Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 22, Tuesday, June 1, 2010



Lseditor’s note

Cloud 9

Today's issue of Star Lifestyle holds a special meaning for me. We just completed our ninth year of publication and are now running on ten. It is indeed an achievement; from a small seed of imagination we explored reality and are now soaring towards our dream. And with all this happy, positive air flowing through our office, we decided to make our readers happy too. So this anniversary our gift to you is- we are going to come out in 16 pages, all colour, every week. And on top of everything, we are more confident that, as always, we are going to bring sunshine to your work loaded Tuesday mornings. Now it's a double dose of fun reading all the way.

I hope that our readers and advertisers will continue to support us because we may be nine years on the market but evolving with the market and achieving new heights of challenges along with it, is not possible without your all out encouragement.

The market is teeming with all sorts of lifestyle magazines; this healthy situation has brought lifestyle journalism to a coveted place. The reason for this is of course consumerism, which has taken living standards to a new height. Everybody now knows how important it is to look chic, smell wonderful, eat right, live fashionably and also have fun in style.

Luxury, comfort, elegance, are no longer the privilege of certain classes. Now even a fishmonger or a day labourer works to live comfortably. Kulsum, a house help by profession, must have her fairness cream and a certain brand of hair oil every month. She will not wear mundane regular kameez; she will have hers tailor-made with low backs in knots. And there is nothing wrong in it; she wants to look good and have fun while she works. This desire and ability to spend makes the lifestyle market strong.

On this note I want to share an experience with my readers. For the last few days I had been a spectator to a wedding celebration in a thatched shanty near my child's school. Every morning when I go to drop her, I see stages built in bright yellow, speakers and music in full blast and even in that early hour, I can spot kids dancing, men and women still in their matching yellow saris and panjabi, lazing around with cups of hot tea, blissfully exhausted from all the fun and festivities of the night before, and from the looks of it, their wedding celebration are going the way they wanted it.

I couldn't contain my curiosity and took a long detour from work just to see what goes on as the sun sets and I was not disappointed. In fact these people were celebrating the wedding exactly the way they see it happening in the movies or TV serials. Their fanfare was contagious and I was elated because this means that now every single one of us with the ability to spend, are living life large, according to our own individual standards of living and style factor.

So now you know where the pulse of the market lies, in your lifestyle of course. Here's to many more years of loving companionship from our valued readers and allowing us to make your dreams colourful.

-Raffat Binte Rashid

I have two passions in life one is food and the other is promoting a positive impression of Bangladesh. As a chef I have had considerable success in introducing genuine Bangladeshi dishes to people in the UK, Europe, Japan and even India. We have a great deal to offer and can be proud of the many things that mark us out as different from the rest of the sub-continent.

Deshi style bhetki
2 cups water
1 tbsp salt
2 (4 ounce) fillets of bhetki
1½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp ground coriander
1½ tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
1 sprig cilantro or coriander

Combine the water and 1 tablespoon salt in a shallow container. Soak the fish in the salt water for 10 minutes.
Mix the turmeric, coriander, paprika, and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Remove fish from the salt water and pat dry with paper towels. Coat fish on both sides with spice mixture.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook fish in hot oil until it flakes easily with a fork, for about 3 minutes per side. Serve garnished with cilantro or coriander.

Hazelnut crusted bhetki with garlic-mashed potatoes
1 lb red potatoes cut into chunks
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup hazelnuts
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 bhetki fillets
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp butter
3 tbsp vegetable broth

Place the potatoes into a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
While the potatoes are boiling, mash the garlic with ½ teaspoon of salt into a smooth paste. Drain potatoes, then mash together with the garlic paste, butter, and pepper. Keep warm.

Preheat an oven to 500F (260C).
While the potatoes are cooking, preheat an oven to 500F (260C).
Beat the hazelnuts and breadcrumbs in a food processor until finely ground, but not ground into a paste. Pour onto a shallow dish. Season the bhetki fillets on both sides with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Gently press one side of the fillets into the nut mixture, and set aside.

Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Place the bhetki fillets nut-side-up into the skillet; cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the fish begins to brown. Turn the fillets over, and place into the preheated oven. Bake, nut-side-down for about 5 minutes until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it turns nut brown. Stir in the vegetable broth, and bring to a simmer.

To serve, mound the potatoes onto the centre of each dinner plate. Place a bhetki fillet on top of the mashed potatoes nut-side-up, and then drizzle with the browned butter sauce.

Bangla mustard fish
3 tbsp mustard seed
5 green chilli peppers, diced
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 medium onions, chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
Salt to taste
1/3 cup water
2 pounds boal fish, cut into chunks

Place the mustard seed and chilli peppers in a bowl, and mash together to create a fine paste.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onions until golden. Mix in mustard and chilli paste, chilli powder, turmeric, and salt. Stir in water.
Place boal in the skillet. Reduce heat to low, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and fish is easily flaked with a fork.

Egg cetera

I have finally been able to change someone's behaviour. All my life, I worked in advertising, trying to change the behaviour of consumers; make them switch from one soap to the other, from one shampoo to a different one. Tried to change behaviour so that some would stop using tooth powder and start using toothpaste.

I do not know how successful I was in that endeavour. But when it comes to my wife, I certainly have been able to change behaviour. I have been able to convince her to watch cookery shows on television with me.

Can you imagine my peaceful existence? No fighting over the remote. Well, almost none. No off tune unknown voice trying to showcase lack of talent in another reality show. None of the soapy melodrama on TV!

Some cricket, yes. Some humour, yes. And lots of food; glorious food, staring at you in various stages of preparedness from the screen. From the elaborate de-boning of chicken to the fine dicing of herbs to the cross hatches on the loaf. From the constant patter of Jaimie Oliver to the almost too scripted description of Kylie Kwong to the honey dripping narration of Nigella Lawson, full of double entendre. And so it was no surprise when she said that she would cook eggs for one of our dinner parties.

Apparently, she picked up the recipe from one of these shows. I do not know what went on in the kitchen. I was helping my friends in their display of unabashed bacchanalian behaviour. She emerged with a large plate on which there was one thick layer of multicoloured stuff.

Upon close inspection and questioning, she revealed that those were eight eggs, flash fried, sunny side up. Then they were transferred to a serving plate. Chopped scallions were strewn on top. And a generous dollop of oyster sauce was smeared across.

Then we witnessed genius in action. She took a knife and ran it randomly across the top of the entire thing. Rich, yellow yolk oozed out. Mixed with pale jade scallions and dark, silky oyster sauce. The top looked like a Jackson Pollock painting.

Too surreal. Too delicate. Too foreboding. My friend tried a mouthful. And then another. And another. We had to literally steer him toward the other dishes. Let me tell you, he was not too happy about that.

It tasted just like it looked. Beautiful, rich, warm. Smoothness of the yolk, contrasted with the crispness of the white, the crunch of scallions and the faint hint of darkness from the oyster sauce. Lip smacking, nerve tingling, senses awakening. It was a fitting centrepiece for an otherwise humdrum dinner table.


Something Fishy

Bangladeshis are known to be synonymous with rice and fish. Something like a national delicacy, fish dishes are usually found on every lunch table. Everyone knows that a lot of preparation and precision goes into cooking the perfect fish and so here are some of quick tips that should make it easier.

For grilling fish, the sturdier and fattier the fish (think salmon, tuna and swordfish) the more beautifully they grill. Just make sure that your grill is very clean and oil it before adding the fish.

To steam the fish, place water in a large saucepan and add the seasoning ingredients. Bring the liquid to a simmer, place the fish in the steamer and place over the simmering water

Baking is one of the easiest ways to cook fish. Just follow the recipe instructions in your favourtie cookbook for the cooking, covering, and standing times.

Always be extremely careful not to overcook your fish. Fishes are delicate. Do not cook your fillets too long or at too high a temperature. This will make the fish tough and rubbery. Cook the fish only until it flakes easily at the touch of a fork. Fish cooks much faster than most people realize.

By Mahareen Khalid

Check It Out

Bonkers over beverages

They say hot showers during the summer and cold showers during the winter are the way to go. Likewise, contradictory to what some might believe, hot beverages are also apparently a very efficient way to cool down the body system during days when the scorching sun overhead makes it tough to stay on your feet.

In comes the queen and king of hot beverages- the femininely light and refreshing tea, which, if taken the healthy way can do wonders for the body, and the strong, macho coffee, the powerful aroma of which can effectively cure even the most stubborn hangovers or drowsiness.

For the most loyal of the tea and coffee connoisseurs, Dhali superstore at Gulshan 2, has just recently revamped the interior of the store to include more shelves to house some fabulous new products, as well as an entirely new section that provides their valued customers with everyday necessities such as fresh meat and groceries; and the latest stars among some of the best international food brands, are the specially imported Starbucks coffee beans- newcomers that very rightfully have an entire section of the newly installed shelves for themselves.

Dhali believes in going all the way to cater to their customers, thus sporting almost all flavours and categories that Starbucks has to offer. With the fanciest of flavours among Latin American coffee, such as Decaf House Blend, Shade grown Mexico and Columbia Narino Supreme, Asia Pacific's Sulawesi and classics such as the Gold Coast Blend and Dark Espresso Roast and still more to come,

Dhali provides all the best that Starbucks has to offer. With a price tag that ranges from Tk 550 to Tk 1300 per 200 grams package, depending on the flavours and blend, Dhali also provides the added service of freshly grinding the whole-roasted coffee beans, for no extra charge, for those who require it. For those who prefer a different brand, yet of the same calibre and fame that Starbucks offers, the store also has available specially imported coffee from the Japanese company UCC. This product is available also in many different blends, from the classic Sumiyaki to the basic soft and strong types at a price range to Tk 1190 to upto Tk 12000. There is also a Swiss Brand of coffee, Melitta, which comes with a price tag of Tk 1900.

However, as aforementioned above, Dhali makes a point to provide for everyone. Another star among the new products, and rightfully displayed right next to Starbucks, are products from The Gryphon Tea Company, for those who prefer a subtler version of the hot beverage. Their specially brewed flavours from the Artisan Selection include exotic blends such as Nymph of the Nile and White Gingerlily among others. This brand is available at Tk 950 per 46 grams.

So for really fanatic tea and coffee connoisseurs around town, Dhali is really the place to go to find those world-renowned flavours that were missing in our everyday life. When it comes to world-class options to choose from, it doesn't get any better than this!

By Farina Noireet

Playing peek-a-boo

At once seductive and sophisticated, nothing adds a feminine touch like a spot of lace. Whether you're using it as trimmings, or the main feature of your outfit, drive them all crazy playing hide and seek with some feminine frills.

Three ways to wear lace:
Fringe benefits - While crocheted lace adds a crafty touch to your couture, you can use the machine-made frills to add a little sass to your outfits. Try raising the hem of your sari to display the lace borders of a fancy petticoat. This look will not work with all types of saris, particularly those with ornate borders of their own.

What lies beneath - Team a low-cut kameez or top with a lacy camisole for a modest, yet sexy look. You could also pair a button down shirt with a lace camisole, and leave a few buttons undone to let the lace peep out. Keep in mind that the camisole must have a higher neckline than the garment on top, otherwise it looks more trashy than innocently flirty.

It's lace! It's a bracelet! It's a lace-let. Take a length of lace, thread through with ribbon in a contrasting colour, and wrap around your wrist to make a soft, delicate cuff. Makes a great accessory for flirty tops and jeans, and is a look that's getting popular at rock concerts.

The thing to remember about any of these looks is the need for subtlety. The lace should be a teasing whisper, and used sparingly for maximum effect.

By Sabrina F Ahmad

Are You Aware of . . .

Intrusion of privacy

After a gruelling day at work, Nada craved for was a long, refreshing shower. Sitting casually in front of the mirror, she lost herself in restless thoughts; carelessly brushing her hair, and at the same time pondering on the schedule that lay ahead the next day.

Just while she had lost herself in a moment of solitude and good music on the stereo, a ray of red light peeped through her window and stamped an 'I Luv You' on her chest!

She quickly found her ground, the red flash of light bringing her back to stark reality and the fact that she had forgotten to draw the curtains while she roamed the room in her bathrobe.

She drew the curtains, knowing fully well that it was too late. All the time she was lost in her own world, the neighbourhood voyeur took that special moment from her; he took her privacy. She felt violated. But her attempt to locate the perpetrator all went in vain.

Although this may appear fictitious to many, the account here mentioned is a recurrent ordeal to many.

Peeping toms are anything but a lost breed in the city. Dwarfed 5-storey- structures dotting almost every locality of the city, each raised next to one another, so much so that occupants can embrace the person in the next building. To maintain privacy, one must be on guard, keeping in mind that the curtains must be drawn at all times.

Voyeurs, however, are guarded to fight back. Many equipped with binoculars, their visions now extend beyond the house next door, to the tall high-rise miles away as the crow flies.

"I just do it for fun. You can never let the chance of seeing girls in awkward moments pass you by" said Andaleeb (not his real name) "I have a sharp vision, if you know what I mean. Although I am not really into it, but things just pop up in front of my eyes, and I am the last person to lower my gaze when this happens."

Contrary to Andaleeb's belief of 'harmless gazing', psychologists have long held the view that voyeurism is a psychological illness. It is a clinical condition related to sexual pleasure derived from watching people, but it largely refers to peeping toms.

Invasion of privacy can also take in auditory form; people paying close attention to the happenings of your household, and the fights that you may have with your husband can sometimes form the centre of attraction in gossip sessions of the voyeur.

Nada makes an intriguing point, "people think invasion of privacy can happen only within the confines of your bedroom or house, but with dawning of social networking sites brought in new form of voyeurism. People browse through profiles of individual they are not friends with, often simply because of the fact that she is attractive. There remains loop holes in the security options of Facebook and other sites, and I feel this has brewed in a new era of invasion of privacy."

Irrespective of whether it happens in the virtual world or in real times, invasion of privacy can have a long lasting effect on the psyche of the sufferer. One must always be on guard, lest the voyeur peeps in.

By Pothbhola





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