Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 9, Tuesday February 26, 2008




A stitch on sleeve

MANTRA has recently opened a section “Tailoring Studio” especially for trendy blouses that most women would just love to wear in any given occasion or party. Even though these blouses are a bit high budgeted, I would say it is still worth the price.

When asked what is the new trend for blouses, Farzana Ahmed the assistant manager talked about the following:

Appliqué blouses are the 'in' thing now. The customers can either bring their own saris or order a sari along with the blouse. The blouses are given different types of dimensions like a rose or geometrical shapes at the back, matched with the sari which gives your back a classy look.

Sleeveless blouses most women want their blouse without sleeves, which not only looks good but also is the best solution in a humid climate like Bangladesh. Going to work in a sari or attending a wedding/party becomes much easier in summer if someone is wearing a sleeveless. The blouse can have embroidered stones and even crystal drop stones to give it a trendier look. Another type of sleeveless blouse is one with a side sleeveless, while a stone string is attached on the other.

Backless with a string or a ribbon blouse is also said to be liked by many women. They have different designs for ribbons like adding ornaments to it or stones at edge or adding colourful shaped balls at the end of the ribbon. Backless blouses also look good with a tieback big ribbon; it also looks good when worn in an evening party or a special occasion.

Lace blouses are also in fashion, which are done either with complete lace (with linings) or three dimensional lace work on satin or chiffon material blouses.

Princess CM blouse is said to be the most comfortable with saris that are see-through and may make you feel uncomfortable with buttons on the front or back. It has side zippers (both or on one side) and has to be meticulously tailored to the correct measurements.

Round V-neck back with stones on the edge or accessories or embroidered flowers on one side would look stunning with any sari. The stones or the embroidery can be matched according to the sari.

The price of the blouses start from Tk 1000 and goes up to Tk 7000 depending on the work done on the blouse or the amount and types of stones used over it. The price is even higher when Swarovski crystal is used, which are usually brought from India.

Before delivering the "final classy blouse” they use trial blouses to make sure they have the right measurements. The tailor takes orders by appointments only, to give the customer enough attention, importance and accuracy.

Contact: Farzana Ahmed, Mantra Fashion Café: CES (G)-1, Road # 130, House-1, Gulshan-1, Tel# 01720106780.

By Tashmia Zaman
Photo Courtesy: Maheen Khan

Thai cucumber salad

1/2 of small red onion
1 small fresh jalapeno, seeds removed
3 medium cucumbers
2 or 3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Using a food processor with the S-blade in place, put the onion and jalapeno in the food processor and pulse until they are both finely chopped.

Remove the S-blade and put on the slicing disk. Quarter the cucumbers lengthwise, and then run them through a processor.

TIP: If you're not using a food processor, you can dice the onion and mince the jalapeno, then slice the cucumber as thin as you can.

Put the onion, jalapeno, and cucumbers in a big bowl. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the garlic, ginger, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables, and mix well. Chill for a few hours before serving, for best flavour.

Smoky grilled vegetables

1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inches
2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
2 yellow bell peppers, halved and seeded
2 zucchini, sliced
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
4 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup chilli sauce
oil, to brush vegetables with

Place veggies in single layers on smoker racks. Smoke for about 30 minutes. Preheat grill on high heat.
Brush grate with oil. Arrange vegetables on grill, with the peppers away from the centre. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once. Baste with teriyaki sauce frequently. Vegetables will cook at different rates; remove tender pieces from the grill, and continue cooking until all are done.

Crunchy almond chicken

Preparation time: 55 to 60 minutes

1 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
1 clove garlic
1 ginger root, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) broiler-fryer chicken, cut up
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

Place almonds, garlic and ginger root in blender container; cover and blend until finely ground. Mix almond mixture, salt, paprika, cumin and pepper. Dip chicken skin sides up in un-greased 13" by 9" baking pan. Bake uncovered at 375° F until thickest pieces are done.

For the love of food

Red roses and
all that jazz

By Kaniska Chakraborty

FEBRUARY 14. The seismic day when record amount of chocolates are sold. The day maximum number of red roses pave the way to someone's heart. The day restaurants wait for eagerly to push up sales and liquidate
anything that may be hiding in the freezer for one year.

I am extremely weary of eating out on a popular day. Be it Valentine's Day or Christmas. It is near impossible to find a decent table to sit down with the loved one. What's more, the food is bound to disappoint you. And that has been the case so far. Till this year.

My wife and I had sworn off ceremonious eating outs after a few bad experiences. So when Valentine's Day approached, we approached it with caution. First instinct was to plan something at home. But it being a working day left little room for time devoted to culinary creativity.

We made a mental research of the restaurants in Calcutta. All that came to mind was madding crowd, jostling for space and the customary tandoori chicken. We shuddered.

And it is in the face of that strife that we thought of the great buffet lunch we had at this great hotel. We thought that a call should be placed asking for a reservation.

A pleasant voice greeted us and at the end of a very professional conversation, we were the proud owners of a reservation guaranteeing the rights to a waterside table for two at their very reputed café. We were delighted.

Come the coveted evening, carefully dressed, we went to the appointed café. We were courteously ushered to our table. A nice spot by the wall. A little too far away from the spread, but what the…

The spread had the usual exciting fare. Fresh baked bread, imported cheese, cold cuts and the likes. Never failed to lift my spirit.

After a couple of hours of slow eating, we thought it was time for dessert. And boy, were we in for a treat!

It was a veritable tribute to strawberries and chocolate.

Needless to say, we, despite our full tummies, turned into veritable gluttons and attacked everything with gusto.

And at the end of the meal, the hotel was sweet enough to present us with a small box of those lovely hand rolled chocolates.

By all means, the red roses and all that jazz are very central to Valentine's Day. But give me the strawberry and chocolate festival any day.



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2008 The Daily Star