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A true taste of asia

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Kebabs

1/4 cup honey
1 tb minced canned chipotle chillis
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 ts kosher salt
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and divined
2 tb minced fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine the honey, chilli pepper, garlic and salt. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove from the marinade and discard any remaining marinade.

Thread the shrimp through the tail and head (2 or 3 per skewer) onto small metal skewers or soaked wooden skewers. Strong rosemary stems are good to use as skewers.

Grill over Direct High heat for 2 to 4 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Arrange skewers on a serving dish and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Masala Chicken Wings

1 kg chicken wings
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp oyster sauce
3 drops sesame oil
1 tsp grated ginger
4 tsp tomato sauce (ketchup)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 tsp chilli sauce

Cut the tips off the chicken wings and discard.
Separate the drumette from the wingette and put aside.
If you prefer you can just leave wings as they are.
In a large bowl mix together all the other ingredients until smooth, making sure all the honey is mixed in well.
Add the wings to the marinade and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes before cooking.
Wings don't need to be marinated for very long.
Cook on a BBQ or place in a moderate oven, about 180 degrees celcius until caramalized and golden, for about 40 minutes

Grilled Chicken with

Lemongrass & Chilli

1/4 cup lemongrass
6 slices lemon zest, strips fresh (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced crushed
2-3 shallots, minced
2 red chillies, minced
2 tsp light brown sugar (to taste)
3 tsp fish sauce
3 tsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 tsp hot sauce or Tabasco sauce
1 kg chicken thigh fillets

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
To prepare the chicken cut it 7 cm by 7 cm and cut several small incisions a cross the chicken, to soak up the marinade.

Combine marinade, then toss.
You can either place it in a zip lock bag or just use a bowl with cling wrap.

Refrigerate for about 2 hours, turning over occasionally. (I marinated mine overnight).

Remove meat from the marinade and grill until cooked and brown.

Grill on an outdoor griller so the coals are white-hot but barbeque can also be used.

Serve on a bed of lettuce with Vietnamese fish sauce to dip. Side dish of rice or salad.

Poppy Seed Salmon or Betki Kebabs

250 g salmon or Betki
2 bamboo skewers
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 drops Tabasco sauce
1 tsp ginger, crushed
1 tsp garlic, crushed
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste

Cut salmon or betki into cubes of around 2-3cm (one inch) in size. Leave the skin on if desired but cur around the bones.

Combine all other ingredients (apart from the skewers) in a small bowl, add salmon pieces and gently mix.

Leave in refrigerator for around an hour to marinate, lightly turning occasionally.

Carefully thread onto skewers and cook over BBQ or grill on low-medium temperature for 5-10 minutes turning occasionally until cooked.


Disasterous result systems

Anyone who passes HSC gets GPA 5. Or so it seems and anyone getting anything below 5 seems to have failed. The opinion isn’t that far-fetched given that 10,205 students got straight 5 this year. It's like hitting a jackpot, one either gets 5 or doesn't. No other GPAs matter.

But the big question that hangs on everyone's mind is whether the relatively new system of grading a true reflection of performance. How can one understand how one has faired when everyone around is carrying the same score card. When too many students do brilliant result, the brilliance itself looses its charm. How do you define brilliance then? In some good schools in Dhaka, 80% of students who appeared for the exam got 5. When the 1st and the 80th student on the merit list of a class get the same mark, how can anyone judge? The judgment itself is flawed. In such a scenario both of them suffer. The 1st girl who studied all her life makes 5 and when she sees the 80th girl getting the same, she is utterly disappointed. In the same manner the 80th girl looses her drive to excel sensing victory as easy and comfortable. For many 5 seems a sure shot.

A big flaw of our SSC and HSC is its one-time shot. So many things can go wrong during the exam or exam preparations. One may fall ill or family problems can interrupt studies. Nonetheless the ultimate score depends on just one big exam. Whatever one studies throughout the year is reflected in just one exam. If you do bad here, there is simply no respite.

The next big hurdle is getting into the top-notch universities i.e. BUET, the national medical collages and DU. But the seats here are extremely limited in number compared to the brilliant scores. Here lies the die hard competition of snatching the coveted seat. Some 5 GPA scorers get into good universities whereas some can't get admission anywhere. In such a situation what value does GPA 5 hold?

When the system of judgment seems flawed, people loose their faith on it. Students get demotivated and the whole nation suffers as a result.

By Nazia Atique




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