|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 21, Tuesday May 27, 2008|
Green-papaya brightening mask
Here's why it works: Unripe papaya contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids and high levels of papain, an enzyme that helps dissolve dead skin cells. Yoghurt adds lactic acid (another alpha-hydroxy) and gives the mask a creamy texture, and honey helps skin retain moisture. When left on, the mask should tingle slightly; if you have sensitive skin or prefer a gentler exfoliation, use ripe papaya, which has less papain.
Homemade fresh ginger ale
Place a fine wire strainer over a large bowl. Pour in ginger mixture to separate solids from liquid. Discard the lemon peel. The strained cooked ginger pieces may be reserved for other uses (good with vanilla ice cream or yoghurt).
Cool the ginger mixture and pour into a glass container. Seal tightly and chill. It can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
For serving: For each cup serving, mix 2 tbsp ginger mixture with ½ cup cold club soda and sugar substitute according to taste and pour over ice. Additional ginger mixture and/or sugar may be added to taste.
Iced pineapple tea
Iced mint tea
Cooking could be interesting!
When I got married I had no clue about how to light a stove, let alone cook. Back then, we had Nurir ma, the epitome of the ultimate domestic help. Nurir ma is quite a character and needs a separate column to write about. While she was around, I didn't have to lift a finger, let alone a spoon or a mop to cook or do any housework. But one fine day, she just walked out of our house taking her son with her.
It seemed as if the sky had fallen on our heads. My mother-in-law was the best cook ever but she was old and needed help. And 'little ole' me wasn't much of one. But I tried to be what a lokkhi bou should be. I tried my hand at cooking. In the meantime, maa had to go out of town leaving me on my own. I took up the reins of the kitchen in my capable (?) hands. I called up my mother and asked for instructions and cooked my first meal, which consisted of chicken curry and rice. While cooking the chicken, I added water according to the instructions I got. Who knew it would be a tad too much? I tried to dry up the gravy, stirring it enthusiastically. The poor chicken could not withstand the vigorous stirring and began to come off in shreds. It was a mess with all the meat resembling some sort of bhorta and the bones sticking out like twigs in a mud pie!
Next, I concentrated on the rice. I took out two cups of rice from the first tin I laid my hands on and boiled it. Luckily I had remembered to wash it. When it was done it seemed so sticky that I couldn't dish it out with a spoon and had to use my hands to scrape it off the spoon. My husband figured out it was biroin chal or sticky rice, a particular delicacy of Sylhet and eaten with molasses and thick, creamy milk or scrumptious fish fries!
Eid was around the corner and the night before Eid I decided to try my hand at cooking maa's famous shemai. She fried a little vermicelli in ghee and cooked it on slow fire in a huge pot full of milk, stirring it continuously till the milk became a quarter of what she had started with. Now, I had seen the finished product most of the time and not the hard work that went behind it. So I took the huge pot and mixed some water to some powdered milk and added the vermicelli. It didn't look like maa's - and why should it turn out perfect without all the effort that was supposed to go with it? So I took the powdered milk tin and turned it upside down over the pot. I had a pot full of watery milk vermicelli with enormous lumps of solidified powdered milk!
By Fahmeena Nahas
The healthy alternative to coffee
People have been drinking green tea for centuries. In fact, Buddhist monks began consuming it regularly due to its medicinal powers as a beverage. Recent research has supported their early claims, as more and more benefits have been found.
Researchers have discovered green tea is loaded with antioxidants, specifically polyphenols. This type helps to fight against free radicals. Free radical molecules cause “bad” cholesterol to form plaque on the inside walls of the body's arteries. Polyphenols are said to stop this, as well as to relax blood vessels. Therefore, green tea is also effective in reducing the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Just like “regular” tea, green tea is brewed. It can be served hot or iced, before, during, or after a meal. It is a great replacement to coffee in the morning, as it has much less caffeine per cup. Or, use it as a great after-meal counterpart to dessert.
By Zubaida Munny
Kay Kraft's Summerfest'08
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