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around Chennai this week.

Monisha Gidwani, CEO, Vimonisha Private Collections

Chitra Viswanathan talks about the Kanchipuram Idli’s global influence.

Linu Paul’s Pav Bhaji

Chennai Food Guide Premium Restaurant Feature - SPOONBILL

Chitra Viswanathan talks about Raitas.

Rama Krishnan, CEO, Pizza Republic. analyses Indian Cuisine’s principles.

by Pinky Punjabi

Learn & Play with AIMA



Regina Victoria Cates, a transformational author and positivity junkie, inspires tens of thousands of people every day to live lives of limitless possibility. Through her Los Angeles–

Romance Your Soul with Regina SESSION - IV

How you choose to behave has nothing to do with a nybody else a nd everything to do with you. Do you know that? I didn’t but I do now. It was a Friday afternoon. Working as a college administrator, I had a n encou nter with a professor. It bega n when I overheard a department secretary address him as Mr. X instead of Dr. X. He arroga ntly reprima nded her in front of me. I fired ba ck a snide comment in her defense a nd was immediately e mbarrassed that I had done so. I quickly rationalized my behavior a nd hurried off to my office. When I returned Su nday evening from a weekend getaway, I fou nd a lengthy e mail from Dr. X chastising me. Of course my initial rea ction was a nger. My egocentric pride justified my a ctions. Starting down the well-worn path of victim, I bega n a scathing reply, all the while thinking, He started all this by being such a n arroga nt ass. He may have a Ph.D., but he la cks the basics of civility. How in the world is he a ble to rationalize bla ming me for his rude, condescending behavior? Suddenly, something deep within me shifted. I was not a ble to continu e. Within my honest heart of hearts, I knew the time had come to address some hard truths a bout my behavior.


based company, Romancing Your Soul, she guides people to lead with their hearts. Now with the debut of her first book, Lead with Your Heart: Create Deep Relationships, Avoid Problems, and Make Life Easier, Regina is reaching out to a wider audience.

Had I treated him as I wa nt to be treated? No. Did my rudeness a ccomplish a nything positive? No. Would I feel better now if I had chosen not to engage in the first pla ce? Y es. I stopped to deliberately ask these qu estions. That, combined with genuinely wa nting to know the a nswers, was the ju mp start my heart needed to at last overrule my defensive a nd offended pride. Through ca ndid self-evaluation I a cknowledged my a nger was, once again, not a bout a nother’s behavior. Choosing to ta ke disappointment out on someone else was not assu ming responsibility for my a ctions. In spite of the fa miliar ways I tried to project my resentment a nd frustration onto Dr. X, the magnificent “aha” was realizing it was my guilt pointing the finger of bla me in his direction. Exploring the guilt, I discovered it was rooted in sha me for once again putting my a ngry, insecure, a nd immature side forward. I was really mad at me for not controlling myself. How you choose to behave has nothing to do with a nybody else, a nd everything to do with you. People may be rude, insulting, condescending, sla nderous, or deceitful, a nd yet their behavior is a ref lection of who they are. How you behave in response is a ref lection of who you are.




Vimonisha Indian Summer Designer Show

School of Success Residential Camps!

Hamsaa Creative Conversations

April 4th & 5th 2013 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

March 30th & 31st 2013

Friday, March 29th 2013 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

My Fortune-Chola Sheraton, Chennai

School of Success - R A Puram

Aarkay Convention Center, Mylapore

One Night Sleep Over Camp on effective communication: Leadership through effective communication. One Night Sleep over The ever popular Vimonisha Private Collection brings yet another first

at School of Success. A visit to Chowki Dhani; Beach Throw Ball and

to the city of Chennai-the season’s best fashion wear, jewelry and

More! Age: 5 years and above.

accessories with the Indian Summer 2013 exhibition and sale at the

Price: Rs. 3000/- (All Inclusive!)

Creative Conversation on ‘Bhava - the Emotional Appeal of Music’,

Hotel on 4 and 5 April.

School of Success, an organization that conducts transformational

by Saketharaman.

35 established, successful and popular designers have been

programs for children has put together some really exciting sleep

especially chosen to showcase and exhibit their creations at this

over camps this summer. SOS has been working with children over

exhibition. Chennai ladies will to get the opportunity to meet and buy

the last ten years with more that 9000+ children till date: Its key

at “direct from designers prices”.





98200 43549


97899 06146






Karthick Iyer’s Electric Violin

Vaibhav Mela & Vaibhav Food Festival

Friday, March 29th 2013 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Friday, March 29th 2013 6:30 pm onwards

March 30th & 31st 2013 10:00 am - 8:30 pm

The Leela Palace, Chennai

136.1 Yoga Studio, Alwarpet

Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam, Kodambakkam

How to Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be by Taking Action on the Success Principles. The Success Principles is a roadmap for anyone striving to achieve their professional and personal dreams.

Karthick Iyer, an amazing upcoming talented musician will be at the

Based on Jack Canfields hugely successful book The Success

Alwarpet studio this Friday, to dazzle you with his performance. An

Principles, the program will take you on a journey so that you tap into

amazing musical evening is in store, do join.

Latha Rajinikanth and The Ashram Group of Institutions bring to you

your creativity and utilizing the Success by taking action.


Vaibhav Mela & Vaibhav Food Festival. A Grand Carnival Showcasing

Principles to find your true purpose, find new ways forward and deal with life in a more effective way.

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the beautiful culture and traditions of India, with lots of activities, performances, folk arts and also shopping zones! Vaibhav Food Festival - Varied and delicious food not only from the traditional kitchens of India, but also showcasing cuisines from around the world. CONNECT:





World Theatre Day 2013

Salaam to Salai

The Mandolin Brothers

Sunday, March 31st 2013 7:15 pm

All April 12:00 am - 3:00 pm

Saturday, April 6th 2013 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Alliance Francaise auditorium

Paprika, Courtyard by Marriott, Chennai

Edge Design House, Adyar

The Mandolin Brothers - U Shrinivas & U Rajesh The Indians who mastered the Italian without learning a single word. We welcome you all to Art@Edge for an evening of interaction with Join us at the Alliance Francaise auditorium on March 31 at 7 p.m. st

for a show featuring the entire theatre community of Chennai! 12 performances on the same stage! Performances of 10 minutes each by individual actors & actors from various teams. CONNECT: +91

95661 65273

Office located around Anna Salai? This one’s for you! Flash your

the very talented brothers. Looking forward to some interesting

ID and avail a special flat 25% off for lunch on your food bill and

participation. Kindly RSVP to block your seats.

beverage of your choice only at the Courtyard by Marriott, Chennai!

Registration fee of Rs.100/- is payable at the venue.


44 6676 4000

The show begins at 6 pm, so kindly arrive by 5.45pm for us to start on time.

Conducting an Event? Drop us a mail with details and get featured here. Reach out to our 15000 subscribers now and YES like all things’s FREE!

Write to us:





CEO, Vimonisha Private Collections



“I guess a happy mom makes happy kids, so it’s better that I spent less time with them, but smiling and laughing, rather than the whole day just feeling sorry for myself for being stuck with babies at home!”




CEO, Vimonisha Private Collections

When and where did you begin your career? A. I began my career in marketing and product management as a management trainee soon after my MBA with Arvind Mills and then with Zodiac. So I have been in the garment industry for years, handling marketing and branding. How did Vimonisha conceptualize? A. It was started by my mother Vimal, who ran the gallery on Khader Nawaz Khan Road, and invited designers from across India to do exhibitions with us. It was a very new concept in those days, which required a lot of convincing and selling- people couldn’t understand that they could leave their boutiques and stores in their cities like Mumbai, or Delhi and come for a three day show to a gallery in Chennai. She had to actually sell Chennai more as a city than the gallery itself! How and when did you venture into this? A. Well, after my first child was born, I knew that there was no way I could go back to a 9 to 9 job…. So I started putting together little shows at the gallery before every season... little did I know that the exhibitions


would be such a runaway success, and that I would be working 24 hours… with a baby in one hand and my laptop in the other… was all the way we did the promotions, marketing, branding for our clients and the warmth with which we handled every show- I guess the persona of my mom and I reflected in our shows- the ladies would wait for a Vimonisha exhibition- a lot of camaraderie, and cheer and positive vibes always flowed between designers, buyers and us!! Were there many players in the same field when you started out? How has the market scene changed from then to now? A. No, there was practically no one… so we could carve a niche for things have evolved- it’s much easier to sell Chennai as a fashion destination, and much easier to get ladies to come to our shows, as they see so many every day- it’s not a new concept anymore Any learning from competition that you would like to talk about? A. Of course- it keeps us on our toes- we constantly update our database, our advertising and make our events bigger and better. We have now




CEO, Vimonisha Private Collections

moved from the gallery premises to 5 star hotels to accommodate the designers and the buyers, I travel all over the country to spot the right designers and the right talent that will fit well with our buyers, and we make sure we don’t leave any stones unturned when it comes to promoting our designers and reaching out to the ladies of Chennai. They get personal invitations from us, loads of gifts to keep them pampered, and competition has taught us how to blend the popular favourite designers with the new ones that enter the south market, so that each show is exciting in its own way. What is Vimonisha Boutique all about? A. Vimonisha Exhibitions is about promoting new talented designers, helping them build their market and their brand in Chennai and introducing Chennai ladies to the newest and freshest of fashion each season. What do you typically tell people when they ask you what you do? A. I tell them I have fun meeting people the whole day- for me coming to


Chennai every season is basically coming home, because I am a Chennai girl myself … so it’s lovely to meet old school and college friends, my parents friends, their daughters, daughters in law, my ex colleagues etc…. it’s a two day fun affair or retail therapy and more important laughter and bonhomie!!!When all the designers go back from Chennai with a hug and “see u soon Monisha” I know that it’s been a successful show, because of the warmth and friendship of the Chennai ladies radiates through the show and this is not seen in other cities… Were you always involved in design? A. I m not involved in the design really, I just identify good design… my job is to promote and market it well and evolve and modify it to suit the Chennai tastes. It is important to understand the consumers tastes and tailor make the product to suit the market. There is no point in giving the ladies what they will not accept. So I counsel the out of town designers many a time, as to what to bring to Chennai. Why did you choose Chennai to set up base? A. Because it’s my home town, and I love coming here….and it has tremendous potential in terms of fashion and industry.




CEO, Vimonisha Private Collections

Who or what was the inspiration behind starting Vimonisha? A. Well, my mother really… she is the one who started this concept. How did you go about setting up Vimonisha? A. We used to visit stores and designers and invite them to Chennai… and they would say- why Madras??? In those days, then there was this huge presentation of the city and what it had to offer- it was an uphill task in those days. When I joined the business, my mom had more or less established herself and the brand Vimonisha- my job was to expand and take it forward… How many employees did you start off with? A. Just a caretaker who would open and close the gallery…. What specific media did you use to market Vimonisha during launch and thereafter? A. Pretty much The Hindu… I always tell them that I owe our success to them….they are pretty much the spoken word when it comes to


opinions, so we bank on their good will, apart from that we market through various websites, electronic media and most importantly good word of mouth. One happy client will always tell at least one- but one unhappy one will tell a 100- so we try our best to bend backward and please them all! What were the three most important things under consideration to get your business up and running? A. The market potential, our reputation in the city and the time we were willing to give it. For my mom it was her second baby- she worked all the time- I’m pretty much the same in that respect- I have learned to multi task as a home maker, mom and career woman. How does your business model work? A. Well, we charge a fee per designer, and depending on how many designers we have per show, we put al the fund into a kitty and spend on the promotion- it’s as simple as that.




CEO, Vimonisha Private Collections

What’s the biggest thing you struggle with as an entrepreneur? A. How to please them all…. I like to see happy faces leaving our exhibition- whether it is a designer who has come from a far off city to sell her range or whether it’s a customer to buy it- sometimes it’s not possible to please them all, as people’s expectations are different. What role does leadership play for an entrepreneur? How have you demonstrated this with your team? A. You have to show them how it’s done and that you can do it too. In our team there is no boss and no assistant- credit is given to the person who does the job! What according to you is your USP when there are already so many boutiques around vying for attention along with high end Multi Brand outlets? A. Understanding what the customer wants and giving it to her. The Chennai client is very different from others, has to be understood and catered to in a different way-which we have learnt over the years


If I called three designers who have worked with you, how would they describe you? A. As reliable, frank and more a friend than a business associate, Do you showcase only established designers? A. Not at all, we promote new gen next designers too- in fact take special effort to promote them Who are the likely possible partners or professional service providers you would recommend every entrepreneur who would like to step into your industry should work with? A. It’s too soon to say as the media dynamics keeps changing all the time. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? A. Having put together more than 75 shows in 10 years What’s your most memorable experience as an entrepreneur? A. When my designer clients say things like “to us Chennai is Vimonisha”” we go there because of her…”




CEO, Vimonisha Private Collections

How has the digital media advent helped you? Do you have a website or a portal through which the designers can reach out to you? A. Yes – . It gets us enquiries every day which is heartening to see

What has been your greatest professional success and your biggest setback? A. Well the fact that we have done more than 75 shows in a span of 10 years. It’s not easy bringing 50 designers together under one roof. In terms of setback, usually bad debts sometimes …

What does a day-in-the-life of Monisha consist of? A. Well, I’m up at 430 am to pack my elder daughters breakfast and lunch as she is training for the nationals in swimming and has to report for her swim at 530 am. I think a dedicated and disciplined family raises dedicated and responsible kids, so sometimes she surprises me with her hard work and dedication to swimming 4 hours or more a day… , after kids are off to school I hit the gym and then work till the kids are back from school. After that, it’s the usual mom routine of extracurricular classes and studies. My husband and I love parties and friends so maybe thrice a week its movies and dinners with our friends which is the best way to unwind!

What does family have to say about it all? A. I don’t think I would have done this if it weren’t for the men in my life- my dad and my husband- they both used to see me very upset that I wasn’t working soon after I delivered my first baby- both urged me to do something on my own for my own peace of mind and self worth


Tell us about a time when the going got really tough. A. Well, there were times when I would board a flight to Chennai with one wailing small baby in one hand and leaving behind a small sick 3 year old in Mumbai – my elder one at home. It was tough because if I had committed to do a show , and designers were coming to Chennai




CEO, Vimonisha Private Collections

based on my guarantee, I jolly well be there myself to make sure things happened the way they should…. It was a tough couple of years when the girls were really young- they are still little- 8 and 12, but are supremely independent and tough because of the way they are brought up. Even now my elder one is in the middle of exams when I will leave for Chennai- each day is a struggle, but when you look at what the hard work and self-sufficiency teaches you, it’s well worth the effort Looking back, what’s one thing you would do differently? A. Well, maybe I could have started when my kids were a little older instead of when they were just born!!! That way I would have had more time to change diaper. But then again that never gave me much joy, so I guess a happy mom makes happy kids , so it’s better that I spent less time with them but smiling and laughing rather than the whole day just feeling sorry for myself for being stuck with babies at home…..!!! I’m a strong believer in quality over quantity…


If you could offer a first-time entrepreneur with an innovative business idea only one piece of advice, what would it be? A. Have conviction in your dreams, dream real, and be prepared to work hard every single day...more important have the fire in your belly to excel. What creative things do you do to develop a likeable company culture? A. We believe in customer delight over customer satisfaction- everyone should go back happy and joyously surprised – including our staff! How do you think being an entrepreneur has turned you into a better person? A. It makes me appreciate money, hard work, the people at the lowest rung of the ladder who are crucial to the success, it teaches me modesty and a respect for people who are willing to work hard and live their lives honestly.



Kanchipuram Idli - now enjoyed all over the world ! CHENNAI SPICE YUMM SERIES

Tradition Beckons SERIES - II

by Chitra Viswanathan

Raw rice - ½ cup Boiled rice - ½ cup Urad dhal - 1 cup Pepper - 1 tsp Jeera - 1 tsp Hing powder - 1 tsp Dry ginger powder - 1 tsp Curry leaves - few Oil - 2 tbsp Ghee - 2 tbsp Fruit salt - as given, below Salt. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

METhod: Soak rices & dhal together for 4 hrs. Grind coarse & keep for 8-10 hrs Food processor is ideally suited for this grinding, Coarsely powder pepper & Jeera & add. Add hing & dry ginger powders. Heat oil & ghee, temper mustard seeds, chopped curry leaves & add. This is usually steamed in a single round vessel as a single idli – about 5, 6” high. If you so wish, you can steam in 2 round vessels one kept over the other so that each idli will be 3” high. Adjust the dough to idli dough consistency. Keep the steamer ready, boiling & grease the round vessels. Add fruit salt, at the rate of 2 level tsp for 3 cups dough. Whisk the dough very well, immediately transfer to greased vessels & start steaming, as you do idlis. This will take 35-45 mts to cook completely. Insert a skewer, if it comes out clean, the idlis are done. Remove from steamer, cool. Transfer to a plate & cut like cake pieces. Serve with coconut chutney or any green chutney.The idli will be soft on its own, but the addition of fruit salt gives it a very spongy & porous texture. This preserves well for 2 days. CHENNAI SPICE | FEBRUARY 23rd 2013 | 15



Ingredients 1 onion (chopped)


Pav Bhaji by Linu Paul

2 tomatoes (chopped) 2 medium potatoes (boiled and mashed) 1/4 cup green peas (shelled, boiled and mashed lightly) 1 small piece ginger (about 1 inch) 5-6 garlic cloves (medium sized) 2 tablespoon oil 2 green chillies (chopped) 1 1/2 tablespoon pav bhaji masala (I used Everest brand) Salt to taste 3 tablespoon butter 4 pav 2 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves (chopped)

Method Grind ginger and garlic to a fine paste. Heat the oil in a pan. Add onions and sauté till they turn light brown. Add ginger garlic paste and green chillies and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add half the quantity of tomatoes and sauté for three to four minutes on medium heat till oil starts separating from the masala. Add the peas and potatoes along with a cup of water. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes. Keep pressing with the back of your spoon till all the vegetables are mashed properly. Add Pav Bhaji Masala, salt and the remaining tomatoes. Cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring continuously. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves.


To-Serve Heat half of the butter in a thick-bottomed pan. Slice the pav into two horizontally and fry in this butter for half a minute until the pav turns light brown. Serve the pav hot with the bhaji, remaining butter and some chopped onions.





New No. 239, Old No 107 TTK Road (Opposite Samsung Showroom) Alwarpet, Chennai - 600 018 T: +91 44-42064442


French, European, Fast Food, Indian, Street Food , Mediterranean, Mexican, German


11.00 am - 11.00 pm

Approximate Cost: Rs 600 for 2 persons Payment Modes:

Cash, Credit/Debit Cards Accepted


Air Conditioned, Take Away, Parking Available, Kids Friendly, WiFi Available, Smoking Area, Table Booking.

There are thousands of ways to learn about world populations, discover cultures, traditions, and tongues, be enchanted by differences, and explore the unknown. A potential starting point for this exploratory adventure is the observation of the street as a social space. As a place of encounter, trade, communication, work, and leisure, the street often acquires a particular meaning. It is a place to Situated on one of Chennai’s busiest streets - TTK Road, SPOONBILL is a casual all day dining experience paying tribute to the streets of the world. It is a mosaic of foods and habits, recipes and ingredients, traditions and places. International street foods from 8 countries including the Berliner sausages - Currywurst, the French crepes, the Mexican Burritos, the Chinese Noodles & Dim Sum, Turkish Doner & Falafel, the Italian Piadina , the Portuguese Empanada and of course, the Indian Pav specialities, Tawa Kababs and Rolls. All from an exciting live kitchen using state-ofthe-art-equipment and advice from an international consultant chef. Great place to catch up over South Indian filter coffee and muffins or celebrate life with fresh juices while watching the city go by. Ideal for meeting colleagues over a snack, surfing the net over a yummy crêpe, drooling over a fresh fruit yoghurt or just grab an in- between- meals bite. This is the global street - Spoonbill.




CONNECT PREMIUM RESTAURANT feature A brainchild of Charlie Singh who is a street food lover, this restocafe is a dream come true. Researching for the last 12 years or more, Charlie has produced a menu of popular street delicacies, all tried and tested by his own tongue! From making their own exotic sausages to experimenting with Turkish spices and travelling the world to catch the right recipes, it is a hobby turned into a profession for Charlie. Spoonbill is his playground! This playground has everything that Charlie ever missed in Chennai - great Sunday breakfasts with hash browns & pancakes & aloo parathas, Happy Hour discounts when you buy anything and get anything of equal value free and filling executive lunch combos (world street food platter)...and above all WiFi. Charlie’s resto cafe is a place designed after his heart with facilities after his wants! Since the inception in May 2012, Spoonbill has made more than 1600 new Facebook friends and got good reviews from Times of India, New Indian Express, Redefining Times, Burrp,Trip Advisor, NDTV Hindu and to top it all, Spoonbill was chosen by India Today (July 2012 edition) in their list of top 9 restaurant picks in Chennai.
























Pistachio – The Skinny Nut The key to weight loss is sensible snacking. If you want to win the battle of the bulge you have to be careful about the things you eat. Yes, it is that simple. After all, we are what we eat. In that light, a new research from Agricultural Research Service found that eating pistachios to lose weight may have benefits. The research found that we don’t absorb all the fat in these salty nuts. Some of the fat is excreted by the intestines without being used as energy or stored as a layer of fat around your waistline. This means that we get fewer calories than the stated amount. About 50 pistachios provide 160 calories. This makes for a great snack that is well below the 200 calorie mark that is usually advised for a snack. Now, isn’t that nuts? How can it help with weight loss? 1. Nuts, such as pistachios, provide insoluble fiber. This type of fiber takes a while for you to chew, allowing your body to register that it is full early on during your snack or meal. 2. Choose in-shell pistachios instead of those already shelled. They take longer to eat, slowing consumption time. Eat Right. Lose Weight!







Tips for tasty raitas It is our tradition to serve raita or thayir pachadi in the beginning when lunch is served on any occasion. These tips are for curd based raitas. Always use fresh, thick curds, lightly beaten. Some of the fresh vegetables used for raita are, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, chopped onions, finely shredded cabbage etc. Some of the cooked vegetables used are, boiled & lightly mashed palak, well roasted slices of ladies’ fingers, roasted, peeled & mashed brinjal, lightly fried capsicum pieces, snakegourd slices, boiled small pieces of white ashgourd, boiled & grated beetroot, boiled & lightly mashed potatoes, chopped &boiled banana stem to mention a few. There are some raitas with coconut base, like, coconut+coriander leaves,green chillies etc. Besides all the above , there are raitas made with dhals –dangar, nethukkottumavu pachadi & melkootumavu pachadi- which come in very handy, for an emergency, when you run short of vegetables. Salted amlas, salted mangoes are also ground with coconut for raitas in Kerala. A delightful variation is boondi raita – add crisp boondis to curd raita just before serving & for an eye catching effect & taste, add bright red soft pomegranate seeds & sprinkle chopped coriander leaves. It looks very attractive! For most of the raitas, a pinch of black salt can be added for an interesting taste. Roasted & powdered jeera can also be sprinkled for a variation. All fresh fruits, either singly or in combination can be used.


When you are serving raita for a party, add equal amounts of curds & fresh cream – the taste is unbelievably good, as served in 5-star hotels! For that keep the curds in a curd strainer in the fridge for 2 hours, so that excess water drains off or tie curds in a muslin cloth and hang it for water to drain. To the strained curds, add peeled oranges to serve an unusual orange raita. In corn season, add boiled corn cornels to any raita for a different taste. Always add a little sugar to any raita to enhance the taste. Serve raita well chilled. You can add finely chopped dates or soaked raisins to cucumber raita. Roasted & coarsely powdered peanuts sprinkled before serving gives a crunchy taste. Bright red chilli powder can be sieved on top for a beautiful effect and for that serve raita in a shallow, wide based bowl. Make your special raita by mixing strained curds, fresh cream, chopped fresh fruits of your choice and a few dry fruits (soaked well for 2-3 hours) and nuts! Add only sugar & salt. Besides South Indian food, raita is an excellent accompaniment to stuffed parathas, along with dhal and vegetable. So, dress up the modest humble raita in “designer clothes” and impress your guests! Here is the photo of a raita which I made recently for a get-together.



Indian Cuisine – A Primer by Rama Krishnan

Before we delve into the intricacies of regional and ethnic cuisines, let me share the key

Beef & Pork: The Hindus revere the cow and Muslims abhor the pig. So

building blocks of Indian cuisine as a whole. All the cuisines we will discuss in the next

Beef and Pork are used only in a few regions like Kerala (due to the Arab

few weeks will fit into this general framework - more or less!

muslim influence), Goa (due to the Portuguese influence) and North East

Key Ingredients

( due to the south east Asian influence).

Any cuisine evolves around locally available ingredients. The bulk of Indian cuisine is built on

Ayurveda still influences Indian cuisine and is responsible for the Indian

wheat, rice, a handful of spices, vegetables & meat that were available locally. Over time, Indian

belief in foods that heat up or cool down the body.

cuisine accepted new cereals, vegetables, meat and spices from all over the world, gleefully incorporating them into its cuisine.

Fasting Rituals have led to the development of numerous variants of standard cuisines. In general, what is commonly used is avoided during

Religious beliefs

fasts. The staples (rice, wheat) are avoided and millets / amaranth seeds

Jain/ Buddhist philosophies of ahimsa ( non – violence) was embraced by Hinduism and is

/ tuber flours / fruits / milk are consumed. Cooked food / leftover food

responsible for India’s widespread vegetarianism. Many Indians who eat meat, still feel guilty

is avoided.

about doing so and avoid it on religious occasions. Meat is usually not a part of Hindu marriage celebrations / religious feasts.

External influences The Moguls brought in paneer, the tandoor, the technique of slow

Brahmins believe in contamination by the touch of unwashed garments, cooked food and saliva.

cooking in sealed clay pots (dum), the use of milk ,cream , dry fruits

In the pre refrigeration days, these rules ensured food safety. In accordance with these beliefs, in

and nuts in curries, and a variety of Biriyanis and Pulaos.

millions of homes, food is cooked & eaten only after a bath, leftoverfood is not stored, disposable

The Portuguese brought in tomatoes, chilies, potato, various fruits, and

leaves are preferred to plates and water is not sipped from glasses, but poured into the mouth.

the use of vinegar in curries. Contact with China probably gave us stir

Strong spices, onion & garlic were believed to stimulate baser emotions and are avoided in Brahmin

fries and the use of sweet and sour dishes.South east Asia gave us the

/ Temple cuisines and in many orthodox households.

technique of steaming. The English left us with a love for tea, coffee, ketchup and sandwiches.



The Base

barbecuing are also uncommon as only a tiny minority own an oven or

North Indian cuisine is built around wheat, lentils & dairy products. South Indian cuisine is built

a barbecue. Fancy French cooking techniques ( bain marie, sous vide,

around rice, lentils, tamarind, yogurt & coconut. Onions & tomatoes are used across India as a

shirring etc ) are almost never used.

curry base. Staples Boiled rice, thin flatbreads and cooked lentils are what most Flavouring

of India lives on. Chappatis(in north India) &. Boiled rice (in south India

Indian cuisine relies on just a handful of spices and herbs for flavouring its daily meal.

& Bengal) eaten thrice a day with a variety of curries is the daily meal of

Coriander seeds, cumin, chili, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cilantro & mint are widely used across

most of Indians, Millets supplement wheat & rice in rural areas. Learn

thecountry. In addition, asafetida, mustard, & curry leaves are popular in the south. Garam

to make flatbreads,learn to cook rice and lentils – and you can feed an

masala, a powdered mix of various spices is the most popular north Indian spice mix, as is

Indian for life.

Sambar powder ( a mix of coriander and dry red chilies with other spices) in the south. A variety of fats used across the country impart different flavours. Sesame oil is preferred in

Equipment needed

Tamilnadu, Coconut oil in Kerala and the west coast, Mustard oil in Bihar, Bengal Orissa and

Indian cuisine needs no fancy equipment. A skillet (flat pan), a wok,

Kashmir, & Peanut oil across north India. Ghee and refined vegetable oils are commonly used

a ladle and a spatula are all you need to cook most Indian recipes.

across the country.

A pressure cooker makes cooking fast and fool proof , a microwave helps in precooking vegetables, reheating rice, chappatis & curries. A


blender / mixie comes in handy too.

Hundreds of fresh vegetables, dozens of edible greens, scores of fresh and dried lentils, sun dried vegetables, sun dried lentil / cereal paste, paneer, eggs, chicken, mutton, fish, seafood,


a huge variety of regional specialties like banana stem, neem flowers, bamboo shoots,

Food is eaten with fingers of the right hand. The left hand is considered

colocasia leaves, baby jack fruit, jack fruit seeds, lotus stems etc are all cooked into delicious

unclean and is not used to handle food. In north India, the flatbreads


are torn, dunked into curries and eaten. In south india a variety of curries are poured over cooked, hot rice, mixed and eaten. In many

Cooking Techniques

homes, food is served over a banana leaf or plate placed on the floor.

Stir frying, boiling, stewing, simmering, deep frying, tempering, & pickling are all commonly

Food is usually not shared (apart from close family). The only drink

used. Steaming is popular in certain regions. Baking was never popular (probably due to the

that accompanies food is a glass of water. Alcohol is never served

excessive use of fuel) and fermenting was not understood ( probably due to the high heat).

with food. A round stainless steel plate with small cups to hold curries

So India has no leavened bread making / cheese/ wine making tradition. Grilling, roasting,

remains the most popular way of serving food.

27 Weekly | CHENNAI SPICE | MARCH 29th 2013



March 29th - APRIL 5th - 2013

by Tarot Reader Pinky Aries


Arians you are not sleeping properly and this will spoil your

Not a very favourable week for you, too many expenses on

health. Work front things are good and in your control

medical front and also on home needs this week. You feel

completely and going smoothly this week as you plan. Too

tied and irritated and don’t know how to go ahead in life.

many works and responsibilities at home too but you are

Don’t be judgemental about people and situations this week

more than happy to handle it. First try to sleep properly.

as you may end up judging things wrongly. Spend more time on meditation or something you like.

Taurus Taurians this week heartbreak is on the cards so beware and don’t get into emotional trap. At work you are fighting to put your view points at front and you feel stressed out but keep fighting and other things will fall in place. Try to divert in meditation or something you like and don’t get into other

Leo Good week ahead for you leo. Expenses are indicated too, you will spend on something you want for yourself. Income and expense both in store for you. You will be very sad and low emotionally this week as things at personal level are not as expected other wise a good week ahead.

peoples work.




Gemini’s a very lovely week ahead. You have many things

Balanced week virgos. Some need to make some important

in store for you at home and office too many things to finish

decisions this week just decide and go as your heart says

and work at. Focus is also on financial issues too. You will

and you will be happy in taking the right decision. Things at

get help from your friends of the opposite sex and you will

home are good, you will spend time with family and loved

get it when you need the most. Many are going to make new

ones more this week and be merry. Financial a very tight

friends this week.

week so plan your week accordingly.

+91 91762 31990

28 Weekly | CHENNAI SPICE | MARCH 29th 2013



March 29th - APRIL 5th - 2013

by Tarot Reader Pinky Libra


Librans a lovely week ahead and you are in full control of

A lovely week ahead and you will be full of vigor and energy

your home and office. You will be able to handle all your

this week. Things at work are very prospering and bright and

works and responsibilities both at home and office as you

progressing this week. Things at home are also very good

planned. You will happy and satisfied with what is happening

and family members understand you and you will spend

this week and things are good.

time with your special ones and be happy.



Scorpians a routine week for you on the store. Focus is only

A good week ahead, things are smooth at work but don’t

on earning money and concentrating on work. Beware as

judge things on your own views try to scrutinise things and

you may have people at work who don’t like you and try to

work accordingly. You are on a two way path not knowing

spoil your name. Don’t lose your temper just ignore them.

which one to take just have faith in your god and you will

Things at home are smooth which is keeping you focused

take the right path. Things are in your control at home and

at work.




A week of chaos and confusions this week saggis. You are

Not a very good week ahead, you will be heart broken and

fighting for projects and business to come. But you are a

hurt with things happening around you. Too much travel in

fighter and you will handle it very perfectly. You will meet new

store for you this week and if any of you are applying for

friends and also have a very nice time with your special ones

abroad than this is the right week and some will get good

this week. Finances are not so good so plan your budgets.

news too. You would like to be left alone this week and spend time alone so try meditating and relaxing.


+91 91762 31990



Chennai’s latest Croma store brings your favourite gadgets even closer 5th store launched at Phoenix Market City Chennaites can now shop for the latest gadgets and electronics at the all new Croma store located at Phoenix Market City. Croma, the multi-brand consumer durables and electronics chain from the House of Tata’s, unveiled its 5th store in Chennai on 14th March taking the total count of Croma stores across India to 92. Spread over 6500 sq. feet, the swanky new Croma store is every shopper’s delight. Consumers can choose from a variety of electronic devices and accessories. The selection includes laptops, cell phones, PDAs, CD & DVD players, MP3 players, cameras. There is a separate section on entertainment, including LCD panels, gaming consoles, remote controlled cars, DVD’s and VCD’s. Offering consumers an excellent choice of over 6000 products with a wide range of domestic and international brands, the new Croma store is a techie’s heaven. With categories like Home Entertainment, Small Appliances, White Goods, Computers and Peripherals, Communication, Music, Imaging and Gaming software each of the Croma store promises to deliver the widest choice of products. Check out the new store at Phoenix Market city, 1st Floor, No: 142, Velachery Main Road, Velachery, Chennai – 600042.



Levantine Lounge at Kefi Taj Club House Kefi, the Mediterranean specialty restaurant at Taj Club House, with its romantic ambience and authentic Mediterranean food makes for a truly magical evening! To add a dash of excitement to the dining experience, Kefi presents Levantine Lounge on Wednesdays amidst beautiful alfresco ambience, lounge seating and a blend of Mediterranean music. The amazing Levantine menu, specially crafted by Executive Chef Mohamed Siddiq, together with the finest of domestic and international beverages makes for a memorable evening to kick off the mid-week blues. This rejuvenation Lounge dinner allows guests to unwind and enjoy the flavours of the Levant, known in Arabic as the Bilad ash-Sham. At Kefi, guests are treated to exotic fare that includes an Anatolia and Moorish buffet spread under a star-lit sky comprising a wide variety of salads, Mezze, a seafood and crustacean bar with live Charcoal grilling, meat and seafood kebabs cooked live from the smoky charcoal grills in the alfresco area and various other live counters. Soak in the city’s skyline as you indulge in fresh, exotic Mediterranean specialties, and main course ordered from the menu. No meal is complete without a generous helping of rich desserts of the region. Levantine Lounge at Kefi Every Wednesday from 7.30 pm to 11.30 pm Price: Rs 999 + tax per person including a glass of beer / wine Seating: Alfresco and Pool Side Seating Only For more details and reservations contact +91 44 6631 3131



did you know?


as Appar (‘Father’) was one of the earliest Saivite Tamil poet-saints. He was an older


contemporary of Sambandar. His birth-name was Marulneekkiyar. Thiru Jnana Sambandar on

Tirunavukkarasar (meaning King of the Tongue or Lord of Language), also known

his meeting Tirunavukkarasu , addressed him as Appar (meaning father), and since then the name has stayed on. Appar was born in the middle of 7th century in Tirumavur, Tamil Nadu, his childhood name for Marulneekiar. His sister, Thilagavathiar was betrothed to a military commander who died in action. When his sister was about to end her life, he pleaded with her not to leave him alone in the world. She decided to lead an aesthetic life and bring up her only brother. He is regarded as a divine arrival of saint Vageesar who was a great devotee of Lord shiva. As a boy , Appar was very much interested in Jainism and started studying its scriptures. Appar had travelled to Patalipura in Bihar to join a Jain monastery where he was given the name Dharmasena. Seeing the transient, ephemeral world he decided to probe into truth

The Academy of Indian Music & Arts

through renunciation. After a while, afflicted by a painful illness, Dharmasena returned home.

(AIMA),founded in 1984 by the legendary

He prayed for relief at the Siva temple where his sister served and was cured. This was also

musician Padma Bhushan

the period of resurrection of the smaller Shiva temples. Appar sanctified all these temples by

Dr. T.V. Gopalakrishnan and is registered

his verses and was also involved in cleaning of the dilapidated temples called Uzhavarapadai.

Charitable Trust. Starting off with humble

He was called Tirunavukkarasu, meaning the “King of divine speech”. He extolled Siva in

beginnings, it has enabled its students to grow holistically.

49,000 stanzas out of which 3130 are now available and compiled in Tirumurais . All the songs in the Tevaram (called pathikam,) are believed to be in sets of ten. The hymns were

46, Al Khauser, First Floor, 4th Main Road,

set to music denoted by Panns(ragam) and are part of the canon of the Tamil music. They

Gandhinagar, Adyar, Chennai,

continue to be part of temple liturgy today

Tamil Nadu 600020 FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: +91 44 24466678 / +91 8754402523

He attained Mukti, in Sadya Nakshtra in the Tamil month of Chithirai at Tiru Pugalur Siva temple at the age of 81.

Picture Courtesy:





QUIZ 0006



Email the answers to The winner will be announced in the next issue. Across


3. Villupaattu is a folk art form of this state.

Basic & Advanced

5. The style of music Rabindranath tagore created is called this.


9. The national song Vande Mataram is in this rag.

Basic & Advanced

10. The 5th note of an octave is called this in Sanksrit

46, Al Khauser, First Floor, 4th Main Road, Gandhinagar, Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600020 FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: +91 44 24466678 / +91 8754402523

7. The film in which M.S.Subbulakshmi acted. 8. The musical notes are called this in Sanskrit

The winner of Down the cross word 3. Villupaattu is a folk art form of this state. 1. U.Srinivas is a famous exponent of this instrument. 5. The style of music Rabindranath tagorepuzzle created is 2. the tamizh thaai vaazhthu Neerarum kadaludutha was will get called this. written by this person. aDown surprise gift 7. The film in which M.S.Subbulakshmi acted. 4. is a famous folk art form of Karnataka Across 8. The musical notes are called this in Sanskrit 6. A composer who sang in praise of his favourite deity 3. Villupaattu is a folk art form of this state. 1. U.Srinivas of this instrument. from a famous exponent Across

Lord Venkateswara. 9. The national song Vande Mataram is in this rag. 5. The style of music Rabindranath tagore created is 2. the tamizh thaai vaazhthu Neerarum kadaludutha was called this. written by this person. 10. The 5th note of an octave is called this in Sanksrit

7. The film in which M.S.Subbulakshmi acted.

4. is a famous folk art form of Karnataka



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Chennai Spice | March 23rd Release  

Chennai Spice is our very own weekly newsletter about Chennai and thereabouts, that celebrates Chennai and all it's spice. Subscribe just by...