My Getaway to Rann Riders at Dasada, Gujarat
Road Trip: Mumbai to Rann of Kutch
DIY: Easy Basil Pesto Recipe
7 Easy Picnic Food Ideas
Appreciating Agri Tourism with Courtyard by Marriott, Chakan
The Super Seed - Quinoa

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

10 Reasons to Love Finland & Why It Should Be Your Next Travel Destination

"Ask someone from Bollywood to shoot a couple of songs here", we quipped. The attentive audience nodded. It was our first night in Finland, a sparsely populated & stunningly beautiful country in Northern Europe. The discussion was about how Finland was yet to become popular among Indian travelers like the meadows of Interlaken,Switzerland. After touring "The Land of Thousand Lakes" & enjoying its calm wilderness, we tell you 10 reasons to start an love affair with Finland. We haven't even counted the reason that people in Finland love coffee more than anywhere in the world. Or the fact that Club Mahindra members can now enjoy a vacation in Finland via their membership, know more about it here

Image Courtesy: Visit Finland Photographer- Mikko Nikkinen

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Vaya Tyffyn - Carry homecooked meals in style

I have bitter-sweet memories of my lunchbox days in school. Sweet because it packed the goodness of a home cooked meal made lovingly by Ma at 5 am in the morning that ensured a fight between me & my classmates & bitter because my lunchbox never evolved in its looks. It stayed the same three- tiered steel carrier throughout my school, college & early office life. I wanted my lunchbox to look delicious inside & on the outside. Ma being a busy working woman chose to make innovative meals for me but put her foot down on packing my meals in plastic containers. No matter how attractive they looked. Bye bye Mickey Mouse & muscle flexing Popeye, we would not look overlook the health hazards of plastic containers in favor of good looks. I almost gave up on finding an aesthetically appealing lunchbox that kept my meals hot enough to outlast my fluctuating lunch times. Till now. Till I came across Vaya Tyffyn, a smart lunchbox that is high on utility & looks. Want to know more? Keep Reading :D

Friday, 10 February 2017

Recipe: Step by Step Undhiyu Recipe

A well known seasonal  mixed vegetable dish, Undhiyu is a staple preparation during winter months across Gujarati homes. Prepared in a single pot/casserole, undhiyu recipe calls for skilled hands & lots of patience. Undhiyu is primarily made in Surati or Kathiawadi styles or in an earthen pot (matlo in Gujarati) to lend rustic flavors.

There are couple of versions of Undhiyu. Parsis make Umberiyu by filling lightly marinated meat, brinjals & beans in an earthen pot & baking it under charcoal embers. Farmers across South Gujarat make Umbadiyu - a darker & smokier version with wild beans, purple yam, brinjals, potatoes & other seasonal vegetables marinated in green garlic & green chilies paste. (wanna know more? click here)

Ma makes a quicker version of Undhiyu & it's so irresistible we end up making batches of it for friends & family. Undhiyu recently was the star dish at a Potluck hosted at our place.

Here is a step by step recipe to making Undhiyu:

Monday, 30 January 2017

ICICI Academy for Skills-an initiative that helps youth take the first step in the right direction

Vikki Khatik, who has received vocational training from ICICI Academy for Skills & is now placed at Vijay Electric Service in Jaipur, life has been kind to provide an opportunity to earn a sustainable livelihood. Having passed his 12th standard, he was looking for suitable direction & came across the work done by ICICI Academy for Skills centres across the country. For R.Kavya from a small town in Coimbatore who could not pursue electrical engineering due to her economic conditions, the opportunity to learn a 3 month course in Electrical & Home Appliance Repair was a dream come true. Menaka D from Bengaluru overcame many personal hurdles & is now place as a customer relations officer at a premium watch company. She undertook training in Office Administration course at ICICI Academy for Skills. Menaka now aims to become a national head at her present company. Sounds inspiring? Yes, these are real life stories of empowering youth from less privileged backgrounds with industry relevant training on a pro bono basis to make them employable.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Unmissable Winter Food of Gujarat- Umbadiyu

As you cruise along the smooth roads of NH 48 towards Valsad, stalls emitting smoke beckon you. Like us, if you have started early from Mumbai towards Ahmedabad, your rumbling belly will make you stop & take a look. Probability is you will sit down at one of these humble stalls & relish this delicacy called Umbadiyu or Ubadiyu with a chilled glass of Chaas (buttermilk) & some mint green chutney on the side. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Review: Sri Lankan Food Festival at Sofitel, Mumbai BKC

Influenced by geography, colonization & intertwining cultures with other countries, Sri Lankan cuisine is a melting pot of flavors. Fiery curries made with meat- chicken, mutton/goat, pork, local vegetables & seafood in coconut gravy are paired with boiled or steamed rice, served with a dash of sambol (made with freshly grated coconut, red chilies, shallots & dried fish) can be enjoyed across restaurants or homes in this tropical paradise. Many say a visit to Sri Lanka is worth for its food alone....but prepare those taste buds to sample spicy flavors :)

An interesting amalgamation of history, cultural factors & geographical conditions, Sri Lankan cuisine is distinct & has gained wide spread popularity. Have we now tempted you to try Sri Lankan cuisine? Want to try it closer to home? Pondicherry cafe- the 24 hour dining outlet of Sofitel Mumbai, BKC is serving delicious traditional Sri Lankan delicacies in a 9 day festival prepared by Chef Julinda Pushpa Kumara.

Chef Julinda Pushpa Kumara.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Coming Home to the Great Rann of Kutch

It took me eighteen years to visit the mystical land known to the world as Kutch. Born & brought up in maximum city, my travel cravings took me everywhere but the land of my ancestors. School holidays coming up? I pestered Ma for a visit to Bengaluru (they had one of the biggest mall in the country), Shimla ( all seniors had been there) even Kashmir (paradise on earth). But never Kutch. Why visit a wet, salty & marshy dessert when there were other options?