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With Rashmita Solanki. Contact her at

Cinnamon Cinnamon is the bark of a small tree found in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt and China. The cinnamon from Sri Lanka is the far superior tasting and therefore more expensive, so only found in specialty shops. It is sweeter tasting and softer than the other varieties. It has a vast array of health promoting properties such as helping to stabilise the blood sugar level; useful for people with diabetes. Other health benefits of cinnamon include relieving arthritic pain; as it contains a compound called cinnamomum, which has strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon is also beneficial against colds and cough. This delicious recipe is taken from Sweets & desserts from the Middle East by Arto Der Haroutunian. Published by Grub Street. ISBN: 978 Maamoul 1 909166 07 3 (Makes 30-40)

Ingredients: Filling:  225g (½ lb) dates, stoned  225g (½ lb) walnuts, roughly chopped  110g (¼ lb) almonds, roughly chopped you can use pistachio nuts instead  110g (¼ lb) sugar  1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon Dough:  450g (1lb) plain flour  225g (½ lb) unsalted butter, melted  2 tablespoons rosewater  4-5 tablespoons milk Garnish:  Icing sugar Method:  Prepare the filling by chopping the dates and placing them in a saucepan with 150ml (¼ pint) water, nuts, sugar and cinnamon. Cook over a low heat until the dates are soft and the water has been absorbed.  Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the melted butter and mix by hand. Add the rosewater and milk and knead the dough until it is soft and easy to mould. Divide the dough into walnut sized lumps. Take one lump, roll it into a ball and then hollow it out with your thumb, pinching the sides up until they are thin and form a pot-shape.  Fill with some of the date mixture and press the dough back over the filling to enclose completely. Roll into a ball then gently press with your palm to slightly flatten it, or if you have a wooden spoon with a deep curved bowl, mould each pastry with that. Repeat until you have used all the pastry and filling.  Arrange all the pastries on baking trays. Make interesting patterns with a fork on each one. The traditional one is to mark straight lines down the length of each pastry. Bake in an oven preheated to 150C (300F) Gas 2 for 20–30 minutes. Do not let them change colour or the pastry will become hard. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

February 21, 2014 • • Like us on

Trends a cut

TOP HAIR STYLIST ASGAR BOO REVEALS WHAT’S HOT RIGHT NOW by ASGAR BOO IN TERMS of hair trends, it already looks like 2014 will be an interesting year that will see women from all over the world using different styles to stand out from the crowd. With that in mind, Eastern Eye got celebrity hair stylist Asgar Boo to find 10 hot trends that you should seriously consider following this spring/summer. Poker straight: The extravagant bouncyblow dry has been replaced by straight hair, which has well and truly returned for spring and summer. A simple look that works best with a centre-parting doesn’t always need straighteners and can be created with a simple blow-dry, depending on your hair type. It is simple, feminine and effective with all complexions and most fashion statements. Kareena Kapoor Khan (right) has embraced this look with an on-trend side-parting. Fashion houses that have showed off straight styles in different ways include Burberry, Chloe, Christopher Kane, Donna Karan and Elie Saab.

Mermaid waves: A hot spring trend that has already been embraced by high-profile stars from different generations is the mermaid waves. The face framing fuss-free trend shows off a casual chic and is one that is very easy to achieve. It works best when the waves are random to give a carefree feel and they can also be tucked behind the ear. Designers like Alexander Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, Christopher Kane and Topshop, along with celebrities like Alia Bhatt (above), have embraced this wavy look.

Retro curls: If the mermaid waves are too subtle for you or your hair isn’t long enough, opt for the retro 1970s inspired curls. You can go for a disco-inspired curl or go further back and get a Marcel wave. I liked the retro curl designer Holly Fulton had during a 2014 Spring/Summer show at London Fashion Week because it also incorporated the extreme side-parting, which is also hot right now.

Low ponytail: Super slick and secured low at the nape of the neck, this casual style is right on trend, but also perfect for busy mums, working women or those who are just having a bad hair day. A lot of fashion houses like Derek Lam, Altuzarra, Victoria Beckham and Jason Wu actually went lower than the nape of neck in terms of securing the hair, and you should try the same with this very simple, but effective look. So keep a hair band or a clip at the ready.

Edgy bob: Those who want a dramatically different look this season should opt for an edgy bob. High profile designers like Chanel, Altuzarra, Burberry and Marc Jacobs showed that short hair isn’t a barrier to creativity with a series of different styles that ranged from the wet bob to uneven fringes to ones filled with curls.

The Five Elements THE philosophy underpinning five-element acupuncture is we are made up of a unique pattern of energies occurring in the universe. The five elements are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. Based on the laws of nature, when the elements are balanced energy flows freely, so we experience good health, peace and life is effortless. When one or more of the elements weaken from stress, illness, shock, poor nutrition, medication or negative emo-

tions, energy stops flowing freely and we become ‘stuck’. It’s usually in a state of anger, fear, grief, sadness or worry. The beauty of this system of medicine is in understanding which element(s) are ‘stuck’ allowing the root cause to be addressed. Just as the elements appear in nature, they manifest uniquely in each one of us. Wood, the energy of spring when nature awakes from sleeping, pushing its life force is a time of renewal and rebirth. Wood type people are often assertive, di-

rect or driven with a strong temper. They are usually outgoing, quick to judge, indecisive or fair and can be very patient. Anger or frustration is where they can get stuck; suffering from sciatica, headaches, gastric problems and period pains. Fire corresponds to the energy of summer. It represents warmth, creativity and compassion. Like the sun, radiating its bright light to all, the fire element warms our body, mind and spirit giving us the ability to feel joy, love and emotionally pro-

Hair Trends - spring 2014  

From poker straight, to mermaid waves and low pony tails, 2014 is already an interesting year for hair. Presented by celebrity hair stylist,...

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