Saturday, June 23, 2018

LOV, Montreal - A culinary delight

A delicate, delightful food fare with a definite conscience, a chic place what is called  Lov Montreal.
A vegan plant-based homey affair with a twist of creativity, culinary brilliance acute interior, terrarium, hanging swing chair LOV instantly cuts a pretty picture.

Beginning with A French onion soup piping hot cheese drizzling on the top was a delicious sight even before tasting it. A warm treat for a cold Montreal night. A gooey cheese in the soup in every spoon makes you take spoon after spoon.

Then we had assorted appetizer the Mediterranean inspired plater was applause with an array of colors and flavor. Delicate avocado puree, Creamy beetroot hummus olives with oil, vegan mayonnaise loved the silky texture also came with multigrain bread.

Then I had coconut curry with  Coconut Curry-Bed of basmati rice, squash, kale, carrot and crispy cashew with a hint of lime. A must try and most comforting of all with a delectable taste. A rich creamy, coconut curry and delicately cooked rice go well with carefully baked squash and freshness of kale and nutty cashew with a great crunch.

Then we had Mushroom Gnocchi  - sweet buckwheat potatoes gnocchi with hemp basil pesto, arugula, and almond parmesan. The savory and slippery gnocchi was right on the spot with basil pesto and authentic arugula and almond parmesan. I am not a vegan, but it was difficult for me to differentiate the taste between almond parmesan and regular parmesan. As the motto of Lov is food from local and less travel and the taste surely endorse that motto.

     Then we had Mushrooms Risotto -arborio rice oyster mushroom, cashew cream and almond parmesan. Warm Risotto with a tint of buttery flavor deliciously paired with moist mushroom and creamy cashew.

 And we ended our day with vegan cheesecake. Rich nuts and dates based cake was scrumptious and garnished with berries.
 I am always intrigued by a restaurant like Lov who offers not just nutrient-dense food for your taste but food for your spirit as well. Whether you are vegan or vegetarian or not, you inevitably will fall in love with Lov.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

My favorite pieces of Assamese jewelry

My grandmother's thuria, age-old and heirloom jewelry, of course, not part-able 

      A piece of jewelry echoes a region's rich heritage, aesthetics and sensibilities and Assamese jewelry does not differ from that. A piece of jewelry not just enhances the wearer's beauty but identity as well.

      A land of flamboyant rivers engulfed in exotic flora and fauna, birds, musical instruments Assamese jewelry is highly inspired by that. Sharing a few assamese pieces of jewelry from my personal collection.

      An Assamese bride's dress up is incomplete without Assamese jewelry. Traditionally Assamese jewelry is purely handmade. The main frame is made out with 24-carat gold and lac is used as a filling material. Stones are studded on the top.  The creatively and meticulously studded stone craftsmanship resembles with pomegranate seeds. The color and texture of the stone are opulent and lurid just like pomegranate. Nowadays imitation Assamese jewelry are also found in silver with gold plating called Kesa Sun (raw gold). The main manufacturer of Assamese jewelry is divided typically in three reasons Jorhat, Nagaon, and Barpeta. Every reason's jewelry has its own specialty. Jorhat and Nagaon jewelry are more stone embedded and Barpeta jewelry is intricate gold work with just one stone or no stone.  Red is the predominant color in Assamese jewelry but the modern Assamese jewelry can be found in any color you want.

Thuria : A pair of stone studded earring a flower of the top and a cylindrical shape on bottom attach called it as old woman jewelry because you order to have a big hole to wear it.  Today modern thuria can be partable and you can easily wear it without a big hole or no need to grow old.

 Golpota: Assamese choker or golpota probably my favorite piece of assamese jewelry. Statement and elegant and totally worth it.

Bena : This piece of jewelry is very close to my heart. Got it from my parents during my wedding. A moon shape and sides are twisted yet again stone studded. The traditional version is red, this is more modern green in color.

Suna or Xuna : A statement Assamese earring with intricate gold work, a chain on the side, a red stone to enhance the beauty. Handmade pure gold manufactured in Barpeta and can be easily found in imitation as well.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Majuli - rhythmic rejuvenate retreat part 2

Cool things to do in Majuli

1. Satras - Visit the Satras and experience the socio-cultural institution of Assam and the institution of Art, Music and culture pioneer of the neo-vaishnavite movement and experience the abundant spirituality.

A. If you get a chance, enjoy Satriya dance in the Satras, the classical dance form of Assam.

B. Visit the award-winning mask making in Samaguri Satra where the mythological characters get alive in the hands of artists.

C. Visit the museum of Auniati Satra; however, you are not allowed to take pictures yet get mesmerized by a collection of art from the history.

2. Food - Majuli does not have typical restaurant cultural. Depending on where you stay, you will ultimately get a chance to indulge in local assamese cuisine. Mild yet delectably cooked assamese food.

3. Wear a Mekhla Chadar- It is not mandatory to wear the traditional outfit in Majuli.  When you visit Satras, you see most people in their traditional attire. You can enjoy wearing mekhela chadar and amalgamate with local people.

4. Nature - After all, Majuli is a natural enigma with numerous wetlands, an abundance of rare birds, blooming mustard fields, squeaky bridges and the tribal huts in the horizon. Personally, I enjoyed the sunset in Majuli. It's magical and ethereal how the sun sets the day in this mystical place with the golden glory.

5. Culture - Last but not the least experience the diverse culture. Majuli is a land of unity in diversity with different community like Mishing tribe, Kosari to Deori community.

6. ShoppingShopping in Majuli is entirely different experience than a typical touristy place, yet you have plenty of things to collect.
1. You can buy pottery and mask wholly different from a regular mask. It's associated with mythology.
2. Majuli is known for small handicrafts, to be precise a part of the population survive on a craft. You can buy handcrafted lamps, shoes, and bags, etc.
3. Unlike handcraft, handloom is also something that provides bread and butter to one of the population. Colorful and vivid designs are something you want to buy weather on a traditional Assamese mekhela chadar or scarf or vest etc all in the indigenous fabric.
4. I don't know whether you consider it on your shopping spree, but Majuli is undoubtedly one fertile land. Local grown veggies and fruits or locally produce oil or jaggery is something you can definitely considering to buy.

In the whirlpool of time, Majuli has not lost its aura and ethereal charm. Majuli is a true witness of human creativity and perseverance after many natural disasters,  yet it not only survives but crusades. Majuli is a spirit and a hope that nothing can take away. Do visit Majuli and lose yourself in the old world charm and yet find yourself again.

Majuli - rhythmic rejuvenate retreat part 1

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Invitation V, Montreal

Chic and charming and a few feet away from the Cathedral Invitation V was inviting at the first glace. Lots of natural elements and soothing decor with a little mix of modern contemporary interior, Invitation V was worth a visit.

   Inspired by global cuisine Invitation V's menu is raved up with locally grown food that is not only nutrient dense but also healthy and sustainable. Sassy Vegan Invitation V's service was quick and friendly, and we opted for a piping hot soup. We chose the soup of the moment, a french onion soup, caramelized onion on top and garnished with sunflower seeds. It was delectable thick yet right consistency. Then hubby opted for Quesadilla with Mexican sauce. I love the succulent taste of vegan cheese, and the salsa was quite refreshing.

   For the mains, I had ‘’Butter chicken’’ (Vegetables, fried tofu, and jasmine rice).  As an Indian origin, I have an apparent inclination for thick creamy butter chicken. Invitation V hooked me entirely with the vegan version of it. Love the silky curry with distinctive tomato flavor and delicately cooked on a bed of jasmine rice. My hubby had chickpeas burger that came with salad and fries. It was delicious with luscious garden fresh vegetables and golden crispy fries. When coming to price, it is on a little higher side so to match the high level they keep.

No meal would be complete without a sweet note. Here we had in invitation V vegan blueberry cheesecake and triple chocolate cake. Unlike all other entries, the healthy twist was evident in their desserts as well.  When great taste and nutrition meets it take food to another level. That's what we felt after visiting Invitation V. Succulent, sweet and a nutrient dense nutrient experience.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Easy breezy Indian summer outfit of the day

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” 
― John Keats

      This year in east cost winter was way too long. After feeling like a decade of hibernation, spring/summer finally arrives. When you step into something after long anticipation, it certainly feels precious.  Here we are not just enjoying the beautiful weather, but amping it up with summer fashion.

     Just the other day I visited a friend and wore this easy breezy suit. One might not like the fitting as it is little loose fitted. Sometimes I prefer easy breezy suit in summer days, it gives you more comfort than the fitted one.  A neon pink silk kurta which I team up with a neon green sharara and a parrot green banarasi georgette dupatta. For accessories, just a pair of earring and a cocktail ring. The colors were quite statemented so you really do not need many accessories. I wore this kurta several times with different sharara/salwar/skirt and dupatta. A solid color always gives you so much option to wear it in different ways as well with different looks. By the way, how do you like the earring? I love the contemporary twist on Indian design like camel and lotus. Let me know your thoughts. Have a great long weekend.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Montreal food indulgence and healthy choices part 3

      In our Montreal days, we used to wake up late and loved to have full power pack brunch to kick-start a power packed day. Then the copper brunch came across. The theme intrigued me. Plant-based, environment-friendly and nutrient dense food in a fast-paced setting is convenient in a modern day setting, whether you are visiting a place or in your regular lifestyle. In a casual setting, Copper brunch menu has global-inspired organic natural and gluten-free options including bowel, sandwich, wrap, soup and healthy dessert.

      I opted for Aristle -with non-GMO basil balsamic vinaigrette. Sweet potato, organic spinach hummus, bruschetta, black olives, lettuce, beets, carrot, broccoli, organic sprouted mung beans, spiced chickpeas, non-GMO hemp seeds. I love the whole combination of this bowel definitely innovative, super healthy and delicious with the array of colorful veggies. Yet, my minor grip was the food should look little fresher.

      For our kids, we opted for Southwest wrap scramble - Organic tofu scramble, mozzarella style shreds, lettuce, tomato, spicy South West sauce. It almost tasted like egg scramble, enticing and filling at the same time. Crunchy vegetable with tofu added mild favor ideal for tender taste buds.  Husband opted for Unity falafel wrap - organic spelled wrap, carrot keftedes, romaine lettuce, red cabbage, carrot, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, non-GMO aioli sauce. This is something you definitely need to try whenever you are in Copper brunch. Incredibly filling, flavourful and healthy at the same time.

      Wheather I am home or traveling my Indian spicy taste buds often crave for spicy food. When it came to drinks in Copper brunch, I opted for Smoothie Gandhi- Non-GMO spinach, organic turmeric, non-GMO pineapple, non-GMO banana, ginger, lime, organic orange juice. I have never come across something like this whether the name or the taste. Never knew the refreshing food, and a
hint of spices do such a wonder in your taste bud. A must try and get ready to tantalize your taste buds.

      When it comes to dessert, most people nowadays tend to let it go because of the sugar. What if your dessert is designed in a healthy twist with no compromise on taste. Yes, that's what I felt when I tried dessert in Copper brunch. I tried Cashew lime cheesecake - Raw cashews, freshly pressed limes, organic coconut, organic coconut milk, organic coconut oil, organic raw cane sugar, filtered water, dates, organic vanilla extract, natural sea salt, organic chlorophyll. A creamy, succulent taste in every bite. And then Chocolate zucchini brownie - Dairy free chocolate chips, cane juice, brown rice flour, zucchini, cocoa, Earth Balance buttery spread, organic soy milk, potato starch, non-GMO canola oil, organic flax seeds, non-GMO hemp seeds, tapioca syrup. That was my kids favorite whipped and moist brownie and quite filling and is shareable with two. . .

You can read part 2 here...

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Montreal Food- Indulgences and healthy choices part 2

      Your any food trip won't be complete without taking a coffee or tea break. Here you will enter 1930's housed in building Boulangerie, cozy yet quirky and has quite a bit to offer with coffee, croissants or a cake, artisan bread sandwiches and moreover, they use organic flour for everything.

      After sightseeing and visiting museums, we need a little rest that is not too long yet short enough to relax. And Boulangerie Pain à Tartine perfectly fits into that. A warm cup of coffee with pecan pie for me and a mango pie for the husband.

      A crunchy pecan pie was perfect in every nutty bite, and moist, flavorful mango pie was wholesome with crumbly delight of freshness.

These sweet and sinful treats are meant for indulging and unwinding. You might find these treats anywhere else, but the way they maintain the authenticity of the taste is quite amusing. I can assure you will not be disappointed here.

You can read part 1 here...