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     Volume 9 Issue 50| December 31, 2010 |

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Makers of Mouth-Watering Recipes


Winners of the Pran-Prothom Alo “Achar Protijogita” 2010. Photo: Courtesy

Achar or pickles have delighted the Bengali's appetite for ages! On Fridays with Bhuna Khichuri and beef, sometimes with daal-bhat to add some extra flavour to the ordinary dish, on occasions as appetisers or desserts- pickles have always been there in our menu. Our Ma's have created a whole new genre of art out of this and Pran-Prothom Alo National Pickle Competition has been honouring and recognising this enchanting talent of many Bangladeshi women for the last eleven years. “Mothers don't make the pickles just with the ingredients, they blend in their love and care with the recipe,” said director of Channel i, Faridur Reza. Perhaps, that's the reason that homemade pickles are yet dominating the pickle market despite the emergence of all commercial pickle-producing food companies.

This year two and a half thousand participants participated in the preliminary competition. From them 13 ladies won prizes for most tasty pickles and 35 more won complementary prizes. The “Pickle of the year” award went to Nasima Akhter from Dhaka, who was awarded two- lac- taka prize money.

The contest is arranged basically to promote the contribution of the home-makers in our families and societies and remind us of their love, care and sacrifices which allow us, both men and women, to work outside the household and build a career. Moreover, it's an attempt to spread this traditional food item of ours into the world and raise its popularity among a more diverse consumer level. Uzma Chowdhury, director of the Pran RFL Group stated, “The object of this competition was to honour the mothers and sisters of our country.” When the whole nation is talking about progressive society and women empowerment, and careerist women are more encouraged than ever, the nation has almost forgotten to thank the mothers, the wives, the sisters who have sacrificed their share of career planning to gift the nation with healthy, well brought-up generations. Their hard work in the house hold remains buried between the walls. Pran-Prothom Alo's initiative to recognise their contribution is another way to thank them for everything they have done. “Many mothers had sacrificed their progeny to save our motherland during the Liberation War. Mother is the original reflection of a nation. We all must love our mothers and love our nation as we love our mothers,” stated Matiur Rahman, editor of the Daily Prothom Alo.

12 awardees won prizes in four different categories: sweet, sour, spicy and others. 1st, 2nd and 3rd participants from each category won LCD television, refrigerator and washing machine, respectively. Bilkis Akhter, Ayesha Jesmin and Razia Kashem won prizes in the sour category; Sufiya Jahan, Ruma Mitra and Farida Parveen in the sweet category; Salma Shipu, Jebunnisa Begum and Shahnaz Huq in the spicy category; Rini Yasmin, Rosana Sabur and Shameema Alam in the others category.

With the slogan, “Ajker naree egiye cholo” (Women of today, move forth), the prize giving ceremony, held at the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre on December 6, was celebrated by numerous noted celebrities, intellects and most of all by a thousand participants. The winners were overjoyed and those who did not win were determined to take up the challenge again next year. The whole event was a blissful aura of joy, inspiration, love and of course, was raining with lots of finger-leaking pickles. Joy, inspiration, love, hard work- that's perhaps is the timeless essence of a woman!




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