Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 6, Issue 31, Tuesday, August 02, 2011





As during the month of Ramadan in previous years, Dhaka's premier Indian food joint, Khazana is set to pull out all stops to welcome and satiate the fasters with a special iftar buffet, among other special arrangements during the holy month.

Famous for its delightful assortment of kebabs and the best of subcontinental cuisine, Khazana has made a practice of making Ramadan a gastronomic delight for its patrons.

“We only offer buffet meals during Ramadan,” said Khazana's Director of Operations, Abhishek Sinha during a press meet announcing the special Ramadan measures.

“Iftar is a very popular occasion to get together for Muslims. Over the years, iftar get-togethers have become a kind of tradition at Khazana, with families and corporate houses using the space to organise get-togethers.

“Khazana has been committed to providing tasty dishes that are healthy along with our oil partners Saffola, ensuring that our food does not leave diners feeling lethargic and heavy. A lot of that depends on the quality of the oil we use, and using Saffola ensures that our cuisine is not too cholesterol-heavy,” added Sinha.

Apart from family events, Khazana also has special packages for corporate clients to choose from. The iftar/dinner buffet has the usual Khazana favourites such as the Shahi Lucknowi Haleem, Chupa Rustam, Chicken Kathi Rolls, Dahi Barra, Chana Chat Pata, Gosht Dum Biryani, Khazana Ka Jalebi, Matka Lassi and much more.

An item that is a must-have is the Sikandari Raan, which is the boneless meat from a leg of lamb, seasoned with the tastiest flavours that will keep you going back to the buffet table for repeated helpings. Besides, special items will be introduced each Friday.

Apart from the buffet iftar/dinner, Khazana will also offer takeaway service at their old venue, where close to fifty items will be on offer with all the cooking and grilling being done live for the customers to see. The Iftar Bazaar will be open to customers daily from 1 pm and continue as long as the food lasts.

You can't have an iftar party without dessert, and Khazana has that base covered as well with their 'Khazana Mithai' outlets at Gulshan-2 circle and Gulshan Avenue. Along with the Ramadan specials of Phirni and Baked Mihidana Chat, there will be the usual favourites such as Son Papri, Gulab Jamun, Rasmalai, Motichur Laddu, Raj Bhog etc.

The iftar/dinner buffet is priced at Tk 899++/person. For booking and reservations call Khazana at Road 55, House 9, Gulshan-2. # 8826127, 8821965, 01711476379.

Khazana iftar takeaway: House 12, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan-2.

Iftar special at Nando's

Since Nando's became a big player in Dhaka's foodscape, they have b uilt a reputation for being the good type of fast food, what with the healthy fare served at this South African chain that serves Portuguese cuisine. Their food is in fact perfect for the month of Ramadan, specifically iftar meals, when eating too much fried or fatty foods leave us feeling heavy and bloated.

Nando's well-known process of removing fat from their chicken through a three-step process is perfect for fasters this Ramadan. They grill their chicken over an open flame without any oil, instead soaked in the natural Peri Peri sauce that lends their food that unique flavour.

For iftar this year, Nando's offers three meals aptly named 'Hungry', 'Very Hungry', and 'Very Very Hungry'. Each of the meals will be complemented with a full course of starters, sides and desserts. The starters will be tender chicken thighs with Pita bread, and the sides consist of chickpeas, potato wedges and fresh fruits. Refreshing beverages are never a problem at Nando's as they have a large collection of replenishing juices. Then there is Nando's delicious Chocolate Crunch Roll for dessert a great way to finish a great meal.

The main course for the 'Hungry' meal is a ¼ chicken priced at Tk 678; the 'Very Hungry' meal with a Chicken Steak as its main course is priced at Tk 789; and the 'Very Very Hungry' meal with the famous Chicken Espetada is priced at Tk 890.

Nando's, as they had shown last year, is not all about keeping the well-to-do segment of society satisfied. In an admirable initiative last year, they asked diners to donate a meal, a donation they will match for the benefit of underprivileged children and orphans of the city. This year too, guests can donate in terms of ¼ Chicken Meal worth Tk 315 to the charity fund. Nando's will match the same number of donated ¼ chicken meals, and the children will then be brought to the restaurant during iftar on Fridays to enjoy a rare treat.

This philanthropic act is one more reason to pay a visit to Nando's this Ramadan.

-- LS Desk

Exciting offers @ Radisson

Radisson's weekend package
Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel Dhaka has launched their extravagant and generous weekend package -- a couple's accommodation for 2 nights, with a wide array of services included. At the launch, the General Manager of Radisson Madhusdan Jhingon thanked patrons for their support to the hotel since inception, and the weekend package certainly seems to be a worthy effort to express that gratitude.

A car picks you and your loved one from your residence (if the place is within 4km radius of the hotel) and drives you to the hotel. Your stay at Radisson begins; it will either be a Thursday and Friday, or a Friday and Saturday.

You'll stay at their Deluxe room and have the buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and buffet dinner at the Water Garden Brasserie. You can also opt for a set dinner at their Spice & Rice restaurant.

You will also be offered a soothing, traditional Thai massage for an hour at their internationally managed Sundaree Spa. Not only that, you can also use their swimming pool, health club, tennis court and have access to the adjacent golf course.

The offer basically entitles a couple to all its services, giving a holistic experience of their stay at the five-star hotel.

Is it a good deal? You decide. The price for a couple's stay is Tk14,999. So, basically you pay Tk15000 for two nights at one of the most extravagant hotel in Bangladesh and enjoy their whole range of services and spend quality time with your loved one. Without the weekend package, such an experience would have cost significantly more.

Oasis @ Radisson
Arabs are known for their immense hospitality, warmth, grandiosity and royalty. Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel Dhaka, too, brings this culture and attitude to Dhaka with their Arabian Iftar Food Festival, the hotel's exquisitely exotic Iftar arrangement this Ramadan.

The buffet iftar-cum-dinner is one with a long menu. A wide assortment of Arabian delights, consisting of famous dishes that are popular and long-established in countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are presented. Popular food items include Cheese Sumboseek, Chicken Khabsa, Hummus, Motable, Fattoush, Jojo Kebab and many more.

The menu also includes a range of our Bangladeshi food items too.

And while the Arabs are rivers and lands apart from us, we do share a commonality when it comes to food: for both the parties, eating is a feast- an event in itself. Dining is a passion based on good food, fine hospitability, sincere friends and heavy laughter.

There is also an ample supply of fresh beverages -- apricot juice, milk with almond and roafza shorbot form just the tip of the ice-berg -- and a large collection of desserts.

On the other hand, Radisson's Spice & Rice Restaurant also offers a great Iftar set-menu. You can also call a private Iftar party with customized banquet menu at any of the hotels' banquet halls.

By M H Haider



For Ramadan, I have put together a few recipes, which are relatively simple and easy to make for a light iftar. The best way to break your fast is to start off with a few dates. Not only because it's a sunnah, but also as dates are packed with sugars like fructose and glucose, which are easily assimilated and provide energy in a very short span of time.

It also contains essential minerals and soluble fiber that not only has a laxative effect but also reduces bad cholesterol.

Nuts are also a good source of energy and can be served in the iftar spread. Almonds lower the risk of heart diseases, help in losing weight and strengthening bones.

Cumin-roasted almonds
2 cups
2 cups whole blanched almonds
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
½ spoon salt, or to taste
¼ tsp ground pepper

Preheat oven to 300°F.
Place almonds in a baking pan; toss with oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Bake until lightly toasted, for about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. You can use curry powder and cayenne pepper in place of cumin and black pepper.

Drinks are an important part of iftar. Different flavoured iced teas are becoming popular in our country. They are also very refreshing, which is great after a long day's fast.

Citrus iced tea
8 Servings
12 Earl Grey tea bags
Peel of one orange, plus orange wedges for garnish
4 cups boiling water
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup sugar
4 cups cold water

Steep tea bags and orange peel in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. If you cannot find Earl Grey, you can use normal tea bags.

Remove tea bags and orange peel and pour into a large pitcher. Stir in orange juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add cold water. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Serve over ice with orange wedges, if desired. You can refrigerate this for up to a week.

Crostini is a very simple Italian appetiser, which consists of small slices of toasted or grilled bread and toppings. The toppings can be made with different meat, cheese, and vegetables. Since tomatoes are available throughout the year in our country, here's a simple tomato based crostini.

Fresh herb-tomato crostini
¼ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 French bread baguette, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Large tomato, finely chopped
¾ cup finely chopped onions
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together olive oil and garlic; brush on one side of each bread slice. Place bread slices, garlic sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add tomato, onions and chopped mint and gently toss to coat.

Top each bread slice with tomato mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

Put into the oven and bake till cheese melts and becomes slightly brown.

A croquette is a popular French dish which is very similar to our 'potato chop'. It is mainly made of mashed potatoes and minced meat or vegetables and is crumbed and deep fried. It is generally cylindrical in shape.

Potato croquettes
Serves 6-8
1 kg potatoes
3 egg yolks (beat and reserve egg whites for coating)
4 tbsp grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella
2 cloves garlic (minced)
3 tbsp dried parsley
½ tsp salt
Ground black pepper to taste
4 cup bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Medium boil the potatoes for 25-30 min.
Remove skin form the potatoes and then put into a food processor after cutting into large pieces.

Add egg yolks to the potatoes and then process until blended well.

Now add remaining ingredients including Pecorino, mozzarella, garlic and parsley and mix in processor for just few seconds.

(You can find Pecorino cheese these days in Gulshan 1 market, but you can also use the more available Parmesan Cheese.)

If you feel the mixture is too much sticky you may add crumbs or flour to the mixture so that you can easily give shape to the croquettes.

Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well using hands. Put the mixture in the fridge for 20 min so that it easily gives shapes to the croquettes.

After that make egg shape croquettes of 2” long and 1-1.5” thick. Dip each croquette in egg whites and then coat in bread crumbs.

Heat oil in a pan and fry croquettes in batches until become light golden brown in colour.

Serve with any dip you like.


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