Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |   Volume 7, Issue 47, Tuesday, December 04, 2012  | 




Bangla Perfume launches
BOSS Nuit Pour Femme

Bangla Perfume launched a new range of perfume for the ladies, BOSS Nuit Pour Femme, from the much sought after brand, Hugo Boss. The exclusive launching ceremony was held on Monday, November 19, 2012 at the ground level of Bashundhara City Shopping Mall, Panthapath, Dhaka.

The daylong programme commenced at 12 noon and included, among others, free sampling of the brand carried by the Bangla Perfumes Distributors Limited from their makeshift booth. Sharmin Lucky and TV actress Moonmoon attended the occasion among many other distinguished guests.

BOSS Nuit Pour Femme, the new women's fragrance from Hugo Boss, is inspired by the eternal elegance of little black dresses and the confidence it gives to the wearer of it. The fragrance shoots modern, elegant and fresh sparkling notes of aldehydes and peach. The core fragrance is comprised of white flowers, jasmine and sensual violet. The base consists of crystalline moss and creamy sandalwood. The fragrance is available in 30, 50 and 75 ml EAU de Perfume bottles.

By Afrida Mahbub


Khazana Mithai launches new product line

The fact that Bangladeshis have a sweet-tooth like no other is best exemplified by the fact that there are more than 50,000 sweetmeat shops spread across the country. Before, after and at times in-between meals, it is easy to imagine us munching down some Gulab Jamuns or Rosogollas. However, numerous options to choose from means varied quality and in order to deliver the taste we crave, Khazana Mithai has now taken the next step.|

In a short span of four years, Khazana Mithai has already spread into three different outlets and are now introducing Canned Sweetmeat and packaged goods like Laccha Semai, Soan Papri and even snacks like Singara and Badam Bhuja. Receiving their ISO 90001:2008 certification on 26 November, 2012 from Intertek Moody International for their Canned Sweets and Lacha Shemai, Khazana Mithai has now ventured into a largely untapped domestic market. The BSTI approved products are convenient and ready to eat and have a six months period of edibility from the date of manufacturing.

With the manufacturing unit located at Tejgaon, the products also offer the added incentive or being an exportable item. Avishek Sinha, Director of Khazana Mithai Ltd added that the zip-lock packaging and food-graded material all were placed to ensure products of the highest quality whilst also making copying the product quite difficult. The ISO certificate lays further credence to the assurance of quality.

The price range starts from Tk. 250-550 making the product affordable to numerous people, all over Bangladesh. The press conference to announce the ISO certification was followed by lunch and Avishek Sinha, Director of Khazana Mitahi Ltd, Sadequl Kabir, Managing Director of Khazana Mithai Ltd. spoke on the event and answered questions from the press.

By Osama Rahman


Compliance and beyond

Compliance is the corporate speak now. A word, which we think we know the meaning of but in actuality, we don't. And as a result we tend to distort its sense, bend it to suit our needs and do everything possible to ridicule its connotation.

We are anything but compliant; frankly speaking we simply don't know how to be. We lock our workers within the confines of the factory floor like lesser creations put inside a cage.

We are a selfish lot; it always is about us and about reaping optimum profits with minimum investments. It is definitely never about others' welfare or sharing benefits.

It doesn't take a shrewd entrepreneur to know that you reap what you sow. When a factory catches fire the owners too bear huge losses, to the extent, that some even face bankruptcy; even if they don't want to consider the lives of the workers, which evidently can be bought with just one lakh.

So if we do the simple math here, the payment of one lakh to 20 or 50 or 100 dead workers after a fire can be spent beforehand while building the factory to ensure fire hazards safety and other compliances rules. Why these shrewd industrialists are pound foolish penny wise beats the common sense out of us, since compliance ensures bigger deals and higher profits for factory owners.

The factory owners' and the factory workers' fates are tied by the same thread. This simple fact goes unnoticed when compliance comes into question.

A midday snack of blackened bananas and soggy biscuits, a yearly picnic, a festival bonus (for which the workers need to stage demonstrations) is not compliance. This is a tertiary concern.

The factory, which is a box of bricks with no windows and narrow doors must be equipped with proper fire management measures, escape routes and stairways outside the building on each floor. They must have proper ventilation among many other safety regulations.

A fire in a garments factory is not an isolated incident, not sabotage, and neither is it a political drama of vengeance; it is simply carelessness and total disregard for safety on part of the owners and management of the factories.

A lot has been said about garments factory fires and it has become an annual, if not six-monthly, affair in recent times, yet we will ignore meeting the requirements to live and let live.

The last week anyone with a little sense of responsibility and compassion spoke their minds, held processions to vent their fury, and wrote blogs to let off steam, tweeted, gave statuses castigating the horrific fire at Tazreen Fashions. The newspaper reports or television news clips brought tears to everyone's eyes. But that's about it, what does not affect us directly is not ours to claim.

Moreover our outpours for the poor dead workers were reprimanded; we were told that we could not even show our outrage because it would bring a bad name for the industry and shoo away foreign investors.

Now come on people, what we say will not make them shun you, your disregard for factory compliance will. This is such a tick off; what cannot be understood is why these industrialists cannot invest a couple of more thousands to be compliant in every sense of the word.

Of course there is no denying that the garments industry has empowered the poor, given them a reason to live, and upgraded their livelihoods but at the same time there is no denying the fact that factory owners too reap profits. They are not doing a selfless act by just pumping the country's economy and empowering the poor.

If the factory is not running or is burnt to ashes just like the poor workers, the factory owners too will not be able to count their riches.

A factory owner is not the only one doing workers a favour; the workers in turn are doing them a favour by providing cheap labour. The equation is directly proportional.

It's high time the owners rise from the ashes of their gutted factories and take compliance seriously if they want to sustain the garments industry.

-- Raffat Binte Rashid


Food for the frost

By Tommy miah

Texas-style chilli beef
2 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water
2 medium dried chillies, stems and seeds removed
5 dried red New Mexican chillies, stems and seeds removed
1 hot chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped, or more or less to your taste
1½ tsp ground cumin
2 to 3 tsp dried Mexican oregano

Cut beef into 1-inch cubes. In a wide bowl or food storage bag, combine flour with salt and pepper. Toss meat cubes with the seasoned flour. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the meat in the oil, stirring often. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until softened. Add the 4 cups of water; simmer for 1 hour.

Soak the dried chillies in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Process soaked chilli peppers in a blender with just enough of the soaking water to make a puree. Strain out excess liquid. Add the puree to the meat mixture along with all remaining ingredients; simmer for 1½ to 2 hours longer.

Serve with hot cooked beans and rice on the side.

UK-Bangladeshi chilli beef
1 tsp hot chilli powder
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 tsp dried mango powder
3 cm ginger, peeled and grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 large onion, peeled and very finely chopped
2 dried red chillies
1 tsp caster sugar
Juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp rice or corn flour
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced

Cut the beef into thin strips and put it into a large dish with half the chilli powder, the chilli flakes, dried mango powder, ginger and some seasoning. Add the coconut oil, if using and mix well. Let the meat marinate for 15-20 minutes before cooking.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add the onion, chillies, remaining chilli powder and a pinch of salt.

Cook, stirring every now and then, for 5-6 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the sugar and fry for a few more minutes until the onion begins to caramelise. Add the lime juice and take the pan off the heat.

Heat 5 cm of oil in a deep pan until hot. Toss the beef in the flour until evenly coated then deep-fry in batches for 2-3 minutes until brown and crisp. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. When all the beef has been cooked, toss the strips with the onion mixture and sliced chilli. Transfer to a warm plate and serve immediately.

Mongolian beef
2 lbs beef tenderloin, sliced thinly
4 stalks leek, sliced thinly
2 stalks spring onion, sliced thinly for garnishing
1 tsp chopped ginger
2 tsp chopped garlic
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, sliced thinly
½ tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 tbsp sambal oelek (chilli paste)
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt and sugar to taste (if needed)

In a mixing bowl, place beef, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, salt, sugar and white pepper. Mix well, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Overnight is better.

In a hot wok, add 2 tbsp vegetable oil and stir fry beef until it is changing colour or half done. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil up in a wok, add ginger, garlic, onions and sauté until it's fragrant and brown. Then add the sauce ingredients and beef. Keep stir frying until beef is done and coated by sauce. Add leek slices, and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add salt or sugar if it's needed. Remove from the heat. Garnish with spring onions. Serve with warm white rice.

Barbecued stuffed snapper
125g cooked prawns
45g butter
80g fresh bread crumbs
25g chopped green onions
30g celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
110g cooked shrimp
110g cooked crab meat
4g chopped fresh parsley
0.8g salt
0.3g ground black pepper
672g red snapper

Preheat barbecue charcoals for high heat. Melt half the butter in a frying pan for the stuffing. Add the breadcrumbs. Fry and stir the mixture over medium-high heat until the breadcrumbs are browned. Remove to a mixing bowl.

Melt remaining butter in the frying pan and cook the onions, celery and garlic until soft and onions are transparent. Add to the breadcrumbs in the mixing bowl, then stir in prawns, crab, parsley, salt and pepper; toss together gently.

Cut aluminium foil to form a double-thickness large rectangle. Lay the fish fillets on the foil. Mound the stuffing on top of the fillets. Curl up the edges of the foil to form a tray.

In the barbecue, arrange the preheated charcoals to either side. Test for medium heat above the centre of the grill. Place the fish in foil in the centre of the cooking grill. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.

Spicy prawn cocktail
650g cooked medium prawns, peeled and chilled
½ large cucumber, diced
1 small tomato, diced
8 spring onions, thinly sliced
Good handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 chilli, thinly sliced
400g can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
In a large bowl, combine prawns, cucumber, tomato, spring onion, coriander and chilli. Stir in crushed tomatoes and vinegar. Squeeze lime juice over mixture. Serve in glasses with shredded lettuce or slices of celery.

Bhetki kebabs with sweet chilli and lime dip
4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Juice of one lime
4 x 140g/5 oz skinless salmon fillet, cut into large chunks
Oil, for drizzling

Combine the sweet chilli sauce and lime juice in a bowl. Pour half the mixture into a bowl for serving. Thread the bhetki onto 4 skewers and brush with the remaining chilli sauce. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Heat a griddle pan until very hot. Shake excess marinade from the kebabs, then drizzle with oil, season and griddle for 8 minutes, turning occasionally until the bhetki is opaque and comes away easily from the pan. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.

Mini Kebabs with creamy chilli dip
4 chicken fillets, cubed
1 green pepper, cut into chunks
12 cherry tomatoes
250 ml (1 cup) low-oil dressing
10 ml (2 tsp) dried mixed herbs
5-10 ml (1-2 tsp) chilli sauce

Soak wooden kebab sticks in water before using. Thread 2 pieces of chicken with a tomato and piece of green pepper onto small skewers.

Mix dressing, sauce and herbs together. Set aside half the mixture and roll kebabs in the remaining mixture.

Place kebabs on a foil-lined baking tray and grill until the chicken is cooked.

Serve with the remaining mixture as a dip.


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2012 The Daily Star