Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Eat like an Egyptian

Indian Bloggers

Picture credit : Ms. Bhakti Khatri

" Walk like an Egyptian ...
All the school kids so sick of books
They like the punk and the metal band
When the buzzer rings (oh whey oh)
They're walking like an Egyptian ..
. "

was my most favorite song, as a student. We the students of early 90s, always mugged up for one test after the another , hated every minute of it and still studied more to get good marks to remain in the good books of teachers and parents alike. The above lyrics echoed our emotions verbatim.

Picture Credit : Bhakti Khatri
Exotic Egyptian mythology always mesmerized me with Omnipotent Pharaohs ( Tutankhamen , Ramesses etc.) , Prince Moses-Ten Commandments , fascinating Cleopatra , Nefertiti , Grand Sphinx , mysterious Mummies , Exodus , Papyrus , Pyramids , Nile etc. I always dreamed of visiting exciting Egypt, while my friends had eyes only for U.S. & U.K.

An exclusive invite from Ms. Bhakti Khatri for Tableya Masri ( Egyptian Cuisine ) at Pop Studio, Vile Parle, was sort of visiting Egypt through Bhakti's hearty Egyptian tales. Bhakti has lived in Egypt most of her growing years and it is home for her. It’s her home away from home. When she shifted to Mumbai, she looked around for something similar but unfortunately could not find it. That's the reason for her to introduce Egyptian cuisine to the foodies of Mumbai.

The Tableya Masri is an Egyptian term ( concept ) originated from an old Egyptian ritual of a Friday ( equivalent to our Sunday / Holiday Mejwani ) afternoon community table = Tableya : a round table made of wood, copper or marble , placed in the hall) where the entire family and friends sit, chat  and feast together on local delicacies

We the bloggers cheered for the mauve colored, chilled  Egyptian tea Karkadeh ( dry Hibiscus flowers boiled in water sweetened with Honey / Sugar  ) . This same Karkadeh tea is served hot in Winters.

All Middle Eastern and/or Egyptian cuisine have dishes filled with meat (Lamb, Chicken, Beef, Fish and many more). However, Bhakti  being a vegetarian she would be introducing authentic vegetarian cuisine offered in Egypt.

The staple Egyptian dishes are called Ful and Tameya. Ful, is made of fava beans grown in the Middle Eastern area which is very similar to the Indian rajma with some localized spices and condiments. Tameya is the Egyptian version of falafel. The difference is Tameya being made of yellow fava beans again a localized grown pulse. There is a saying in Egypt, Ful & Tameya are eaten for breakfast by a rich man, for lunch by a middle class man and for dinner by the poor.

On every street corner of Egypt, there will be shop or a roadside stall to sell these dishes, with Aish (local pita bread) and Tahini.

Another well known dish is known as Khoshari is a dish made of rice, macaroni and lentils topped with a tomato – vinegar sauce, garnished with chickpeas and fried onions. The dish originated from India and Italy in 1914. Indian soldiers used the lentils and rice to make Khichdi, while the Italians added Macaroni.

Mah’shi, is another rice based dish which is originally made with short grain rice and beef. This stuffing is then rolled in grape leaf and cabbage and stuffed in eggplant, capsicum and various other vegetables. Mah’shi is a dish made on Fridays, during the weekly holiday where the family sits together to feast..

Last and the most loveliest part of this Egyptian Masri was making an Egyptian dessert, guided by Bhakti. How cool ... I mean How Sweet !  We were provided with all the nuts ( Pistachios , Almonds , Raisins , Walnuts etc ) to make our very own version of Um ( Mother ) Ali ( Name of the Egyptian Sultan ). 

UmAli a dessert which is purely Egyptian. The story goes, that Um Ali, the Queen consort, murdered the other wives of the King to be the regent. In celebration of the killings, she ordered a celebratory dish, a dessert.This combo makes up the world's best dessert , mother of all desserts = UmAli.

 It was so much fun layering our baking bowls with puff pastry ( made up of maida) , dry fruits, condensed milk, fresh cream , again dry fruits, again condensed milk for sweetness and finally garnished with raisins. I signed my dessert bowl before putting it into an oven , to make sure , it does not go amiss. In went our dessert bowls for baking and Bhakti continued her tales about 

 Ahhhhhhaaaaaa.... the aroma ... , the sight ...when the baked UmAli exited the microwave and made spectacular entry on the bloggers' table!

We culminated our Egyptian rhapsody with one more round of chilled Karkadeh to beat the Indian heat. Indian, Egyptians Chai-Bhai !

We returned home with bag full of Egyptian Tableya Masri ( tray full of my handmade UmAli, which was regally appreciated by none other than my now famous nephew Aamen.

I am sure, by now, you all  must be craving for exotic Egyptian Tableya Masri. You may contact at tableyamasri@gmail.com

For more updates follow : Twitter : @tableyamasri
Instagram : @tableyamasri

Saturday, May 28, 2016

PlayTheLifeGame with Baggit

Indian Bloggers

"Char Baj Gaye Lekin Party Abhi Baaki Hai ... " was the rocking party scene at #PlayTheLifeGame launch of  Baggit Spring Summer  2016 collection. Yes you read it right, the #PlayTheLifeGame Bloggers party was in full swing even after Char. The only catch, is this Baggit Spring-Summer collection launch party was exclusively for the lady-bloggers and the Char was pm, not am.


The GenNext loves to #PlayTheLifeGame as per their own choices. They celebrate Life like a Party. They work smart and party hard to enjoy every aspect of life. They have everything, still they crave for Extra Gloss, Exclusivity, high-end brands, latest version of every thing. That's where Baggit Spring Summer 2016 Collection comes in to picture, I mean in to the hands of fashionistas. 'If you have it ... splurge it on Baggit'

The tech-savvy, ambitious and independent ladies make their own smart choices. They deserve both Quality and Style. Today's Gen-Y is the result of DISK ( Double Income Single Kid ), so they have grown up as pampered youth. They love to flaunt their ‘Freedom of Expression’ with their fashion statement. Brand Baggit is most sought after by these DISKs for it's uber cool looks and Eco-friendly / recyclable material.

Here's the first person story about #PlayTheLifeGame launch of  Baggit Spring Summer  2016 collection. We the select few Lifestyle / Fashion Bloggers went into selfie-mode post registration and Gift-receipt of an ornate fashion trunk full of goodies ( Wanna know , what all is inside this golden, glitzy trunk ? Please read to the end ). 

Thus started our #PlayTheLifeGame Spring-Summer collection 2016 launch party with Baggit at The Daily Bar & Kitchen . Upstairs in the AC section, the bartenders got busy mixing various cocktails / mock tails for the bloggers. The bloggers pouted, clicked, chatted, sipped cocktails / mock tails ( Pinacolada & Mojito : both virgin for me ), nibbled French fries, Filo tarts, Pizza etc n tweeted it all in detail ... till #PlayTheLifeGame ... trended. 


The ravishing MC arrived in a Pool Green mini and the whole party scene resonated with her perky commentary about #PlayTheLifeGame launch of  Baggit Spring Summer  2016 collection. The personal message of Ms. Neena Lekhi ( MD & Chief Design Curator ) and making of Spring Summer collection was presented through an exciting video, which was hugely applauded by us.

Elaborating on the campaign launch, Vicky Ahuja, Director Sales & Marketing, Baggit, said,  “Baggit is born for fashion and the new spring summer range doesn't restrict you by the bounds of ‘occasions’. The versatile collection lets you express yourself with unbridled freedom without stereotyping you in a particular role. Be you. And enjoy it … with confidence. ” #PlayTheLifeGame campaign captures different moods & expressions of today’s modern women. Staying true to its handcrafted, Eco-friendly heritage, Baggit has chosen a variety of luxuriously strong materials, unique textures and chic prints that merges with a palette of vibrant hues like blues, pinks ,oranges to reflect the varying moods and emotions of their audience. 

Here's how I would like to style my favorite 'L Affinity Bindas Blue' ( more brownie points for that kick ass Bindas name ) Sling / back pack. You may have noticed from the above table that, this Bindas Blue color blocks with the bright  mustard yellow, red, as well as with the faded beige, pink . This L Affinity Bindas Blue can be carried stylishly with Western as well as with Indian outfits. ‪#‎playthelifegame Baggit Spring Summer 2016 collection mood bags for the chic ladies, for every occasion to match their style , any time , any where. Every Baggit bag has different features, which can be accessorized with numerous dresses.  The special feature of all Baggit is it's totally Vegan and non allergic. 

True to the spirit of #PlayTheLifeGame, the vivacious MC played various games such as Moods of the days to match the Baggit , Guess the names of Baggit-Lucky draw , Maximum number of tweets throughout the day. The winners bagged their favorite Baggit as the prizes. Post the fun-games , the bloggers rushed to the upstairs bar to refresh themselves with another round of cocktails, mock tails , appetizers etc.

Thus rejuvenated , the bloggers were ready to shake a leg to the tune of #PlayTheLifeGame . So the tables were moved towards the walls and the ladies hit the dance-floor with elan.  
To Know More Visitwww.baggit.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

U & Us Home Design studio

U & Us living in a harmony is the very essence of human life. 
How does it positively impacts our lives and how's that possible ?.

 On 21st May, We the lifestyle bloggers were invited by U & Us Home Design Studio and Esha Gupta. founder , Design Pataki for a discussion about 'Celebrating Craftsmanship with the use of Technology' followed by a workshop on DIY interiors 

U &Us Home Design studio celebrates Craftsmanship with Esha Gupta-Design Pataki

We were hosted at the exclusive U & Us Design Studio ( R-City Mall, Ghatkopar ) for a tete-a-tete with renowned designers, for co-creation of our space with the in-house designers.

The panel discussion consisted the following Masters of Design: Krsnaa Mehta, Founder of India Circus Ronitaa Italia Dhanu, Editor of GoodHomes Architect Rooshad ShroffEsha Gupta, Founder of Design Pataki
U&US Home design studio from Godrej works on the unique concept of involving customers in designing the furniture and interiors solutions for their dream homes. Today’s consumers are tech-savvy, living fast lifestyles and value the buying. The process of getting home furniture and interiors done is often tedious, cumbersome, laborious and time-consuming. Customers face a daunting task on deciding on furniture lay outing, designing, material selection etc. 

At U&US Design Studio they have eased these pains by helping customers perform all the related activities in a very simple way. The entire journey of the customer is activity based. At their recently launched studio all these activities are brought alive with the aid of various digital stations created in an innovative manner.

Inside U & Us Design studio - Rotating wheel with miniature home models are enticing.
Touch screen in the center of wheel helps play the U&Us concept film and customers can browse through previously Exploration Wheel. Mood board selection is done by customers which helps the designer understand the customers' tastes and styles.
2 D room layout is done by customer on the touch screen followed by layout with the help of miniature furniture model placement activity (customer can scan layouts/work on ideal layouts)
The layout created can be visualized in 3D.

“Color Visualizer” is a station where the color scheme selection of the home is done by the customers themselves. (It’s a unique technology which being patented by U&Us)
This fun based activity helps customer shortlist on the various colors schemes of their home interior elements like wall color, laminate, fabric, Wood polish & flooring with the help of hexagon shaped color cubes.
Customers have a choice of going ahead with a preset color scheme formulated by a color expert or can customize according to their taste and choice.
State of the art 3d visualization software helps the customers visualize their own homes, take walk through inside the rooms.
Customers can still edit things in real time (eg. Color, furniture placement etc) if they feel like before finalizing the details.

Proto typing area is a station where customers can create low fidelity models/ proto types with paper, thermocol etc to explain any concept / design which they are not able to express through Prototyping area. So unlike any buying experience, U&Us has created a unique customer-centric, playful experience for the customer to co-create his dream home. U & Us wants the consumers to play an active role in making their signature home dreams come true. With co-creating their own customized furniture enabled by innovative, experiential technology.

Design Pataki is a curated online magazine, online store & design lab. Their design sensibilities and aesthetics are resonated through their online store. They ensure each product sold has been checked to meet the high standards of quality control. They strive to give us brilliantly designed products at the best prices. Their only goal and hope is for every piece from them to somehow form a small part of our life.