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Weekly Menu

Week 4

Ramadan fasting has spiritual, physical, psychological, and social benefits; however, man-made problems may occur, if fasting is not properly practiced. First of all, there is no need to consume excess food at iftar, dinner or sahur. The body has regulatory mechanisms that activate during fasting. There is efficient utilization of body fat; basal metabolism slows down during Ramadan fasting, and a diet that is less than a normal amount of food intake but balanced is sufficient enough to keep a person healthy and active during the month of Ramadan.

Health problems can emerge as a result of excess food intake, foods that make the diet unbalanced, and insufficient sleep. Ultimately also, such a lifestyle contradicts the essential requirements and spirit of Ramadan.

Consume foods from all the following food groups:

Meat/Bean Group: Chicken, beef, lamb, goat, fish; green pea, chickpea (garbanzo, chana, humus), green gram, black gram, lentil, lima bean and other beans. Meat and beans are a good source of protein, minerals, and certain vitamins. Beans are a good source of dietary fiber, as well.

Bread/Cereal Group: Whole wheat bread, or cooked rice. This group is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which are a good source of energy and provide some protein, minerals, and dietary fiber.

Milk Group: milk or butter-milk (lassi without sugar), yoghurt or cottage cheese (one cup).

Milk and dairy products are good sources of protein and calcium, which are essential for body tissue maintenance and several physiological functions.

Vegetable Group: Mixed vegetable salad (lettuce, carrot, parsley, cucumber, broccoli, coriander leaves, cauliflower or other vegetables as desired.) Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil or any polyunsaturated oil and 2 spoons of vinegar.

Fruits Group: 1-2 servings of citrus and/or other fruits. Eat fruits as the last item of the dinner or soon after dinner, to facilitate digestion and prevent many gastrointestinal problems. Citrus fruits provide vitamin C. Fruits are a good source of dietary fiber.

Fruits and mixed nuts may be eaten as a snack after dinner or taraweeh or before sleep.

Chicken biryani, borhani, fruit chaat and lime juice. Have an 'Old Dhaka' iftar.

Good deed of the day:
Accept invitations for Iftar or dinner. It is not only a social duty but also a religious rite.

Apple pie with ice cream, garlic bread, buttermilk. Apple pie is an excellent source of carbohydrates, minerals and folate and riboflavin.

Good deed of the day:
Being compassionate toward animals is mandated in Islam, so hand out whatever left-over items you have, to the stray dogs in your vicinity.

Cold coffee, pasta with pomfret, grapes. Pomfret provides essential proteins and iodine, not to mention the pasta, which is rich in carbs.

Good deed of the day:
Do not make false promises. Once promises are made, keep them.

Dates, salami sandwich and sharbat 'adas bil-tamar hindi, a delightful Arabian dish akin to our halim. Having dates is a sunnah, and it also provides a sudden burst of energy.

Good deed of the day:
Give an extra 10 taka to the rickshaw puller and watch his face light up with joy and gratitude.

Chick bean chaat, mixed fruit salad, ice tea. Rich in fibre the chaat is good for the bowel; the fruits would be an ample source of minerals and vitamins.

Good deed of the day:
Visit a nearby orphanage to share an iftar meal and feel the warm glow of happiness in your heart.

Faluda, tchola, piyaju, orange juice. Pamper yourself with a traditional, 'unhealthy' diet.

Good deed of the day:
Search for Qadr on the odd nights that follow.

Vegetable cheese sandwich, papaya juice, chicken corn soup. Vegetables combined with cheese make it not only good to eat but also an important source of roughage, calcium and proteins.

Good deed of the day:
Let go of that grudge, forgive and ease the extra baggage from your heart.


Glass Cleanser
Be it the glass of your TV Screen, your PC/laptop monitor, your dining-table glass, crockery, sliding glass doors, mirrors, car window or windowpanes- whatever may be the type - you can easily make them shinier and clean them with your own home made glass cleanser.

To make your glass cleaner, add about one tablespoon of cornstarch to about a third of a gallon of lukewarm water. Wet a rag and squeeze, to remove excessive water and wipe down glass as if using regular glass cleaner. Dry with either a soft cloth or paper towel and be amazed.

This cornstarch method doesn't build up a static charge on the glass so it doesn't attract dust and debris as quickly as regular cleaner does. Hence your glasses stay shinier and cleaner for a longer period of time!

Pop Ups

Load shedding

Due to extensive load-shedding, at one time or other, candles are a must. As useful as they are, candle remains are tough to get rid of from your favorite antique candle stand. To clean candle stand especially a glass one, place it in the deep freezer for one hour. The wax will chip off more easily!

Tired of rubbing your kid's pocket stained with ball point stains? Here is an easier way to get rid of them. To remove obstinate ballpoint ink stains, rub the affected area with a cotton bud soaked in eau-de-cologne. Works in a minute! For a more perfect cleaning for removing ink stains on shirt or jeans pockets just soak in milk overnight and wash as it turns normal the next day!

To get rid of lines of ants marching towards your sweet jalebi or sugar sherbat, put cinnamon near about the sweet dishes. Ants stay away from cinnamons and are not likely to attack on the food item having them. To eliminate the mob completely, make a mixture of borax powder and sugar and spread it in their path, they eat it and carry the grains home, killing nearly all of them.

By Zannatul Lamea

Grilled Seafood “Bella Luna" with lemon cream sauce
Serves: 1
Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 15 min
200g lobster
80g red snapper
70g salmon
70g cuttle fish
70g prawn
20ml lemon juice
salt and black pepper, to taste
100g fresh cream
2g chopped parsley
100ml olive oil
2g fresh basil leaves
20g chopped garlic

Combine and marinate the fish with salt, pepper, lemon juice, fresh basil, and olive oil for 15 minutes. Grill fish for a further 15 minutes. To make the sauce, use a non-stick pan. Pour 50ml olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic until it becomes light brown. Pour the fresh cream with lemon juice and stir for three minutes. Spread on top of grilled fish. Serve with seasonal vegetable and butter potato.

Chicken Tengri Kebab
Serves: 2
4 pieces chicken drum sticks
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
5g white pepper powder
5-10g green chilli paste
30g yoghurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt, to taste
1 egg
20g flour
30ml ghee

Marinate chicken with salt and lemon juice. Add all the pastes and mix well. Add egg and flour for a thin layer over the chicken. Pour the ghee and keep for 2 hours. Cook for 20 minutes in gas oven or charcoal Tandoor.

Prawn Tandoori Kebab
Serves: 4
16 pieces medium sized prawns
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
5g white pepper powder
10g cumin powder
5-10g green chilli paste
30g yoghurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 egg
30ml mustard oil
salt, to taste

Marinate with salt and lemon juice and keep for 30 minutes. Add all the pastes and mix well. Add the egg and flour for a thin layer over the Prawn. Pour the Mustard Oil. Cook for 10-15 minutes on charcoal/gas tandoor.

Beef Hariali Kebab
250g boneless beef
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp Kasmiri chilli powder
1-2 tbsp green chilli paste
30g yoghurt
20g spinach paste
2 tbsp pineapple juice
salt, to taste
30ml ghee

Marinate prawns with salt and pineapple juice. Add all the pastes. Mix well. Pour the ghee and leave for 2 hours. Cook for 10-15 minutes on charcoal/gas Tandoor.

Chicken Tandori
800-1000g whole chicken, cut into 1/4
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp zeera powder
1 tbsp methi powder
1/2 tbsp black salt
1 tbsp Kasmiri chilli
5-10g green chilli paste
30g yoghurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
30ml ghee

Marinate with salt and lemon juice. Keep it for 10 minutes then add all the pastes. Mix well. Pour the ghee and keep for 30 minutes. Cook for 20 minutes on charcoal/gas tandoor.

Note: All Kebab to be used in Tandoor with Skewers.

Special Feature

Ramadan in Andalusia

With an eight hundred year long Islamic presence, the southern Spanish city of Granada serves as a refuge to the Muslim minority of the country. Come Ramadan the whole city transcends into a festive congregation of Muslims from around Spain. Even Spaniards in that area enjoy different characteristics from the rest of the Spanish population.

The Baizin neighborhood in Granada, during Ramadan, is very similar to old neighborhoods in Damascus or Casablanca. When one walks through its streets, Ramadan pastries, religious cassettes and books, along with high numbers of veiled women cannot be termed “out of place.”

One can tell Ramadan has come by the aroma of certain meals coming out of restaurants or houses inhabited by immigrant Muslims mainly from Morocco. There are around 20,000 Muslims living in Granada.

Ramadanian touches are visible almost everywhere with many shops displaying dozens of burlap containing high-quality dates, nuts, dried figs, apricots, prunes in addition to halal meat. Many of the reverts wear traditional Arabian costumes, with men putting on the famous Moroccan white Jalabiya and red Tarboush (turban) and women wearing long dresses and headscarves.

Restaurants across the city prepare Arab-styled meals, including Moroccan soup (Al Harira), dates and bread, giving Granada yet another Islamic touch during the dawn-to-dusk fasting month.

During Ramadan, the most happening place is the Grand Mosque where everyone gathers not only for the prayers but also to share the spirit of Muslim brotherhood. As history claims, after the fall of the longest ruling Muslim dynasty on the Iberian peninsula the Nasrids, Granada came under Christian reign. And after an absence of almost 500 years, the Adhan and the muezzin's cry of "Allahu akbar" rang on July 10, 2003, from the minaret of the Great Mosque of Granada.

Recalling the past glory of the once Muslim stronghold, the reverts come in droves and spend most of their time praying in the city's Grand Mosque and keeping in with the Islamic tradition, they also bring in varied Iftar offerings. Mawa'id Ar-Rahman (charitable Iftar banquets in the street) are also available in abundance.

The joy of Ramadan, however, is sometimes marred by fears of spiraling Islamophobia in the country, which has been on the rise since the Madrid and London bombings. Muslims have been negatively affected by the terrorist acts as some right-wing currents insist threats against Spain come from the south, a reference to immigrants coming from the Arab, Muslim Maghreb. Daily political wrangling between left and right wings in Spain also witness repetitions of words like “Islam,” “terror,” “immigrants,” emphasizing the three pose a threat to the country.

Nevertheless, the southern part of Spain enjoys a distinct aura of Islam juxtaposed with the varied lifestyle and religious view of its diverse population. Staying true to its essence, Ramadan is celebrated here with excitement and passion.

By Shakhawat Imam Rajeeb



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