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RootsandLeisure_giltgourmet_dimapur

Food Blog ‘Gilt Gourmet’ from Nagaland is Introducing Locals to Gourmet Food from Around the World | Meet the Curators – KT and Grace

Before it fills your stomach, good food often serves as a feast for the eyes – and at times, a memorable cooking experience. Today we have Kt & Grace from Dimapur to guide us into their world of gourmet, and their Insta food blog ‘Gilt Gourmet.’ Sisters and best friends, these food curators from Nagaland have been enthusing their followers with their mouth-watering and eye-catching food photos – captured by them while cafe hopping or cooking at home. Their feed serves as an inspiration to go beyond our familiar food zone, and explore new cuisines, which can be just as enticing and comforting as our North Eastern palate. I chat with Kt and Grace to know more about ‘Gilt Gourmet’, their favorite meals, and even get them to share a super simple Italian recipe! Read on. ‘Gilt Gourmet’ curators – Kt & Grace from Dimapur, Nagaland Deno: Welcome to R&L! Please introduce yourself to our readers. KT & Grace: We’re two sisters and go by the name Kt & Grace. Growing up, our love for …

RootsandLeisure_artist_irahomespun

Two Sisters from Kohima are Reinventing Embroidery and Crochet Crafts under Their Brand ‘Ira Homespun’

The pandemic is taking a toll on humans around the world. So it is indeed encouraging to know that this downtime has given many the free time and will to pick up a hobby or start a home venture. Reading about, or talking to such enterprising folks, has given me ample reasons to see the silver lining during this time of gloom. I hope these stories will inspire you too. Very recently, I came across a hobby venture by two sisters Nulevino and Vitsino from Kohima called ‘Ira Homespun.’ These soft-spoken and talented siblings create all sorts of handmade goodies – from embroidered tote bags, to wall pieces to crochet dolls and pretty face masks – with their signature aesthetic of cute. I had a chat with them to know more about what they do full-time, how they picked up their talent (apparently they have a creative mom who has taught them most of their crafts), their future plans, and more. Scroll below to know more about the talented Iralu Sisters and their hobby venture …

RootsandLeisure_melwhisks_pondicherry

Siblings Ayush and Rhea from Pondicherry Talk About their Food Venture ‘Mel Whisks’ – and Their Best-Selling Desserts!

Pondicherry will always have a special place in my heart, as it reminds me so much of home (even while traveling). Although this beach destination is a contrast from my hilly hometown (of Nagaland), the overall vibe of this small town feels pleasantly familiar to the place I grew up in. A former French colony, the local food in Pondy is an eclectic mix of French and South Indian cuisines. And thanks to Pondy friends, I was introduced to a host of cafes and bakers out there, who make the most amazing baked goodies and desserts! On one of my Pondy food expeditions, I came across ‘Mel Whisks’ – a home-based cloud kitchen run by a sibling duo in Pondicherry. They sell mouthwatering gourmet food and desserts. I have been following their Insta page even since the lockdown happened, and have even ordered their desserts jar for my friends there, who have been raving about them ever since! So I got on a call to interview the two people behind ‘Mel Whisks’ – siblings Ayush …

RootsandLeisure_Musician_Imrongtuden

Imrongtuden aka IMXRNG from Nagaland Talks About Creating Lo-fi Music and His Bold Musical Ambitions

One of our greatest gifts that is solely ours is our ability to dream; while some toil to make their dreams come true, some blend into the shadows of fear and frustration. So it is encouraging to see some brave hearts go against adversaries in pursuit of their dreams – however odd or bold they may seem. A friend of mine is one such courageous soul, who has made the bold decision to take the path of resistance to follow his passion for music. I’d like to introduce you to Imrongtuden from Dimapur, who is an aspiring musician/Producer/DJ. Apart from his musical talent, he is also known among his circle for his creativity, hard work, and curiosity. He plays the piano pretty proficiently as well, and makes great Anime art. Let’s find out more about him, his music and more. Session Musician and Lo-fi producer Imrongtuden from Nagaland Supong: We can only ever start something by truly knowing the person, to start it off would you like to tell us a little about yourself. Imrongtuden: …

Rootsandleisure_Greige Rose Chocolates

‘Greige Rose Chocolates’ from Nagaland Have the Most Delectable Collection of Quirky and Colorful

23-year old Rose from Nagaland had to quit her job as an air hostess during the COVID pandemic in 2020. But this young woman showed her resiliency and inner talent by taking the downtime to launch her own chocolate brand. It’s been less than a year since she started her venture, but her homemade chocolate brand ‘Greige Rose Chocolates‘ has been making waves among the locals in Nagaland. ‘Greige Rose Chocolates‘ is known for using perfectly tempered chocolates to create the most creative and imaginative designs. They come neatly packed in gorgeous packaging and each new item is a breath of fresh air just like the creator herself. I chat with its founder Rose, to delve deeper into her story and her chocolates! Read on. Rose, Owner of ‘Griege Rose Chocolates’  Menule: Hi, please tell us about yourself!  Rose: Hi, my name is Rose and I’m 23 years old. I am the owner of ‘Greige Rose Chocolates’ which I started back in June of 2020. I had just quit my job as an air hostess …

Rootsandleisure_Nitesh Chamling_Mu Kimchi

‘Mu Kimchi’ Restaurant in Gangtok, Sikkim is a Korean Food Lover’s Paradise | Chat with Owner Nitesh Chamling

  ‘Mu Kimchi’ is a super popular restaurant in Sikkim – serving authentic Korean cuisine. With its cozy welcoming ambiance, this place is a must-visit for all Korean food lovers for a fun night out with family and friends. Customers from all over the world – including Koreans, have been spotted in this happening spot in Gangtok. We recently chatted with the owner – Nitesh Chamling, a young entrepreneur from Gangtok, who has been running this restaurant for the past 6 years. A Civil engineering grad from Bangalore, he left his job in the city to pursue his dream of opening a restaurant in his hometown. Over a quick chat, Nitesh gives us a run-through of the top 5 Korean cuisines to try, his favorite leisure activities, and more. Nitesh Chamling – Owner of ‘Mu Kimchi’ restaurant, Sikkim Hi Nitesh, welcome to R&L! Please introduce yourself to our readers. Nitesh: My name is Nitesh Chamling, I come from a small town called Temi in South Sikkim now I reside in Gangtok. I did my schooling …

Rootsandleisure_Florence Lohu

Naga Tribes and Their Colorful Costumes Come Alive Through These Stunning Artwork by Florence Lohu from Nagaland

“Every good painter paints what he is.” — Jackson Pollock Introducing our bubbly and talented artist Florence Lohu from Nagaland. A self-taught watercolorist, her work truly is magnificent – in the way, she fills the hearts and minds of her viewers. I find her work truly artistic, and equally informative. Among her numerous sketches, the ones that stand out are the colorful illustrations on Nagaland, which have been, by far, the most captivating medium to learn about the numerous Naga tribes – and their one-of-a-kind array of costumes. To get a better sense of what I am talking about, I invite you to read on as I chat with Florence – and give you a glimpse of her artwork.  Chat with watercolorist Florence Lohu from Nagaland, known for her colorful illustrations on various tribes of Nagaland. Supong: Hi Florence, welcome to R&L! Please introduce yourself.  Florence: Hi! I am Florence Lohu, a self-taught aspiring watercolorist. I belong to the Mao Naga tribe and was born and brought up in Kohima Nagaland. I am currently freelance …

Rootsandleisure_Recipe_Smokedpork_BananaBlossom

Recipe | Smoked Pork with Banana Blossom and Bitter Eggplant (Likok)

“Are banana blossoms edible?” Absolutely yes – and they have some noteworthy benefits for your health too. Just look it up. Not only that, they are just as delectable, and a popular ingredient used in various North East Indian recipes. Today, we are making a banana blossom dish with another star ingredient: Smoked pork. An interesting add-on would be the ‘Likok’ aka Bitter Eggplant, which lends a balancing taste note to the overall dish. This non-fussy dish is simple to make but has a unique memorable taste. So let’s start cooking! Smoked Pork with Banana Blossom and Likok Eggplants Ingredients: 1 Kg Smoked pork (chopped into cubes) 1 banana blossom 3-4 potatoes Around 100 gms of whole Eggplant bitter (Likok) 2 medium-sized tomatoes 8-10 Green chilies  Salt to taste Main Ingredient 1: Smoked Pork Main Ingredient 2: Banana Blossoms Getting the Ingredients Ready: Banana blossoms: Remove the outer covers until you get the inner softer white portion. Now holding it vertically with the stalk on top, start slicing into small thin pieces with a sharp …

RootsandLeisure_oioipatio

They Met in Nursing College and Now They Run One of The Cutest Hobby Venture ‘Oi Oi Patio’ – Meet the Founders Oyinang and Chubamenla

One day as I was scrolling through Instagram, I came across these gorgeous macramé handbags from an account called ‘Oi Oi Patio’. Still in awe, I was even more amazed to find out that the creators are based out of Arunachal. Lucky for me, one of my friends knew of them, and I was able to get in touch with them. ‘Oi Oi Patio’ is the brainchild of two friends from North East India – Oyinang Taggu from Arunachal and Chubamenla Aier from Nagaland. The two friends met in nursing college, and are now working full time – and also runs this hobby project together. “With our current 9-4 working schedule, we usually spend 4-5 hours on working days and 7-8 hours on weekends on ‘Oi Oi Patio.’ Phew! I am now even more intrigued to know how they manage it all – and what is the force behind their motivation. Read on to know all the details. Founders of ‘Oi Oi Patio’ (L-R) Oyinang Taggu from Arunachal and Chubamenla Aier from Nagaland Menule: Hi, …

Rootsandleisure_North east India musicians

A Song for Every Mood – Music and Musicians from North East India

  Over the weekend, we had a fun leisure chat with our readers, where we shared our current moods – in exchange for a song. By the end of the session, we had compiled a pretty good playlist of songs performed/written/composed by talented musicians from North East India. Scroll below to check out the list.  p.s: We have our weekly community chats on Instagram. Do visit for some fun. Also, remember to regularly check in on your friends – and ask how they are doing. “Very bad mood due to cramps” ~ @journalofhisdaughter Dedicating this song “Warrior’s Call” by Colored Keys Nagaland. Composed in two Naga dialects (Chakhesang and Angami) with a blend of tribal folk and contemporary western melody, this song is guaranteed to help you relax, and meditate. Breathe.    “Hopeful” ~ @ruchielal Play ‘Korou’ (meaning ‘Sunlight’ in Manipuri) by June Neelu Ft B.Maisnam from Manipur. A song about the beauty of nature… the sunrise, dews, birds, wind, and the mountains, this has been our go-to video for afternoon daydreaming and endless optimism. …