Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 7, Issue 26, Tuesday, June 26, 2012




Mango Storm Experience

The annual mango exposition is back in Dhaka Regency. This year, there has been a surplus of mango harvest during their annual aam jhar. To share their good fortune with some of their most valuable clients, the hotel distributed a healthy portion of their pickings last weekend. And of course, the hotel itself is hosting a mango promotion, offering delicious mango goodies. This is another opportunity to sink your teeth into a scrumptious morsel of mango richness or sooth your palate with thick and smooth juicy concoctions. Regency's “Mango Storm Experience” will run for a month, from 15 June-15 July. Available at all Dhaka Regency F&B outlets.

For more information, please call 01713332599.

Monsoon @ Shadakalo

Monsoon is here, providing respite from the harsh days of the Bangladeshi summer. Fashion House Shadakalo has brought out a line for the season with hints of the iconic 'kodom phool', outfits that will provide comfort and ease during the soothing monsoon. The line includes saris, shalwar kameez sets, fatuas, ornas, uttorio, etc.


Summer Escapes
Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann is set in the post WWII era, the story of two disgruntled cousins who go back to their family home one summer in the hope of remembering the good old days. While there, the children discover a corpse of a woman, creating chaos in the family's summer plans and the town, changing their lives forever.

Family, Love, and Loss
Joshua Henkin in his book “The World without You” tells the emotional story of a family reunited to recognise the one-year death anniversary of a son who died in Iraq. During the reunion, marriage is at stake, the children figure out sibling rivalries, and deal with the death of a brother. An emotional tale of family, love, and loss built together beautifully.

Green Interiors
Organic accessories and eco-friendly furniture are all the rage these days in interior decoration, according to India Today's Lifestyle section. The best part is that going 'green' is easy in South Asia, especially with trendy cane furniture and organic fabrics all around us. The article provides several suggestions, including increasing awareness of being environmentally friendly.

Richest Athlete makes $85 million
The world's top paid athletes this year have been revealed! According to Walker Llewellyn of the International Business Times, the top 100 richest athletes all together make up $2.6 billion! Topping the list is boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., worth $85 million and has no endorsements. Footballers have generated the most members in this list. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is at #31 and Sachin Tendulkar at #78.

By Olinda Hassan


Keeping healthy in summer

By dr firdous quader minu
M.B.B.S, D.L.O ENT, Head-Neck
& Cosmetic Surgeon,

This year we seem to be having an exceptionally hot summer with record high temperatures everywhere. No matter how hot it is we still have to go out and do our daily chores. Here are a few tips to keep you healthy and fresh during this season.

The most common advice we give and get is drink plenty of fluids but still not all of us follow this as at times we don't realise that we are losing water. We should increase fluid intake in this heat even if we don't spend time outdoors but are inside in air-conditioned rooms, as the A/C dries our skin.

Fluids mean all fluids, not just water. If you don't like to drink a lot of water you can opt for fruit juices or fresh fruits. Just be careful not to overdo the fruit and juices, especially if you are trying to lose weight, as they have a lot of sugar. Before going out be sure to apply sunscreen on the exposed parts, especially face and arms. The sunscreen should be at least SPF30 or above. Children also need to apply sunscreen.

Skin type is very important to consider before choosing a sunscreen as it has to suit your skin to work effectively. Don't forget to use a moisturiser when indoors, as the skin does tend to become dry in air-conditioned interiors. If you want to avoid the stickiness use a moisturiser that is oil free.

If you use makeup, use sunscreen as a base and then follow your normal routine. Hair also needs special care in this heat. Sweat affects our hair a lot and it gets very oily and rough and may lead to hair loss. People who are going out and sweat a lot should shampoo everyday. If your hair is getting too rough, use conditioner every alternate day. You can also use oil, keep it for 2/3 hours and then shampoo off.

I get a lot of patients with aggravated symptoms of allergies in summer. This is mainly due to variation of temperatures and also the dust and humidity. Patients complain of sneezing, runny nose and itchiness in the nose, eyes, and throat. This can be very disturbing if it is persistent; the best treatment is to identify and avoid the allergens. If the symptoms become aggravated take help from a specialist.

Children also suffer a lot from coughs and sore throats. This is again due to rapid variations in temperature, as they love to have ice-cold water and ice cream. It's okay to have these as long as it is in moderation. Please make sure not to have street-made juices and ice cream as we don't know the source of water. Diarrhoea and jaundice is the commonest disease you can get from these.

As an ENT specialist I get patients with a lot of ear infections, mainly because they use cotton buds to itch their ears. In summer, due to the humid weather the buds become infected with fungus we can't see, especially if the pack has been open for long. After using these buds the ears become infected with fungus, leading to earache and discharge. This needs immediate medical attention so as not to damage the eardrums.

Children or even adults may develop earaches after swimming, this may be due to wax inside the ears which swell up and cause pressure on the surrounding wall, also stagnant water in ears can cause pain. It is best not to try to clean your ears with cotton buds. Consult with a specialist to confirm the cause and treatment.

So keep yourselves well-hydrated and healthy, and use sunscreen regularly.


Burp goes the baby

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Quote of the week: If you can't hear it, it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Saying babies are difficult is like saying a hungry, wild tiger can be tricky to handle. In both cases, heads can and do roll. Yet people handle babies all the time, sometimes even foolishly thinking that a baby is a cute bundle of joy.

Take, for instance, burping a baby.

You would think that is an easy job. We all burp. Some people find it disgusting. They are called women. Some of us men burp so well we are paid to burp loudly at parties where guests refuse to leave. It's an offensive act apparently. Yet, when a baby burps, it's cute. People want to hear it all over again.

But babies need to do it. Little babies, the ones that can't move at all but can make everyone else move with a simple cry, need to burp. When they drink milk, they do it like the way a recovering, lovelorn alcoholic does it at a free drinks party. Drinking babies are greedy. They guzzle. And their little stomachs end up taking in air that their little behinds cannot expel. So they have to be manually burped.

This is a bit like my old car that refused to start unless it was patted and prodded to release excess fuel it had guzzled the night before. Babies get the air stuck in their bellies and it makes them irritable. It hurts and they cry and then the world around them crumbles. So how do you fix it? You carry a baby upright and pat it on the back. Gentle pats. And you listen for the burp. There are three instances when good hearing is of utmost importance -- when tuning a guitar; when tuning a car; when burping a baby.

In each case, an audible change is difficult to detect. If you can, there's a job for you in the world. So there you are happily patting a baby when you hear something. Was that a burp? Or was it a gargle? Or was it your own sense of dread snapping its jaws with a soft puckered sound? You keep on patting as you keep on sweating. Did you do that right? You ask others. You imitate the sound. And you keep patting. My boy would do that. He would smile as well, beatifically. All I knew is that in about ten years' time, he would be burping his way through a disgusted group of grownups at a party. I'll smile then.


A fishy tale

By shawkat osman

Zaffrani mach
Saffron (Crocus sativus), comes from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus, it takes 15,000 handpicked stigmas to make a single ounce, which explains why it is the world's most expensive spice. According to Greek myth, handsome, mortal Crocus fell in love with the beautiful nymph Smilax. When Smilax rebuffed his favours, he was turned into a beautiful purple crocus flower to save him from extreme remorse.

A native of the Mediterranean, around the 8th century the Arabs had introduced it to other parts of the world. The name is from the Arabic word "Zafaran" which means 'yellow'.

1 kg bhetki, filleted
4 tbsp mustard oil
1 cup red onions, chopped
1 fish head
1 fish tail
4 tomatoes diced
2 carrots, diced
1 veet diced
1 tbsp tomato puree
Saffron, pinch
4 white onions, chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder
3 cups water
4½ tsp salt

Soak saffron in ¼ cup warm water, set aside. Cut the fish fillets into cubes, rinse, and pat dry, set aside.

Heat oil in a 'korai'/wok, lob in red onion, sauté until translucent. Slide in: fish head + tail. Cook for 3 minutes, turning once or twice.

Now to the korai/wok add the following: water + diced tomato + diced carrot + diced veet. Cook for 20 minutes to get a strong stock. Lift -- veet, carrot, and tomato, out of the stock and set them aside. Strain the stock to eliminate the fish head, tail and other solids. Reserve the stock.

In a food processor/grinder, grind the following: veet + carrot + tomato + tomato puree + 1 cup reserved stock. Pulse to crush the vegetables to a pulp. Set vegetable puree aside.

Heat oil in a 'korai'/wok, lob in the white onion, sauté until they are translucent. Chuck in the fish cubes, sauté on all sides until change of colour.

Pour the vegetable puree into the 'korai'/wok, and then add the following: saffron + red chilli powder + salt. Bring it to a boil and cook for 5 minutes or until fish is ready.

Shol moorighonto
Bangla for fish-head is 'muro'; heads of rui and katla fish are a coveted delicacy, reserved for special guests. As there are not many fish-heads to go around pleasing every member of the family the virtuoso Bengali homemakers have evolved the classical 'moorighonto' as an upbeat alternative. 'Ghonto' is a jumble.

The first 'moorighonto' recipe is an uncomplicated one using mashkolai daal and head of shol fish. Shol's flesh does not have the strong fishy smell; therefore, it is ideal to cook with the mildly flavourful maskolai daal. This recipe boils the daal before adding it to the spice. By way of this method, you can control the exact softness/hardness of each grit of daal. An easy recipe for the beginners, for instance you will cook the dish with the fish-head already cut into pieces, sparing you the ordeal of breaking it with the metal khunti inside the korai/wok, as is customarily done for rui moorighontos.

1 head of shol, cut into 4 pieces
½ cup mashkolai daal
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tejpata
½ tsp cumin, seeds
10 green chillies, slit
1 tbsp onion paste
1 tsp ginger paste
3 tsp garlic paste
1½ tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
3 tsp salt
2 tbsp soy oil

Roast daal on a heated tawa/griddle, until the daal gives off a beautiful roasted aroma. (You can omit this roasting if you want a milder flavour of the daal). Wash and boil daal with enough water until tender, keep aside. The cooked daal should be al dente and not mushy -- as they say in Bangla they should be 'gota-gota'.

Clean the head of the fish thoroughly; removing the gills and eyes, (traditionally eyes are delicacies keep them if you prefer). Hack the head into four pieces.

Dust the pieces with: 1 tsp salt + turmeric powder. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a 'korai'/wok; and chuck in the head pieces. Saute them for 2 minutes. Strain them out and set aside.

Add 1 tbsp oil to the same 'korai'/wok, when hot toss in the following: tejpata + cumin + green chillies.

Once the cumin start to splutter, stir in the following: onion paste + garlic paste + ginger paste. Stir-fry over medium heat, stirring all the time until they release their flavour.

Next add the following: cumin powder + coriander powder + red chilli powder. Saute stirring until spice releases its flavour. Drop in the head pieces, stir until all the pieces are coated with the spice, cook for a minute. Pour in the daal + salt, mix well and then add 1 cup hot water, give a swirl or two, bring to a boil.

Check for salt -- adjust seasoning if necessary, the daal should not be too watery.

Photo: Rukhsara Osman


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