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MC Recommends: Goan Alphonso & Murshidabad mangoes, summer perfumes, and The MET’s Heirloom Project

What's hot this week: Mango experiences; Indian artisans and jewellers in The Met’s exhibition; summer perfumes; André Mouche enamelled watches; and wellness menu at The Leela.

May 29, 2022 / 09:27 AM IST
If the west of India has the aromatic Alphonso, eastern India has the Murshidabad mango. (Representational image: Charles Deluvio via Unsplash)

If the west of India has the aromatic Alphonso, eastern India has the Murshidabad mango. (Representational image: Charles Deluvio via Unsplash)

The Mango Experience

We are nearing the end of summer and the markets are flooded with mangoes, with some of the best produce still coming in. Excited about an extended mango season, we have put together a must-do list around our favourite summer fruit.

Konkan’s famous Alphonso mango is now a brand. Over 2,000 alphonso mango farmers have partnered with Innoterra, a Swiss-Indian food and tech platform to launch their brand Ekyaam. Fruits sold under the brand are harvested from curated farms and are handled and ripened scientifically using FSSAI-approved methods. Each fruit is scanned individually before packaging and there is 100 per cent traceability — it is marked with a QR code that allows customers to trace it to the originating farm.

Mongo Talkies is Monkey Bar’s luscious tribute to the fruit. Till June 19, the bar’s menu will list sweet, sour, and spicy mango dishes: ‘Not Your Aam Gupchup’ or potato and chickpea stuffed panipuri with roasted green mango, served with a sweet and sour aam panna; Shuddh Desi Tacos — braised jackfruit stuffed in whole wheat tacos, topped with a zingy, chilli mango, kala aam papad, and a drizzle of fresh mint cream; Pepper Chicken Reddy or fiery chicken cooked with black pepper, roasted raw mango puree, and curry leaves; Pride of Malda – a twist on Bengal’s Chingri Malai Paturi with prawns wrapped in banana leaf and cooked with coconut milk, Malda mango and served with Gobindobhog rice; and ‘She’s Meen That Way’ or Kerala’s Meen (fish) Mango curry.

If the west of India has the aromatic Alphonso, eastern India has the Murshidabad mango. Akbarnama, an ancient treatise on Emperor Akbar mentions that the region once had 200 varieties of mangoes. Experience the magic of the Murshidabad mangoes at Bari Kothi, an atmospheric heritage hotel, through farm walks, mango-infused dishes — many of them traditional — cooked by the hotel’s chefs, and let the magic of the soft, juicy variety with a golden yellow colour unfold through stories about the fruit by the resident storyteller.

Indian jewellers and artisans in The MET’s Heirloom Project

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Islamic Wing with the Heirloom Project — works of art and collectables created by modern-day brands and craftspeople from the current as well as former Islamic worlds.

The project, curated by textile and home designer Madeline Weinrib, showcases hand-embroidered linens by Morocco’s Al Nour, glassware by Lebanon’s Orient 499, Goodearth’s the Met’s Islamic art collection-inspired textiles and tableware, and intricately embroidered Kashmiri style scarves from Srinagar-based artisans.

MET Heirloom Project celebrates 10 years of the Islamic Gallery at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. From Jaipur's Munnu Gem Palace.

Among the top jewellery picks for collectors are jewels from Jaipur’s historic Munnu Gem Palace, jewellers to India’s erstwhile royalty since the 18th century; designer Hanut Singh, who renders traditional Indian motifs with graphic modernity; and Brazilian designer Silvia Furmanovich’s collection of wood marquetry jewels drawing on Egyptian and Indian crafts.

If you are in New York, drop in, explore the Islamic galleries, see the art, and spend some dosh on the exquisite limited-edition merchandise for your collection.

Summer perfumes

While many of us do not pick perfumes based on seasons, some fragrances are a fresh relief in the warm weather, particularly ones with notes of citrus or bergamot. Our list of summer perfumes for 2022 would read something like that: Jo Malone London Sea Daffodil Cologne, with accents of floral ylang-ylang, daffodil, and mandarin and YSL’s Laurent Libre Eau de Toilette, a blend of orange blossom and lavender for women. For men, Paco Rabanne's Invictus Legend is spicy with top notes of germanium and a core that is woody, while Prada’s L’Homme Prada Water Splash is a perfect pick for balmy months with its refreshing woody base with heart notes of ginger and Vert de Mandarin.

L’Homme Prada Water Splash

Enamelled dials are works of art

Swiss micro-brand André Mouche has made its India debut with its striking range of enamel handmade watches that are being sold on the online boutique store, Swisswatchcompany. The 52-year-old brand is well-recognised for watches with 18K gold plating and hand-painted enamel dials crafted in its facility in Fahy, Switzerland's Jura area. The watchmaker’s skilled craftsmen delicately apply lacquer, varnish, or gold flecks on the dials using fine brushes, some of which are studded with Swarovski crystals.

André Mouche enamel handmade watch André Mouche watch

‘Aujasya’ by The Leela Hotels

Wellness is emerging as a pivot for luxury hotels to attract a new generation of guests, post-Covid, looking to rest and rejuvenate a little more often. The Leela is building a new wellness property with Aujasya, which marries west and east with its two foundations: Restore (Food) and Renew (Mindfulness). Restore, which was launched, is powered by nutritionist Dr Ankita Jalori and The Leela team led by Executive Chef, Simran Singh Thapar (The Leela Palace Udaipur) and Chef Rishabh Anand (The Leela Palace New Delhi). Together, they have reimagined the culinary offerings across Leela hotels by upping the nutritional profile of food menus and offering healthy alternatives such as millets, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. The new menu launched across all The Leela hotels and resorts includes Pearl Millet Pessaratu made with fibre packed bajra; fermented Sorghum Rava Idli; calcium and protein-rich Sattu Paratha; Spinach and Himalayan Millet Risotto that combines immunity-boosting spinach and Himalayan millets; Raw Jackfruit Masala Curry with nutrient-dense Khapli wheat flatbreads, and more.

Deepali Nandwani
Deepali Nandwani is a freelance journalist who keeps a close watch on the world of luxury.