Home Archives 2015 April

Monthly Archives: April 2015

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    Besides options like Australian lamb and Norwegian salmon, Red Box Butchery sends home fresh duck, mutton and seafood too

    For those who can’t help but think ‘just another delivery service’, Nicholas Paul, the man behind the week-old Red Box Butchery, points to the basics. “Regular butchers hang the meat for hours once the animal is slaughtered. This affects freshness and can cause the meat to become tough,” he says, explaining that meat should be handled in a temperature-controlled environment. This is why even his delivery bikes are fitted with insulated boxes and use imported gel packs to maintain temperature during delivery. But a hygienic butchery (all his products are washed only with bubble top water) and delivery across the city are not Paul’s only calling cards.
    In the business of fresh and imported meats and seafood for 10 years now, Paul used to own a chain called Prime Deli and is also on the speed dial of several hotels in the city. Through his delivery model, Red Box Butchery, which he plans to set up across multiple cities in South India over the next two months (also watch out for his cold-cuts project in the pipeline), he offers mutton, seafood and poultry like chicken, duck and turkey (even beef and pork on special orders). Amateur chefs and barbecue experts will love their range of cuts like brisket, rump steak and lamb rack with cap on or off, while we love that they offer frozen, imported meats like Australian and New Zealand lamb (from Rs 1,200-Rs 1,400 per kilo onwards).
    In the seafood department, there’s rock lobsters, mud crabs, tiger prawns and hoki (New Zealand), basa (Vietnam), salmon (Norway) and octopus (Thailand). And with caviar catching on in the city, Red Box Butchery offers a salmon roe (Rs 800 for 50 gms) that can be the highlight of your next party. But if you’re feeling truly luxurious, it must be the beluga at nearly Rs 15,000 a portion.
    Mutton from Rs 550 per kilo onwards. Details: 43570000, 65250250
     Ryan Peppin

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      Chips, pickles, papads and a buffet — this three-day festival dedicated to the jackfruit, has it all

      Unni Tharakan is reading from his list of products that will be available at the Chennai Jackfruit Festival next weekend and we’re finding it hard to follow. Did he say jackfruit cake mix? “Yes. Dry jackfruit petal or seed powder can be used to make pastries,” clarifies Tharakan, one of the 12 organising committee members behind the event. Tharakan’s list, that started with humble jackfruit chips, now boasts jellies, jams, squash, halwa, candies and even papads. And these are only the ‘value added’ products that will be sold at the three-day festival scheduled to begin at the Chennai Trade Centre on May 1.
      The back story
      “Tender or raw jackfruit has the texture of meat and can be used as a substitute in biryanis and several curries. We will also have live counters where visitors can try dishes like bajjis, cutlets, tacos and fritters, all made with jackfruit,” shares Tharakan, whose co-organisers are all from various backgrounds that have nothing to do with the jackfruit. “We just wanted to organise a food festival and give the proceeds to the Mother Teresa Charitable Trust,” he says, adding that one thing led to another and after much research and discussion, they ended up creating Chennai’s first jackfruit festival. And we say Chennai’s first, because organisations like the Jackfruit Promotion Council of Kerala have organised similar festivals in Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru. As a matter of fact, it was the council that helped Tharakan’s team identify vendors from across the country, who made unique jackfruit products.
      Biryani & buffet
      At the festival, expect pickles from Shillong, papads from Chickmagalur, juices from Mumbai, jackfruit bars from Ratnagiri and a host of masalas and cake mixes from Kannur. And James Joseph, the man behind JackFruit 365, that freeze dries the seasonal fruit to make it available all year round, says, “I am looking forward to the 3,000-year-old raw jackfruit dish, chakka puzhukku. This ancient carbohydrate replacement of Kerala and Sri Lanka is the most tasty, low sugar, high fibre, gluten-free dish you can have, to fight off diabetes.” Popular city-based caterer, Reena Paul has created nearly 20 such dishes for a jackfruit buffet that will begin at 6 pm on all three days. Other than the rice and rotis, every other delicacy (think chakkakurru masala, chakka sambar and chakka pradaman) on the menu is made with jackfruit.
      Buffet passes ( Rs 450) must be booked in advance. Details: chennaijackfruitfest.com

      Take your pick
      On the varieties of the fruit grown in the country, Shree Padre, a jackfruit expert and editor of Adike Patrike, a Kannada magazine, says there are a few named by universities, but several unnamed varieties identified by natives. “For example, Gururaj Balthillaya, a grafting expert, grows nearly 40 varieties in Athrady, near Manipal,” he points out, adding that popular varieties are Kachahally and Janagere, both found near Bengaluru. Also look out for the chembarathi or the red-fleshed jackfruit found in the Tumkur district of Karnataka. Though it is in no way superior to the rest, it sells at a premium of Rs 5 per bulb.

      Fruit fact file

      ?  Jackfruit is rich in dietary fibres and vitamins
      ?  Owing to its low glycemic index, jackfruit is good for diabetics
      ?  The fruit has great amounts of potassium and helps regulate blood pressure
      ?  Nearly 85 per cent of North Indians have never tasted the fruit as they consider it a vegetable
      ?  More than 95 per cent of the jackfruits available here are grown organically, because jackfruit farming is almost non existent in the country
      ?  Panruti, near Cuddalore, is known as the jackfruit paradise of the country with more than 1,000 hectares of the tree. It is the only place where it is available around the year

      Ryan Peppin

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        Time keepers
        Fashionable yet playful—that best describes the Emporio Armani Spring 2015 watch collection for men and women. Inspired by classic aviation styles, they sport both analog and digital movement. Our pick is the pendant watch with a mother-of-pearl dial and a rotating closure. Available at outlets like FOSSIL, Lifestyle and Shoppers Stop. Rs 15,995 onwards. Details: 66949082

        Bring on the bling
        Add some extra sparkle to your jewellery collection with ORRA’s anniversary sale. Get up to 25 per cent off on diamond and platinum jewellery, and Rs 2,000 off per 10 grams on hallmarked gold jewellery. So hurry up and choose from solitaire necklaces, kundan jewellery and contemporary designs in platinum and gold. Till May 8. Rs 10,000 onwards. Details: 28114141

        Italian luxe
        Montegrappa, Italy’s iconic pen manufacturer, has launched its flagship boutique at the Palladium, in Mumbai. Unveiled by actor Saif Ali Khan, the swanky address features a wide range
        of writing instruments, watches, perfumes, cufflinks and leather accessories. Products from Rs 12,000 onwards. Details: montegrappa.com

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          Chennai gets access to the entire TNT range of bikes by Benelli, at the Italian motorcycle giant’s new showroom on Anna Salai

          Thin crust pizzas, carbonara, gorgonzola and some of the oldest wines in the world — if it’s Italian, there’s a very big chance we’ll go for it. Don’t believe us? Try these sales figures for proof. “In 30 days of our showroom launch, we’ve done 35 bookings — the response has been overwhelming,” says Prabu V, the sales head at Chennai’s spanking new DSK Benelli showroom. Barely a month after the joint venture between DSK Motowheels and Italian biking brand Benelli resulted in five new bikes and a showroom in Mumbai, Chennaites have had access to their range of naked bikes that begin with that catchy (might we add explosive) prefix, TNT (Tornado Naked TRE).
          The line up
          Starting with their TNT 300, DSK Benelli gives you access to a total of six models. And since space does not permit us to rave about all of them, we’ll leave you with nuggets on the ones that matter the most — the TNT 600i and the TNT 600GT. These are the bikes we predict will be seeing a lot of mileage in the city, both for their tech specs (both sport four cylinder, liquid-cooled engines) and their good looks that would give any Ducati a complex. The TNT 600GT in particular, is what you should be looking at if you’re the kind that spends a lot of time on the highway. And if you’re looking at an entry level Benelli, packing 38.4 bhp, the TNT 300 will easily blow your helmet off.
          At your service
          As has become customary with any auto showroom worth its salt, DSK Benelli stocks up on performance-increasing add-ons for your bike, besides riding jackets and full riding suits for you (there are also analogue watches from Rs 5,200 onwards). Made with rubberised mesh and in-built armour, the latter will set you back upwards of Rs 45,000. We however, await their DOT (Department of Transport) certified helmets that are expected to be available (at a price tag of Rs 13,000 plus) once their service centre in Saligramam opens shop. And if the 30-day delivery was not bonus enough, bike owners also get a two-year free Roadside Assistance Service that allows them free pick up within a radius of 180 kms from the service station in case of breakdown. Time to suit up for a test drive!
          TNT 300 costs Rs 3,45,000 on-road. Details: dskbenelli.com, 9952951414

          Ryan Peppin

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            On Snacksbazzar, rosogollas, spices and murukkus are just a click away

            At first glance, Snacksbazzar impresses with its simple, user-friendly layout. The week-old website has a list of tabs that include sweets, snacks, instant food, fruits and nuts, groceries and chocolates, but Coimbatore-based J Niveditha, the founder, insists that the primary focus of her website is to offer regional delicacies across the country. “Especially those that are native to a particular place,” she says, pointing out examples like the Tirunelveli halwa that she sources from the famous Irrutu Kadai. Or the pootharekulu, a wafer-like sweet that’s quite popular in the East Godavari region of Andhra Pradesh. This sweet, made of rice batter, powdered sugar and ghee, also happens to be the website’s best seller.
            Sweets from the North are not far behind either, with Snacksbazzar sourcing  kaju katli and halwa from Bombay and rosogollas from Kolkata. The website also stocks spices from Kerala and cashew nuts and ground nuts from Bengaluru, among other products. We however, were particularly excited to find organic murukkus on the site. Made with rosewater and organic virgin coconut oil, these are provided by her cousin Venudupathi, an organic farmer, we learn. Other local products include spinach powder, millet-based ready-to-eat mixes and organic oils and Niveditha assures us that her products stay fresh for at least a month. Interestingly, their list of items like Mysore pak, elantha vadai and palkova, seem to be attracting plenty of orders from places like New Delhi. Niveditha also plans to open a couple of stores in Coimbatore, with drinks like nannari juice added to the menu.
            From Rs 90 onwards. Delivery charge: Rs 50. Details: snacksbazzar.com
            Karan Pillai

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              The actress on belly dancing and learning four other dance forms, eating more carbs and why you must follow her on Instagram

              Dressed in a Nirvana tee and tracks, Richa Chadda is short of breath. She has just wrapped up an intensive session of street jazz—one of the five dance forms she is currently learning in preparation for her role as a dancer in Pooja Bhatt’s Cabaret. “I’ve always danced a lot, but I’d taken a break after an injury three years ago. Now, with this role, it’s an opportunity for me to go from good to better,” begins the actress, who is also learning belly dancing, ballet and Odissi, besides brushing up on her Kathak. Needless to say, all the shimmying and pirouetting is a great way to lose weight and sculpt the body. “I’d learnt belly dancing earlier, but now I’m taking it more seriously. I did private lessons with a Turkish teacher and now I’ve found another teacher in Pune,” adds Chadda, who dances to the strains of the piano, while her iPod has hip hop, western classical and more. We find out more about her fitness regime, why she turned vegan and her dance workouts.

              On the go
              When I travel, I always pack my workout clothes (the current favourite being Nike). I take along my skipping rope (for a quick cardio workout) and my resistance band, which you can hook up anywhere and get in some strength training.

              At the gym
              I hit the gym and go for my dance classes (at the World Dance Centre in Andheri) every day—a total of three hours. At the gym, I mix things up: from targeted weight lifting for the back or arms to functional training and callisthenics. On Sundays, I take it easy—going for a walk or a swim as those are more relaxing. I also do Pilates, to strengthen my core, as I am putting my body through so much. You must see my Instagram page. I’ve started posting videos as I want to inspire people to get fit—especially girls because many of them believe they don’t have the strength to do things like pull ups.

              Cannes schedule
              I am looking forward to my second Cannes outing. This time, I want to spend at least a week there. Besides the screening of my film, Masaan—which explores a father-daughter relationship, the desire of small towners to escape their life, and a young girl’s curiosity about sexuality and boys—I also want to catch as many premières as I can. I want to go shopping, see the sights and hit the beaches, too. Meanwhile, I am very excited about Cabaret. I have to give it to Pooja Bhatt, who’s only seen me in films like Gangs of Wasseypur (GOW)—from that she thought I was capable of playing a glamorous dancer. I mostly get roles of a particular kind, so in a way, she was a saviour. The character is not a very gutsy one and it was almost like playing a triple role—there are so many shades.

              Plateful of goodness
              The funny thing is, nowadays I am eating a lot! Since I am working out so much, my body needs the extra fuel to function. It’s almost like having two jobs: I have the normal meetings and narrations, and then there’s my dancing and workout. So I have increased my intake of carbs—I eat a lot of rice and indigenous grains like rajgira (amaranth), with which I make pancakes and porridge. I’ve turned vegan (it suits my body, I’ve never felt healthier) and my diet is gluten free. I also eat a lot of greens, vegetables and fruits. To hydrate, I down plenty of water, lemon juice, coconut water, soy milk and green tea with honey. And when I go for shoots or travel abroad, I always carry dried fruits, nuts and cheese slices (her only vegan cheat) to keep up my energy. I’ll be taking my stash to Cannes, too, because I remember the last time, after GOW’s four-and-a-half hour screening, I was so hungry. Since I’m vegetarian, food was tough to come by.

              Odissi
              According to me, this is the only Indian dance that combines strength and fluidity. Did you know  the dancing girl from the Harappan archaeological dig is cast in an Odissi pose? We call it tribhanga.
              Why do it: Develops balance and lower body strength

              Kathak
              I’m a trained Kathak dancer and I find this form has a lot of grace. You need a lot of upper body strength, but it also has a lot of bhaav (emotion) and nazakat (softness). Without the exaggerated eye movements
              of say, a Kathakali, it conveys a lot.
              Why do it: Improves upper body strength

              Ballet
              I haven’t found ballet too difficult because the basics are the same as jazz or contemporary dance—the turning out, the length, the extension. I am learning it because it gives me poise and brings a lot of length to my body.
              Why do it: Builds long, lean muscles (especially in the legs); improves cardiovascular endurance

              Street jazz
              You become very expressive with your body. I’d also recommend this for sports persons as it makes you very agile, very light on your feet. It’s great—especially on Mumbai roads, where you can manoeuvre potholes and traffic much better (laughs).
              Why do it: Improves stamina, overall strength and flexibility

              Belly dancing
              This one is challenging. It’s an art form of isolation—where you work very specific muscles. I also found out that it was designed as a pre-natal form of exercise. Though it is very difficult, it is also very delicate.
              Why do it: A low-impact exercise; tones muscles, especially abs

              Surya Praphulla Kumar

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                Breaking free
                Women-trekkingToday, Ashvita Bistro
                Follow Your Bliss, an event that celebrates people who have had the courage to break free from “safe and secure” careers to pursue what they love doing, takes place at Ashvita Bistro today. In its fourth edition, the event has life coach, author and happiness curator, AVIS Viswanathan, in conversation with social entrepreneurs Dr Ambika Kameshwar of RASA and Dr P Srinivasan of Jeevan. The floor is open from 6.30 pm to 8 pm. Details: 9791088189

                Avengers assemble!
                Till stocks last, Online
                Liberty Shoes gives into The Avengers excitement with flip-flops, sandals and shoes featuring Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor. Starting from Rs 399. At RA Puram. Details: 24936420 Also Portronics’ Marvel Avengers collection has some cool electronics like portable speakers, power banks, headphones, earphones and pen drives. From Rs 499. Details:portronics.com

                Music station
                Sunday, 17 Yogambal Street
                The gentle breeze melds with the bustle of the city traffic as a group of musicians play their instruments on a rooftop. Interested musician and singers can sign up for the terrace jamming sessions organised by Pritish Soundararajan. Musicians should bring their own instruments and an audience is also welcome. From 5.30 pm. Details: 9840300078

                A steep order
                May 16, Himalayas
                Wanderland Adventures, an adventure travel company, is organising a ‘ladies only’ trek in the Himalayas. Open to women between the ages of 15 and 45, the six-day expedition will kick off from Auli, Uttarakhand, and take you to Kuari Pass — promising amazing vistas, great campsites and interactions with locals. Rs 14,950. Details: wanderlandadventures.in

                Brunch alert
                brunchSunday, Le Royal Meridien
                Enjoy a hearty brunch with the family at Cilantro, Le Royal Meridien, this Sunday. Set to the backdrop of a five-piece band, the spread (with plenty of live counters) will also include kid-friendly specials like popcorn, sugar candy and milk shakes. Other attractions include a five-minute shoulder massage to help you relax before your meal. At Rs 1,500 plus tax per person. Details: 22314343

                Replica spotting
                April 25-June 7, Island Grounds
                This summer, the Nigara Falls comes to Chennai courtesy Spellbound in association with the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department Corporation. This former is creating a 70-foot high replica of the legendary waterfall at a carnival at Island Grounds, that will go on till June 7. Other attractions will be a replica of the Vaishnavi Devi temple and the amusement park, horror show, 3D show and fish show, among others. Tickets at Rs 50 per person. From 3 pm-10 pm. Details: 9884502238

                Linen love
                Till April 25, Chetpet
                Featuring cottons and linens, a range of interesting home furnishing are on offer by the export house, Pereira’s International Pvt Ltd, at their company premises. Showcasing their latest summer collection, the line was specially made for their European and Australian clients. Expect bright and colourful tablelinen to mix and match, besides cushion covers,summer curtains and much more. From 10 am – 6 pm, from Rs 150 onwards. Details: 9840412167

                Stitch in time
                Saturdays in May, Kellys
                Learn the art of quilling, coffee painting, towelling embroidery and other arts and crafts at the workshop by DeeGee’s Adwaita, at Uma Complex, Kellys. Participants will also learn to make their own paper bags to their creations home. Rs 1,500 per person. Details: 9841154471

                chocoLi’l chefs
                April 28, Kidz Castle
                Let your kids participate in a fun cooking workshop where they will learn to make easy bakes like choco chip cupcakes, marble cupcake with butter cream frosting, chocolate glazed and choco chip butter cookies and a Hawaiian salad. For children six and above, the workshop by Kidz Castle, provides them with a certificate, besides letting them take home the cupcakes, cookies, a recipe book. At Rs 1,100 per child. From 10.30 am to 1.30 pm. Details: 9094500466

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                  Is there a shiny new gadget you’d  like to tell us about?  Mail gadgetboy@newindianexpress.com

                  Jawbone UP 4
                  The upcoming UP 4 will track your activity, sleep, heart rate and have the ability to make AMEX payments via NFC. jawbone.com

                  Swimmo
                  A tracker for your swim? Swimmo tracks distance, pace, heart rate and calories burned. It also has a heart rate monitor and syncs with iOs and android. Now in Kickstarter stage. kickstarter.com

                  Nomos
                  NOMOS-metro-38-watchMetro 38 Datum
                  The Datum comes with an in-house built caliber featuring the NOMOS swing system. Sapphire crystal protects  the front and the back, and water resistance to 30m. Nomos-store.com

                  RED 8K camera
                  RED has a new camera called Weapon-Dragon which shoots in 6K for now and will get an 8K update end of the year. red.com

                  Corsair Voyager Go
                  The Voyager GO comes in 16/32 and 64GB versions and is USB 3.0. It also has USB OTG support which lets you hook up to a compatible Android device and transfer photos, files and media back and forth. Prices start from `1350 for the 16Gb version. corsair.com

                  Sony Xperia Z4
                  Sony has just launched its Xperia Z4 in Japan. It sports a 5.2inch screen and is only 6.9mm thick. A 20.7 Mp camera on the rear and a 5Mp camera along with water and dust resistance let you use the  phone anywhere. 3GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 810 processor plus Android 5.0 mean it’s party time. sony.co.jp

                  Denon DSB 100
                  red-weapon-8k-camThis perfect travel speaker comes with a 10 hour battery life and a noise cancelling speakerphone. It can be placed either horizontally or vertically. It is also water resistant and has aptX BT for super clarity and NFC. amazon.in

                  Zippo rugged lantern
                  This tough lantern can withstand drops and weather rain too.
                  A Li-ion battery
                  lets the light go on and on. zippo.com

                  Ashok Pandian

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                    As the British designer partners with Koovs.com this month, expect his trademark wit and prints on clothes and accessories

                    AVING just shown his Autumn /Winter 2015 collection at the London fashion week earlier this year, renowned British designer Giles Deacon turns his attention on India with a collaboration with Indo-Brit retail website, Koovs.com. In keeping with his conspicuously unconventional sensibilities, the special line of garments and accessories promises high drama, whimsy and all things unusual and edgy. From designing Pacman- and Minion-based collections, to working with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham, the designer has made quite a mark on the global fashion scene. We caught up with him and got chatting
                    on his collaboration with Koovs, his studio, his design principles and more.
                    Collaborating with Koovs. About eight months ago, we sat down with the KOOVS design team and discussed what the customer in India is looking for. It is similar to what we do for any collection. I did not want to replicate existing trends but do something special and make it stand out. The brand I design taps into the kind of aesthetic lots of Indians would like.
                    Prints and embellishments for this collection.
                    So there’s that side of my design personality that has a theory of romantic-ness and that has the big and abstract feathers, which we’ve done in really beautiful pearl gray. And then there is the crystal and polka print, which is like a large scale polka and very graphic and the crystal with it looks like it actually has some embellishment on it in pearls, which is almost like wearing bling. To have that kind of decadent glamour was something I really wanted to get across.
                    Work life balance.
                    I am lucky to be involved in some really amazing projects, with amazing people and go to great events. But the thing that gets you there and keeps you grounded is your work and what I really enjoy doing is just being in my studio, working.
                    A day in your studio.
                    A typical day starts at 9.30 am and we generally have a meeting, if I’ve been away travelling, to see where everybody is with their projects. We keep a very tight diary. It’s the only way you can get all of this work done. It can be anything from private client fittings to choosing some new fabrics and colour swatches, looking at embroideries and then maybe a bit of business work
                    as well.
                    Working with the stars. They have all been really fun to work with. I mean Kate (Moss) has always been very special. She has got a really unique energy.

                    Priced between Rs 395 and Rs 2,495. Details: koovs.com
                    Rashmi Rajagopal

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                      Popular designers put a contemporary spin on the wedding dress

                      GONE are the days when the wedding trousseau in Chennai had just Kanjeevaram saris and gold—the wardrobe of brides and grooms to be is getting a makeover. The Madras Bridal Fashion show is all set to test the waters of this shift with a one day showcase in the city. A precursor to the Madras Bridal Fashion Week, it will feature  four leading designers—Nupur Kanoi, Dev R Nil, Rehane and Jenjum Gadi. Working with Chennai as a base, one of the organisers Shanmugapriya Dinesh says, ‘‘Ten years ago, people had no problem flocking to Man Mandir for their wedding sarees and suits. But we’re starting to get the hang of sangeets and pre-wedding bashes a lot more, which means more variety, and definitely more designer and custom-made options.”
                      For duo Dev R Nil, the show marks a homecoming of sorts, having started their retailing from the city and they have actor Nadiya as their showstopper. “Turmerics and yellows are the hottest bridal colours this season, and a Chennai favourite,” says Nil. Meanwhile, Jenjum Gadi’s line, My Best Friend’s Wedding caters to the friends of the bride and groom.“If you don’t want to upstage the bride, pick something that you can wear again and keep it contemporary,” says Gadi, who works with soft pastels to contrast the intricate work on his pieces.
                      At Le Royal Meridien, this Sunday 7 pm onwards. Entry by invitation only. Details: 8870089812

                      Divya Karthikeyan

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