Rongali Bihu will be celebrated the world over by the Assamese community on Sunday 15th April. Rongali Bihu is one of three major cultural festivals from Assam, the North Eastern state of India from where my family originates. This festival marks the beginning of spring and celebrates the harvest season with a wide range of festive treats including Til’or Pitha and Narikol’or Laru (do try out the recipes for these by clicking here).
But today’s post is not going into depth about Bihu. Proudly Assamese, I wanted to take advantage of this upcoming special occasion and share a beautiful piece of Assamese folklore with you. Every culture has treasured ‘hand me down’ fairytales that have been whispered down generations, and the Cinderella-style struggle story that has a prominent part in Assamese story-telling is that of Tejimola.
With the advent of International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day in the Middle East, March has officially been declared the month of women.
To commemorate the celebrations, Cadillac, the world’s leading luxury automotive brand, has taken a bold, fashionable step by collaborating with Saudi entrepreneur and fashion editor Marriam Mossalli by launching a series of photographs that have been included in a book titled Under the Abaya: Street Style from Saudi Arabia.
Indian cuisine arguably has an even stronger fan following across the globe than does the glitzy world of Bollywood. Butter Chicken has also been considered the national dish of the UK, and Indian Chefs today are enjoying celebrity status thanks to the reach of social media.
Well before the likes of Zee TV star Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Master Chef stars Vikas Khanna and Kunal Kapoor, Chef Satish Arora took humble Indian dishes to fine-dining status. With a career expanding 50 years which was catapulted by his success as the world’s youngest Executive Chef of a five-star kitchen at a mere 26 years of age, he has been the inspiration for many in his industry, and has also been a role model for his kin.
I had the immense pleasure of meeting the legend in person at Mahec (Le Meridian, Airport Road Dubai) which he has recently taken over. Here is an except on Chef Arora’s trailblazing career, his undying passion for food, and advice for the next generation.
Last Friday I had the honor of meeting a real legend of the Indian culinary world. Chef Satish Arora has a career expanding over 50 years. He started his career with the Taj Group of hotels in India, wherein he became the world’s youngest Executive Chef of a five-star kitchen at a mere 26 years of age. His trailblazing career has won him many accolades including being listed among ‘the world’s 20 best chefs’ in 1991, receiving the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from Curry Club of England in 2007, Star Group in 2016, Hospitality Leaders Choice UK in 2016, and Food Food TV Channel in 2017.
The secret to his success is his undying passion for simple, authentic Indian cuisine and this has won him a very prestigious lineup of fans including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Amitabh Bacchan, John Major… and the list goes on.
Still going strong, Chef Satish Arora has recently taken over the menu at Mahec, the fine-dining Indian restaurant in Le Meridian, Airport Road Dubai. The menu has been renovated by the culinary legend from 20th Feb this year, and he is adding more of his magic in the coming few weeks.
When it comes to jewelry, I am always on the lookout for uniquely beautiful pieces. Jewelry is a form of self-expression, and I love mine embedded with semi-precious stones in all the colors of the rainbow. I look for high-quality pieces that can promise many years of wear (after all, many of my most treasured jewels are inheritance pieces from my mother and grandmothers).
I was therefore very excited to discover All That Dori, a contemporary Indian jewelry brand based right here in Dubai. You might have spotted me adorning ‘All that Dori’ on my Instagram feed.
Today I am introducing you to Bhavya Airan, the beautiful, creative young lady behind the brand. She tells us ‘all that’ goes behind the creation of a boutique jewelry brand, what inspires her design sensibilities, and gives us tips on curating a besotted collection of our own.
Today, 8th of March, is International Women’s Day, a sacred date on the calendar dating as far back as 1910. Although gender equality has come a long way since then, many feminists will argue we still have many stones to turn. Many major roles including the government and high-flying corporate roles are still very much male-dominated. Many cultures still have women on second rank.
#GirlPower has come a long way, and today I’d like to celebrate 10 specific women who have gone against all odds to change the world for the better. In no particular order, here are my favorite top 10 super-women:
For the longest time I’ve come to believe that washing my face with soap is a big skincare no-no. Commercial soaps tend to be harsh on delicate facial skin, stripping it of precious oils.
However, I was recently introduced to the concept of hand-made soaps, free of nasty parabans and SLS, and loaded with skin-loving ingredients that are good enough even for tender baby skin. Just look at the gorgeous hamper I received from home-grown brand SoulPure Soaps!
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of having breakfast with a health food icon. You might recognize his friendly face from the Bob’s Red Mill packaging, and at 89 years young heading a troupe of colleagues for a whirlwind 5-day Middle Eastern business trip, Bob Moore proves to be the best role model for his natural foods brand.
I compare it to meeting KFC’s Colonel Saunders, but on the brighter side of health.
Skincare derived from natural ingredients is not a passing fad, but should be incorporated as a way of life. Sadly most organic beauty brands come with hefty price tags. I was therefore thrilled to discover the very affordably priced, high-quality WoMn Cosmetics.
WoMn Cosmetics is an Abu Dhabi-based natural beauty brand conceptualized and created by Croatian pharmacologist Goran Vestermajer. The name of the brand is dedicated to his beautiful wife and business partner Nena, and stands for ‘Wife Of Mine Nena’.
Can Measure and Access really coincide side by side in peace and harmony? Moroccan teenager Hiba Khamlichi takes on this philosophical puzzle with stunning paint on canvas. At a mere 17 years of age, the complexities of her creations far beguile her tender years, and her masterpieces are going up on display in the very prestigious Art Space exhibition at DIFC Dubai from today.
I had the pleasure of having a wee chat with the very talented young lady before the exhibition, and here is what she had to say about her debut in Dubai…