When Fashion meets Art and it’s all for a Good Cause

What: How many times have you shopped and felt a wave of guilt? But when it comes to indulging yourself with jewellery from House Of Tuhina, it’s all for a good cause. The pan-Indian jewellery brand that is known for its arty designs, contemporary jewellery, rich quality and heritage value, has been on our lust list for a while now. Here is all you need to know about them.

Who: Run by Tuhina Goyal, an NID graduate in apparel design, her love for jewellery is what made her foray into the world of accessories. According to her, “Inspiration can come from anywhere, from the ordinary sights on Indian roads and in day-to-day life. It can be perceived in the trim of the roadside ‘thela’ or in the vibrant attire of gypsy women selling iron tools. Antique artwork designs on the doors also inspire me,” she says.

Continue reading When Fashion meets Art and it’s all for a Good Cause

Two ways with one shoe

Alice says: This Celery is such a tease. In her introduction, we couldn’t see her face as she hid behind the camera. And now we’ll only see her feet. One day, we’ll get her to pose. One day. 😛

Even though I mainly jabber about food on this website, occasionally even fashion excites me. Especially if it comes in the form of new shoes neatly tucked up in a huge black box!

I recently got myself a pair of flat chappals from a brand called Sole’D. For those of you who haven’t heard of this wonderful brand, Sole’D is a facebook page-cum-online shopping experience that allows you to pick from a range of colourful and stylish shoes.

It is one store we love going back to for a dose of footwear every time monotony hits us. If you remember, Alice recently wore the cutesy pink, strappy pair of sandals at her garage sale with her gorgeous black dress. The look and the feel of her shoes excited me so much, I simply had to get myself a pair!

Even though my closet is brimming with all kinds of footwear, a new pair never hurts, does it?

New pair of shoes!
New pair!

The occasion for which I picked these sandals was a wedding in the family. Now most of us would opt for heeled shoes, especially to wear with Indian clothes. But I also had to make sure I was comfortable as there were thousands of errands to run that day. Therefore, I picked a flat silver-strappy number (similar to Alice’s) with a hint of gold.

To my surprise, the pair not only went flawlessly with an Indian lehenga, but I also wore it the day after with a comfy pair of yoga pants! The shoes have a classic-yet-boho feel that makes them gel with all kinds of outfits. On top of that, gold and silver are neutral shades that can be teamed with almost any hue. This is one multi-tasking purchase!

One way with two shoes
One way with two shoes. Picture courtesy- Tejit Sampat

If you too want to get yourself a pair of shoes from Sole’D too, visit their Facebook page.

Other must-lusts from Sole’D:

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Indian cooking in French cookware

Cooking with cast iron is a new ball game altogether. In an Indian kitchen, one seldom finds this hefty cookware item because not many traditional dishes are made using it. But if you think about it, the material can work wonders, especially if used cooking certain authentic Indian techniques. Dum pukht or slow-oven cooking are good examples since the heavy lid often traps in all the moisture and the resultant dish is a juicy treat.

Cooking this way is especially beneficial while cooking dishes such as meats, biryanis, Indian gravies and daals where you want to slow-cook the preparation in order to let the flavours flourish well.

Our latest kitchen-love is a cast iron casserole by French cookware brand Le Creuset. The lusty red tub of goodness is apt for everything from sautéing regular veggies, stir frying, bubbling sauces to even baking cakes. Since it heats up fast, retains temperature and looks so good, it can be used to serve too. What’s more is that using cast-iron pans in place of nonstick pans helps  avoid the harmful chemicals found in the latter and comes with a life time garuntee. 

Red Dish Main rg flat
Mushroom and puffed tofu red salan in our brand new casserole

We first used our casserole to make a fused salan (urdu word for gravy) to be relished with bread or chappati. Since we wanted to give this traditional dish a gourmet lift, we threw in a few button mushrooms and bits of puffed tofu cubes (also going it a protein punch).

Mushroom and puffed tofu red salon

Ingredients: 1 cup button mushrooms (halved), 1 cup tofu puffs, ½ cup vegetable oil, 250 gm onions (thinly sliced), 200 gm curd, 1 tsp cumin seeds,  1 tbsp coriander seed powder, 1 tsp black pepper powder, 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, few cloves, 3 green cardamoms, 1 stick cinnamon, red chilli powder as per taste, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, salt to taste, ½ tsp garam masala powder, pinch of ground mace and nutmeg, 2 tsp oregano leaves (finely chopped)

Method: In a wok, heat oil and fry the onions until brown and crispy. Remove from fire and blend it into a smooth puree. Add whisked curd and cumin powder to it and mix well. In a pan, heat oil and add ginger-garlic paste and all the spices. Sauté for a few minutes and add coriander seed powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt to it and mix well. Add in the curd and onion paste and allow the gravy to bubble for a few minutes. Add water if the salan seems to thick. Add mushroom and tofu puffs to it and sprinkle garam masala and mace and nutmeg powder on top. Garnish with oregano leaves and serve hot.

 Tips for working with cast iron

  • Wash your utensils by hand using warm water and a sponge or stiff brush.
  • To remove grease, scrub it with salt and water. Stubborn food residue may also be loosened by boiling water in the cast iron vessel.
  • Always thoroughly towel-dry your cast iron utensils before packing them up.
  • Store them in dry place.
  • Cast iron is naturally non-stick, but with every use, it tends to lose it’s non-stick quality. To bring it out again, grease it with vegetable oil before use.

Apart from the casserole, we are also lusting  after other goodies from Le Creuset.  Here is a peek. 

Tagine and bean pot
Availability in Mumbai: All Indigo Deli
Availability in Delhi: Sham Di Hatti, 1A  Khan Market, New Delhi: 110003
Also contact: info@lecreuset.org

 

Monsoon’s must-have & Lulu Australia store review

It has been pouring cats and dogs the last couple of days in our city and it might get worse. In order to save the precious things you carry in your bag each day, it’s important to invest in arm candy that is water-resistant, stylish and most importantly big. You know, to fit your umbrella, change of shoes and extra pair of clothes, just in case!

Just in time to save you this season, an outlet of world-renowned Lulu Australia has opened in Mumbai’s suburb, Bandra.

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Store entrance

Why, you ask us? This is because the store specialises in bags that are plastic laminated, our favourite monsoon companions this year.

At first look, the cutesy, pink store seems like a place Barbie would shop. It’s vibrant, filled with delicious products, housing affordable bags that are both fashionable and utilitarian – multi-pocketed diaper bags, lingerie bags, vanity cases, sunglass pouches, laptop bags and what not!

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Lulu’s pretty pink decor

Continue reading Monsoon’s must-have & Lulu Australia store review

Liquid gold and a giveaway!

Update: Sheetal Kode, you have won yourself the bottle of olive oil we promised. Please write to us at aliceandcelery(at)gmail(dot)com with your details and we’ll make sure it gets to you.

Our latest culinary fascination is olive oil. We have been drizzling it maddeningly over salads, gobbling it in its pure form with chunks of bread and cheese, toppling spoonfuls over pizzas, cooking mains and what not. The truth is that once you pop the cap open, there is no stopping with these golden oils.

olive oil
Picture scource: www.oliveoilexcellence.com

We recently laid our hands on a new brand we hadn’t tried earlier and came out pleasantly surprised. Available in extra virgin, regular and pomace category – Del Monte olive oils are superb in quality and easily available in Mumbai.

When it comes to olive oils, what baffles most of us is how to differentiate among various kinds. Here is a cheat sheet you can use for reference.

Olive Oil Flyer A5 Final_Olive Flyer B a5 (2) - Copy

Olive Oil Flyer A5 Final_Olive Flyer B a5 (2)

With our bottle, we made a dish that can go terribly kaput if lacking a dash of some REAL good quality olive oil. Look how it turned out!

Red bell pepper hummus
Red bell pepper hummus

Red bell pepper hummus

Ingredients: 1 cup chickpeas (boiled); ½ cup olive oil; 2 garlic cloves, minced; 1 red bell pepper (roasted and roughly chopped); 2 tbsp lemon juice; ¼ cup tahini and sea salt as per taste

Method: In a blender, grind all the ingredients to a smooth puree. Transfer into a serving bowl and drizzle with lots of olive oil. Serve fresh with chips or crackers.

And now for the GIVEAWAY

To celebrate good food, good quality ingredients and our newfound love for olive oils, we are giving away a bottle from Del Monte‘s collection. All you have to do is tell us about your favourite recipe that requires heaps and heaps of good quality olive oil. The best entry will win the bottle shown in the picture below. Contest closes on 17th June 2013. Hurry!

The giveaway
The giveaway!