i2cook weekend learning session – “i2write”

i2cook believes in the growing entrepreneurial spirit that motivates several of us housewives, youngsters, jobless sabbaticals and start-ups to do what we do tirelessly. In relation to the struggle we faced while setting i2cook into a retail startup, we intend to make the path less thorny for others. Having said that, we will be calling on 2 hosts every month in an “i2” series, to help us in areas where they are adroit and can help us collaborate to improve our individual skills or just ideate better. Will you join us? You do not need any qualifications, just an intent to collaborate, learn, ideate and share.

Learning new technology and protocols is imperative though not always desirable; however, since we wished to learn from those who have traveled the road, we decided to learn the tricks of success from 2 hosts (every month) who have already comprehended the best practices and will help us in aiming with confidence for our desires!

We wish to extend our learning to others who are facing similar difficulties; hence we have decided to use our office space to help others learn and network with our two hosts along with us. If we see your interest we may further extend such sessions into the future with your help and help more entrepreneurs.

i2write – The skill to write is spelling actions into words. (sounds easier than it is?)

In this new age of writing, we are holding an event for aspiring writers who would like to learn about writing a book or just write for their business or just plain write. They are witty and intelligent women who have written award winning works and they have a wit and humour to match their intelligence!

Shakti

Introducing host #1 Shakti Salgaokar, Shakti Salgaokar is born in a family of writers. So it is hardly surprising what the Mass Media graduate wanted to do but one thing: write. This novel started as a term paper at university of Sussex, where she studied creative writing. It was seven years ago before reality shows became big.  Shakti has worked as a radio presenter, gossip columnist and was a journalist with DNA, writing features, food and restaurant reviews. She is also enjoying the joys of writing her second novel while exploring a new species called ‘husbands’. While cooking up stories is her favourite activity, she also spends time baking and cooking for friends.  Imperfect Mr. Right is her debut novel.. Imperfect Mr Right earned her first award Acharya Atre Foundation’s annual award for fiction writing. She is a Marathi Mulgi, bawibahu, mommy to a dog and two cats. Follow her blog and tweets @shaaqT.

About the book, Imperfect Mr. Right

Can an ordinary perfume salesman ever be a girls match? Avinash Menon head honcho of Cee TV, certainly thinks so. He sets out to make Rahul Rajgopal the man every woman desires to marry- rich, handsome and suave and launches him in a reality show. Enter Tanya Kher a pretty and talanted media planner, who participates in the show for lark. She isn’t really looking for Mr. Right or is she? Will Rahul loose his real identity as he slips effortlessly into the role of multi-millionaire Rajsingh Jaiswal? Will he find the girl of his dreams? And will Tanya rediscover the welter of emotions that she hides behind the mask of cold, ruthless efficiency?

Rushina

Introducing host #2 Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal, Rushina is a food blogger, gastronomy writer, food stylist, author and consultant. She started her food career as one of India’s pioneering food bloggers, with her popular blog A Perfect Bite.  She then went on to explore the world of food through a delicious career in food journalism. Rushina currently heads the firm A Perfect Bite® Consulting, and runs the extremely successful APB Cook Studio, India’s first state-of-the-art home-kitchen studio, in Mumbai. Follow her blog  and tweets @RushinaMG.

About the book, A Pinch of This, A Handful of That

Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal has recently launched a line of signature’Foodles’  ‘(Food+Doodles) and is all set to launch her first book this December. The book is a celebration her coming of age in the kitchen and the many culinary influences that have molded her into the cook she is now. Beginning with a memoir of her growing years and the early influences on her palate, it goes on to explore recipes she encountered from the various people she’s met in a food diary with lots of fabulous recipes and the stories behind them. It includes popular, lesser known dishes and her own creations that cross barriers of community and region to become part of the colourful whole that is Rushina’s kitchen.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: food aficionados, start-ups, entrepreneurs, writers, bloggers and journalists.

DATE: 28th September

TIME: 4pm onwards

WHERE: no.105, Building no. 5, Jogani Industrial Estate, Chunnabhatti, Sion east, Mumbai – 22. Call for directions 022- 24055308

ENTRY FEE: Free

RSVP: We appreciate if you could email us at i2cookn@gmail.com . Tea time snacks will be provided by us.

See you soon!

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Dum Pukht

There is a distinct difference between being ‘called’ and being ‘invited’.

The ITC Maratha – exudes a radiance of being an establishment that services opulence with a touch of royalty. One has to experience the subtle nature of minor acts that create the word “royalty” to completely comprehend its difference.

When the staff is able to mark a slight change in goblets that look alike, with only a few millimetres of height to mark them apart! or to have personalized menu cards. Service is a game to the staff at Dum Pukht at which they seem to be winners all the way.

Rushina from a perfect bite graciously invited Megha and me to a dinner at the ITC Maratha restaurant, Dum Pukht which has been recently renovated. A few hours later I received a personalized invite to which a confirmation was necessary to attend. At no point did Rini and Aishwaria (our hosts for the evening) allow us to believe that we were less than royalty.

Source: Saee Khoranne Khandekar

Image Courtesy: Saee Koranne Khandekar

Dum means to breathe in and Saee Koranne-Khandekar did exactly that when she saw the cutlery. Pukht means to cook, and this is done by trapping aromas and flavours by sealing the cooking utensils and ensuring slow cooking over a low flame. Dum pukht style of cooking is traced to Awadh in Lucknow, north India. Kurush and Rhea quite familiar with history and geography of Awadhi cuisine gave us quite an account of its history and corrugated by Rashmi Uday Singh, attribute it to a famine in Awadh that brought about this style of cooking!!

Our plates were decorated with Dum Pukht Kakori and Sheek Nilofari – Mix of puffed lotus seeds and lotus stem, falovoured with fresh herbs, mace and green cardamom, grilled on a skewer and sprinkled with aromatic masala. Sounds as delectable as it tasted. Nikhil Merchant kept clicking away with his DSLR at everything that swayed below the aromatic smoke. This was not an obsession with pictures but one that captured quite a culinary atmosphere.

 

shorbaThe nawaabi cuisine is exemplified in the entire menu from shorba, qorma, salan to biryani and meetha. It is quite a challenge to compete the menu. I recommend the Shorba, one spoon in and lift your head only once the plate is empty. While the Hyderabadi Biryani may have biased me against the Biryani, it is still a beautiful sight to watch the bubble of flour covering the biryani.

Sankarson Banerjee, more acquainted with north indian nawaabi cuisine points out the variety available with nawaabs when compared to the Nizams. We both agree that classical music cannot be a substitute for ghazals in Dum Pukht.

 

Image courtesy: Rhea Mitra Dalal

200 years of mastery in slow cooking can fill you up like the Bara Imambara without a resentment. Now all you need is a great dessert, but the desserts leave me wondering if the middle class exists? Either too sweet or hardly any – perhaps  meant for a more western dinner.

The joy of a great dinner comes with great company and intelligent conversation. Thanks Rushina, Rina and Aishwaria for organising a blessed evening.