Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 28, Tuesday, July 13, 2010



Book review

10 minute cooking

It’s hardly a secret that modern day pressures prevent the average woman from indulging in some of the good old-fashion cooking that their mothers and grandmothers taught them. Even if they want to serve a hot steamy dish on the dinner table, their packed schedules of business meetings and kids' doctor appointments just make it more practical to order some take-out from the nearby restaurant.

Rahima Sultana Reeta says that that is exactly what she had in mind while penning her new cookbook Dosh Miniter Ranna. Sponsored by Maggi, Dosh Miniter Ranna is not only packed with an array of delicious mouth-watering meals but also stays true to its title, which is why almost all the appetising dishes in the book can be prepared in about ten minutes.

This makes Rahima Sultana's new book ideal for the busy modern woman who is short on spare time but is eager to have a delectable dish on her dining table whether it be for her and her family to enjoy a home-cooked meal or to show off her culinary skills to her guests.

The book catalogues an impressive amount of dishes and delicacies. The author covers almost every popular traditional Eastern dishes and she makes the Western meals even more interesting by adding flavours of the East to them. Designed for the keen cook with an eye for experimental cooking, this cookbook is definitely worth having while on culinary expeditions.

What sets this book apart from the usual cookbook is how the writer goes a little further than simply naming a few popular recipes and takes into consideration the increase of health-related problems in today's world of heart diseases, high blood pressure and obesity.

As a woman in tune to her fitness and dietary requirements, Rahima Sultana stresses on the need to have meals that are not only tasty but also contributes to maintaining physical well-being. All recipes in the book have been thoroughly checked for their nutritional values and are key to maintaining a balanced diet.

Rahima Sultana even has her own cooking show called “Maggi Taste n Balance” and much of the recipes showcased are from her book Dosh Miniter Ranna. Committed to not only nourishing the taste buds of her viewers but also doing so with healthier alternatives, the talented culinary artist says that healthy food for a healthy life is the theme for her programme. This philosophy is maintained throughout her book as well.

By Mahareen Khalid


Maggi Noodles Chop
1 packet Maggi two minute noodles (masala)
1/4 tsp mixed spices powder
1 tbsp butter/ghee
1/4 tsp of crushed black pepper
1 egg
1 tbsp flour
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup oil
1 tbsp grated cheese
1 whole potato
First boil the potato and Maggi two minute noodles. Then smash the potato and mix it with the noodles. Add the crushed black pepper, mixed spices powder, grated cheese, butter/ghee, 1 tbsp of flour and mix. Then shape into chops, roll it on the flour and dip in the beaten egg. Cover them with breadcrumbs and then fry in oil. Now you can prepare it as children's snacks and tiffin and keep them cool in the refrigerator. You can also serve them hot and tasty right after frying.

Maggi Cutlet
1 packet Maggi family noodles
1/2 cup chicken breast
1/2 cup beaten eggs
1 cup flour
3 tbsps chopped carrots
3 tbsps chopped broccoli
3 tbsps French beans
2 tbsps tomato sauce
1 tbsp Soya sauce
2 tsps vinegar
2 tsps green chillies
2 tbsps onion layers
Oil, as much as needed
Salt to taste
1 tbsp cornflower
Water, as much as needed
First cut the chicken breast into thin and long strips and soak them in vinegar and salt. All the vegetable should be chopped into thin strips as well. The onion layers and green chili are to be chopped into little pieces. Fry the strips of chicken into a pan with 3 tablespoons of oil until almond brown. Keep them separate after they are fried. Stir-fry the broccoli, onions, French bean and carrots with the desired amount of salt. Add tomato sauce, Soya sauce and vinegar to the vegetable while frying. Mix the cornflower with water and add with the vegetables and then let it cool. Boil the Maggi noodles and add a little bit of salt to the water. Strain the noodles and mix with flour. Spread the noodles onto a plain dish. Add the stir-fried vegetable on the noodles and make them into a roll. Dip the roll into the beaten egg and fry in hot oil. Chop the rolls into as many pieces as you want and serve the hot and delicious Maggi cutlets.

Maggi Meatpie
2 packets Maggi 2 minute noodles
1 cup minced chicken
1 beaten egg
4 tbsps tomato sauce
2 tbsps flour
10 tbsps chopped carrots
2 tsps lemon juice
2 onions (finely chopped and fried)
2 green chillies (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp butter
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsps bread crumbs
1/2 tsp mixed spices powder
3 tbsps cheese (cottage or mozzarella)
Salt to taste
Add a little bit of salt to a teaspoon of minced chicken and fry it in butter or oil. Mix the fried minced chicken, flour, chopped carrots, ginger paste, salt, fried and chopped onions, chopped green chilli, chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice, butter, beaten egg, mixed spices and bread crumbs together. Boil the Maggi noodles. Brush some butter on a dish first and then spread half of the noodles on it. Pour the tomato sauce on it followed by the minced chicken and then another layer of tomato sauce. Add the other half of the noodles on that and then a layer of tomato ketchup, then a layer of minced chicken and then the last brush of tomato sauce. Put the cheese on top of it all and bake for 5 minutes inside an oven. And voila! You have yourself some hot Maggi meat pie!

Recipe courtesy: Maggi 10 Minute-e Ranna


Morning meals

Literally meaning 'breaking fast', breakfast is important because of the long pause after the last meal of the previous day. For most people this will be at least 8-10 hours, and for children who eat earlier in the evening, it can be as long as 16hrs! Energy levels are therefore low in the mornings, and your body needs an energy boost, in the form of food.

Most people don't take breakfast seriously, but to your surprise - yes, it's true - breakfast IS the most important meal of the day!

Breakfast can kick-start a day for children who go to school and need all their energy and also for adults who need to go to work and be fresh and stable.

A number of studies have shown that eating breakfast regularly leads to improved mood and better memory. Breakfast eaters also tend to be less stressed and feel calmer. Adults perform better in mental tasks after eating breakfast, and children who eat breakfast perform better in school.

Most people give a variety of reasons for not eating breakfast. A common reason is that they are not hungry in the morning, which is a result of eating a full meal late in the evening or late snacking. When they go to bed, the body is still busy digesting all that food. Digestion then goes into a slower gear during the hours of sleep and there is still food in the stomach in the morning. The stomach needs a rest too. A tired stomach does not feel like digesting a big breakfast. When you get up in the morning, your glucose or blood sugar level is at its lowest point in the day. Glucose is the basic fuel for the brain and central nervous system. A good breakfast will keep you from being tired and irritable by mid-morning.

The effects of a skipped breakfast are short attention span, lack of alertness, longer reaction time, low blood sugar, and decreased work productivity. Surely, breakfast is a meal of great importance. Take time to eat a healthy and balanced breakfast. It's a good investment of your time. Once you get into the habit of eating breakfast, you may feel hungry in the morning.

What's your excuse for not eating breakfast?
“No time?” How much time does it take to eat a bowl of cereal? Make toast and eat it on your way to work. Make your breakfast the night before. Making time for breakfast is making time to be healthy.

“Not hungry?” To get started, don't eat anything after an early supper. Finish supper by 9.00 p.m.

“Might gain weight?” Eating breakfast will actually help you reach and maintain your healthy weight. Your appetite will be satisfied for longer. You'll be eating food when you can best burn the calories. You'll feel great. Eat breakfast.

You “don't like breakfast foods?” You don't have to eat traditional breakfast foods. You can eat leftovers, or a sandwich. Any healthy food is fine. Caffeine may mask hunger.

You “don't like eating breakfast?” It is in your best interest to eat breakfast. Take the step.

A common problem parents face nowadays is making sure their children have breakfast. If temper tantrums come in the way of you and your child due to breakfast issues, the best thing to do is give them what they like, even if it's a candy bar, as long as they get some energy to get through the morning. Energy in the morning is absolutely essential for children, especially adolescents. At the vital ages of early teenage years, nutrition is needed at all times of the day for proper growth. This doesn't mean they have to eat all the time, it just means that they have to eat at the proper times (breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon and dinner during late evening) with the perfect balance of vitamins, minerals and every kind of nutrition.

Most teenagers, especially girls, tend to think that skipping on breakfast will keep them from gaining a few calories. As a matter of fact, having breakfast is a good way to AVOID extra gained calories since it will keep you from overeating at other times of the day when you get too hungry. You don't have to eat too much of anything. Just enough to give the energy you require...when you require it the most!

If you don't know what kind of breakfast will be good for you, you can always try these few suggestions out:

- Ready-to-eat whole-grain cereal topped with fruit and a cup of yoghurt.

- Whole-grain waffles topped with peanut butter, fruit or ricotta cheese.

- A whole-wheat pita stuffed with sliced hard-cooked eggs.

- Hot cereal topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or cloves.

- Peanut butter on a bagel with fresh fruit (banana or apple wedges) and low-fat milk.

- Breakfast smoothie (milk, fruit and teaspoon of bran, whirled in a blender)

- Vegetable omelette with a bran muffin and orange juice.

If your taste buds just do not crave breakfast foods in the morning, try:
- Chicken sandwich and fruit juice.
- Cheese pizza and orange juice.
- Grilled vegetables mixed with beans and cilantro topped with cheese.
- Heated leftover rice with chopped apples, nuts and cinnamon and fruit juice.

Whatever it may be, there's no denying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is the best provider of energy when you need it the most!

What are you waiting for? Go grab a bowl of cereal and some orange juice while reading the paper! Energize yourself! Take care of yourself!

By Naziba Basher

Breakfast spots in Dhaka

For the best kinds of breakfast in town, Dhaka city is full of places to suit your satisfaction. We have assembled a list of places for you to go and make the best out of you early meal.
For continental breakfast the places to go are:

Café Mango
Situated in Dhanmondi road# 5 and Banani (right behind United Hospital), Café Mango offers breakfast such as sausages, cold sandwiches and some coffee. It's light and refreshing yet extremely fulfilling - tastewise! Café Mango is open from 11am onwards.

Cuppa Coffee
Cuppa Coffee has a breakfast set including eggs, sausages, toast and coffee. You could order some fresh orange, mango or papaya juice to set your mood for the morning. Along with that you have different kinds of healthy smoothies and other drinks, whichever suits you best! Cuppa Coffee opens at 11am.

La Vinci restaurant
Hotel La Vinci, in Kawran Bazaar, has an authentic and exclusive restaurant serving mouth-watering and scrumptious Italian cuisine. Food lovers come here for, among others, the tiramisu (an Italian dessert made with marscapone cheese, sponge cake and coffee) and cannelloni (a specialty containing cheese, chicken and pasta). La Vinci opens at 6 am.

Pizza Hut
Pizza hut, situated in Dhanmondi, Gulshan and Bailey road, offers you breakfast such as pasta and more. You can fulfil your appetite for the morning with a small sized cheese pizza to go with some fresh juice. Pizza Hut opens around 11am.

Cofi 11
Cofi 11, in Gulshan, opens at 11am and has amazing waffles for breakfast. Waffles are just one of the examples, you'll get everything there to get you going for the morning. Coffee, juice and any drink that suits your mood to go with your waffles or pie.

Red Shift
Situated in Gulshan 2, Red shift has breakfast delicious enough to keep you there for lunch and dinner. Waffles and sandwiches to go with healthy sausage salad and fresh juice or coffee is a common favourite. Red Shit is open around 11am.

Radisson is well known across the globe for its undoubted class. Along with everything else, it offers classy breakfast as well! Anything and everything you desire for a healthy breakfast, you'll get in Radisson. And if you're staying there, there's no question about it. Along with your wonderful stay, you get some wonderful breakfast.

Much like Radisson, Westin offers a great breakfast of international cuisines. Aware of your health type, you can get exactly what you need.
For some delicious deshi breakfast you might want to try:

Star restaurant
Star restaurant opens at 5:30 am and offers the most amazing breakfast. The special paratha, chicken soup, mixed vegetables and daal will keep you coming back for more. To top it off, they have delicious tea to end your meal with a smile on your face. Star restaurant has branches all over Dhaka.

Ullash also serves paratha, naan and anything that goes with them. Chicken, beef, vegetables and much more. Ullash opens around 6 am for joggers around Dhanmondi 11A and 12A. It's right between the two!

This is a restaurant specializing in Bangladeshi food. You can order numerous kinds of delicious dishes ranging from the regular rice, biriani, vegetables, fish and meat items. Go for their local fish delicacies ranging from Ruhi, Koi, Hilsa, Kachki, Pabda - fried or curried, you choose! The same is true for poultry, beef and mutton items which include Kima Mattar and Chicken Jhal Fry. The interior is chic with intricate woodcarvings adorning the walls. The surrounding is cosy and relaxing with a selection of good food! It opens at 8.30 am for breakfast and is situated in Kemal Ataturk avenue.

Prince restaurant
Opening at 9.30 am, this deshi eatery has been around for some time now, and the guys over there promise 'princely' service! Some of their local delicacies include steaming birianis, tangy seafood curries, and chicken rezalla, all to go with everyone's favourite - plain boiled rice! Though the ambience is not particularly appealing, Prince has good food to offer, as well as friendly service! It's situated in National Stadium market.

Café Jheel
Situated in the busy business hub of town in Motijheel, this restaurant is extremely popular among office goers. They prepare the usual local items but are a cut above their competition! Café Jheel's chicken jhaal fry is an essential and their warm soft naans go nicely with a cup of warm tea! Café Jheel opens at 9.30 am.

Dhansiri specializes in typical tasty Bengali cuisine and they have stuck to their promise of providing hygienically prepared and low priced traditional dishes for the past 14 years. Dhanshiri opens at 11am for breakfast.

By Naziba Basher


LS Editor’s Note

Of octopus soup and rolling heads

Well it was a disastrous WC for me. Brazil, my perpetual favourites lost and deservingly so; as someone put it they played like pumpkins. But what happened to my fierce Germany, the other team I was pining for?

I am at my wit's end just thinking about how they could not manage a single goal at the semis, when four was the minimum they routinely scored. Totally flabbergasted; and usually when I am at this point of hopelessness I hate the luck factor to which everyone refers to console the losers.

I am anything but lucky, I completely believe in the fact that you reap as you sow. And the mighty Germans should have put up a stronger show, but I blame Paul the weird octopus who, instead of doing his regular job of eating crustaceans decided to predict matches.

His prediction was putting an unnecessary pressure on Lahm and his teammates and for some queer reason this semi final ended even before the Germans kicked the Jabulani. That was the final for me, this new champion holds no fascination for me.

But let’s get back to Paulzy, now that all its predictions came true Paul will rule the world, just mark my words. For any dilemma people will be running with mussels to Paul's.

Honestly, now like the Argentines and many around the globe I too want to kill this world renowned, good humoured, quirky phenomenon and put it in a salad or soup instead of in paella. But before I do that I want some heads on the side.

First one should be that of the keeper's who decided to put mussels on glass cubes with one of the nation's flags on the front. The mussel Paul chooses first is taken to be its prediction; completely disregarding Paul's sense of colour and intelligence level. No matter what Wikipedia says about octopuses being intelligent, they cannot be a state-of-the-art-prediction device. Doesn't the keeper have anything better to do, like cleaning Paul's poop or something?

Yeah, my ultra violent side is surfacing. I am still very angry and I hate to think of all the munchies I ate and bought in the name of a game ultimately lost; not to forget the weight I gained. Now, before I go back to my exercise regime and try to shed off the extra fat, I want to satiate my anger pangs and not hunger, by having an octopus salad.

Since Paul is out of my league I'll stick to octopuses named after Tom, Dick or Harry for the time being. But till I meet Paulzy… muhuhaaa, I think this is the appropriate sound track for my villainous desires.

Raffat Binte Rashid



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