MONDAY MEAL: Gourmet biryani that’s fit for a king

It’s hard to believe that a biryani delivery service uses the very expensive and exotic saffron as a standard ingredient in their dishes. But I believe it, because I saw plenty of saffron at Biryani360’s kitchen in Bandra last week. A dozen glass bowls of soaked saffron strands lined the counter and aroma of the fragrant spice wafting through the office was quite a royal welcome!

A glimpse of their clean kitchen:

Biryani360 Bandra Mumbai kitchen

About Biryani360

Biryani360 is a newly-launched gourmet biryani delivery service in Mumbai. The owners claim the dish is made without preservatives, and is cooked and delivered the same day. So you get fresh biryani delivered to your doorstep, prepared with premium ingredients and whole spices (rather than the powdered form):

Biryani360 kitchen spices

First impressions

Biyani360 Mumbai pack

Biryani360 single pack

The biryani comes neatly packed in a cardboard box with machine-sealed packaging. A lot of effort has been put in to make your biryani meal a gourmet experience, from the quality of the cardboard box to the soft yet thick tissue that comes with the biryani. And of course, the biryani looks great too!

The True Taste Test (and Mom knows best!)

So does Biryani360 pass the Taste Test?

YES, with flying colours.

Biryani360 biryani dish

In just the first bite, I could feel the freshness of the biryani with the zing of the whole spices and the pleasantly thick yoghurt (brownie points for that right!). The uneven yellow-ness of the rice comes from the saffron and not artificial colours, so that’s comforting! And you may get a saffron strand or two in your biryani pack, like I did. Raisins were a surprise ingredient in my veg biryani, but they quickly turned out to be a pleasant one. That little burst of sweetness balances out the other spices that you experience.

While the flavours, textures and colours are a delicious mix, the almost-zero oil makes Biryani360 a hands-down winner. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been appalled by the sight of the shiny oil in the biryani delivered by “biryani centres” and local restaurants.

Biryani360 veg rice biryani

The best North Indian home cook in the world (my mom) also gave a thumbs-up to the veg biryani and yoghurt. She was already curious about when the Biryani360 guys would open kiosks in multiplexes and malls, or deliver to her place in town.

 

Why Biryani360 is cool

You only need to visit the Biryani360 website to know why the service is so cool. The website is a fun place, so read the FAQs and watch the video. Also, when you get your biryani pack, there’s lots to keep you interested and entertained and smiling! Take a look:

Biryani360 box pack

 

Biryani360 only offers veg and “unveg” biryani, with a serving of yoghurt. A single pack of veg or unveg biryani (serves one) is priced at Rs 360. Delivery is across Mumbai or you can order takeaway (they’re located very close to Bandra station). Visit https://www.biryani360.com/ to order.

The fabric you need to wear this summer- Liva

I have a whole list of summer clothing pet peeves- no denim, no clingy clothing, no itchy fabrics for me please. Of course, this doesn’t leave me with too many fashionable choices for summer.

Hopefully, this summer will be better because I’ve discovered a new age fabric that will make my summer (and other seasons) easier. This new age fabric is called Liva, made with natural fibres and developed by Birla Cellulose.

Fit for ‘Queen’

Liva’s ambassador is the talented actor Kangana Ranaut who wore this statement-making outfit at a Liva fashion show last week.

Kangana Ranaut for LIVA

Oh, Liva!

The fabric has got sheen, feels cool and soft against my skin, and is super comfy. Thanks to Liva’s fluidity, clothes won’t stick or cling to my body, nor make me feel warmer than it is. Luckily, several brands are already using Liva, and I got a closer look at the clothes.

Liva clothes

No more boxy looks! No more discomfort!

So what’s common among these dresses, kurtas and tees? For starters, they fall well, so no more weird fits or square shapes. And they’ve got a nice sheen that adds a luxe touch to any look.

Liva is being used by several fashion brands such as Van Heusen, Global Desi and 109 F (among others) and all Liva garments would be specially tagged so you can identify them while shopping.

Printed tops with Liva

Van Heusen dresses with Liva

New designs

Moving from high street to high fashion, fashion designers are already using Liva in their collections. Last week designers Anita Dongre, James Ferreira, Puja Nayyar, Sohum Dave and Narendra Kumar presented capsule collections made entirely of Liva. Their looks varied from easy flow to complex drapes, bold colours to vibrant prints. And the clothes? Tops, tees, tunics, kurtas, saris, pants… you name it, and it can be made with Liva.

Liva fashion show collage

If LIVA has you intrigued then please do get in touch with Media Moments for further details!

Just Jewellery: Indian accessories you need for the festive season

Diwali! The festival of lights heralds good fortune and the upcoming Great Indian Wedding Season. So when you shop this week, make it worthwhile and shop for those weddings as well.

I headed to the Just Jewellery store expecting for a one-stop shop to all jewellery needs for the season, and I wasn’t disappointed. This ethnic-inspired store has the answer to all your needs for Indian accessories to take you through the season and beyond. Located close to Mumbai’s famous Mahalakshmi temple, the store is a little haven for the ladies who love semi-precious Indian jewellery. It’s especially a hot favourite for brides-to-be and guests headed to destination weddings.

As I walked into the store, I spotted vibrant colours, quintessential Indian styles with contemporary design elements. The Just Jewellery store houses gorgeous pieces of jewellery such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, kadas, and hair accessories.

Just Jewellery store Mumbai

While entrepreneur Jasmine Shah introduced me to the collection, I took in the statement necklaces, ornate earrings and super-cute rings. Keeping in line with current trends, there was plenty of play with colour and contrasting elements. For instance, bright orange with royal blue on a ring, or a Buddha motif with a wooden panel on earrings. Each piece has been made in Jaipur, using elements conceptualized or sourced by Jasmine and Sandhya Shah from across the globe (they are a daughter-in-law and mother-in-law duo). Jasmine was delighted to share that they don’t really visit Mumbai’s famous Zaveri Bazaar for their jewellery. I guess that’s what makes them stand apart in terms of design.

Jasmine also mentioned that they have private consultations for brides or anyone else who wants jewellery tailored to their specific needs.

While most of the jewellery is completely wearable and WOW, I’ve picked some pieces and styles from Just Jewellery that you could wear for Diwali and rest of the festive season.

An eye-catching necklace

The statement necklace could be multi-tiered, beaded or studded… all you need is the pizzazz to wear it. My favourites:

Just Jewellery necklaces

Just Jewellery statement necklaces

Traditional earrings

Kundan-style earrings are really popular right now and Just Jewellery has plenty of those. What I also also loved were traditional-looking earrings (with Indian-style beads or finishing) with a modern twist, such as a print or marble-textured pieces. Check out the ones I liked:

Just Jewellery kundan earrings

Just Jewellery cool earrings

Hair accessories

Clips, maang tikkas and even hair bands add a dash of luxury to any ensemble. If you don’t believe me, try one of them and you will feel like a royal. These are the choices of hair accessories… cool, huh?

Just Jewellery hair clips

Just Jewellery hair accessory

Hand ornaments

Bracelets, kadas and rings are easy to pair with any ethnic outfit, since they don’t need to be too matchy-matchy. I’d pick at least two of each for the festive season.

Just Jewellery bangles hand ornaments

Just Jewellery ethnic Indian rings

Some of the rings and bracelets from Just Jewellery could easily double up as accessories for Indo-western and boho-Indian looks. I’d easily wear this ring with a white shirt and skinny blue jeans!

Just Jewellery Ring

What jewellery are you looking to wear this festive season?

LFW WF 2013: The best evening wear trends (with gif & instant style tips)

LFW WF 2013: The best evening wear trends (with gif & instant style tips)

Architecture at Amit Aggarwal
Amit Aggarwal’s dresses were beyond ordinary red carpet gowns. They were architectural wonders, sculpted and moulded in a fine manner with metal, drape, chiffon and jersey. You got to be bold to wear this look.

Instant style tip: Look for skirt and 60s inspired dresses that have a bit of buckram or tough lining that support the flare.

Amit Aggarwal at LFW WF 2013

(Taken on Nokia Lumia 820)

Gold at Vikram Phadnis
Sticking to our favourite metal (and festive colour), Vikram Phadnis’s dresses, jumpsuits and separates were rich and very wearable. Especially if you love gold too. 🙂

Instant style tip: This one’s easy enough for the bling lovers. If you aren’t one, you could always carry a sequinned clutch or pair of shoes.

[Check out the slide show below… more info after the jump!]

Bold construction at Jatin Varma
Jatin Varma combined structure with fluidity in eye-catching colours (shocking pink and cobalt blue). The nylon mesh and crochet binding on the intricate gowns were stunning!

Instant style tip: Tough to find, even tougher to wear. Best to pay a visit to the designer himself!

Fire on the ramp at Kommal Sood
Kommal Sood presented gorgeous cocktail dresses that shone bright in fiery colours. I loved the idea of orange evening wear and short capes.

Instant style tip: Mix and match sequinned pieces with luxurious separates for an offbeat red carpet look.

Dark ages at Rocky Star
Black has turned into Rocky Star’s signature statement, this time with lace, tulle, silk and velvet. Sheer was everywhere, and so was opulence. Only for the daring!

Instant style tip: This look has to be worn with stark makeup or you’ll look “incomplete”. The lips should be dark and the eyes deeply coloured.

 

LFW SR 2013: Best designer stalls!

LFW SR 2013: Best designer stalls!

Fashion week is not just about the fashion shows, trends and celeb showstoppers. It’s also about taking a closer look at my favourite or upcoming designers’ collections in the “stalls” area (it’s called The Source at Lakme Fashion Week).  In this season of LFW, a few desginers chose to showcase their collection in creative ways that were in like with the theme of their collection. Here are the best stalls from Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2013 (in no particular order):

Pia Pauro’s Greek boathouse

Check out the wooden slats, sailoring equipment and the hat hung on the wheel.

Pia Pauro LFW SR 2013

Anushree Reddy’s charming salon

Cute picture-frames, vintage furniture and the very girly white-and-pink theme!

Anushree Reddy LFW SR 2013

Arjun Khanna’s men’s tailoring boutique

It’s got the feel of a royal hunting lodge!

Arjun Khanna LFW SR 2013

Five reasons I’m excited about Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2013

Lakme Fashion Week Summer/ Resort 2013 kicks off today and I’m super excited! Here’s why.

Naeem Khan

The man who’s dressed FLOTUS Michelle Obama a number of times will be showcasing his work Saturday night. And he will participate in a workshop on Friday, talking about his style and creations. Meeting or seeing this man is reason enough to attend Lakme Fashion Week.

Menswear

The best menswear designers in the country will be on the ramp after a long gap. The list includes veterans like Narendra Kumar and Arjun Khanna, along with young designer Kunal Rawal (he did the men’s costumes for Aisha). Narendra Kumar’s shows are always worth a watch, and this time he’s expected to make a strong statement on the country’s socio-political situation. Hmmm….!

Narendra Kumar SR 2012

One more platform for GenNext designers

Lakme Fashion Week has been supporting new designers for several years now, but this  time they get an additional benefit with support from Zovi.com. The online shopping site will manufacture and retail one garment from each of the debuting designers. So get ready to shop already!

Live webcast

Lakme Fashion Week shows will be broadcast live on YouTube, which means instant fashion! So we can all watch the shows in our PJs over the weekend. They’ve already got a preview of the season online, so check it out:

Jewellery

Very few fashion weeks have accessory designers participating. It’s good to see Suhani Pittie back at LFW, and I’ve always wanted to see Pallavi Foley’s creations up close. This is my chance! 🙂Suhani Pittie LFW

Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 is from March 22 to 26, 2013 in Mumbai.

Street Eeks: What NOT to wear at a cricket match ever

Street Eeks: What NOT to wear at a cricket match ever

Folks, there are things you can wear to a cricket match, and there are things you just don’t. This girl I spotted at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium over the weekend got it all wrong! Firstly, she was dressed in all black on a warm day, with a funny floral, black-silver skirt. (I can’t even describe it!).

Fashion in Mumbai

Then there was a sling bag across her body of a very odd mud colour and long dangling earrings (not in picture). But I can’t decide what’s worse- her shoes with the funny heels (aspiring me to be booties), or the black socks with them! Or the skirt. Or the odd black top…Yikes!

Meanwhile, I aimed for chic comfort at the India-England match- wearing a purple polo tee with lemony pants and my loafers of the moment.

Fashion in Mumbai

What would you wear to a cricket match?

LFW W/F 2012 Trend: History lessons from the fashion ramp- decoded

LFW W/F 2012 Trend: History lessons from the fashion ramp- decoded

We love the present, but we can’t help looking back into the past especially when it comes to fashion. Every fashion lover seems to have a favourite moment from the days gone by. But I’ve looked back into the past to figure out whether the designers’ claims about the era are historically accurate.

Pernia Qureshi

Drop waist dresses from the 1920s. Bead work on luxe fabrics from the Fifties.

Historical accuracy: High

Pernia Qureshi flapper dress at LFW W/F 2012

Pernia Qureshi 1950s at LFW W/F 2012

Anita Dongre

Knee and calf-length pencil skirts, dresses with pleats and gathers (1950s)

Historical accuracy: Moderate

Anita Dongre 1950s at LFW W/F 2012

Ritu Beri

Glamour, beauty and indulgence. (1950s)

Historical accuracy: Low (Nothing Marilyn Monroe about the collection, as the designer claimed)

Ritu Beri Fifties at LFW W/F 2012

Archana Kochhar

Prints from the 1970-80s- like checkerboard, geometric, zig zag.

Historical accuracy: Low (Prints from the 1970s-80s include florals, animal prints and even ink splattered.)

Archana Kochhar at LFW W/F 2012

LFW W/F 2012 Trend: Peplums on the runway!

LFW W/F 2012 Trend: Peplums on the runway!

Internationally, peplums are not a new trend. The Duchess of Cambridge has been seen spotted in peplum dresses and skirts more than a few times, and some high street brands cleverly made it part of their summer collection. On the Indian fashion week ramps, peplums have grown up.

Take a look at the peplums at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2012:

Soft peplums in light fabrics at Drashta

Drashta peplum at LFW W/F 2012

Belted peplums at Sailex

Sailex peplum at LFW W/F 2012

Elaborate 3D peplums at Rajat K Tangri

Rajat Tangri peplum at LFW W/F 2012

Peplum jackets at Nupur Kanoi

Nupur Kanoi peplum jacket

What’s your take on peplums?

LFW W/F 2012 Trend: Prints, prints and some more prints!

LFW W/F 2012 Trend: Prints, prints and some more prints!

My mind is a blur- I’ve seen abstract, bizarre, kaleidoscopic, psychedelic and many more prints over the past few days at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2012. Here’s my picks of the prints spotted on the ramp.

Kaleidoscopic prints at Pankaj-Nidhi

Pankaj Nidhi at LFW W/F 2012

Eccentric prints at Kallol Datta 1955 (moon faces, snails, safety pins!)

Kallol Dutta at LFW W/F 2012

Doodles from Aartivijay Gupta’s book- sketches of faces and figure blocks.

Aartivijay Gupta_LFW Winter Festives - Copy

Retro-geometric prints at Archana Kochhar

Archana Kochhar at LFW W/F 2012

Rorschach inkblot test-like patterns at Ken Ferns

Ken Ferns at LFW W/F 2012

Geometric abstract prints at Shift by Nimish Shah

Shift by Nimish Shah at LFW W/F 2012

Which print do you want to wear in the new season?