Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 82, Tuesday, August 25, 2009



Tomato and basil soup
Serves 6-8
28g butter
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp plain flour
1 litre home made chicken broth
6 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
Fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook gently, stirring occasionally for a few minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Gradually pour in stock, stirring all the time; add bay leaf and the tomatoes. Season to taste then bring to boil. Cover pan with lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and discard. Now, transfer soup to a blender and whiz until smooth. You may have to do this in batches. Rinse out pan. Return soup to the pan. Check seasoning. Adjust if necessary. Serve warm with a sprinkling of shredded fresh basil leaves.

Rainbow salad with soy-sesame dressing
1 bunch of lettuce leaves
1 ripe mango, diced
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbsp garlic, crushed
1 tbsp ginger, minced
6 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ cup olive oil
Mix all the ingredients for the dressing. Place salad leaves first. Put the mango and cherry tomatoes on the leaves. Pour the salad dressing over the mango and tomatoes.

Mango fool
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and one of them chopped.
200ml mango juice drink
2 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp lime juice
300ml cream
3 tbsp caster sugar
Purée the peeled mango in a blender with the juice, honey and lime juice. Whisk the cream and then fold it into the mango coulis. Add the sugar. Now pour the mango coulis into tall glasses. Top with extra cream and chopped mangoes. Decorate with a cherry if desired. Chill in a refrigerator for minimum 6-8 hours before serving.

Lychee and mango smoothie

1 ripe mango
5 fresh lychees
1 cup yoghurt
Sugar to taste
Ice, crushed
Pinch of cinnamon
Sprig of mint
Chop mango and lychees. Blend fruit with sugar and yoghurt. Pour into glass with crushed ice. Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with fresh mint.

Food prepared by Samina Quasem
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Our fav food

Say cheese!

“Cheese! Why won't it stop flirting with me?”
-- Dave Chappele

The above statement, no matter how witty it is, is a testament to the power of cheese; its dominance over our appetite. Cheese has survived through countless generations, protecting its basics and fundamentals from undergoing any significant evolution, while stretching its influence across the globe.

So how and when did all the magic begin? Interestingly, this divine food was not invented out of sheer research or experimentation or plan. Instead, it was discovered naturally, accidentally; almost like any other discoveries.

It was simple enough. Nomadic traders and pilgrims who travelled for months carried milk in the traditional container made out of the stomach of animals. Little did those folks know that a group of enzymes called 'rennet' busily carried out the process of converting the milk into curd and whey.

Meanwhile, back home, a bowl of milk appeared to solidify to form curd when stored (with the help of different microbes and certain natural conditions). Thrilled by the transformation, and delighted with the taste of curd, they decided to store it further. Months later, after a little processing, the curd changed to an even more yummy substance… this, was the prologue of the story.

The 'yummy substance' was enthusiastically shared among friends and family and soon gained popularity. Afterwards, perhaps in pursuit of finding the mystique behind the food, people started analysing and experimenting with it, trying to improve the taste even further. Then, it was made to travel overseas… then across oceans, by several ambitious and visionary merchants who shared the fascination for the food and understood its value very well.

Today, we find more than 700 types of cheese. It has now become a full-on commercial product, consumed by millions worldwide.

Putting aside the delicious side of it, cheese provides many health benefits. Cheese is made of milk and has a load of calcium in it. This means it does a good job of making your teeth and bones strong. Several types of cheese prevent tooth decay. Cheese also contains a lot of protein, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin A, etc.

Lactose intolerant people (it is likely you are one if you find your digestive system facing difficulties when you drink milk) can get the much-needed calcium from aged cheese (such as Cheddar and Swiss), as they contain almost no lactose. Or, if you can't even tolerate the low content, then you can opt for soy cheese a veggie's delight. Unfortunately, in our country the craze for this food is low and we don't get most of the different types. We do, however, pleasure ourselves with our own version the Dhaka paneer. Paneer is very nutritious, and it is also believed to reduce cancer risk.

But cheese makes you fat, right? Wrong. Actually, it depends. Some companies have adapted several types of cheese to include very low or negligible fat-content. Look for them.

Indeed, producers of cheese are obsessed with the cheese market and quality. Many factories go into great detail and scrutiny to produce a particular type of cheese or to maintain a particular content or taste starting from cheese and then moving backwards: controlling the quality of milk, maintaining the health and quality of cows and thus controlling the quality of food those cows eat… it's a tiresome and never-ending process.

But as for you simply gulp in the end product, and enjoy the magic take over your mouth.

By M H Haider


Yet another pandemic

Swine flu is merely an influenza A H1N1 virus although as of recent statements fear is given birth to every time the virus is mentioned, sending a shiver down to our very cores. The symptoms are similar if not completely identical, to those of typical seasonal flu symptoms. The human immune system has a lower resistance rate to the swine flu virus, as the latter has gears of both pig and bird influenzas built into it. Swine flu is highly contagious and thus the virus literally contaminates every human being who comes in human contact with another victim of the virus.

Swine flu symptoms such as high body temperatures, coughs with a watery or congested nose, sore throats, body aches or headaches, chills, weariness, diarrhoea and nausea are to be taken into account, when examining a patient. A heightened infection of the virus may lead to pneumonia and respiratory failures. It is of utmost importance that if any of the mentioned symptoms swell up you proceed to a nearby hospital immediately to run several tests. The sooner the confirmation of the virus is revealed the sooner the treatment can be commenced.

Swine flu symptoms with severity include heavy breathing, bluish or gray patches on the skin, inability to consume fluids, persist nausea, excessive sleep, easily irritable and worsened fevers or coughs.

Pregnant women, people with chronic lung diseases such as asthma or cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or immuno- suppressions; and obese children or obese adults are prone to the virus than the rest of the population.

Important facts that you should be aware of about this particular virus include, swine flu infection is contagious from a day before the virus sinks up till a week, any secretions from the nose or the respiratory tract. Anti-flu medications include oseltamivir phosphate, zanamivir, either amantadine or rimantadine. Isolate the infected in a single room so that further spread around the house can be terminated and a mask should be worn so that the germs retain within the infected body. Cleanliness and hygiene are to be paid close attention to. Utensils should be solely assigned to the infected and thoroughly washed with soap after every usage.

By Sanjana Rahman

Desigo: The one-stop solution to couture

If you are looking for a one-stop solution to all your coutoure under one roof, Desigo is the place to be. From custom tailoring, including calico service to casual wear, farmals and evening wear, Desigo has it all.

'Mariamah' is a a label created specifically as a one stop solution for a look that is both femine. and covered at the same time subsidiary of Desigo, whose design concepts are inspired by rich craftsmanship combined with modern simplicity. The clothes are specially designed so as to allow comfort, freedom of movement and ensure durability.

Desigo provides work for the underprivileged in a strictly supervised work environment with in-place systems of high quality control and standards required by some of the world's most discerning buyers. Some of their most well known clients include Christian Fischbacher, Switzerland (an exclusive rang of scarves), The Glass House, UK (occasional wear and accessories), and Sazaby, Japan (hand bags). Other export destinations include USA, Europe, the Middle East and Malaysia.

Roxana Mariam Salam, the creative force behind Desigo, graduated with a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in the UK in Fashion Design. Upon completing her education, she worked at the UK with well known fashion houses, “Frank Usher” and Jean Varon & John Bates”, before setting up her own house, Desigo in 1989 in Bangladesh.

Roxana has represented Bangladesh in the major fashion trade fairs throughout the world, maintaining a steadfast reputation for high-class contemporary design and quality. She is a member of the Board of Governors of Bangladesh Silk Foundation representing the private sector on 1999 to 2001. Among her many achievements, some of her most noted are- she was Costume Designer for Miss Bangladesh at the Miss World Contest in the years 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000; she was also warded the 'Woman of the Year' award Ananda Bazar Patrika in 2003, Dhaka for her contribution towards the fashion industry.

Desigo has exhibited at some of the top fashion exhibitions of the world, some of which are CPD (Dusseldorf) in 1997, Top Drawer and Premier(London) in 2000. Desigo launched its Children's Wear collection 'Rox & Bubbles' at Top Drawer (London) in 2005.

Desigo has had its own retail outlets in Dhaka for over 15 years at House 50A, Road 23, Block B, Banani, Dhaka. #01712850771, 9882645.


Deshi Dosh: United we stand

Regardless of all the mayhem the country has had to go through over the past years, the Bangladeshi creative industry, specifically that of the handloom and handicrafts sectors, through the relentless devotion of our craftsmen and artisans towards hard work and years of perfected skill, have, with their invaluable creations, made a niche of their own in the world market.

The concept of Deshi Dosh was thus conceived, with an aim to promote all that is deshi, as well as getting our own people acquainted with creations that are exclusively ours. A creative collaboration between ten of the country's top fashion houses, the basic aim of Deshi Dosh consists of a united front taken up by some of the oldest and finest boutiques of our country; Nipun, Prabartana, Kay Kraft, Anjan's, Rang, Banglar Mela, Bibiana, Shadakalo, Deshal and Nogordola. Their hard work and dedication will be jointly diplayed at the premises of Deshi Dosh, overa 2300 square feet on Level 7 of Bashundhara City Shopping Complex from 20 August 2009.

In a star-studded event at the Winter Garden, Dhaka Sheraton, on 18 August 2009, the launching ceremony of Deshi Dosh was celebrated with grandeur, amongst much fanfare.

The event began with a little background description of each of the fashion houses behind Deshi Dosh, and one by one, each of the directors of the respected fashion houses introduced on stage.

Among other guest speakers was chief guest , honourable minister Motia Chowdhury, who also gave a speech. Finally, the event ended with each of the invited celebrities invited up on stage in pairs to say a few words in wishing Deshi Dosh and their much-applauded initiative success.

By Farina Noireet




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