Thursday 29 September 2016

Benarasi Shalu

Benarasi saree is a speciality saree made in Varanasi, popularly known as Benaras.
These sarees are considered one of the finest sarees of India and of late you will see a lot of Indian Fashion Designers like Sabyasachi Mukherjee using Benarasi silks in their collection.

Benaras is believed to have developed as a textile centre when it was the capital of Kashi, a kingdom whose prince was Siddhartha (Gautam Buddha).
During the famine of 1603, a lot of weavers from Gujarat were forced to migrate to Varanasi for survival and it is believed that brocade and silk embroidered fabric weaving started here somewhere in the 17th century.
This art of weaving Benarasi received maximum encouragement during the Mughal era, and hence we see a lot of Mughlai influence in the designs and patterns of a Benarasi sarees like florals and jaal.

The Maharashtrian variant of the Benarasi saree is called a Benarasi Shalu, and how it became popular in Maharashtra is quite interesting too. It is believed that the Peshwa of Pune had visited Varanasi during the reign of Shahu Maharaj, and discovered this saree. He brought this saree back home and handed it over to the Paithani weavers in Yeola and asked them to make something similar.
That is why the Benarasi Shalu bears resemblance to Paithani, since it was woven by Paithani Weavers.

Depending upon the intricacy, a Benarasi Shalu takes 15 days to a month to complete, and some may even take as long as six months to complete. And that is what makes these sarees special. They are hand woven and intricately made.

Last month I had the opportunity to adorn a Benarasi Shalu. It was my cousin's wedding and i knew I wanted to wear a Benarasi Shalu for the wedding.
But due to my travel plans I did not have time to shop and hence ended up borrowing one from my sister.
My sister's Benarasi Shalu has to be the most beautiful saree I have seen till date, and believe me when I say it, as I have seen quite a lot of sarees.
The fabric of this saree is thick, smooth and heavy. The brocade/zari is a dull gold shade and has the most beautiful motifs and patterns. I did feel like royalty while wearing this saree. Scroll down and see for yourself.

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Personalised Gifting with N's Creative Craft

One fine afternoon I received a message from my Blogger friend Nisha and she told that she had started her own venture where she makes personalized gifts. I had seen her sharing images on her FB profile and knew what she was referring to.
She said she wanted to make something for me and I was touched by her gesture.
She asked me my husband's name and mailing address and said I will soon receive a parcel from her.

I was really excited.
Exactly after 4 days, I received a courier .
And this is what I received.

A personalized photo frame with our names and.... owls!
Being a So-Saree regular, she knew I loved owls and that's why decided to use them on my frame. I was more than impressed by her work.

When I checked her FB page, I was pleasantly surprised to check out all the cool personalized stuff she had made. From name plates to fridge magnets to key chains, she makes everything with a personalized touch and lots of love.
Some of my favorites are....

Cool..Isn't it?
If you are looking for personalized gifts for your friends and family in the upcoming festive season or just want to spruce up your home decor, make sure you check out Nisha's FB page. She can customize your orders as per your liking and guidelines and deliver within a very short time.

Thursday 22 September 2016

Easy-Peasy Jain Recipe : Tomato Sabzi

Hi Everyone. 
After a series of outfit posts I am back with a recipe post.
I know its been ages since I posted one, but like I always say...Better late than never.

So today I am sharing a recipe that I completely vouch by whenever I am pressed for time.
Also, this recipe comes in handy when you have minimum ingredients in your refrigerator.
Though this recipe has Maharashtrian origin, I usually stir this one, when my Jain friends are stopping over for lunch, since it has all Jain-Approved ingredients.

Diced Tomotoes: 5-6
Green chillies, chopped: 1-2
Black mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (methi) 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 3-4
Peanut powder: 2 tbsp
Turmeric" 1 tsp
Salt, sugar - as per taste
Oil - 1-2 tbsp

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan.
Once the oil is hot, add fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds. Once they start to sputter, add curry leaves, turmeric and green chillies.
After some more spluttering, but before the ingredients start to burn add the diced tomatoes and stir.
Cover the pan with a lid and and cook the tomatoes on medium heat. Don't forget to pour some water on the lid, in order to avoid the ingredients in the pan from sticking to the vessel and burning.
Open the lid after some time and stir the tomatoes.
After around 10-12 minutes, when you feel the tomatoes have cooked, add salt and sugar and cook some more.
The consistency of the preparation will be a little runny. Now add the ground peanut powder.
Stir again and cover the lid for another 2-3 minutes.

Tadaaaa...Tomato Sabzi is ready.
The tomatoes give the preparation a tangy taste, the chillies the spice, the sugar the sweetness and methi seeds a slight bitterness. All in all, this one touches your taste buds at the right spots with just one bite.

Make sure you try this recipe at least once. I bet you wouldn't stop at one helping.
Tomatoes, Green Chillies
Mustard Seeds, Curry leaves, Fenugreek seeds

Oil+Mustard seeds+Curry Leaves+Chillies

Stir in Tomatoes

Runny Consistency of the Preparation

Add the Peanut Powder

And cook some more

Until we meet next time.

Monday 19 September 2016


The word inheritance has deep connotations as far as South Asian culture is concerned.
We, still believe in leaving behind a significant part of our wealth for our future generations. Contrary to other cultures where the older generation would much rather spend their savings on themselves in living a comfortable if not luxurious life.

I have problem with none.
People are free to do what they like, and that's how it should be.
But if you ask me what I would like to inherit from my parents, I have quite a long list.
Don't panic! 
I won't share every single detail of that list, but why not a few snippets.

From my Father...
I want to inherit his hair. HAIR??? You ask why?
Well the age of 65 he has a total of 20 grey hair on his crown.
He has never colored his hair and his hair is as voluminous and healthy as a 30 year old.
I really really wish he has passed this particular genes to me, coz believe me if I see a grey hair on my crown, I will really go crazy.
Another thing that I want to inherit is his punctuality and persistence.
For any meeting/event, my Dad will always make it 15 minutes before time. It doesn't really work out in his favor due to majority following the Indian Standard Time. (pun intended) But that still hasn't changed him.
And as far as persistence is concerned, if you see my Dad starting some activity or routine, say morning walk/yoga, he will never ever miss his routine come rain or shine.
If we does his yoga at 6 am every morning and on some particular day he has to leave home for some work at 5.30 am, instead of skipping his yoga routine for a day, he will make sure we wakes up at 4 am, do his yoga and then leave making sure he reaches wherever he wants to, before time. Phew..! Such commitment..I cannot see myself imbibing or inheriting at least in the next decade.

And far as as my Mom is concerned, I would have really loved to inherit her good looks, but since that seems to be a far etched dream, I would like to settle in for something more practical.
I want to inherit her cooking skills and finesse.
I am yet to meet someone who can cook food as delicious as she does.
Every time I visit my parents and spend a week/two with them, I pile on a few extra pounds which I take almost six months to lose. But can I say no to my Mom's Love. ;)
And last but not the least, I do want to inherit her quality to love and give unconditionally.
Quite a few people have taken undue advantage of this quality of hers, but there's no other way she can be.

This post turned longer than I had expected.

So let's quickly move on to the outfit pictures.

Outfit Details:
Dress: Ross
Heels: Payless
Jewellery: Borrowed from Sister

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Back to Basics

Basic Needs...

This quote instantly struck a chord with me.
Life is so simple.
We don't really need much to be happy. 

Since when did designer bags, fancy dinners, exotic holidays or even picture perfect shots on Facebook translate to a happy life.
Our parents generation had none, but they were the happiest. After all it's not about how much you have, it's about how much you appreciate what you have.

As a fashion blogger, I fret too much about my outfit and outfit shoots while on a holiday. Which not only stresses me, but my travel buddy too.

In today's post, I have a very basic outfit...denims, striped tee and flip flops.
However, this has to be my best outfit shoot till date, as my outfit mirrors my state of mind... Happy and Relaxed.
And yeah, I do believe .. "Happy Girls are the Prettiest!"

What do you think?

Outfit details:
Striped Tee: Ross
Denim: Levi's
Flip Flops: Thrifted
Bag: Dresslink


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