|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 43, Tuesday November 06 , 2007|
Chicken Fried Steak
Workshop on Benarasi Palli weavers
Women for Women' is a research group that concentrates on various issues regarding women, agriculture, etc. Among their many projects, the group has recently started a five month long study in 'Benarasi'. Their research includes a thorough study of the livelihoods and work environments of the Benarasi weavers, who have been contributing to the age-old heritage of our country, and are responsible for creating works of art in the form of fabrics such as silk, brocade, tissue, etc. The project, which was conducted by 'Women for Women' and sponsored by UNESCO, included a two-day workshop on the subject of “Strengthening skill of the weavers on techniques, design and marketing for sustainable development with a gender perspective.” The program was inaugurated by the chief guest, the Secretary of the Ministry of Textile and Jute, Mr. Abdur Rashid Sarker. For more information please contact:
'Women for Women', 1/2 Shukrabad, Mirpur Road.
For the love of food
By Kaniska Chakraborty
Frenzy and excess
Three words that comfortably define Durga Puja in Calcutta. Over the top. From the elaborate themes to the ornate lightings to the crowded streets. You get the idea.
Why should I be any different? My family also indulged in excess, and to a certain extent, to frenzy as well.
I might as well get to the point. We ate like there is no tomorrow. Be it at home, in the restaurants or in clubs. We gorged on everything eyes fell on.
Koi macher jhol, chicken curry, chandrapuli, mocha, paturi, the list goes on and on.
But the best was the first. We had gone to this great hotel near Calcutta airport to sample their lunch buffet.
What a spread it was! Imported cold cuts. Fresh bread that crackles in your hands. Slow baked Brie. Bright cherry tomatoes. Soft mozzarella cheese. Extra virgin olive oil-soaked garden veggies.
What was interesting was the Bengali spread at a counter. Now, I must confess, I am extremely skeptical about Bengali cuisine in a five star. I think, to appeal to the western palate, the food tends to get watered down. Spices are not done justice to. After all, what is shorshe ilish without the punch of mustard oil?
So I approached the counter with caution. The spread was not experimental. It had the usual pabdar jhal, bhapa chingri, mochar chop. You know, the standard Calcutta delicacies. No ubiquitous fish fry though. Not even rosogolla.
My wife, my mother and I took to the food like fish takes to water. With much gusto. I had a clear agenda. In three trips, I intended to cover the entire buffet. So my first go was the salad bar and my second go was the cold cuts and bread. But it was the third go that remained in my mind.
My third go was the Bengali selection. I took some rice, some dal and then came across these elongated deep fried objects. Upon further inspection, they were revealed as topshe mach bhaja. Fairly unappetizing in sight, I must say. Long, tubular, brown, with uneven fried finish. I was quite apprehensive when I took one.
When I bit into it, it was bliss! Crispy outside, yielding soft outside. With a slight punch of spice. And the unmistakable fresh feel of extremely good quality fish. Fish as white inside as snow. Before I knew it, I had finished four of them. And was feeling very happy about it too. By all standards, four
But then again, I was in the mood for frenzy and excess.
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