chocolate powder.

Espresso con panna- An espresso topped with whipped cream, sprinkled with chocolate powder.

Flat white- An espresso topped with steamed milk (no froth).

Long black- Also known as espresso lungo. An espresso diluted with hot water to make the drink longer and slightly weaker.

Ristretto- Means "restricted" in Italian. An extremely short espresso, made with less water, making it even darker, stronger and more concentrated than an espresso.

Doppio- Not for the faint-hearted, this is a double shot of espresso and tends to be very strong.

Macchiato- An espresso "stained" with a tiny amount of hot, cold or frothed milk.

Caffe latte- Simply coffee with milk. One-quarter espresso and three-quarters steamed milk. The milk and coffee blend, leaving a layer of foamed milk on top.

Latte macchiato- An espresso poured into a tall glass of hot, frothed milk; the coffee "marks" or creates a marbling pattern in the thick froth.

Mocha- Also known as mochaccino. An equal blend of espresso and hot drinking chocolate topped with frothed milk.

For the perfect cup...
Always use freshly roasted coffee that has been correctly ground.
Use filtered water.

Remember, "less is more". Don't allow too much water to pass through the coffee grounds- about 30ml for a true espresso.

Coffee should not be brewed at boiling point- the high temperature releases a bitter element into the brew.

How to froth milk...
Make sure the milk is straight from the fridge.
Skim, light and soymilk are all suitable to steam.
A stainless steel jug able to hold two cups of milk is best.
Don't overheat the milk while steaming. If the jug becomes too hot to touch, you have boiled the milk. Boiled milk will not aerate.

For a creamy cappuccino, lightly tap the jug base a few times on the bench after steaming; let it stand for a moment to reduce the large bubbles.

Practice steaming milk- it's a skill that may not come to you immediately, but a little persistence will pay off in the shape of perfect froth.

Wipe the steam arm with a clean, damp cloth between each use. This removes any built-up milk.

-LS Desk


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