Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   | Volume 7, Issue 02, Tuesday, January 10, 2012





Nitya Upohar's winter endeavour

You can grasp the passion and art behind every thread of the numerous clothes of Nitya Upohar when you talk to its owner and mastermind, Bahar Rahman. “It's fun, coming up with new, innovative and simple designs and doing something different,” he said, caressing a shawl exhibited in his showroom at Aziz Supermarket in Shahbagh.

“Shither Shirno Nodi”, the current winter exhibition that is going on at its showroom in Aziz Supermarket, is yet another event to do the same.

The exhibition is featuring designs of various artists on winter clothes. There are many cool tee shirts as well. The clothes depict the mood of winter, through common “desi” settings. And of course, there are the famous Grameen Khadi shawls that depict nature, birds, sea and the people.

The exhibition started off on New Year's Day. It will continue till 15 January. Visit Gallerie Nitya Upohar, Aziz Supermarket, Shahbagh. Other than that, all the stores of Nitya Upohar are offering a 15 percent discount till the exhibition ends.

By M H Haider


The delicious game

By Shawkat Osman

Duck meat is considered "white" meat, even though the meat on a duck is considerably darker than that of chicken. The reason for this is that as ducks are more active in comparison to chickens and the extra oxygen in the body of the duck or other types of game bird, gives their meat the darker red colour. This gives the duck meat a stronger and richer flavour.

One disadvantage of buying a deshi duck is that they are essentially smaller in size than a chicken and so you will end up with less meat. If you are cooking for a large number of people, it may be a better idea to buy two ducks so that there is enough meat to go around.

Duck meat has a higher fat content, more calories and more saturated fat than chicken. Ducks and geese have a layer of fat just beneath their skin to keep them warm and to give them buoyancy, the ability to float, while they are in water. Before and during cooking this layer of fat should be removed or drained as it is not jest right to eat the meat with the fat.

There are a number of ways in which the fat can be removed. First of all, the duck can be steamed over boiling water for 30 minutes, in order to melt the fat. Another method, which is perhaps more practical and easy, is to prick the bird all over with a knife, leaving a space of about 5cm (1 inch) between holes.

Care must be taken not to cut into the meat and to only pierce the skin and the layer of fat underneath. This is quite simple, as the fat is extremely soft, whilst the meat, which is below the fat, is slightly harder to the touch.

Piercing the skin of the duck will let the fat drain out during roasting.

The duck should be placed on a standing rack, and then set on a roasting tray for cooking; this will release the fat more easily. Pour a kettle of boiling water over the duck before placing it in the oven. Duck is generally roasted for several hours in the oven, which may seem a long time compared to roasting a chicken. This is to let the fat melt away completely and for the skin to crisp.

Basic duck roast
Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). Place the duck on a clean chopping board and remove any excess fat from the neck and body cavities. Rinse the duck thoroughly, inside and out, under a cold running tap and pat dry with a paper towel. Pierce the skin of the duck all over with a thin bladed knife, at 5 cm (1 inch) intervals. Rub salt and pepper onto the skin of the duck, inside as well as outside. Position the duck on a rack placed in a roasting tray, breast side up. Pour a few cups of boiling water over the duck and into the roasting tray and place into the preheated oven. Roast the duck for up to 3 hours or until no fat remains and the skin is crispy and brown, turning the duck over after every 30 minutes. Once the duck is cooked, remove it from the oven and transfer it onto a carving board. Let it rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.

Duck with lime and ginger dressing
4 boneless duck breasts (from Basic Duck Roast)
For the dressing:
2 tsp fish sauce
255 g lettuce leaves
2 tsp soya sauce
115 ml olive oil
1 tsp sugar
3 spring onions, finely chopped
Juice of one orange
Grated rind of one orange
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp sesame oil
Orange slices to garnish

Prepare the dressing by mixing together: olive oil + sesame oil + spring onions + lemon juice + orange juice + orange ring + fish sauce + soya sauce + ginger + sugar + garlic -- in a small mixing bowl. Cut the duck breasts into slices using a sharp knife. Arrange the salad leaves on a large serving dish, placing the duck slices on top of the leaves. Drizzle the dressing over the duck and salad leaves and garnish with the slices of orange.

Duck with oyster sauce
500g roasted duck meat (see Basic Duck Roast), cubed
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp soya oil
2 tbsp water
2 green onions, chopped
3 tbsp oyster sauce

In a bowl mix: green onions + soya sauce + cornflour + water + duck pieces. Heat the oil in a korai/wok; add the spiced duck cubes and stir-fry for a minute. Mix in the oyster sauce and cook for another minute and serve hot.

Duck with onions
500g roasted duck meat (see Basic Duck Roast), cubed
250g onion, quartered
3 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp soya oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp red chilli powder

Heat the oil in a korai/wok; chuck in the onions and stir-fry for a minute. Mix in: soya sauce + brown sugar + roasted duck + red chilli + ½ cup water and bring to a boil, and then serve hot.

Mosla Hush
2 ducks, skinned and jointed
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp + 1 tsp ginger paste
6 tomatoes, chopped
½ tbsp + ½ tbsp garlic paste
4 tsp salt
1 cup yoghurt
2 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
2 tbsp ghee
10 green cardamoms
2 onions, chopped
3 sticks cinnamon
1 tbsp dry red chilli, crushed
20 cloves
1 tsp turmeric
10 green chillies
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 cup cilantro, chopped

In a mixing bowl mix the following: ½ tbsp garlic + 1 tsp ginger + yoghurt + duck pieces. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator one hour before cooking the next day. Heat the ghee in a hot korai/wok; add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes or until golden. Chuck in ½ tbsp garlic + 1 tsp ginger + red chilli crush + cook stirring for a minute then add: turmeric + coriander + cumin + cardamom + cinnamon + cloves, and cook for few seconds. Now add the tomatoes mix with the cooking spice and cook till tomato disintegrates into the spices and the oil separates from the spice mixture. Add the duck pieces and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add enough water to cover the meat, stir in the salt and green chillies. Lower the heat to minimum and cook until the meat is tender. Mix in the kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves) after 2 minutes of cooking sprinkle with the cilantro and remove from the heat.

Hush shirka diye
(Duck in Vinegar Sauce)
The Carew & Co. makes our local 'Shirka' or malt vinegar from 'Gur' (sugar cane molasses). Fermenting the gur causes the starch to turn to golden brown vinegar, which is then aged. With a somewhat "fresher" taste, and contrary to expectation, it is not sweeter that other vinegars, containing no residual sugar, rather contains around 1-3 percent citric acid. A cheaper alternative, the white vinegar, is a solution of 4-8 percent acetic acid and water.

Called 'Shukta' in Sanskrit, vinegar is used mainly in medicine by the Hindus and in both medicine and cooking by the Muslims.

Two tablespoons of vinegar before a meal was found to prevent blood sugar spikes. The acid in the malt vinegar kills the fungus Malassezia furfur (formerly known as Pityrosporum ovale) and restores the chemical balance of the scalp's skin, and cures dandruff. Vinegar can also be used as an organic herbicide.

1 (2 kg) duck, cut into 8 pieces
10cm long cinnamon stick, broken into 4 pieces
½ cup soya oil
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp onion paste
1 tsp black cumin seeds
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 tsp coriander seeds
½ tbsp ginger paste
10 dry red chillies
200g large onions, quartered
1 tsp turmeric powder
15 garlic cloves
10 Green Cardamom Pods
4 tbsp Carew vinegar
10 black cardamom pods
3 tsp salt
15 cloves

Heat a tawa/griddle, place the following: cumin seeds + black cumin + coriander + red chilli + turmeric green and black cardamom + cloves + cinnamon + pepper. Roast them until they release their flavour, take care not to burn them; shake the tawa/griddle frequently. Transfer the spice onto a platter, spread them out and allow cooling to room temperature. Once cool, transfer them to a mortar and crush to fine particles. Heat oil, in a korai/wok, toss in mustard seeds. When the seeds stop sizzling add the following: onion paste + ginger + garlic. Sauté stirring vigorously until spice emits flavour. Sprinkle with ground spice powder (#3) and pour in ½ cup water. Sauté stirring for a minute. Chuck in the duck pieces; sauté until duck pieces turns colour. Next lob in the following: quartered onion + garlic cloves + vinegar + salt + 2 cups hot water. Mix up and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and simmer until duck is tender.

Kush'r Korma
1 duck, cut into 8 pieces
3 tbsp ghee
½ cup mustard oil
6 cardamom pods
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
5 cm long cinnamon stick
8 cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp mace
1 cup cashew
2 cups yoghurt
4 ½ tsp salt
10 dry red chillies, soaked overnight in 1 cup warm water
4 onions chopped
10 dry red chillies
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 cups coconut milk 2nd extract
1 cup coconut milk 1st extract
1 cup cilantro

Heat a tawa/griddle, toss in the following: cardamom + coriander seeds + cumin seeds + cinnamon + cloves + nutmeg + mace. Roast until fragrant, take off and pour into a stone mortar. Pound spice to powder. Set aside. Grind the cashews with some water to a smooth paste, add yoghurt to it, and whisk to blend. Set aside. Grind the soaked red chillies along with the soaking water. Set aside. Heat ghee in a korai/wok, toss in the onions and sauté until they turn golden. With a slotted spoon scoop out the onions drain on absorbent paper towels, then grind to a smooth brown paste with some water. Set baresta paste aside. Lob in the dry red chillies to the ghee left behind in the korai/wok, sauté undisturbed until they are dark, scoop them out, and retain. Slide in the duck pieces, and sauté until well browned, with a pair of tongs, take out the duck pieces and set aside. Add the mustard oil to the residual fat in the korai/wok, throw in the sugar and cook until they caramelise. Toss in the mustard seeds, and as soon as the seeds stop spluttering, add the following: ginger paste + garlic paste + turmeric powder + red chilli paste (#4) +1 tbsp water. Sauté stirring vigorously until spice releases its flavour. Pour in the yoghurt-cashew mixture (#3), sauté until the fat starts separating from the gravy. Chuck in the duck pieces and add: 2nd extract coconut milk + roasted spice powder (#2) + salt. Bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in: 1st extract coconut milk + baresta paste (#5). Stir to merge. Lower the flame, and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, cover with a lid, and cook until duck is tender.

Raj kush (Geese roast)
1 goose 2.5 kg (Raj hush)
2 ½ tsp salt
2 tbsp soya oil
2 onions sliced
2 green onions, green part only, cut diagonally in to 3 cm pieces
½ cup cilantro chopped
2 tsp garlic paste
2½ tsp red chilli powder
5 cardamom pods, cracked
10 cm long cinnamon stick
10 cloves
2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp honey
1½ tbsp malt vinegar
1 tbsp corn flour
1 cup cold water

Rinse the bird well inside and out under running water, and trim any excess fat. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Tie the neck tightly with cotton twine, so that no liquid will drip out. Let sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 4 hours, then rub generously inside and out with salt. Heat oil in a korai/wok, toss in the following: sliced onions + green onions + cilantro + garlic + red chilli. Sauté for a minute stirring continuously. Pour in the orange juice, mix up and then toss in: cardamom + cinnamon + cloves. Bring to a boil, then lower flame and simmer gently for 5 to 6 minutes. Pour this mixture into the bird's cavity and close the opening tightly with skewers or sew up with cotton string, so that no liquid leaks out. In a separate bowl mix: honey + vinegar. This is for basting the bird. Prick the skin all over with the tines of a fork being careful not to pierce beyond the skin into the meat. Preheat oven to 250C (500F, Gas highest point). Cut a long length of aluminium foil, enough to wrap loosely around the bird. Lay foil across the bottom of your roasting tray with edges overlapping the sides of the tray. Place the roasting rack on top of the foil. Tuck the wings behind the back and set the bird breast-side up on the roasting rack. (If you do not have a roasting rack, place some halved potatoes cut side facing down, on top of the foil and set the bird, breast-side up, on them to elevate it slightly). Bring ends of foil up around bird and crimp together along tip of bird. Loosely wrap the foil around the bird so as to trap enough air inside the packet. Put the prepared bird into the pre-heated oven and roast for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to 190C (375F, gas mark 5, moderately hot), open the foil crimp, and baste the bird with the honey-vinegar solution, and seal again. Repeat this basting and turning until you have turned 3 times, that is, rolled the bird onto all of its sides. Open foil to do this and turn bird first on one side, then on another, then upside down. Finally, turn it right side up and remove foil to expose bird for final browning. After 45-mins of cooking, check if bird is done, stick a metal skewer in and if clear juice (as opposed to pink) runs out, it is cooked. Do not overcook. Remove bird from oven and let sit 15 to 30 minutes before serving, to allow the flesh to reabsorb juices released by it. Carefully remove the strings and skewers; pour the liquid from the bird's cavity
into a saucepan, strained through a sieve. Put the saucepan over flame; bring to a boil and then lower the flame. Dissolve the corn flour in the cold water and add to the simmering fluid over medium heat; stirring until thickened. Cut the duck into smaller pieces and place on a serving platter. Pour the sauce (#20) over and serve hot. Serve with rice and plain cooked vegetables if desired.



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