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Machan: A culinary journey down memory lane



Taj Mahal Hotel
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New Delhi, Oct 28: It has been 40 years of Machan, the fine diner with the ambience of a safari, at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel located at 1, Mansingh Road. It was one of the few 24×7 restaurants in the national capital when it opened its doors in 1978.

Although over the years many of the dishes have been tweaked, new flavours have been incorporated and there have been innovations in the art of presentation, what has remained intact are the memories associated with Machan.

And to mark this occasion, the eatery has brought back the culinary offerings of the era in an attempt to pay tribute to Machan’s legacy through an extravaganza that promises to take patrons on a trip down memory lane.

But it’s not just Machan that is celebrating its 40 years. It is also Chef Tapash Bhattacharya, who has been associated with the place since its inception.

“It is now my home. Forty years is too long a time to call it my own. I have seen three generations of families coming here. And surprisingly, the youngsters ask for dishes which used to be served some 30 years ago. It feels good,” Bhattacharya told IANS.

“The ambience, interiors and presentation might have changed, but we try to maintain the legacy of taste as much authentic as possible,” he said.

A special lunch hosted by Machan was an opportunity to relive the flavours of the early days of the eatery. The culinary journey began with mutton cutlet, prawn cocktail, chicken in a basket as a non-vegetarian starter. For the vegetarians, it was scrumptious crumbed fried idly and crispy mushroom served on an iceberg nest with a blue cheese dip.

Then came Paloc soup — a cumin and tomato flavoured Hungarian lamb soup with string beans and potatoes. For vegetarians, it was melange of mushroom soup scented in truffle oil to satisfy the appetite.

The main course, as expected, was a heavenly delight. It was time to indulge in chicken Monte Carlo — a signature dish of Chef Bhattacharya where the chicken breast is stuffed with corn before being cooked and sprinkled with Gevrey-Chambertin and Manzanilla wines before being served on a bed of spaghetti with olives. Also, served was Hazratganj biryani — aromatic basmati rice with lamb, cooked in a sealed clay pot and served with raita and salan.

But the highlight was easily the dessert. A plate with orange flavoured crème caramel, kulfi and apple strudel was a perfect way to end the meal. For those who have a sweet tooth, satisfying the appetite without needing to repeat the dishes would be an easy choice.

Since Machan will be serving these iconic dishes till the end of this month, gobble the delicacies down before it’s too late.



Here’s how materialism may harm your married life



Couple fight

New York, Feb 16: Do you often end up having heated discussions with your spouse over money matters? Beware, your fondness for material possessions may affect your love life and push your marriage towards an unhappy ending, says a new study.

The study found that when materialism — the pursuit of money and possessions — gets prioritised over other dimensions of life, it harms conjugal bonding.

Materialism crowds out other life priorities and creates a scarcity of time for other priorities such as communication, conflict resolution and intimacy.

It thus decreases the importance and sense of satisfaction in a marriage.

“Marriage dissatisfaction occurs because those who highly value money and possessions are less likely to value their marriage and are thus likely to be less satisfied in their relationship,” said lead author Ashley LeBaron, Professor at the Brigham Young University (BYU) in Ohio.

Further, materialism may also be associated with a possession-oriented rather than a relationship-oriented approach to happiness.

In other words, materialistic spouses may be seeking happiness in possessions, rather than people, which means they end up putting less time and energy into making their marriage a success, the researchers noted, in a paper published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Despite the findings, the researchers believe that changes can be made by couples to solve this issue.

“Many people are not fully aware of their materialism or the degree to which the pursuit of money is becoming an unbalanced priority in their life,” explained Jason Carroll, Professor at BYU.

“It is helpful for spouses to evaluate and openly discuss the time patterns in their lives and make sure they are devoting enough time to prioritize and strengthen their marriage relationship,” Carroll suggested.

For the study, the researchers asked 1,310 married individuals to fill a questionnaire in order to measure their materialism, perception of marriage importance and marital satisfaction.


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Ditch flowers, perfumes; gift your Valentine something different



Valentines day date

New Delhi, Feb 14: Give chocolates, flowers and fragrances a miss, say experts who suggest a box-full of natural sanitary pads for your girlfriend and gift your man a coffee maker on Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated on February 14 every year.

Prem Dewan, Retail Head, OSL Luxury Collections Pvt Ltd at Corneliani; Ravi Saxena, Managing Director at Wonderchef; Tanvi Johri Co-founder at Carmesi and Yatin Hans, Co-founder at and Ute Pauline Wiemer, co-founder at Lovetreats, have listed a few quirky options:

* Cufflinks look small but do wonders to simple and boring outfits. There are number of designs and textures available that can bring instant fun to the look. Cufflinks with Aztec design works best for formal attires. Those imprinted in different motifs like skull, bear and bottles, can be gifted to someone who likes to keep it funky and hippie.

* Buy him/her a pair of footwear. A pair of white sneakers is not a desire but a need that will complement a casual styling.

* You could gift her diamonds or that gorgeous dress she mentioned a few days back, but you can also show that you care about her by getting her a chic black box that consists of natural sanitary pads. The top-layer of the pads is made with corn starch, the middle layer or the core is made of bamboo fiber, while the bottom is made with corn-based bioplastic.

The box has one-month pack of pads along with a tea box, a scented candle and essential oil. These will help make her hardest time of the month, a lot more bearable.

* If she loves her ice cream tub, get her a heart-shaped ice cream scoop and if she loves different glasses, how about getting her a heart-shaped glass in which she can sip her whiskey or hot chocolate.

* Your boyfriend/girlfriend loves coffee? Invest in a good duet coffee maker which can brew two cups of finely brewed coffee with one fill.

* For a special and intimate night on Valentine’s Day, be a bit more daring by gifting him or her a vibrating sex ring, pleasure sleeve for men, lucky ball masturbator or glow in the dark condoms.


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Most Indians consider Valentine’s Day as any other day: Survey



Valentines Day

New Delhi, Feb 13: A lot of Indians don’t believe in celebrating Valentines Day, which falls on February 14, and think “the most romantic day of the year” should be treated like any other day, reveals a survey.

The survey was conducted online by, a matchmaking service, with over 8,200 responses from Indians (married/unmarried) aged between 20-35 years.

When men and women were asked “Which day do they look forward to the most”, 61 per cent said “Own birthday/anniversary”, followed by 36 per cent who said “New Year’s Day” and 3 per cent who said Valentine’s Day, read a statement.

When asked “Do you believe in celebrating Valentine’s Day?”, 68 per cent said “No” and 32 per cent said “Yes”.

To further understand the reason behind Valentine’s Day celebrations losing its charm, millennials were asked “Why do you not celebrate Valentine’s Day?” and 55 per cent said “It is over-hyped”, 28 per cent said “Every day is Valentine’s Day with my special someone”, 17 per cent said “Too crowded to step out”.

When asked “Do you think Valentnne’s Day should be treated like any other day?”, 67 per cent said “Yes” and 33 per cent said “No”. ”

“The way Valentine’s Day is celebrated has changed over the years. Especially in the recent times, it has become increasingly commercialised and hence, the charm is now lost for some people,” said’s CEO Gourav Rakshit.


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