|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 6, Issue 21, Tuesday, May 24, 2011|
SIMON CAN COOK
By Simon Mansoor
Spicy seafood salad
Mixed seafood curry
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD
My aunt was in town. Aunt who helped inspire my love for food and cooking. Aunt who, with her mother, introduced a whole new world of cooking and eating to a chubby child of a solidly middle class couple. Hyderabadi Biriyani, lemon soufflé, stuffed pomfret, venison, farm fresh eggs fried, tri colour pilaf, cookies and cakes, roasts and bakes of all kinds -- things that were completely exotic to the fish and rice eating, Sunday mutton devouring good boy. And ever since she moved to Pondicherry, her visits have been short and infrequent.
But this time, she agreed to spend a whole weekend with us. Something that overjoyed the entire family and we went about planning for the visit in our own ways. While the mother was busy thinking of making the bed extra comfortable and the curtains changed in time, the wife almost prepared a list of shops that the aunt must visit. A salon session was also planned. I got down to what I do best -- menu planning.
Aunt has had some trouble with her system for a while and does not indulge in heavy food any more. So eating out was not an option. Things were already working out in my favour. A green signal for me to cook!
I know she loves pasta. The wife also encouraged me to cook pasta for her. She just arrived and was staying where she usually stays. We thought it would be nice to cook pasta and bring it to her. There was only one thing that I did not bank on. The wife spoke to the aunt and gave me exactly an hour to plan and cook…
Quickly I threw together some farfalle that I had in boiled water, made an impromptu Alfredo sauce with walnuts and nutmeg and saved the day. But deep down inside, I was not satisfied with that. I wanted to do a little more. Pay a little more attention.
So when she came over to stay, there had to be a pasta dinner.
Carefully planned, the pasta was penne, the sauce a version of marinara and the cheese the locally available mozzarella. I, being at my multitasking best, crushed and chopped the garlic, pureed the tomatoes and washed the basil in a whirr of motion.
Then I proceeded to cook down the tomato puree with black olive, basil and garlic for about an hour. I also marinated some fish with salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which I intended to grill.
The sauce reduced beautifully to a deep crimson. I tore basil leaves by hand and strew them about to impart maximum flavour. Sliced black olives were added with some of the brine to create another dimension of tartness. A little seasoning later, the sauce was ready to house the penne.
It is very therapeutic to see pasta mingle with sauce. Angle cut penne quickly started their swim in the rich tomato sauce, creating a beautiful chiaroscuro, a play of the light and the dark.
The sauce did not remain inert. It found its way into every nook and cranny of the penne, ignoring and negotiating the minor roadblocks put up by the olive slices. The dark green flecks of basil provided the simple punctuation marks for the entire essay in the pan.
The simply grilled fish acted as the neutral counterpoint for the insanely rich, sweet, salty, tart pasta marinara.
And to top it all, the aunt loved it. The wife did too. I was happy.
In the heat….
Tie up loose ends - Keep rubber bands and colourful scrunchies handy and tie your hair back as often as you can, especially during the day. This will protect your hair from absorbing too much humidity and not turn all greasy.
If you have a side fringe or bangs then pouffe it up and pin it back with a bobby pin or two. The fringes stick to your forehead when you are out in the sun and sometimes even mess up your eye makeup, hence keep it in place and look neat.
Hair accessories are not very popular amongst grown up women here, and we tend to think that they are only meant for little girls with pigtails.
However, instead of leaving your hair down all the time, you can try adorning them with simple accessories like a clip-on fake flower, or a little bow on one side or ornamented bobby pins that would go even with your shalwar kameez.
Get that sweetheart feel - Minimalism is key when it comes to makeup in the summer. Make sure SPF cream underneath the makeup. Fairness creams may not be effective in getting you certain tones fairer, however in the summer can be useful because of their UV protective qualities.
Do yourselves a huge favour by refraining from thick double eyeliner look. Go for nude eye shadows that come in cakes or you can even use the cream based ones as they in place longer.
Apply a really thin line with a waterproof eyeliner on your upper lid along the lash line and finish with transparent mascara. Also, instead of black kohl, try using a white one to line the insides of your eyes, this will make your eyes look brighter.
Soft pink blushes and peachy lips are best for this type of weather, so use them instead of the brown hued on for a fresh summery tint. For your lips, stick to gloss or better yet lipshines or lipstains.
Quit nail biting - Keep your nails short and neatly filed. This goes for both hands and feet. Pain them in light pearly shades or go for a French many/pedi.
Smell like a spring garden - body mists are a must-have for every shoulder bag this season. Let all that fresh flowery scents waft over you at lunch break after those tardy meetings in the boardroom; spritz some on whenever you get a chance.
-- LS DESK
On May 17, Transcom Foods Limited commenced an extraordinary publication on the glorious history of the Liberation War of Bangladesh at Gulshan Pizza Hut. The Managing Director of Transcom Foods, Akku Chowdhury, a freedom fighter himself, was present on the occasion, along with various media personalities and celebrities, including Sara Zaker, Ali Zaker and Asaduzzaman Noor.
This special book, named The Glorious History of Bangladesh, is a ten series collection, ten chapters if you will, which guides you through the journey -- starting from the formation of East Pakistan and West Pakistan and the pre-liberation struggles of the Language Movement- the final destination of the journey being the independent Bangladesh we live in today.
The book is basically a pictorial portfolio of the Liberation War, telling you the story of the rebellious fight in a very interesting and easy-to understand fashion.
Akku Chowdhury said on the occasion, “Freedom is the foremost aspiration of human. People of Bangladesh created a rare history in the world through their struggle for freedom. We took this initiative to uphold that glorious history before people, especially before the young generation. We hope this publication will let them know the correct history of the liberation war and inspire them to move towards a better future”.
Sara Zaker stretched this point further. “At first thought, what has Pizza Hut got to to do with the Liberation War? Pizza Hut and Liberation War seems to be thousands of miles apart. But since the young generation are avid fans of fast food centers, it is good that Transcom Foods has taken such initiative.” They are in a good position to influence the youth.
“Independence is our greatest achievement. Freedom fighters are the greatest son of the soil as they fought for freedom. We return to those great moments of the war whenever we confront crisis, whenever we get confused. Based on that extraordinary example of great courage we get the inspiration to move forward,” said Asaduzzaman Noor.
The book is prized at Tk 500 and the proceedings from the sales will be donated to the “Liberation War Museum Nirman Fund.”
By M H Haider
Cosmetic surgery hits tv!
For the first time in Bangladesh, RTV, in collaboration with Cosmetic Surgery Centre Ltd., will air a medical reality show dedicated to procedures that have attracted the public's curiosity for a long time -- cosmetic surgery. The show consists of thirteen episodes, each dedicated to a single procedure.
The show will air every Sunday night at 12:05 am, with recordings of live surgery from Cosmetic Surgery Centre Ltd's operation theatre, conducted by Professor Sayeed Ahmed Siddiky, along with interviews and patient comments/reviews.
For more information, please contact: Cosmetic Surgery Centre Ltd, Shankar Plaza, 5th floor, 72, Satmasjid Road, Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka-1209; Tel: 8153808 Mob: 01711043435; http://www.cosmeticsurgerybd.com.
A two-day handcrafted jewellery exhibition, organised by Aadia, is being held at Izumi to raise money for the Japan Earthquake victims. Jewellery and t-shirts will be sold at the event. The exhibition hopes to generate public empathy and also to render a help in hand to the friendly nation of Japan.
Date: 27-28 May, 2011; Location: Uzumi, Rd #113, Hs #24, Gulshan #2; Time: 11am-10pm; Contact: Amman Rashid, #01711961619.
- LS DESK
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