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A TRUE TASTE OF ASIA


By Tommy Miah

Summertime breakfast
Tropical summer smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh pineapple
½ cup frozen mangoes
½ cup frozen peaches
1 banana
1 cup coconut water
Splash of 100 percent orange juice
Method:
Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth.
Tip: You can replace the frozen fruits with fresh fruits (or vice versa) if you have them. Just remember to add a few ice cubes.

Muffins with summer fruit
Ingredients:
Muffins
250g self-raising wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
10 tbsp granular Canderel
Grated zest 1 lemon
1 large egg
300ml semi-skimmed milk
4 tbsp sunflower oil or rapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 apple, grated (leave skin on)
Summer fruit compote
½ small melon
1 red or pink grapefruit
Small bunch red or green grapes, halved
2 kiwi fruits
3 tbsp orange juice
3 tbsp granular Canderel

Method:
Heat the oven to 200 C / gas 6.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl. Reserve ¼ of the mixture and set aside. To the bowl, add the Canderel and grated lemon zest.

Beat the egg with the milk, oil and vanilla extract then add to the dry ingredients and quickly mix in. Do not over mix.

Place 12 paper cases in deep bun tray and spoon in the mixture. Sprinkle the tops with the reserved flour mixture. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.

While the muffins are baking, make the fruit compote, remove the seeds from the melon, cut away from the skin then dice the flesh into chunks put into a bowl.

Cut all the skin and pith off the grapefruit and then cut down the membrane to release the segments, then add to melon with the grapes. Cut the ends off the kiwi fruit, then cut away the skin, slice or cut into chunks. Add the orange juice and Canderel and toss together.

Serve the warm muffins with the fruit compote.

Vermicelli upma
Ingredients:
2 cups vermicelli
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
¼ tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cashew nuts
2 tsp peanuts
1 Onions
2 green chillies
½ inch ginger
1 potato
¼ cup peas
1 carrot
1 tomato
4½ cups water
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp ghee
3 sprig curry Leaves
Salt to taste

Method:
Chop the onions, chillies, ginger, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots into small pieces and keep aside.

Heat oil and add chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds and curry leaves. When they start to crackle, add peanuts and cashew nuts. Fry till they turn golden brown.

Add potatoes, carrots and fry for 4-5 minutes.

Then add chillies, ginger, onions, peas and tomatoes. Cook until they are done.

After that add salt and 4½ cups of water, cover with a lid and let it boil.

When the water comes to boil add vermicelli and simultaneously stir (so that no lumps will be formed).

Cover the upma with a lid for 5-6 minutes and then add 2 tbsp of ghee and stir well.

Serve hot with coconut chutney.

British Indian kedgeree
Ingredients:
6 oz long grain rice
1 lb smoked haddock or other fish
3 hard-boiled eggs cut into wedges
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 oz butter
1 tsp curry paste (or to your taste)
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
2 tbsp yoghurt

Method:
Boil the rice until partially cooked. Place into an ovenproof dish. Remove all bones from fish and flake into large pieces. Melt the butter in the pan. Lightly brown the onion. Add the curry paste and stir.Add the fish. Gently mix everything with the rice. Cover with a lid or tin-foil.

Place in a moderate oven for twenty minutes or until cooked. Remove dish from oven. The kedgeree should be fairly moist. If it isn't, add a little yoghurt. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Decorate with the egg wedges.

Breakfast fruit parfait
Ingredients:
1½ cups fruit of your choice
½ cup plain yoghurt
2 tsp honey, agave syrup or maple syrup
2-3 tbsp toasted chopped nuts, crunchy cereal, or coconuts in any combination you desire

Method:
Spoon half of the fruit into a glass or bowl. Spoon half the yoghurt on top and drizzle with half your sweetener. Sprinkle with half of your selected crunch toppings and then repeat the layers. Serve immediately.

Scrambled egg burritos
Ingredients:
3 eggs, beaten slightly
2 flour tortillas
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1/3 cup goat or mozzarella cheese, shredded
Non-stick spray
Salt and Pepper

Method:
Coat a skillet with the non-stick spray. Add in the veggies and cook slightly. Add in the eggs and begin to scramble. Add in the cheese, salt and pepper. Set the egg mixture aside to cool. Spray a grill with non-stick spray and heat. Take half of the egg mixture and place in the center of each tortilla. Wrap the tortilla all around the eggs.

Place the burritos inside the grill and close the lid. Cook the burritos until browned on both sides.

Serve these burritos with fresh fruit.

French toast with raspberries and yoghurt
Ingredients
2 eggs
½ litre milk
8 slice(s) toast
3 tbsp chopped almonds
50g butter
2 tbsp icing sugar
4 tbsp yoghurt
200g raspberries, halved

Method
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the milk. Soak the toast slices in the mixture.

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Sprinkle the toast slices with almonds and fry them in the butter from both sides until golden and crispy.

Arrange the French toasts on serving plates and dust with icing sugar. Top each with a dollop of yoghurt and garnish with raspberries.


WRITER'S BLOCK

Story of 'Chingrir Raja'

Fahmeena Nahas

One day I was trying to feed my granddaughter Sarah. She was being very difficult and was refusing to eat. I'm not a very patient person by nature and was getting quite irritated by then. Little Sarah, who was in her terrible twos, was being very difficult. In fact she was trying hard to annoy me. I tried to coax her into eating her favourite prawn curry. I told her to eat up the 'Chingrir Raja'. The words just flew out of my mouth. And Sarah being quick on the uptake, at once quipped, “Golpo bolo.” And thus began our popular Prawn King saga.

I started off by telling her about the prawn which was the king of all prawns. Gradually I intertwined it with 'The Little Mermaid' which she could relate to due to the innumerable times she had seen the video and had the book read to her.

That evening we took her to a hotel where Movenpick ice cream had recently been introduced. As luck would have it, there was a pool next to the dining area. The pool had a fountain in the middle and coloured lights inside the water. When the lights were turned on, it was quite spectacular.

Sarah walked into the lobby and saw the water gush out of the fountain and decided at once to check it out. The moment she saw the place she screamed with joy and exclaimed “chingrir rajar basha”. I don't know how she connected the colourful water body with the Prawn King but it started a new era in our lives.

After that any coloured lights she saw were related to the 'Chingrir Raja'. Sometimes when she saw neon lights on top of buildings, she would exclaim, “Akashe chingrir light!”

This also gave me a chance to get work done. Every time she tried to be difficult, I reminded her that the “King” wouldn't like it. And every time she was good, Chingrir Raja would reward her. The 'Chingrir Raja' became a real life figure for Sarah, and my imagination ran overtime in order to make up new stories always. Then it was time for her to go back home and soon I forgot all about the Prawn King.

The next time Sarah and her sister, Alina, came to visit us; I took them out for a ride in the evening. Suddenly little Alina jumped up and down. “Chingrir bati, chingrir bati,”

She screamed in glee. I looked out of the window and saw a shop decorated with little fairy lights.

The Saga of the Prawn King had found a new protagonist!


MAN-TO-MAN

Suit Up

First impressions are probably the only chance at success for some. As men, like it or not, we are concerned about the first impression we make. Now, there's nothing metro-sexual about that in the least bit, however, the very idea of sustaining the excellent first impression escapes some.

Just because you looked great the first time you met her or for your first day at work is no reason to dress up like a bum until you are dumped or fired. Take Barney Stinson's legendary advice and suit up.

What a man wears at home should be restricted to the four corners of his little house and certainly not paraded around where future prospects (animate or otherwise) may dwell.

The idea of dressing up 'for myself and my comfort' is idiotic to say the least. It's also quite a lie. You dress to impress. It's a fact. Live with it. Unless you are well impossible to fix, no man ever dresses in ugly clothes regardless of how comfortable they are.

Sure you may wear something gaudy, but it's only because you want to look good. And what looks better than being in a suit? Weather too hot? Suits too expensive? Practicality and fashion don't bode well, so forget about it.

Before you run out to buy a new suit, stop. Ready-made suits may not be the perfect thing for you and may just put a dent on your wallet. Head out to Elephant Road to pick your suit-material. Various colours are available but stay within the region of dark blue, black, white or grey.

Suits of bright colours do not make anyone look good. Govinda pretty much serves as an example for that. Places around Elephant Road offer great variety and you may just find what you are looking for. Bargaining is a must though.

Bashundhara City too has a couple of shops that offer really stylish garments in this line. Buying great material ought to set you back around Tk 5000 and that's the maximum.

Pick a shirt fabric for that too because a custom made suit goes best with a custom made shirt. If you are looking for a tie then forget about it. This is the time for semi-formal suits to make you look good every single day. Wearing a tie would totally destroy the last semblance of your 'outlaw yet prim and proper' look that makes you stand out.

Then head off to Ramna Bhaban to get your suit tailored. Paradise Tailors has quite a reputation for making suits, so try that out. Having your suit custom made, with the material provided, would set you back Tk 5000 more, but once more opt to bargain.

Ramna Bhaban also does provide suits they can make for you. The ground floor has numerous shops selling suit fabric and the collection here too is huge. For those who display a bit more brand consciousness, there's a Raymond's around Elephant Road to feed your desire.

Once you have your suits ready, head out and feel the difference. Sure, lesser folks may ask why but remember how great you look. A person who doesn't take care of himself can't really be expected to take care of anything else. But a suit is totally incomplete without a really good pair of shoes and a great wrist-watch. But more advice on that later. For now, get started on your suit.

By Osama Rahman


DID YOU KNOW

What your wallpaper says about you

Have you ever wondered why a person spends so much time and effort in putting up just the perfect wallpaper in his desktop? The popularity of all the wallpaper downloading sites shows that there is quite a bit of a story to it. It shows that we care a significant and considerable amount about what wallpapers we choose, trying to reflect as much of our personality through it as possible. Personalising one's desktop can be analogous to the urge of customising one's personal living space. Hence, below we shed some light on what desktop wallpapers say about one's personality.

The fans in general: the commonest of all wallpapers are the ones of famous movie stars, music artists and anime characters. It is almost imperative for such fans to have their favourite personalities up on their desktops as wallpapers, a representation of their loyal following.

The romantics: One should not be shocked at opening up a sixteen year old's laptop and catching the sight of a juvenile female face. The immediate conclusion to be drawn is that he is in love, or at least he thinks that he is, and his wallpaper stands as an illustration of it. Not just teens, such practices are well noticeable within the older generation as well, who seek a sense of satisfaction through expressing their love in such manner.

The narcissists: There is a whole bunch of these people who consider their own portrait prettier than any other pictorial representation. They usually take their own pictures in as many poses as possible and tend to change them quite frequently, putting up new wallpaper every now and then.

The candy lovers: Overwhelmingly sugary colours with ribbons, bows and flowers in them are characteristic wallpapers for this specific group of individuals. Mostly females, they are usually dreamers lost in the land of fairy tales and like all that is deemed girly. They are proud to show off their taste through their wallpapers..

Ones that don't bother: Quite small in size, this group contains individuals who have classic windows XP or solid coloured blank pictures as their wallpaper. Such exhibition of general pictures depicts their indifference and nonchalance in considering such portrayal as vital to their conception of personality.

So the next time you get to have a peek at someone's desktop, you will definitely grab a clue or two about his or her personal traits.

By Afrida Mahbub


DHAKA DELIGHTS

Inhaling Dhaka

One of the first things one is taught when studying journalism is the importance of the reporter's 'nose for news'. The sharpness of (not the nose but) this sense, is expected to enable one to sniff news out and decide what is or is not worth publishing or broadcasting.

After 10 years of having to commute within Dhaka city itself, for an average of about five hours daily, five days a week, I have begun to take this indispensable journalistic quality quite literally. Indeed, commuting is a great way to get to know the city one lives in (albeit the same parts of it if one is travelling the same route day in and day out). The confines of the vehicle I am riding in, however, as well as constraints upon time, energy and enthusiasm, limit my ability to go out and chase every seemingly feasible news story that may be taking place before my eyes. Thus I sit back and sometimes voluntarily, at others because I do not have a choice - take in the smells of Dhaka.

Context is everything. When abroad, I miss the 'smell of home - that nostalgia-inducing smell of 'my' city; the sweet and fresh breeze before the storms and the scent of wet earth after the rains . . . But when actually home and less overcome by long-distance patriotism and romanticism, I realise that these are seasonal and restricted to a maximum of a couple of months a year. As for the rest of the year, what does Dhaka smell like?

Pollution of black-smoke-emitting diesel-driven vehicles. Drains containing human as well as every other sort of waste. Piles of rotting garbage. Factory smoke. Dust. Burning leaves in the early morning or an evening fire lit in a polythene home on the sidewalk. Flowers being sold at a traffic signal or surrounding a house still lucky enough to have a garden. The orangey scent of a biscuit factory nearby, now overpowered by a neighbouring factory producing chemicals and toiletries. Kebabs and tehari. Books. Human sweat (some, of hard-working people, others, of people unconcerned about basic hygiene). The whiff of someone's shampoo or perfume. And yes, the scent of a rainy breeze and wet earth.

Every city has its own share of scents. You can tell a city's character by its smells. After all, isn't this what Dhaka is all about - overpopulation, pollution and grime; competition, food and sweat; poverty and affluence, nature and commercialisation; the scorching smell of the summer sun and the soothing scent of the Boishakhi breeze?

Pictures speak a thousand words, but what about a painting of smells? Would it not arouse as many if not more, senses, thoughts, memories? Go anywhere in the world and one familiar whiff of any of the above or a trillion other smells you can find here, and you will be hurtling towards home in your head. For these are the scents of Dhaka city, the smells that make it . . . Dhaka.

By Kajalie Shehreen Islam

 

 

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