Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 39, Tuesday, October 05, 2010



News flash

Malay cuisine @ Westin

A Meeting of cultures, a wealth of culinary delights…this is the Authentic Taste of Malaysia.

The Westin Dhaka has organised a Malaysian food festival at Seasonal Tastes restaurant, inaugurated on 2 October, which will run until 23 October. Chefs Mohd Zalizam Mohd Rasidi and Suhalmi Bin Md. Tasir, from Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will be the guest chefs of the restaurant during the days of the festival, as part of “Presenting Guest Chefs of Asia 2010”. These brilliant, renowned and specialised chefs will be making the authentic cuisine to create authentic taste of Malaysia. The festival will be open from 6: 30pm to 11: 30pm.

The fusion
A plate of Malaysian food does not only represent Malaysia as a whole, but many individual racial and ethnic groups that make up the beautiful land of Malaysia. Indian, Malay and Chinese are three such groups, with a dominant presence of Thai, Indonesian and Middle East cultures. Therefore, Malay cuisine is superbly rich and exotic, borrowing from a plethora of cultures that has contributed to what we call authentic Malaysian cuisine today. With such a magical blend and the various enigmatic cultural influences that go in the preparation, Malay cuisine has made a very strong international position in the world of food.

The ardour
Bangladeshis are a passionate lot, and when it comes to food, our infatuation knows no bound. In that way, Malaysia is very similar to us. Malaysians are also avid food lovers; their obsession for food is even reflected in their language: a common greeting says “Sudah Makan”, meaning “have you eaten”?

Taste buds on Malay delights
Ingredients such as lemon grass, pandan (screwpine) leaves and kaffir lime leaves are used in Malay cooking. Fresh herbs, like daun kemangi (one kind of basil), daun kesum (polygonum or laksa leaf), nutmeg, kunyit (turmeric) and bunga kantan (wild ginger buds) are used often. Traditional spices such as cumin and coriander are compounded with Indian and Chinese spices such as pepper, cardamom, star anise and fenugreek.

Seasonings, which are an important process in cooking Malay style, enhance the food's taste and flavour. Many of the seasonings are not dried spices but are fresh ingredients such as fresh turmeric, galangal, fresh chilli paste, onions, and garlic. A blend of fresh seasonings and dried spices are mixed together to form a fine paste and then they are cooked in oil. Malay cuisine is rich and spicy due to the use of hard spices and a wet spice mixture of “rempah” and coconut oil.

The menu
The food carnival introduces you to a wide range of Malaysian dishes. Try out their Kerabu Udang (Prawn Salad), Potato with Chilli, Long Bean Salad, and Malaysians' all-time favorite, Roti Canai- a dish made from wheat-flour dough, sometimes incorporating beaten egg and diced onions for a crispier pancake. Savour yourself with the different soups they offer. Finally, conclude your meal by satisfying your sweet tooth with delightful desserts.

But these are just the tips of the ice-berg. Enjoy the long menu and overall experience that is waiting for you. You know you want to! For reservations, call 9891988.

By M H Haider
Photo Courtesy: The Westin Dhaka


Know your birthstones

January - Many Garnet crystals have the shape and colour of pomegranate seeds. In ancient times it was known as Carbuncle, which relates to the colour and refers to a boil or blister.

February - Amethyst is a purple form of Quartz with a rich colouration, good durability, and relative affordability. Amethyst was known as a gem, which would bring forth the highest, purest aspirations of humankind; chastity, sobriety, and the control over one's thoughts.

March - The name, Aquamarine, comes from a Latin word for seawater. It was thought to be the symbol of happiness and everlasting youth, to bring victory in battle and in legal disputes, and to re-awaken love in long-married couples.

April- Diamond is the most celebrated of all birthstones even though it is not the rarest or most expensive. Diamond was believed to symbolise purity and innocence, and joyful life of faith and piety.

May -Emerald was closely associated with love, and with contentment in marriage. Its calming, healing nature in legends is evidently a result of its soothing colour. As such it was thought to be good for eye ailments and irritations.

June - Western beliefs held that pearls could cure mental illness and soothe heartbreak for the wearer. They were also credited with being a powerful antidote against poison

July - Ruby was supposed to ensure harmonious physical and mental health and bring peace. The fiery red gemstone was said to attract and maintain love, and ward off sorrow, inspire boldness and bring success in business.

August -Peridot is a transparent or translucent gem that ranges in colour from light yellow-green to a deep olive-green colour. It was said to protect its wearer against nightmares and terrors of the night, and served to ward off the evil eye. Other legends credit Peridot with bringing happiness and good cheer, and attracting lovers.

September - The most well known colour is blue, but Sapphires are also beautiful in shades of pink and yellow. The most important attribute of Sapphire was said to be that of protection against sorcery. It was thought to banish evil spirits and frighten devils.

October - Tourmaline was thought to be an aid to meditation, fostering compassion and cool headedness. It was said to protect its wearer against many dangers, particularly that of falling.

November - True Topaz is found in shades of colourless to yellow, orange, red or brown, and is sometimes artificially treated by radiation to produce blue colours. It was thought to aid in sleep and eliminate nightmares, as well as cure rheumatism and soreness in the joints.

December - Turquoise was said to enable its wearer to resist evil and maintain virtue. It was credited with helping achieve a state of higher consciousness and resistance to weakness. It was also thought to protect its wearer from falling, particularly form towers and horses.

By Aneela Haque

Beauty dissected

M.B.B.S, D.L.O ENT, Head-Neck
& Cosmetic Surgeon,
Phone: 01199845531

Beauty dissected

Dear Doctor,
I am a 40-year-old male. I have lost considerable weight in the last few months through dieting and proper exercise. I now find that although other parts of my body look good, my face, especially my cheeks and chin, still appear fat, which gives my physique an overall "fat" impression.
How can I reduce these areas? It really bothers me a lot and sometimes I feel disheartened. Please help.
- Troubled

Dear Troubled,
Please don't be disheartened; there is a solution to your problem. As you have already realised that working out has helped you lose weight you must also realise that sometimes it takes time for reshaping after weight loss and some areas slim down faster than others.

For some, the chin and cheek are difficult areas. Liposuction is an option that is there for you. It is done by a very small incision under the chin and there is no residual scar. The fat is suctioned out by special syringes.

The whole procedure takes about 45 minutes. It can be done under general or local anaesthesia. No hospital stay is needed. It is very safe and there are no side effects to the procedure.

Dear Doctor,
I am a 32-year-old female. I had a severe attack of typhoid a few months ago and lost a lot of hair. Although the rate of hair loss has significantly reduced, I feel that I lost some amount of eyebrows as well, which is not growing back. Is there any way I can save my eyebrows? Is it possible to do hair transplant on these areas?

High temperatures as well as prolonged illness can cause hair loss. Usually this stops after the patient recovers. Some of the hairs will grow back and some may not. This is true for hair all over the body. Your eyebrows have become sparse due to this loss but it is possible to do hair transplant or eyebrow transplant as it is called. The two procedures are similar.

The brows take about four months to grow. They will look like your natural brows and you may groom them to your desire.

The procedure is done under local anaesthesia and no hospitalisation is required.

Dear Doctor,
I have a problem with my nose. Most of the time I feel the right side of my nose is congested and I have difficulty breathing. I went to a doctor who diagnosed that I have polyp in my nose and prescribed a nasal drop.

The problem receded for a while but is back again. Could you please tell me if surgery is required? Where can I get a proper diagnosis and treatment?

Thanks for the question.
Nasal obstruction is a common problem in our country mainly due to dust. First of all you need to consult an ENT specialist who will examine you and tell you the reason for the obstruction. It can be for many reasons like hypertropied turbinates or polyps. These are not the same.

Polyps are small mucus filled sacs, which come from inside the nasal mucosal lining and hypertropied turbinate are the tissues, which increase in size from the sides of the nose.

Polyps need to be treated by surgery followed by use of steroid sprays. FESS is the latest procedure for treatment of polyps, where the polyps are removed endoscopically and so this has better results.

Hypertrophied turbinates can be shrunk by cauterising or they can be excised depending on the size. Both are very safe procedures and can be done in our country. But whatever you do, proper diagnosis needs to be done first. So please consult with an ENT specialist.

Ls Editor’s Note

Captives of crooked politics

We are growing fast as a country; a pace almost too detrimental at times. Rising from a harrowing, wounded beginning and always looking up for some sort of disciplinarian to streamline our wayward ways, Bangladesh never had a tough task-master who could put to good use our collective patriotic passion.

We liberated our county but couldn't build it in a way the father of the nation, the war heroes or the citizens wanted it. Their dreams fell flat, not a single one was realised; and this is what we keep on saying over and over again with so much zeal that we have indeed become an uninspired, lazy lot always blaming the past for the present.

But today we will not dwell on the past where history was distorted and killing and corruption became the order of the day. We will simply leap to the last election and then continue onwards to current times. Frankly the last election was an exciting one with promises of change and modernisation of old ways but the best of all was the oath to change politics.

We were not to see ugly party politics or politicisation of state agendas; we were meant to be finally concentrating on building our cherished 'Shonar Bangla'. But instead we continue to be so addicted to bad politics that even if we try, we cannot pass the belching or withdrawal stage.

Citing a few recent odd happenings might help: when our Prime Minister and her huge entourage arrived at New York, the drama that our so-called sophisticated, educated NRBs put up at the airport was downright obnoxious. The ruling party men clashed with the opposition at the airport and when the police showed up, they started hugging each other. Or the Deputy Press Secretary with his bloated ego put up a drunken show that was caught on hotel cameras, and he was given an instant release from his position.

Moving back to our shores where the entire BCL cadres and other sycophants had to go to give our PM a grand reception at the airport because their mere existence depended on it; obviously disregarding ordinary citizens' traffic woes. It doesn't end there, the next day all dailies carried photo stories where Shahidullah Hall students were punished and had to stand outside the hall because they didn't join the reception programmes.

I want to rest my case here but I cannot; every day I open the papers and I see the misdoings of the cadres and ruling party men. Just look at Pabna. What does it show? In order to survive in this country you have to be someone from the party that rules. Even if you are a nephew of a petty party man you are set for the next five years.

I am a grumpy person; I dislike almost everything around me, but deep inside I know I love my country in the true sense of the words. Can we not rise above dirty politics and genuinely help build the country that has so much potential? My dreams will fall flat and even my daughter's for her country. We can never rise from the ashes unless we change.

-Raffat Binte Rashid

Dental wise

Dental wise

DR. Mahfujul Haq Khan
BDS, DDS (BSMMU), PhD (Japan), Associate Professor, Department of Dentistry, BIRDEM Hospital and Ibrahim Medical College, Shahabag, Dhaka. www.aikodental.com 9885426

Dear Dr. Khan,
You have mentioned in an earlier answer that the back of the tongue is one of the major sources of bad breath. How do I know when I have bad breath? Should I use mouthwash, and what kind of mouthwash is better? Is having any of my teeth pulled out a remedy for bad breath?

With Thanks,
Farzana Karim, Khulna.

Dear Ms Karim
In healthy people, the tongue is probably the major source of oral malodour. You may not believe such a statement, so I suggest the following simple experiment.

Stick out your tongue as far as it will go, and give one of your wrists a good lick. Wait five seconds, and take a sniff. Almost everyone's tongue has an odour.

Some people who come to malodour clinics claim that they can smell their own breath. They do this in a variety of ways, some ingenious. The most common thing to do is just to cover your mouth and nose with your hands and take a deep whiff.

Some people are able to detect odour in this manner. An easier thing to do is to lick your wrist. Some people smell their odour on the telephone receiver after a conversation. Others rub their gums with their finger and smell it. One woman claimed to be able to smell her own bad breath by covering her head with a blanket.

Most people have bad breath at one time or another. The best way to find out if your have it on a regular basis, is to ask someone close to you. Provided that they love you, and that they have a sense of smell, family members will find a way of telling you the truth. You can also ask a very close friend.

Mouthwashes were invented several thousand years ago for breath freshening. One concoction, suggested in the Jewish Talmud, consists of dough water, salt and olive oil. Commercial mouthwashes usually contain a concoction consisting of flavour, alcohol, and antibacterial agent(s). Several types of mouthwash have been shown to reduce malodour in clinical trials, including 0.2 percent chlorhexidine mouthrinses and 1 percent povidine iodine.

Sprays and regular mint candies are considered to be relatively ineffective in combatting bad breath. Don't be fooled by the burning sensation - it is your own cells in pain, not the bacteria.

The best time to use any mouth rinse appears to be right before bedtime. Since in many instances, bad breath involves the back of the tongue, it is probably helpful to gargle the mouthrinse. Some clinicians recommend extending the tongue while gargling, in order to allow the mouthrinse to reach farther back.

In answer to your last question, no pulling out your teeth is not a remedy! I know a woman who, during the 1986 had all her teeth pulled by a dentist in order to cure her from having bad breath. In 2003, she still had bad breath (from her tongue!). Don't make the same mistake. Keep your teeth (unless several dentists have told you that they are hopelessly beyond salvation), they're precious. When you get your dentures, make sure to consult your dentist on how best to take care of them, including how to prevent them from taking on odour.

Dear Doctor,
I am 22 years old. Unfortunately I have a gap in my upper jaw. This is really frustrating as it is increasing day by day. I cannot even laugh. What is the treatment for this? And where can I get the best quality treatment, and how much would it cost?

- Md. Alamgir Latif

It seems that you have spacing (gap) in between the upper incisor teeth. Don't be frustrated! We have a lot of options to cure this problem. There are three major techniques to fill up the spaces of your teeth;

Individual porcelain cap: This offers the most exciting and revolutionary advancement in aesthetic (cosmetic) dentistry. Dynamic results can usually be achieved within a week or ten days to correct somewhat misaligned, spacing, broken, discoloured or misshapen teeth. This is a relatively expensive treatment.

Tooth colour filling (bonding): This was one of the first and most promising techniques developed for "instant" smile enhancement. It is still suitable in many circumstances to correct broken or misshapen teeth, but is neither as durable as porcelain cap, nor as spectacular in addressing more complex cosmetic concerns.

Orthodontic approach (braces): This is also a very good option to correct your spacing, as you are only 22 years old.

So which direction will you go? It depends on your oral heath condition, teeth alignment, age, time and expenses. done properly.


Teeth smart

Faced with dozens of different products promising to make your teeth fresher, whiter and cavity-free, it's no wonder you wander aimlessly down the toothpaste aisle. To help you pick wisely, we turned to the pros for the scoop on what ingredients to look for, whether gel or paste formulas are right for you and just how much you need to squeeze onto your brush. It's never too late to get your pearly whites in tip-top shape, so read on to find out how!

It's all about the fluoride
With a host of ingredients in toothpaste, it's easy to lose sight of what's essential. But no matter what your individual needs are (i.e., tartar control, whitening, breath-freshening and so on), dental hygienists agree that fluoride is a must.

Look for the seal of approval
While it's tempting to save some cash with a generic brand of toothpaste, you may actually be getting an ineffective and potentially harmful product. You should always look for the seal of approval when choosing toothpaste. Choose only products that have the scientific data to back up their claims and have been proven to meet criteria for safety and effectiveness.

Whitening toothpastes work at least to a certain degree
Countless products promise a whiter smile, but do they really deliver? Whitening toothpastes like all toothpastes contain mild abrasives to help remove surface stains on your teeth, but since these products don't contain bleach, it is quite impossible for them to brighten your smile as dramatically as professional whitening treatments.

Less is more
Despite what you see on commercials, a brush full of toothpaste won't clean your pearly whites any better than half that amount. Not only will that get the job done effectively (by cleaning and removing plaque, stains and food debris), you'll also extend the life of your tube.

How you brush is more important than what you brush with
You can buy the best toothpaste and toothbrush on the market, but if you aren't brushing correctly you won't see results. The brush needs to be positioned at a 45 degree angle so that some of the bristles get in between the tooth and gums. The brush should be moved in small circles in those areas and then continued on to the rest of the teeth.

Organic toothpastes can be just as effective as regular ones
If you're willing to spend a little more to go green, natural and organic toothpastes can be a good eco-friendly alternative to commercial brands provided they contain fluoride. You'll also be avoiding artificial preservatives, sweeteners and dyes.

What's inside your toothpaste might surprise you
You may not recognise the names listed on the side of the tube, but ingredients like seaweed and detergent can be found in many fluoride toothpastes. According to experts, common thickening agents include seaweed colloids, mineral colloids and natural gums. And for that quintessential foaming action, most products rely on detergents such as sodium lauryl sulphate also found in many shampoos and body washes that are deemed 100 percent safe and effective.

-LS Desk





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