Saturday, April 29, 2017

Weavers magic @ India Runway Week


Weavers at Centre stage of current season of India Runway Week

It would seem that no matter how big the India Runway Week gets, there you will always find fresh new names. Of course, the old designers continue every season. This is the 8th season of India Runway Week which is starting from 28th of April.

The weavers of India are its biggest assets. Indian hand woven fabrics have been known since time immemorial. India was famous even in ancient times as an exporter of textiles to most parts of the civilized world but throughout history and currently too there are evidences that show that weavers have always been a victim of a staunch hierarchical system. Being at the bottom of the system they fall prey to the extreme forms of exploitation.

There are organizations that are identified as a promising means of raising voice for them and generating livelihood for hundreds of rural artisans. They have made a significant contribution to the lives of the women artisans working with it, which has helped improve their economic as well as social status.

They strive to bring the traditions of India to customers all around the world with its unique creations and products. It not only helps its artisans become wage earners, but also spreads awareness about the traditional crafts of the region, thus helping preserve a rich part of India’s national cultural heritage. Indian Federation for fashion Development have joined hand with four of these organizations i.e RangsutraSoCHE, Banka Silk and Gestures by Kriti who will present the work of artisans at current season of India Runway Week Summer 2017 ramp which is starting from 28th of April to 30th of April 2017

“The purpose of this show is to raise the current conditions of the weavers and to propose the importance of such organizations and social security to the custodians of this ageless art.” Said by Fashion directorKiran Kheva, India Runway Week

Rangsutra is a craft company of thousand artisans from remote regions of India – the desert regions of Rajasthan and plains of Eastern Uttar Pradesh whereas SoCHE is reviving this languishing and less popular hand embroidery practiced by women around the border areas ofBarmerBanka Silk on other hand is imparting the required skills to the weaver’s community of Banka, connecting them with the markets and helps create an Eco-system wherein the weaver’s community can become self-sustainable. And lastly Gestures by Kriti is a livelihood support and outreach initiative that began in 1999, to promote ethical, sustainable and socially conscious thinking & buying of 'community made' products.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Celebrating Vishu the Zambar way

Vishu is the Hindu new year festival celebrated in the state of Kerala and coastal Karnataka. This marks the beginning of the first day of the month called Medam according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar and falls on 14th April. It also connotes the completion of spring equinox ( wherein the Sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is equal).

I was invited to taste the Vishu Sadhya (feast) at Zambar, which is a fine dining place known for it's coastal delicacies. Vishu feast is a pure vegetarian fare which consists of more than 2 dozen dishes and accompaniments. Here's the menu -

We were served in the traditional Malayali style on the banana leaf. The food looked so tempting that it was very difficult for us to wait till all the items were served. I started nibbling on the Sarkara Varrati which is like our very own Gur (Jaggery) Sev and Banana Upperi ( banana chips). Unniappam is another delight almost like the sweet Pua's we make at home during the rainy season. 

The rice on your plate (banana leaf in this case) is divided into two halves and on one part Sambhar is served while on the other Pariappu curry ( moong dal) is poured. These two portions are eaten with specific veggies which the staff will willingly let you know.

I specially loved the kootu curry, Avial, theeyal which are vegetable preparations eaten with rice( we were served the authentic Kerala rice also known as Bullet rice). To round off our lunch we had Pal Payasam which is Seviyan and Adda Payasam which is an authentic Malayali dessert made up of coconut milk and banana. Both the dessert were exceptionally good but Adda Payasam was the winner for me. 

The food was very simple yet flavorful and rich in nutrition. Do visit the Zambar at Ambience mall on 14th of April to savour the lovely Keralite meal and relish the flavours of God's own country.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Navratri Platter @ Punjab Grill Tappa


The Punjab Grill is synonymous with non vegetarian food and Punjab Grill Tappa is no different. But you will be surprised if I tell you that they serve the most amazing Navratri platter in the town. Yes! I went there on Monday and opted for the Navratri fare. 

I was served a Thandai which was quite refreshing and a pleasant change from the usual mocktails and drinks.

 A Fresh fruits bowl which had seasonal fruits 

and then the main platter. It consisted of Pumpkin Vegetable, Kuttu pooris, Arbi satay, Samak sushi, Sabudana pulav/ khichdi and Chicku shrikhand.

It wasn't just elaborate but also a refreshing change from the usual Navratri Platters available for someone like my hubby who fasts for all 7 days.

The food was mildly flavoured with the select spices and sendha salt. I especially liked the samak sushi which was different, flavourful and melt in the mouth 

 Arbi satay was delectable.

And the chicku shrikhand deserves a special mention.

Also, the staff was extremely courteous and hospitable.

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