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Happyness by Dr Yusuf Merchant, and the tricks behind it...

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“These mangoes are different from the ones we have in Delhi Mamma!” said my five-year-old yesterday morning. “Really? How?” I was surprised. “They are sweeter and juicier,” Malhar enumerated. “You think so, baby? Great! Yes, they are Himsagar. Mangoes Mamma and Papa grew up on. You only get them in Calcutta.” An appreciative nod later, the fork went back in action. All I could do was smile to myself. The whole day was packed with activities that one would expect off a five-year-old hyperactive boy. Exploring hidden crannies of the kitchen to discover a rusty old cleaver and pretending to be Thor with it! Accompanying the granny to the garden and poring over a fledgling anthill... Or demanding ice cream by the minute because its vacations in aGranny home! I can’t begin to tell you the rest that makes me marathon behind this Dennis of mine. But it’s super fun and a natural workout. Why I mentioned the aforesaid conversation is because I make it a point to smile and appreciate my baby wh…

Summer Song at Music and Mountains Cafe

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“This apple crumble is really good,” the mister remarked. “The apple is still juicy and tart, the crumble has that crunch and the buttery whiff just binds it all together. We have to go back soon.” Our morning today started on this sweet note, thanks to the generous helping of fresh apple crumble we got back yesterday from Music and Mountains Café after almost stuffing our faces with goodies from their summer menu. This time was even more special, because I could share my experience with my husband, a die-hard foodie and the tot, a soon to become die-hard foodie! I’ve told you all before how I love the eatery, the food it serves, the music it plays and the halcyon vibe it carries. This time too, it wasn’t any different. While the sun blazed down on humans, the quaint café continued looking like a pretty Swiss chalet or log cabin in hills. And we couldn’t wait for the food to be served. The heat outside was first countered with a grape and elderflower teaser, while the first starter…

Magical Med at Amuse House

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Indians love their fritters. Whether they are sliced onions dunked in gram flour paste and deep fried in mustard oil, wedged potatoes rubbed with cornflour and dropped in gurgling hot oil or plump peppers stuffed with masala and fried till the sharpness of the chillies are somewhat compromised. There have been innumerable occasions when, on a rain-washed evening, I’ve had requests from my Mister to quickly fry up some chilly pakodas to go with puffed rice. We have eaten the green peppers in hot and spicy pickles as well. But the avatar I tasted of the vegetable at Amuse House was something that propelled to call it a stand out dish. And lo! It wasn’t even a main course item. But the nuanced flavour, the texture and the presentation sent my taste buds into a tizzy. The manchego and sweet corn stuffed chillies with spring onion and chipotle aioli was a successful combination of sweet, tangy and spicy with contrasting textures of mush and squish falling so well together. I could have had …

Going Green at Greenr Cafe

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I wonder at the resolve of those who turn vegetarian by choice. Even more if they do so after tasting the best meats, fishes, oysters, clams and prawns of the world. Then, what exactly prompts them to give all the goodies up? Is it really easy to stick to a tofu roll when you can smack your lips with the juiciest tuna burger? Or feel sated with a beetroot and caperberry salad when somewhere close by you can hear a fork work its way through a grilled corn fed chicken breast? Won’t you miss the rustic beef bolognaise as you slurp down a vegetarian khao suey? Will the succulent scallop or the lobster sushi roll not beckon you while you deal with the asparagus tempura? Last week, a very good vegetarian meal quelled the doubts. If the green options are as innovative and diverse, with a thought towards health as well, then who wouldn’t mind choosing that over animal protein (the source of which is perennially under the scanner these days).
While the cruel May sun beat down upon us as we sh…

No Munkee See Munkee Doo about this...

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Teresa Laisom is listening to a hazily romantic song of Brooklyn pop band Cigarettes After Sex. Utsav Pradhan is poring over his laptop, checking out the latest issue of i-D, a British magazine that marries fashion and music. We are inside a 3,000sq feet studio on a Noida street that appears dusty and nondescript till you notice the workshops of some fresh names who have been creating a stir in the fashion industry. Like Ujjwal Dubey’s Antar Agni and Munkee See Munkee Doo, whose owners we have a rendezvous with. “Oh, he’s a pal! We meet pretty often. He’s so talented,” Pradhan and Laisom, executioners of the hip label, chortle.
However, they don’t meet in soirees and fashion events, but bump into one another near their workshops. “We are from small towns. Sometimes, the way things operate in Delhi can get intimidating. So, we shut ourselves off and concentrate on our job here,” says Pradhan. “Business has always come to us through word-of-mouth. The growth has been organic. We do not l…

Dandelion Doing Luxury this month...

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The other day, while sipping hot mocha, I engaged in an interesting conversation with a young enterprising fashion entrepreneur. We deliberated on whether sales actually do happen at fashion exhibitions. Going by the frequency of all the expositions popping up every fortnightly, there must be some trick to make them become a treat. My friend though appeared circumspect. She said that the expositions are facing rough weather. Sales do not happen at all. Unless of course the ware at the show is fabulous. And she complained that in the last few fashion and lifestyle exhibitions that she’d been to, she came back dissatisfied. So, I suggested she come with me to Dandelion, a lifestyle exhibition helmed by Mukta Nandini Jain. We went for it last season and were impressed. So much so, that we can hardly wait for the its luxury edition to roll on the floor at Taj Vivanta Ambassador on the 24th of this month.
Luxury, said the iconic Hubert de Givenchy, is in the details. Reason enough for you …