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WHATS cooking this weekend


With the coldest day experienced in 45 years passing by, one would be forgiven for shunning the luxuries the outdoors have to offer by opting for yet another day in. But the chilly breeze doesn't mean we'd like to stay wrapped up in our blankets all day long; we must also eat. Nothing beats the cold like a cosy, comfortable weekend spent in the company of your loved ones. It is a Bangladeshi tradition that weekend meals are family affairs, with the mothers often going to great lengths to conjure tasty dishes that become little traditions in themselves. After all, the weekend is the time when we take a break from our busy lives beyond the threshold of our homes, and the biting cold is the perfect excuse to remain surrounded by the comforts that only home and family can provide. This week Star Lifestyle looks at just that aspect, blending the cold wave with friends, family and scrumptious meals.



It is a well known fact that the temperature outside and one's laziness are inversely proportional. Meaning, the lower the temperature, the higher will be your desire to be lazy. Comforters is the only word that appeals and going out seems like the worst idea ever. However, even a sleeping man gets hungry and being hungry makes one miserable. this brings us to our most important point; misery loves company. Thus, a hot plate of food served in the warm company of friends and family is probably the best way to beat the chill. Making such a plan on the weekends seems like the best idea because it is during the holidays when chilling out without actually 'chilling out' is most memorable.

Firstly, bother not with a guest list. If it's family, make sure to invite your closest members. With winter already keeping everyone cool, family drama is sure to be avoided. As all the mums, dads, aunts, uncles, children and grans get together, they will surely end up thanking you for a memorable evening. Going back to the opening thought, let's remember that winter still makes us lazy. However, there are easy meals that many tend to opt for. Also, more hands make lighter work. “I like making tehari when I don't feel like cooking much and am expecting a big crowd,” Salma Khaleq, a housewife, explains. Tehari, it seems, is a popular weekend meal. A firm crowd favourite, it is also easier to make and takes less time. Without the need for having to be served with other things bar a salad, tehari is said to be one of winter weekend's most cooked meals. Plus, who can really pass up beef? This rice and beef concoction can be served as brunch, lunch and dinner, which is another added benefit.

Another popular meal is spaghetti or pasta. These dishes don't require your pantry to be stuffed with ingredients and the most basic elements do well enough. Eggs, milk, sausages and cheese are all that are really required and it takes basically 30 minutes to make. Also, almost everyone in the house can help with it. The pasta, especially, also goes well with sandwiches. If you don't want to make your own sandwiches, delegate the responsibility to some other member in the family or rather head off to Sauslys' for some of the best sandwiches in town. Sandwiches and pasta also go well with other readymade meals such as chicken wings, French fries and fried chicken. “Numerous shops offer these easy to make meals and they are very convenient,” Basharat, a university student, opines. These meal ideas also work perfectly whether its brunch, lunch or dinner.

If you have ample time for preparation, the best dish to go with is paya or nehari. Both these dishes appeal equally to various palates. However, remember that it takes a while to complete these two particular items. They are also preferable in the mornings, during breakfast hours, but that shouldn't put you off. An early weekend morning with the family is a great idea indeed. This will also work if you are having a bunch of friends over for a get-together. However, serving the dishes about dinner time isn't probably the best idea.

If you plan on blending your friends and family on a weekend then a barbeque sounds like the best idea. BBQ's usually take place outdoors and thus you can create enough distance between your family members and your friends. This allows the scope for eavesdropping to fall drastically and plenty of bonding can take place over the burning coals. The need for salad cannot be stressed upon enough so make sure to get that part right. Once again, a BBQ isn't a spur of the moment thing and needs proper planning and enough marinating the chicken or beef.

If all of the above sounds tedious, why not go out for brunch? Brunch tastes best in winter or is rather appropriate because winter weekends ensure you wake up too late for breakfast and too early for lunch. Cafe Mango offers quite a brunch menu, which includes porridge, sausages, bread, butter, omelette and all that goes well with side orders of coffee and soups. You can also order plenty of take-away as well, with numerous restaurants now offering delivery services.

Whatever the case, no matter the chill, with everyone all huddled up and cosying up together, winter provides the best time to strengthen bonds that are strained throughout the summer. Thus, its time to make a meal of it. Literally, make a meal of it.

By Osama Rahman
Model: Farheen Khurrum, Rahil Farhad, Sarawee Farhad, Zaraif Farhad.
Special thanks to Sunny and Binita for opening up their lovely kitchen for Star Lifestyle.


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