What better way to enjoy winter than to relish hot platters straight from Rajasthan and Gujarat? A delight for vegetarians the fine dine restaurant Utsav based at Jubilee Hills is offering mouth-watering delights from both these two states as part of their food festival ‘Padharo Mhare Des’. It will be on till February 1.
The starters are tidbits of paneer. Paneer Tikka Masala is served with green chutney and chunks of crunchy fresh vegetables. As part of their menu are delights both from Rajasthan and Gujarat but you have to take your pick from the buffet. There’s Daal Baati Churma on which you can pour dollops of ghee.
Other than bowls of dhoklas, theplas and chutneys their special dish from Gujarat Doodhi Methi Nu Saag which is a spicy and mildly sweet preparation of bottle gourd and fenugreek leaves. Dhania Aloo Mangori is another seasonal delight relished with thepla or steamed rice. Another accompaniment is Matar Pulao. Achari Ker Sangri is worth trying as the taste notes are delicately balanced.
The highlight for this food festival is the array of desserts that makes for a perfect lunch for anybody having a weakness for sweets. The sweet section is set with live counters complete with griddles on which little sweets are prepared all warm and dripping with sugar syrup. The sweet list comprises hot gulab jamuns, pethas, rabdi and even jalebis.
The brownie point for foodies here is that the waiters are all dressed in traditional Rajasthani attire and as the guests enter a tilak is put on their forehead the way guests are welcomed in Rajasthan and Gujarat states. Time: 12.30 pm onwards. Price: `359++ taxes. Details: 65136544
Some restaurants in the city offer exotic and Indian lunches nostalgic way in tiffin-carriers and lunch-boxes
Want to bring some school-time nostalgia on your meal-table? How about opening a tiffin-box and eating straight from it the way you gobbled your food packed lovingly by your mother? Well, you don’t really need a time-machine to do that. Some restaurants in the city have come up with this idea of serving lunch in tiffin-boxes for a differently unique fine dine experience. The boxes vary from the tiered-tiffin-carriers to the double-tiered typical school lunch box. And the menu ranges from Greek culinary delights to Parsi delicacies and our very own South Indian meals. It is fast catching up with the city-folks. These tiffin carriers hold deceptively huge amounts of food. We list out the places where you can savour meals straight from those steel or copper
tiffin boxes. Check it out:
Text: Saima Afreen
Greek lunch box at Olive Bistro
If you don’t like your lunch too spicy that sets your taste-buds on fire then Greek Lunch Box is the right choice for you. More so, because you relish your two-tiered tiffin box served on the table set under frangipani trees. The open space overlooks the rocky topography of the area below.
What’s in the box: Open your tiffin box and you have Olive Oil Pilaf with Braised Puy Lentils with Feta and Oregano Gravy. It is accompanied with fried vegetables and tender chicken fried crispily topped with tomato salsa. The bonus point is that there are North African, Greek, Spanish and Portuguese cuisines available also. Their take: Olive Bistro launched the tiffin boxes way back in October 2015. Now we hear from one of the stake-holders that a new menu will find its way into the tiffin-boxes soon by the summer-time. Price: Rs.260++ taxes. Details: 69999127
Indian delights at Taj Deccan
Want to relish home-made Indian style lunch? Then Spice Junxion, Taj Deccan is the right place for you. You will get a feel as if the lunch has been sent to you from home by your dear mother or loving wife. It’s a large six-tiered steel tiffin with three compartments for desserts. You can choose between both vegetarian and non-vegetarian category.
What’s in the box: One starter, three main courses, one lentil and one flavoured rice. Appam and Phulka are made live. For non-veggies, the menu remains the same except for a starter and one main course which is non-vegetarian. The menu changes everyday.
Their take: Chef Rishi Manucha says, “For the pre-orders a refundable amount of Rs.1,000 is charged per box as deposit. Price: Rs.850. Details: 66663939
Simple lunch at Taj Mahal
Well, those who want to keep it light can opt for simple rice, lentil soup, fried vegetables, salad and fried chicken then Taj Mahal restaurant at Abids is your right choice. Come noon and those five-tiered tiffin carriers are spread on the marble-tables.
What’s in the box: Kad hai Paneer or Aloo Dum or any other vegetable curry. Their take: Taj Mahal does not supply to office addresses. One can enjoy only at the restaurant.
Price: Rs.400++ taxes for non vegetarian and Rs.350++ taxes for the vegetarian.
Dhansak at SodaBottleOpenerWala
Served in a three-layered typical Bombay style tiffin dhansak at SodaBottleOpenerWala is mouth-watering. Other than the old-school three-box tiffin carrier the dhansak comes both in vegetarian and non-vegetarian category.
What’s in the box: The Veg Dhansak tiffin is packed with caramelised rice, Parsi lentils curry with whole vegetables and kachumbhar. The Mutton Dhansak comes with a portion of caramelised rice, mutton with lentils curry and kachumbar. And the best part is that you can choose between boneless or with-bones mutton pieces.
Their take: Chef Anahita Dhody prepares the dhansaks with secret Parsi family recipes.
Price: Rs.395++ taxes for Veg Dhansak, Rs.550++ taxes for Mutton Dhansak. Details: 68888681
It’s the season to tickle your funny bone, with comedy festivals like Stage 42 and the Weirdass Pajama Fest heading nationwide. Here’s what to expect
The first month of the year has something infectious in the air. The buzz on stages across the country is all about laughing out loud and witty comebacks. While on television, Cyrus Sahukar is coming out with Challenge Accepted, a comic dare game on Comedy Central,
elsewhere, there are two big comdey festivals about to kick off—OML’s Stage 42 and the Weirdass Comedy Pajama Fest. Being staged almost simultaneously across major Indian cities, we take a sneak peek into the impending laughterthon.
The award-winning comedian, who commutes between New York and Mumbai, has a lot to celebrate. Her one-woman shows, including Older. Angrier. Hairier, have sold out in the US and all over India; she’s currently writing a TV pilot based on her popular web series, Shugs
& Fats (which won the Gotham Independent Film Award in New York), and her new book is out.
What to expect at the show, Unladylike: I’m hoping bladder control issues brought on by belly laughs. Plus my book, Unladylike, A Memoir, will be available at the venue and I will be signing it and hugging people. Not the ones that wet themselves, though.
If you were given a chance to form a club, what would it be: A feminist ganja club. I want all women to understand and experience the healing effects of MaryJane.
Who’d win in a catfight between Mamata Banerjee and Hillary Clinton: Didi would kick Hillary’s ass from here to eternity. Mamata is a ninja. Plus, you don’t cross a Bengali woman. Ever.
On February 5. At Alliance Francaise, Bengaluru
They are the country’s edgiest comedy collective. Comprising Gursimran Khamba, Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya, the All India Bakchod (AIB) is currently hosting their own
satirical news show on Star World, On Air with AIB, besides posting various sketches on
their YouTube Channel (with close to 1.5 million subscribers). And now they hope to launch
their own national holiday, AIB Diwas,
at the Stage 42 festival.
What is AIB Diwas: It’s going to be a fun day out for AIB fans in a relaxed informal environment. We will be doing three special shows, including a live podcast. It’s going to be a fairly exclusive show with only 3,000 people.
Upcoming projects: Besides touring Australia in May, we’re launching AIB First Draft. It’s a screen-writing programme that we are very passionate about because we think there’s loads of talent in India and this would be a great way to get a lot of fresh, interesting content made.
2015 was the ‘Year of the butt’. What’s 2016 going to be: It’s going to be the year of the elbow. For far too long it has been ignored. But this year, the elbow will nudge (get it?) the butt out.
How ‘free’ is Free Basics: It is very free. It’s the consumers using Free Basics who aren’t really free. ?
On February 20. At PJ Hindu Gymkhana Grounds, Mumbai
Kanan Gill, Bengaluru
Kanan Gill and Biswa Kalyan Rath rose to fame via their inimitable YouTube series, Pretentious Movie Reviews—where they review and ridicule yesteryear Bollywood films. Now they’ve come up with a brand new live show, Kiswa and Banana, to make you laugh and ponder over
their real-life observations.
What can we expect with your new show: Stand up comedy, laughter and deep psychological problems. Will Indians really use Netflix or continue flicking from the Net: I think we’ve got several years of torrent-related guilt in all of our souls. So probably we’ll use Netflix (until the guilt goes away, and then back to flicking).
On Varun Dhawan comparing Dilwale to Inception: If you made a graph of good movies vs time, then Inception would be in the middle and Dilwale would be the splatter of blood on the paper from you having killed yourself after watching it. On January 31, 6 pm, BITS Pilani, Shamirpet
Kenny Sebastian, Bengaluru
What can we expect with your new show: Stand up comedy, laughter and deep psychological problems. Will Indians really use Netflix or continue flicking from the Net: I think we’ve got several years of torrent-related guilt in all of our souls. So probably we’ll use Netflix (until the guilt goes away, and then back to flicking). On Varun Dhawan comparing Dilwale to Inception: If you made a graph of good movies vs time, then Inception would be in the middle and Dilwale would be the splatter of blood on the paper from you having killed yourself after watching it.
On January 31, 6 pm, BITS Pilani, Shamirpet
Classic and refined, the Delhi-based accessory label’s new collection is set to hit the racks soon
True connoisseurs of fashion invest in classics rather than the fleeting pleasures of changing trends. If you belong to the former category, Cord is for you. Born out of Delhi-based couple Pranav Guglani and Neha Singh’s shared love for classic designs and Indian craftsmanship, the vintage accessory brand has launched its winter collection.
Exploring tones of black, grey, tan and brown, the collection includes a set of duffel bags and overnighters in addition to Cord staples such as handbags, totes, backpacks, clutches and cases. Guided by the philosophy of minimalism, the designer duo’s line-up has clean silhouettes along with the occasional use of plaid checks. With all the materials locally sourced from cities like Kanpur, Jaipur and Chennai, the brand is particular about the use of vegetable tanned leather and eco-friendly materials.
Story so far
Having done their masters in fashion designing from Pearl Academy (Delhi), a mutual interest in minimalism and vintage fashion is what brought the entrepreneurs together. Focussed on functional and innovative designs, Cord was launched in February last year. Cord is also planning to launch an online store in February. Rs.2,200 onwards.
India’s largest liquor mall boasts of the best of liquids for all
Three floors and 10,500 sq feet dedicated to alcohol is no mean feat and the city’s Hyderabad Wine Mart – India’s Largest Liquor Mall literally pays an ode to the high spirits.
Situated at Jubilee Hills, Road No 36, this three-storey air conditioned mall has a wide range of unusual brands of whiskeys, rums, wines, vodkas, liqueurs, champagnes, tequilas and beers which are otherwise available only in five star hotels. Proprietor Suresh Reddy says the store is designed aptly to give a perfect feel of shopping mall. The whole store easily has more than 1,000 products on display.
“We wanted to bring in all brands together under one roof and leave no stone unturned when it comes to liquor. This gave birth to the Hyderabad Wine Mart,” he says.
Text: Nishad Neelambaran
Brandy has always got a royal image when it comes to alcohol. Nothing can replace a perfect collection of brandy in your personlised bar. The megastore has Remy Martin VSOP, Remy Martin XO, Louis XIII de Remy Martin, ST-Remy, Cutty Sark and Lagavulin. Price range: Rs.2,500 – Rs.2,40,000 (++).
Queen of drinks
When it comes to replacing whiskeys, the ice cubes in a glass are then submerged in white spirit, vodka. The outlet has a wide range of international brands like Absolut, Grey Goose, Ciroc, Ketel One, Stolichnaya and Beefeater. Besides this, it has local brands like Smirnoff and Bacardi with several flavours like orange, green apple, black, etc. Price range: From Rs.700 – Rs.6,000 (++).
The outlet has a separate row on the first floor for beers. The fridge stocks local brands like Kingfisher Ultra, Tuborg, Carlsberg, Corona and Budweiser that are available everywhere. Unlike other wine shops in the city, this wine mart has Portuguese beer – Super Bock, American – Miller, Belgian Leffe and Hoegaarden. Price range: Rs.135 – Rs.275 (++)
Water of life
Whiskey has eventually turned out to become of the essentials in any party. The second floor is filled with brands like Black Label, Black Dog, Vat 69, Cardhu, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Chivas Regal, Balvenie, Jack Daniels Dalwhinnie, Jameson, Ballantine, Talisker, Dewars and Baileys. The outlet has miniatures starting from `200 to a two litre jumbo bottle of Rs.80,000.
The sparkling drink that gained its name as Champagne has its own class. The alcohol mall has three brands of champagne for its customers. Sula Brut is one local brand that has found its place in the megastore while other brands like Pitars Cuvee and Pitars Gold from Italy and Piper Heidsieck from France are the premium champagne brands available in the mall. Price range: Rs.1700 – Rs.7,000 (++).
Wines are a symbol of joy and celebration. A perfect family drink needs perfect taste to do justice to your celebration. The store has a wide range of white, red and rose wines from the Sula Vineyards and the other brands are SDU Deva, Charosa, Fratelli, La Corte and Mateus are other popular brands that are available in the store.
Price: Rs.900 – Rs.1,700 (++).
Apart from this, the store on the ground floor has a separate permit room where one can enjoy his/her drink. Besides the whole setup inside, the outlet has a normal retail pocket on the side of the mall where one can avail local brands just like any other wine shop outside.
Perhaps a generous parking space is what it lacks. Barely three cars can fit in the small space. Details: 33706588.
Blue and pink matched up to the celebratory mood of the IIFA besides the Republic Day and dominated the city’s landscape
The IIFA Utsavam was undoubtedly the event of the month with the stars shining down at the Gachibowli stadium. The event was a festival of colours with the glam girls and action stars choosing their favourite ones to walk the red carpet and while receiving the award.
Blue and red dominated the dais. Actress and anchor Anasuya looked like a million dollars in an ensemble that had a burst of blue and green. This week, Actress Chaarme Kaur caught everyone’s attention when she sported an artistically crafted nose ring which appeared like she was paying an ode to the world famous Nizam’s Chaand ki Baali creation.
Meanwhile, pink seemed to be the colour of the city. Supermodel Milind Soman ran for the Pinkathon and created awareness about breast cancer awareness that holiday morning. There were also other health runs and cycle rides to raise funds for the nation. Members of the Magus Life Foundation celebrated the day by spending a few hours with children fighting AIDS. Dinesh and Nita blended in with kids to create an inspiring tone for many.
The birthday boy-girl duo of the bubbly, cheerful Honey and the surprises thrown in by hubby Rehan set the love mood for the upcoming month of Valentine celebrations. That’s all for Now, wishing the readers colorful days ahead and the pink of health.
(The writer runs her own organic cafe, spa , salon Meghavi and is a people’s person with a pulse on the city’s happenings)
January 29 | Hitec City
Enjoy a food festival that takes you to far away corners of the country like Kanyakumari, Jammu and Bihar. At Hotel Trident relish Jan, Kolhapuri Mutton and Kanika on your platter. It’s on till January 31. It’s a la carte. Price for two: Rs.2,500++ taxes. Time: 12 pm-11 pm. Details: 66232323
January 31 | Secunderabad
Watch puppetry show at Our Sacred Space along with your family. It’s a show about Bhallu, the bear living in Narsapur Village presented by Nori Art and Puppetry Centre. Entry fee: Rs.100. Time: 6 pm. Details: 9030013344
February 2 | Madhapur
Those who love scuba diving can come to ’Seasons Swimming Pool’ as part of their scuba dive week. Groups will gather to share their stories of scuba diving as well. Time: 10 am. Charges: Rs. 2,000. Details: 22368520
February 3 | Nampally
Numaish is Hyderabad’s own yearly exhibition which has been there since 1936. This is the 76th edition of the exhibition. Merchants from Pakistan, Iran, Kashmir, Baluch, Rajasthan and other places sell their exclusive goods. Time: 2 pm-9 pm. The exhibition will be on till February 15. Tickets: Rs.20. Details: http://exhibitionsociety.com/
January 30 | Ameerpet
At Dhi Art Gallery, a group of 15 artists namely Murali, Laxmi Kiran and Rajeshwar Rao are participating in the ‘Woodcut Art Camp – 2016’ to promote the technique of woodcut prints. Time: 10 am-6 pm. Details: 8096663907
February 1 | Charminar
Those of you who are shutterbugs can walk in the alleys, lanes and by-lanes of Old City for a group photography walk in a group of five or ten people. Organised by Seek Sherpa, the participants will meet at Nimrah Cafe. Time: 8 am. Charges: Rs.12,000 for 30 people. Details: 9848089343
February 2 | Somajiguda
A tattoo workshop is on at The Park, Aura spa, . Artist Sameer Patange, who has inked celebrities like Sanjay Dutt, Sushmita Sen and Urmila Matondkar will teach the art to the participants. Charges: Rs.2,500. Time: 10 am-10 pm. Details: 44990000
February 4 | Bhongir
Interested in rappelling? It is an activity where one can descend from a steep surface or rock with exclusively prepared ropes and technical equipment. Rappelling is being organised at Bhongir Fort, an hour’s drive from the city. Trained instructors will guide the participants. Charges: Rs.500. Details: 8688884444
LA’s sensational DJ BL3ND says he will dazzle his fans at the Playboy Club with his signature ‘sounds and structures’
He blends in with the crowd on the dance floor with his music, but stands out from the regular DJs. It’s not without a reason that Los Angeles native DJ BL3ND enjoys the fan following of 4 million Facebook and 1 million YouTube subscribers. There aren’t many music fans who aren’t the BL3NDERS, as his fans like to call themselves. The DJ, known for donning his signature mask in his concerts, will perform in the Playboy Club in the city on February 11 as a part of his tour in India.
Speaking about his tremendous energy levels that seem to stay on a crescendo all through his concert, he says, “It’s all about being unique. I incorporate new sounds and structures into every song so that it sounds different from my last rendition. I like to mix quick as the energy and momentum of the crowd slows down when one prolongs it. I also love to surprise my audience by playing numbers that are uncommon for other DJs.”
The 22-year-old DJ is a record-holder on Billboard’s Uncharted Chart, holding the top spot for 62 weeks and remaining in the charts for a total of 103 weeks. After his tour in India, DJ BL3ND’s calendar will take him to shows in America, Canada and Europe.
“At the moment, I have new singles coming out every month for this year. I have so much music that I can take out an album, but I prefer to release one by one, every month for my fans. Maybe later in the year I will release an EP of 4 tracks.” His hot favourite are Creature – DJ Bl3ND, Bodies ft. Jon Howard – DJ BL3ND and Armageddon – DJ BL3ND.
For those who don’t know what to expect from his concert can hear the artist’s latest song Creature, Scary mix and Turn up mix. In short, be ready for a crazy night with DJ BL3ND soon in the city.
Tickets available on bookmyshow.com Details: 076800 78101
Selfie stick, the contraption that is the city’s most popular toy, gift and must-buy product in everyone’s shopping list
If there is one thing you cannot miss in Hyderabad lately -it is our craze for selfies! From a single low angle portrait to a group of scattered human objects, the casual approach of a self-photograph is the height of DIY ( do it yourself) . This is beyond narcissism !! It is now the in thing in case you want to belong! The word selfie was officially coined by the Oxford dictionary in the year 2013 which means ‘ a portrait of oneself’ . But in reality the concept was discovered back in 1839 by Robert Cornelius. Now little did Robert imagine that this would become the obsession of Hyderabad much later. I tried to find out the psychology behind clicking selfies. Firstly it is considered cool. Secondly, it becomes personal, especially when more than one person becomes part of it. Talking of which, it is even more hot and happening when one gets a selfie with a celebrity. “Apart from the physical proximity one gets with the celebrity to click it, there is also the suggestive closeness which is uber cool! I always click selfies with all my studio guests,” says Shekhar, one of the most popular RJs in the city. But what is obvious and accepted is that most selfies make the person look anything from funny to hideous. Many selfie portraits look like the FBI’s wanted list or psychotic. All you need to do is go on to Facebook and check out selfies of your friends.
Now how do we know that this is catching up big time in our city? Have you ever stopped at traffic signals where people sell you the most wanted goods on roads? They can be tissue boxes or strawberries or car shades. Now we see people selling ‘ selfie sticks ‘ at many intersections. I was intrigued by the entire market-tapping psychology of these vendors. I mean, who would imagine that people would actually buy these in some weak moment when they are stuck between cars?
Nevertheless, it is working. It has become part of corporates, colleges and tinsel town. Even actors have stopped posing for photographs beyond pouting their lips for selfie. Buddies in the industry click pics in natural attire to look like regular people now. The approachable aura a selfie offers is undebatable!! So we are a selfie-crazy city now. Pretty cool, ain’t it?
(The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)
So what can be so different about a place which was a part of the state just two years ago? Turns out pretty much! Kurnool is exactly 216 km from the city on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru highway in the picturesque NH 7, but when you stop by for breakfast at Kurnool town and you are asked if you would like to be served the local specialty called ‘Uggani Bhajji,’ any Hyderabadi would be stumped about something he has never heard of. Well, that’s Oravakal for you – unraveling each little mystery in its own low-key way. By the way, their signature breakfast is a light and fluffy one made by wetting puffed rice and spicing it up with fried onions. And it comes with a deseeded green chilly dipped in batter and deep fried in oil to give it some spice and crunch. Price Rs.20.
The landscape: As the arid Telangana gives way to the rocky, yet fertile Rayalaseema, the road outside your car looks at least three shades greener than in Hyderabad. And the weather is at least a couple of degrees hotter, although the breeze seems to make up for it. The first sight of tender jowar and sunflower fields is officially your first selfie spot. A few minutes after you cross Kurnool is when the first of the rocks say hello to you. Before you can decide whether it looks like a camel or an old war horse, the other rocks take over, leaving you in eternal state of questioning what it resembles, how it formed and if there’s a mystery behind the rocks.
The rock formations: For the locals, it doesn’t really matter if Oravakal is blessed with fully weathered rocks rich in silica and quartz, a raw material that is a blessing for the glass industry, but the fact that movie directors continue to spin their movie magic around these rocks is what fascinates them. Local guide Param reeled off the names of the movies and the scenes where the rocks formed a prominent backdrop. Perhaps that’s the reason award-winning director took his 1,200 plus crew to shoot his Magnum Opus Baahubali in this very district. Most well-travelled tourists will tell you this 1,000-acre rock garden is nothing short of the Great Canyon. The Andhra Pradesh Tourism has planned its resort named after the rock garden in such a way that the mighty rocks envelope the resort and each of the 22 cottages have a grand view of the rocks. The bougainvilleas in various colours add a unique touch to the stony look of the fortress-like resort. The best way to enjoy the place is to check in late morning, drive down 5 km for the Ketavaram cave paintings, drive back for lunch and walk through the resort to admire the hundreds of rocks formations there after tea break and before sunset. Every rock has a story to tell. If one looks like a forlorn, jilted lover, another resembles a sinister ghost. Let your imagination go wild.
The cuisine: Ragi Sankati with Natu Kodi Pulusu (Rs.125) is the district’s specialty. The Sankati is a soft ball of ragi flour cooked in hot water, salt and cooked rice to make it as a mound that one should dip in the chicken gravy while relishing the chicken separately (Rs.100 for both). Peanuts grow in abundance here and Palli Chutney is a zingy preparation one must not miss. Before you brand them as spice specialists, you get to see the Khova Bun (Rs.10), where the boring and bland bun gets a few shades sweeter with a slather of sweet khova (thickened milk) smeared in between. “If you ever find Khova Bun in your city, it’s a venture of our men in your city,” resort manager Madhumohan Reddy assures.
Stay and do: The rock garden resort is open to the general public for a nominal entry fee of `10 and hence don’t be surprised if you come to the mushroom-shaped open air restaurant for your lunch and find a family celebrating a cradle ceremony right amidst the rocks and plants. Monkeys abound freely and can turn out to be relentless photo bombers. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and provides room service. Although there is no pool or a gym, a walk around the rocks (on the jogging path) can be an exhausting workout. The best thing is the backlights that deck up the place every evening. In the night, if you can dare, take a walk along the rocky path and we bet you can hear their hoary history in detail. Oh yes, rocks can shock you. (AC cottages for Rs.1,400 a night. Details 9912326085 and aptdc.in)
Other spots: Belum Caves, the underground caves known for their stalactite and stalagmite formations, is 80 km from here and is a good stopover on your way back to Hyderabad. Oravakal itself is bang on the Hyderabad-Tirupati highway and an ideal stopover for a night. Take the Kurnool highway via Jadcherla.