Photobucket had recently changed their policy and now all the images from my 650+ blog posts are disabled. I am slowly editing them by moving my images to my own server at AWS, but it will take time. In case there is a particular old post you want to see the images of, kindly drop me a mail at mizohican@gmail.com and I'll keep that at a high priority. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Chp 733. SCOOP launch


So the other day, SCOOP officially launched their brand of Pork and Red Meat pickles with much glitz and razzmatazz. I was one of the lucky ones to be invited for the private launch event held at Ales, Brews & Cider, Kalyani Nagar.


The pickles are homemade dry pickles made in Northeastern style (Ginger, Garlic, Naga King Chilli, Vinegar etc), so it is bloody tasty and quite spicy.

Even though the current product range covers only Pork and Red Meat for now, there are plans to expand their portfolio to Chicken, Bombay Duck, Bamboo Shoot, Dry Fish and Fermented Fish in the near future.


All of us received a free bottle of the pickle at the event, but many of us opened our bottles and munched on the delicious meat right there at the venue itself because it went so well with the alcohol (perfect seh-hmeh).


A few more photos of the glamorous invitees that night…




Yeah it was definitely a memorable night…


What made this event even more special was that it was also a combined birthday party of Kirripirri and Miss Jungio.


Cake cutting time!







By the way, because of the launch event and birthday events, the food and drinks were all free that night :D Yeah, my kinda partayy :P


Currently, SCOOP ships out around 100 bottles a week, based on the number of orders they receive in advance. They prepare the pickles during the weekends and ship them out on Mondays across Pune, with free home delivery charge.

In addition to the Red Meat and Pork pickles mentioned above, Dry Crispy Fish pickle is also available now for delivery from this week onwards.



To place your order, you can DM them on their Instagram account or comment on their Facebook page. The Pork pickle costs ₹ 300, Red Meat pickle costs ₹ 250 and the newly launched Dry Crispy Fish pickle is available at ₹ 200.

Trust me, there's something about these pickles that really attracts the ladies. It's not just the awesome taste, maybe it's also because of the class and packaging involved…




And speaking of packaging, there are plastic bottle options for those of you outside Pune who wish to place an order.


SCOOP has so far delivered many outstation orders to Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Puducherry, Chennai, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Assam.

You just have to pay for shipping charges if your order is less than 5 bottles. Anything above 5 bottles is free shipping! Even if you order less than 5 bottles, the shipping charges come to less than ₹ 200. 

I have already started taking this bottle to office every day and eat it with my lunch order at our office cafeteria, and it is super yum!


So get in touch with SCOOP if you want to place your order too.

Until then, cheers everyone.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Chp 732. Mizo Greetings


Ok so here is something I've been thinking of for quite some time now, and I think a lot of you, including my close friends, are going to disagree with what I'm about to say. Feel free to disagree with me and give me your counter viewpoints, I like having a healthy discourse.

So, here's what's been on my mind for the past couple of months…

We know that one of the regularly discussed topics within our Mizo society is the way people greet each other back in Mizoram. There had been many blog posts and FB status updates written by various Mizos regarding this issue. The tone of such posts usually goes along the lines of this – 

What Normal People Say When They See Each Other After A Long Time:

- Hello, how have you been?
- Good morning. How you doing?
- Long time no see, what's going on with your life?
- Hi! Hope everything is fine with you.
- OMG, you look so good. How's so and so?

Meanwhile… What Mizos Say When They See Each Other After A Long Time:

- OMG, you've become so fat!
- Whoah, what the hell happened to you, you're skinny as bones!
- Hey, what is wrong with your skin? You have the cancer?
- Oho! Are you not sleeping well? You look so tired and ugly!
- Long time no see, are you still shy and single?

Ok so this is the topic I want to discuss…

Yes, it is only when we go back to Mizoram after staying outside for months or years that we experience this "culture shock" of meeting people we hardly know telling us right to our faces that we have gained a lot of weight or look malnourished.

And I totally understand the insensitivity of this issue, hence the reason why I know so many of my close friends complain and criticize about this. Even I think it is quite rude, especially when that person is not somebody we know well.

But I started having this thought, you know, call it a devil's advocate opinion if you will…

So I've been hanging around with a lot of other Indians and foreigners. And we would talk and laugh and discuss various topics over a drink or two. And every time I, or some other Mizo in our group, tells them about our Mizo society, and how people are very frank and direct when greeting somebody they haven't seen in a while, our non-Mizo friends would express their astonishment in awe.

And here is where this thought struck me. This non-conforming realization that perhaps… perhaps this is what makes our community unique? This is what makes us special? This is what makes us Mizo?

Because from a political-correctness standpoint, we know those are not the things we should say to random people, unless they're like our relatives or BFFs. We can hurt other people's feeling in a lot of ways that we may not be aware of.

But having said that, if we dissect the scenario deeper… the one question we should ask ourselves is, does the person asking such a candid and "rude" question have malice in his/her heart? I think not. Because, that's just simply how our community has been rolling all these years. He or she definitely did not intend to hurt your feelings.

It also has to do with the fact that, even though that person may not be somebody close enough to intrude deep within your personal boundary, the Mizo bonhomie-ness kicks in, an intangible bond that binds all of us close to each other. A magnetic phenomenon that automatically makes us feel connected to each other.

The more I think about this, the more I actually look forward now to returning home one day to the welcome chatters of "Dayymm Kima you so fat and ugly now" or "What happened to your hair, you look senile!" Because that will tell me that I have finally reached home, a place where you will never experience something like this elsewhere. Home. Home sweet home. My Mizoram.

And that is what I've been thinking of these days. Feel free to have your say on this topic.


[thanx for sending me this pic Didini Tochhawng]


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Chp 731. Grace Kitchen Other Pickles


As I mentioned in my previous post Grace's Kitchen Beef Pickle, Grace delivered the special order I requested - Eromba pickle and Ngari pickle last night!

It is a special order because she had made the pickles just for me. She only takes bulk orders like when there are around 50 people demanding Beef pickle, but in my case, it was just me. :)


Oh they were soooo good :)


So Ngari is basically dry Fermented Fish mixed in chutney and paste, so it has a pungent smell to the untrained nose. Eromba is mashed vegetables mixed with King Chilli and Fermented Fish.

I had them last night with Ghee Rice, Fried Mustard leaves and Fried Fish.


The fried fish in particular is called Nghachik, a river fish from Mizoram, and they all combined to give an amazing flavor.

Yummmm.


Bon Appetit everyone! :)




Monday, October 29, 2018

Chp 730. Grace's Kitchen Meat Pickle


This is an advert update. Not that I'm getting paid for it, but those of you who follow my blog posts will know that I like to advertise stuff my friends make, free of cost.

So there is this awesome lady from Nagaland called Grace who had set up her own business here in Pune. Grace's Kitchen is the name of her label, and she makes this kickass Beef pickles from home.

I decided to give her pickles a try and placed an order. Since my office was close to her house, she personally came to my office to deliver the goodies.


At 130 bucks a bottle, it was an amazing deal. The "Naga King Chillies Meat Pickle" was prepared from Beef and super spicy King Chillies so the spice level was bloody awesome. Apart from having it with food, it was also excellent as a "seh-hmeh" for alcohol :D :P

Grace used vinegar and mustard oil as natural preservatives, so the pickles could be stored for around 3 months if refrigerated. But of course, 3 months storage, lolz, who am I kidding, I was finishing one bottle a day, lolz.

The pickle went perfectly well with normal dal-chawal and Rajma meal (Oye Kiddan)


It was also a match made in Heaven with Veechu Parottas and Egg curry (Tamil Nadu Mess)


With buttery Alu paranthas and Omlette (Faasos)


With Mustard buttered Kasundi Sticky Rice and Guwahati Gateway Pork (Mineority by Saby)


With Lachcha parathas, Paneer Masala and Scrambled Eggs (Eatsome)


With Meat Feast Pizza (Smokin' Joe's)


With Steamed and Roasted Corns (Corn Club)


With Chicken Biryani and Roti (Hyderabad Biryani House)


One weekend, my nephew Ruatfela came over and we cooked lunch together at my house.


The Beef pickles went really well with the grand lunch we cooked.


Speaking of homecooked meals, the pickle also went well with very simple homecooked meal I made - Plain rice with Ghee and Scrambled Eggs. Yummmm. Such a simplistic and yet so satisfying bachelor dinner.


Like I mentioned earlier, the pickle also went well with alcohol :D Just take a bit while sipping Captain Morgan Rum or munch them while downing a cold pint of IPA. Really awesome :)


Also, these amazing combos with food and beef pickle is not just restricted to my house, I also take these Beef pickles every day to office. Here are some of the awesome combos.

With Egg and Veg Thali (Dino & Duggy's)


With Curd Rice and Egg Roast (Chopsticks Spice Malabar)


With Malabar Parotta, Korma and Medu Vada (Madras Coffee House)


With Ghee Rice and Naga Pork Curry (Elephant & Co)


With Kothu Parotta and Egg Curry (Kerala Cafe)


With Khara Pongal, Ghee Idli and Medu Vada (Anna Idli)


After all those awesome combos, the pickles vanished within a week!

And so I placed my next order from Grace again :D

As usual, she came to my office to deliver the products. This time my order was a bit bigger than the first one :D


The order was bigger because a lot of my colleagues from office and friends from WhatsApp who follow my story updates placed an order too. It was just too good.

And with that, the combo fusion continued…

With Chilli Podi Idli and Medu Vada (Madras Coffee House)


With Fried Chicken Bucket (KFC)


The pickles also went so well with Sawhchiar (home-made Mizo Chicken Stew). Yes I went all the way to Undri with my Naga King Chillies Beef pickles just to have it with Sawhchiar :D


And so, those are the amazing combos so far.

You can reach Grace at +91 8830956579

Today she is coming to my office again to deliver Eromba and Ngari Pickles I had specially ordered from her, and she will be making her next batch of Naga King Chillies Beef Pickles tonight, so if you are around Pune, message her on the above number to place your order.

I will give my feedback on the other pickles soon.

Also coming up is a review on SCOOP pickles, so watch this space for more.

Until then, cheers everyone!




Saturday, October 27, 2018

Chp 729. Lost in Timeline

And suddenly
there she appeared

at the far corner of my 42 inch monitor screen

sandwiched between unsolicited ads and unnecessary notifications

a shining beacon amongst the multitude of information overload

"People You May Know" was her label

I may know?

sorry, I not may

but I sure would love to may!

165 mutual friends between us

half of whom I don't even know

her smile was like the forbidden fruit from the garden of Eden

a calm amidst a stormy turmoil

captivating me, keeping me enchanted

And then I refreshed my Facebook timeline...

*poof*

just like that, she was gone with the wind, never appearing on my timeline again, no matter how many times I pressed the back button

oooh fortune's fool, thou hath picked yet another victim tonight



Friday, October 26, 2018

Chp 728. Sisters' visit!


Last month, my dear sisters Mazami and Dinpuii visited me for the weekend, and it was an extremely memorable moment. As I had been so busy with work, I did not have the time to go home to Mizoram since my previous vacation last year.

I do have a lot of leaves left (every year I waste around 10-15 days of leaves that could not be carried over), but the problem with my situation is that, I can take a lot of 1-week leaves throughout the year, but taking even one 2-weeks leave is difficult, as the whole project gets affected. And there really is not much point going to Mizoram for just a week, especially when 2-3 days are spent on travelling alone.

And so my considerate sisters flew to Pune from Mizoram and Malaysia to spend some good sibling quality time with their one and only golden brother. :D


My sister Dinpuii from Mizoram was the first to land in Pune, and I went and picked her up from the airport. Two hours later, I went and picked up my sister Mazami and her husband Nick from the airport again. One of the perks of living in Koregaon Park is that the airport is just 15 minutes away.

Dinpuii got for me a packet of dried bamboo shoots from Mizoram…


While Mazami got for me awesome packaged food products from Malaysia which we don't get here in India…


Including an authentic Arsenal 2018-19 jersey! :)


We had a ball that night, catching up with our lives and drinking merry. My brother-in-law Nick slept on the bed while the three of us slept on the mattresses on the floor. It was just like old times back in the 80's when we would all sleep together in one room. Such memories.

The next day, it was time to stock up for their stay duration :)



Day 1. Early morning selfies at my apartment…


I took them to Effingut Brewerkz for brunch once we had all freshened up, and it is my favorite microbrewery because it is not just 10 minutes walking distance from my apartment but they also have a large range of craft beers at affordable rate. We tried out all their free samples before deciding which one to have each…


Later, we moved on to starters and other cocktails. The starters were good, as we moved from classic house Fries to Jalapeño cheese poppers and Nachos with Salsa baked beans.




My usual Bloody Mary :)


The four of us enjoying…


For the main course, we tried out their cheesy Pasta Alfredo…


Skewered Lamb sheekh kebab spiced with fresh herbs. Yumm.


My sisters ordered light though… Tequila Lime and Thyme Prawns.


Oriental style BBQ Chicken Wings served with Iceberg lettuce…


As for me, for my main course, I went for the Pork Ribs, and it was absolutely dillu, as it was slowly cooked in honey glaze.


Once we were done with the awesome brunch, I took them for a short promenade across KP lane 6 and lane 5. We stopped at Nature's Basket to buy some stuff to cook at home. Bought a couple of good wine and IPA beer too.


On our way back home, I suggested that we stop at another favorite place of mine - Indigo Delicatessen. Hehe our family never says no to food and drinks :D

And so there we were, "chain-eating". Indigo had an excellent 2+1 offer on Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, so we went for that immediately :)


We also had a few more light snacks :D





One more group photo of us at Indigo Delicatessen.


We went home and had a nice afternoon siesta. For dinner, I just had simple fried rice, with Fermented Soyabeans and Roasted Mizo Chillies.


We watched a couple of TV shows that night, including the first season of "Bodyguard" starring Richard Madden (Robb Stark of GoT and Cosimo of Medici) and it was bloody awesome.

Day 2. We started the day with home cooked breakfast – Mushroom Ham Omelette with Cheese Toast. It took away some of the hangover…



After that, we were off to Phoenix Mall.



Yeah this was the non glamorous part of their visit. My sisters shopped and shopped and shopped. I just tagged along, following them like a well trained chimpanzee. They bought this and that and this and that, and spent hours at a boutique without buying anything, or spent a few minutes at another place while buying in bulk. Ahhh the travesty.

Finally I did break away from their group and treated myself to a nice cup of Cold Coffee…


Peace… :)

Later, once we were all done shopping, we finally headed to The Irish House on the second floor and relaxed to a few dwinks. After a pitcher of Bira IPA, I switched to a Twisted Old Fashioned. "Twisted" because they used bourbon instead of whisky, and it was good.


After that, it was my usual Bloody Mary again :)


Group pic after a fruitful shopping session.


And then it was back to experimenting with different food from their menu… we tried out stuff like the Jalapeño corn and cheese fritters…


House onion rings…


Angry Bird Fry…


Minced meat and egg fries….


Grilled fish in Portofino sauce. This sauce was sooooo awesome!!!


And of course, their signature Irish Fish and Chips. Yummmm.


We went straight home after that eventful day.

Back at home, we relaxed a bit and then got ready for dinner.


I took them to this awesome place which is right below my apartment - Arthur's Theme.


My sisters accused me of being lazy because whenever my mom and other relatives visited me, I always take them to this place for dinner since it is in the same building as my apartment. But seriously, no, I would have taken them here even if it is miles away because the food is really really good.

I started the night with my usual Bloody Mary :)


After that I switched to a Mojito and Minestrone soup for starters.


We also had a pitcher of Sangria, which served four glasses exactly.


Cheers!


Our family pic.


With my dear sister Dinpuii.


After that, it was time to eat. Yeahhh.

The "Baldred" - Strips of carabeef tenderloin sautéed in garlic butter with cherry tomatoes and gherkins.


The "Danielle" - Grilled steak tossed in herbs, served with an exclusive pepper sauce and accompanied with roast potatoes.


The "Konrad I" - Chunk of Salmon cooked in Cajun with mustard paste and cheese finished off in an oven, served with seamed vegetables.


The "Eugine" - Grilled Prawns tossed with lettuce and sauce Napolitaine.


The "Lady Jennifer" - Char grilled butterfly Prawns topped with lemon butter sauce and served with mashed potatoes.


Like I said, I love the place not because it is below my apartment but because of the awesome food. Now you know :)

It took us 5 minutes to get back to my apartment upstairs and we ended the night with a couple of Bira cans.

Day 3. On the third day, we had very light homecooked breakfast because there was one thing we had been planning to do for a long time - to go to "Mineority by Saby" and drink their "Three Drunk Sisters" cocktail! :D


Ever since I blogged about this unique drink during my visit to this fine-dining restobar, my sisters made it a point to try it out one day. And finally that day had arrived. It's just a bit sad that my eldest sister Lapuii wasn't there, otherwise it would have been the perfect "Three Drunk Sisters".

And so there we were at Mineority. We immediately ordered four glasses of "Three Drunk Sisters" :D


Group pic.


The Grilled Chicken bucket was scrumptious too.


They also served us complimentary Bhel with Tamarind sauce. It reminded us so much of our Calcutta hostel days (my sisters were in La Martiniere while I was in St. Thomas).


Their bar menu was truly impressive…




We decided to try them all, lolzzzz….

The "Chotanagpur Toddi" - Gold Rum, Orange liqueur, fresh sweet lime juice, Palm jaggery, Apple juice, Tamarind and Beer foam to top-up.


The "Bend It Like Baichung" - Gin, White wine, Red wine, Old Monk rum and Palm jaggery shaken inside a football :D


The "Rat-Hole Mines" - Vodka, Tamarind, Red Chilli, Lemonade, Mint and Black salt rim, with the "Orange Till I Die" - Vodka with freshly muddled Kinnow orange, Blood orange syrup and fresh Mint.


For food, we ordered a few more starters, like the "Kolkata Club Paneer".


Our main course consisted of "Dehati Mutton Curry" with Buttered Kasundi sticky rice…


"Shillong Evergreen Chicken", again accompanied by mouth-watering Kasundi rice…


And "Chingri Malai Curry". So goooooddd…


We ended out fantabulous experience at Mineority with two desserts - "Cinnamon Churros in Toffee Sauce" and "Miner's Devil Cake".


We ate and drank so much that even the Chef came out to greet us :D

Once we were done, we headed out to Nitesh Hub because my sister Mazami wanted these special soaps that were apparently available only at this shop called "Nyassa Store". We roamed around the entire mall but couldn't find the shop, lolz, we even called their phone number from Google search but it wasn't active.

And so we finally headed home after that.

In the night, my sisters' two friends from their La Martiniere days came over to my apartment. Nobo and Patricia.

We all went out for dinner to "Sizzling China", which is again just walking distance from my house.


IMHO they have the best LIT in KP.


We ended up having at least 20 LITs that night, lolz. We also had some food… :D




And with that, the third day ended.

Day 4. This was detox day. Since they all had to go back that following night, we decided not to go out anywhere and instead relax at home and detox.

For brunch I ordered various South Indian dishes from "Madras Café".


And for early dinner, I ordered various authentic Bengali dishes from "Radhika".


We chilled at home and watched movies and other TV shows. Finally, I went and dropped Mazami and Nick at the airport around 10 PM and then I went and dropped Dinpuii again around 2 AM.


It was sad seeing them all leave, but at the same time I was really glad they visited me. It really refreshed me at work too, and looking forward to their visit again. To summarize my sisters' visit, it was a lot of sibling bonding time, along with lots of eating and more eating, lolz. Fun time indeed.

Cheers.