Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |    Volume 7, Issue 32, Tuesday, August 07, 2012



Mohammadpur Meals

The locality of cracks, crevices and broken roads, Mohammadpur has a lot to offer in the food category. And behind every meal is a tale waiting to be told. This week, we took a trip to this overpopulated yet lively area of Dhaka and saw what 'Iftar Jewels' we could unearth.

First stop was at Zakir Hossain Road. Immediately after crossing the Zakir Hossain Road field, right at the edge of the main road and adjacent to the mosque entrance of Town Hall camp, sits the famous Manzar. Named after the man behind the shop, Manzar has been around for as long as most folks seem to remember. Ramadan month is the period preceding Manzar's month-long hiatus from the business every year, so you can bet it's busy. Very affordable and with Mr. Manzar known to be a stickler for hygiene, Manzar must be on your list if you want a taste of Mohammadpur. Keema chop, kofta balls, macaroni/noodle ball and gigantic samosas are some of the more out-of-the-box items. Each are available within Tk.5-10, so you have plenty to choose from. Chicken tikka, sheek kebab and tandoori chicken are also offered here, priced lower than the competition. But load up on the iftar munchies here first and then tread on, because you have plenty of ground to cover. For those in doubt, come after iftar and express your desire to visit the kitchen. Politely.

Cross the main road and go over to Town Hall for more delicacies from Jannat, Green and the likes. Go for non-traditional items here like Jannat's shwarma. Then, tread on towards Noor-jahan Road and Shah Jahan road and locate 'Mustakim'. This is not the same as the Mohammadpur Camp one. For Tk.8 you will get delicious little kebab rolls. Load up on those and tread forward. The shop's owners are surprisingly well-educated and are rumoured to have had a western upbringing, so hygiene concern is not a factor. Your next stop is Mohammadpur Camp.

Skip the famed Mustakim and wander around asking for Boba Biryani. Boba Biryani gets its name from the chef who happens to be deaf. But that takes nothing away from his culinary expertise. For around Tk.40 a packet, Boba Biryani is indeed a delicious offering. However, without a permanent place of business, it's hard to come across this man, although he remains quite famous. Ask but do not be lead anywhere and certainly don't linger. This applies for absolutely any area of Mohammadpur really. Now, you shall proceed to retrace your steps all the way to Lalmatia.

Go directly to Shad Tehari and try their jilapi. They also have other numerous items in store. Littered along Mohammadpur will be nameless stores selling iftar; these will surprise you. In fact, if the food doesn't, the jaundice certainly will.

Of course, these are just the tip of the ice-berg. Plenty of time and complete lack of fear will help you explore Mohammadpur even more and make your own discoveries. For first timers, just follow the guide.

By Osama Rahman
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


A guide to the best haleem in town

A random survey/poll was taken on facebook where the participants could nominate their favourite place for haleem. That was the basis of the recommendations to follow:

The best haleem you can have is probably from Decent in Motijheel or Nawabpur as far as my knowledge goes. I call it the “heart attack” haleem. Their specialty lies in exclusivity. The beef and the lentil are interwoven in a manner that they seem as if they are from the same source.

The 8
It's a 'meat safari' for haleem lovers, the right size of the meat also adds to the taste. This haleem is fantastic but very different from the usual. You can sense the flavours and guess the type of lentils but you can never be sure.

Homemade haleem
Homemade haleem has also been a popular choice. Haleem with the homely touch has an array of tastes depending on the different style and taste of cooking. Each homemade haleem is unique.

Star Kebab
The low-cost popular destination for people across the city has never failed to delight its customers with tasty food quickly. The haleem is a popular one. You have to rush to get their haleem as by 5:15 pm their haleem stocks are gone. The haleem at Star has a generous amount of meat, and is a great iftar add-on.

Other recommendations were BBQ Tonite which is more popular for its khatakhat than haleem, Tandoori in Mohakhali, Samarkand, Heritage, Captains and Dhansiri.

The old players who have lost out in the voting with no mention at all are Khazana along with Fakruddin and Topkapi.

By Taskin Rahman
Photo courtesy: The 8

Juice junction

Having the same old homemade lemon juice or Tang gets boring after a while, and especially this month, when the demand for cool juices is at its peak, comes a need for drinks to cool you down after the heat of the day. Today we bring you a rundown of some places around Dhaka to find fresh juices to make for a slightly different way to break your fast.

Just Juice
Located in Gulshan-2, this is the place to satisfy your thirst for fresh juices. With a wide assortment of smoothies, this is a decent place to add a different flavour to your iftar. The drinks are sorted into three categories, 'Just Coolers', 'Cool Mixers' and 'Shakes'.

With traditional drinks such as Fruit Smoothie, Orange Pineapple juices and Watermelon Mint juices, this place provides non mainstream drinks such as Cinderella, Green Lady and Lychee Punch. For people who would rather not have fruits, they have the traditional chocolate, vanilla and Oreo shakes. The prices are a bit steep, starting from Tk.180 going to Tk.250

Yummmy Yummy
Some way along Aarong, this little shop on Mirpur Road, has been known to make the mouths of people water as they pass by it. The windows showcase a variety of colourful drinks promising to cool the throat. With a slightly limited selection of drinks, this place is still a pretty good option for refreshing drinks. Juices include Malta, Apple and Mango and their signature Slushes include Grape and Fruits Beer. With a price range within Tk.100, this makes for a very convenient place to finally quench that thirst.

Fresco Juice
Along with two other juice places near the Baily Road CFC stands Fresco Juice. A small place with a cool vibe to it, this place offers more than it seems to at first. Their collection of fresh fruit juices is the most diverse in this list -- starting from Papaya, Orange, Pineapple, Malta to Wood Apple, Anar, Tamarind, Litchi and Carrot. With prices ranging from Tk.60 to Tk.200, this is a place to look for drinks if you are bored with all else out there.

Bashundhara City Food Court
This hosts quite a number of shops with fresh juices. Formosa QQ Tea hosts the widest range among them -- with Mango, Pineapple, Anar and Mix juices. The prices are all within Tk.125. Other than this, almost all shops here serve Mango or Papaya juice. A good place to grab a quick, cool drink if you are shopping and you are late for Iftar.

By Moyukh Mahtab
Photo: LS Archive


By Sam Q

Dearest Diary,
Last night, as I was browsing through my usual routine of magazines, I came across an article which really resonated with me, called 'Too Lovely To Love', by Neena Haridass. Diary, in my shallow little world, this superfluous article was so funny and so real that it had me captivated for quite some time.

So, as you know me Diary, if I come across something good, I have to share. Be it the 'halwas' from the new Village Restaurant or silly, yet true, articles. The writer had me by the collar with her bold introductory line, “Women hate beautiful women”.

The above statement though is not by the writer but by a 41-year-old British Television journalist, Samantha Brick. She writes, "I am tall, slim, blonde and, so I'm often told, a good-looking woman. I know how lucky I am. But there are downsides to being pretty -- the main one being that other women hate me for no other reasons than my lovely looks."

Apparently the article did not go down well with women. Once it went on the net, comments poured in through Twitter and Facebook and she received 1.5 million hits on her original article and was accused of being a "troll", "smug", "self-satisfied" and "arrogant".

So after following through Samantha Brick's journey, writer Neena Haridass wonders: Does Brick have a point?

To that I say, “Of course Brick has a point!” I wish I could exchange notes with Neena and "smugly" re-affirm that, women at the end of the day are women. Whatever race, creed, and culture we are steeped in, our bonding moment happened when God gave us that thing called 'hormones'. That is when we universally became members of a group called the 'Ya Ya of sisterhood.' Having said that I am also confirming, there are exceptions to rules too.

Even Oprah...yes! Even Oprah Winfrey said that she faced discrimination standing in queue next to a beautiful woman. She, a world famous TV personality and one of the top powerful women in the world loses to physical beauty.

So after debating with myself about: beauty being only skin deep, inside beauty better than outer beauty, dumb blondes -- all clichéd phrases put together, the conclusion that I come to is....yes! I gravitate towards beauty too.

A colleague had once commented after going through a photo-album of mine that it seemed to her that I only made friends with beautiful people. God! Can I help it if my friends are good-looking? Yes girls...you can take a bow.

Diary, I have compartmentalised myself as 'fat and harmless' so I have never had the good fortune of facing the 'Samantha Syndrome' but I have heard from some of my girl friends that this is an ever present issue in certain social circles.

One particular friend feels that she is often not invited to many events because the hostesses feel upstaged by her. Another friend feels that women are just plain mean to her because she is good-looking. Ho, hum! Sometimes beauty can be such a curse.

Actually, I remember while growing up, when one of my aunts were about to be married and had to be paraded in front of the groom's family, all the other unmarried sisters, cousins and any other marriageable candidates had to stay hidden far away in some dark corners of the house in fear of unwittingly sabotaging her prospects. Many a times it has happened that the girl's sister or friend, who was there to support the tremors, was chosen instead. Why? Because she was 'fairer' or more beautiful.

I have seen screaming babies on their mothers' laps immediately stop crying to gurgle at pretty air-hostesses. My cootchi cooing did no good. I have also experienced good-looking people served better, upgraded in flights, looked at in awe, many, many times. If all the above situations are not the power of physical beauty, I wonder, what is?

Last night while writing this article, I got into a spirited discussion with my son and niece regarding the content of this write up. Shanzeh, my niece, had such a look of disbelief that I was actually supporting Samantha Brick. My son sort of saw where I was coming from but still thought that I was wrong to say most women feel like this. They both think we are the minority here and this is just a society issue in only certain 'type' of society.

You know what Diary, I am so much in awe of these miniature adults. They can put things in such clear perspective for me every time that I wonder, “Did I not give birth to them?” (I feel they are all mine).

I am sorry if I have bored you Diary but as I previously said, it is one of those silly, superfluous days of mine where I am only skimming the surface and not digging deep down. So, bear with me.

Once again, have a happy Ramadan the Sam Q way!

Sausage and vegetable Fritata
15g butter
1 onion, finely sliced
2 green capsicums, deseeded & finely sliced
200g tomatoes
8 medium eggs
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
25g Cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
2-4 cooked sausages, sliced

Melt the butter in a pan and gently fry the onion and capsicum till transparent. Add tomatoes and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile beat eggs and mint and add seasoning. Add sausages and pour the mixture into the pan. Use wooden spoon to spread evenly.Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the egg is set around the edges. Sprinkle over cheese. Cover & cook until the egg is cooked through and the cheese is golden and bubbling. Cut into wedges and serve.

Cheddar and Apple Panini bites
1 French baguette loaf (24"), cut into thin slices
2 tbsp honey mustard
Slices of cheddar cheese (about 10 oz)
24 slices of green apple
4 tbsp of butter

Evenly spread half of the bread slices with honey mustard, then top with cheese, apple and remaining bread. Now evenly spread both sides of the sandwich with butter. Cook sandwich in a non-stick pan over medium heat, turning once every 4 minutes or until golden.

Note -- I make my own honey mustard by just adding honey (1tbsp) to my 2 tbsp mustard.

Sesame apple salad
2 apples sliced thinly
2 medium sized carrots, peeled
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
½ cup chopped fresh mint
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds

Mix salad ingredients and pour in the dressing. Top with sesame seeds.

Note: Ingredients available at all superstores around the city -- Agora, Meena Bazaar, Nandan, Lavender and also Gulshan 1 Kitchen Market.


Nitya Upohar Exhibition

Gallery Nitya Upohar is hosting a special Eid exhibition of local, renowned designers called 'Amader Eid'. The exhibition is set to be held till the very end of Ramadan from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Also, every Friday during Ramadan, a special fashion show displaying the designer wears will be held at the gallery. Models will be walking to the tunes of classic songs and dance numbers.

The exhibition includes 7 series of t-shirts known as Ahsan Manjil, Kanai Dighi Masjid, Kantajir Mandir, Shonarang Mandir, Sonargaon 1 and Sonargaon 2. Apart from these series designed by Majharul Islam and Farukh Ahmed, there are 20 more exclusive and artistic designs for t-shirts.

In the sari range, there is tangail taat, half-silk and half-silk cotta. The silk cotta saris are displayed in two series; sur and chanda 1 and sur and chanda 2, designed by Kaiyum Chowdhury . There is also the 2 series, pushpa aranya 1 and pushpa aranya 2 by Chandra Shekhar Saha and a series by Anahid Jafri named chirayeeta.

The exhibition contains clothes adequate for this Eid season so be sure to check it out and attend their fashion shows every Friday.


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