OPW couple invents new ‘Zu-ndia’ wedding ceremony

Ryan and Mellisha had a traditional Zulu ceremony as part of their wedding.

Ryan and Mellisha had a traditional Zulu ceremony as part of their wedding. 
Image: Via Mzansi Magic

An Indian couple became the talk of the town on popular reality show Our Perfect Wedding this week when they threw a traditional Zulu wedding as part of their marriage festivities.

The Durban couple have apparently always been pretty in touch with the Zulu culture and after being surrounded by Zulu influence all their lives decided to include some elements in their big day.

The result was what the internet dubbed Zu-ndia. 

Hommie Ryan apparently even speaks fluent Zulu. So why not, right?

They were applauded by some on Twitter for their decision.

While others questioned their motives.

Even though Twitter users were at war over the decision, they were at least united in their love for Ryan’s cute gestures for his missus.

Like that time he sent a driver to deliver chocolates for her.


I Had a No Kids Allowed Wedding—This Is What Happened

In my opinion, a great wedding follows the holy trinity of party: yummy food, great music and flowing alcohol. So when my fiancé and I were wedding planning, we decided our top priority was to have a great party for our guests and a custom ceremony. We also made a promise to do our very best to not get sucked into wedding incidentals like linens and table settings. And since, “Wow, your party was EPIC and the kids area was LIT,” has been said by no one ever, we opted for “no kids allowed” at our nuptials.

Now before your head explodes thinking about the blowback you’ll receive from your guests, hear me out because I have some great reasons for keeping the kids at home.

The kids aren’t imperative to your day

I know this sounds harsh, and to be fair, we didn’t have any kids from previous relationships or with each other. If we did, I have no doubt that children would have been invited. But for us, we live in New York City, the majority of our friends don’t have children and the majority of our guests traveled a long way for a good time. We opted for a small wedding party with no flower girl or ring bearer because that tradition just didn’t speak to us. Remember, our priorities were food, music and alcohol so if it didn’t fall under one of those categories then it just didn’t get our attention.

You want everyone to party

Understandably, being responsible for your kids disallows you from participating in certain liberties. Children can have dirty diapers, bedtimes, and mood swings, plus, they can be a real bummer if you’re trying to stay out late or take tequila shots. No kids means the parents can cut loose and enjoy the party you’ve set up for them. Then again, maybe it doesn’t stop them at all from partying and instead kids are left unattended. Which leads me to my next point…

You want to avoid a playground party

Our wedding was held at the historic Allan House, built in 1883, with indoor and outdoor space. Perfect for a wedding, not perfect for unattended children. Not inviting children closed the risk of skinned knees on cobblestones and screaming adults trying to track down their kids. I remember being a kid; my little brother would constantly slide across the dance floor in his slacks. Super cute but not really the vibe I was going for.

Simplified planning and lower cost

want to say that cost shouldn’t be an issue on your big day, but budgets are very real. Especially as you craft your guest list and kids quickly balloon that list. We couldn’t do a family-focused wedding justice, so we opted to stick with what we know: we know how to throw a party for 30-somethings so that’s what we did.

Even though we felt fully justified to omit children from our invite list, I dreaded telling our families. I was also unsure of how to tell our guests without sounding like a bratty 7th grader who only invited the cool girls to her birthday sleepover (I didn’t want to go anyway, Carmen, and no I won’t let it go). To be honest, not inviting kids felt weirdly personal and I was nervous about how it would be interpreted.

Before telling our parents, we agreed that this needed to be a hard rule of 18 and up only, so no kids and no exceptions. If you make one exception for one kid then it does become personal and frankly, rude. So we did a blanket rule and added this note to our wedding website: “We kindly ask you to leave the kids at home so you can party with us.” I know, it was so bold. But, also direct, to avoid any miscommunications.

Our parents were taken aback at first. I think they had a vision of our wedding that was filled with flower girls and ring bearers. But the reality is my fiancé and I weren’t very close to any children. My soon to be brother-in-law just had a baby but he was too little. My step-sister has some beautiful kids but my fiancé had never met them so it felt strange to force tradition when it just didn’t fit.

See more: Someone Wants to Bring a Baby to Our Adults-Only Wedding. What Should We Do?

As the RSVPs came in, not one guest called me to ask for an exception. I even had some guests call us to tell us how excited they were to leave the kids at home and have a night out. For us, it was a lot of anxiety waiting for the responses but in actuality, our guests were totally cool with it. They were still going to attend and still enjoy a night of bbq, tacos and tequila sans kids. And why wouldn’t they? In a world where parents are constantly a package deal with kids, it must have been nice for them to have a night off from, “mom, when are we leaving?” By 9:30pm they would have been slumped over the dinner table, begging their parents to take them home. And I don’t blame them, because to them it’s an oldies party.

Plus everyone drank a lot of tequila and we all did The Wobble…no child should see that.


Pandora’s hit jewelry product is now its biggest problem

Pandora, which makes more jewelry than any other company, is being slammed as people lose interest in its charms, the decorative trinkets that are often attached to bracelets. CREDIT: Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Pandora Jewelry

DENMARK — Here’s the thing about fads: They end.

Pandora, which makes more jewelry than any other company, is being slammed as people lose interest in its charms, the decorative trinkets that are often attached to bracelets.

The Danish company has in recent years become synonymous with charms, which make up over half of its sales. But their popularity is fading, and Pandora hasn’t been able to revive it.

Pandora’s stock has been cut in half this year, and the company said Thursday that CEO Anders Colding Friis would step down at the end of August.

The announcement caps a tumultuous few days for the company.

Pandora stock crashed 24% on Tuesday after the firm slashed its sales forecast for 2018. On Thursday, it reported that charm sales declined 7% in the first quarter.

“They need to fix the charms challenge,” said Soeren Loentoft Hansen, a senior analyst at Sydbank. “The business is very important because it drives traffic to the stores.”

Related: Tiffany’s booming sales send stock soaring

The company has pinned the blame on a shift to minimalist fashions.

“We’ve been too optimistic about the new products from our charms collections,” Colding Friis told investors during a conference call on Thursday. “Consumers are preferring a simple look with fewer charms. They used to wear six to seven charms, now they wear five.”

Loentoft Hansen doesn’t buy that explanation. He says people just don’t like Pandora’s designs.

“I am not worried about charms business in general, but I am little worried about Pandora’s charm business,” he said.

Related: De Beers admits defeat over man-made diamonds

Anders Boyer, who was recently named chief financial officer at Pandora, acknowledged that the company was going through “a very difficult period.” But he said he’s optimistic.

“Pandora is here to stay. Pandora is not a fad,” he said. “I don’t see anything to the contrary when I look into the numbers.”

Loentoft Hansen said that while charms are crucial, the company must build its business in other jewelry segments.

Bracelets contribute almost 20% of Pandora’s sales, while all other jewelry — rings, earrings, necklaces and pendants — make up less than a quarter.


What is cold pressed oil? How it is different from refined oil

1. What makes them different

What makes them different

When we had started believing that refined oils are the best medium for cooking and that they keep us safe from heart diesase and obesity, scientists turned the tables again by a new research which says, cold pressed oils are what we must be consuming and not the refined ones. But what’s the difference between the two? A layman will naturally be boggled by these two types of oils that are same in appearance. Basically, cold pressed oils are the ones that are extracted in a certain way and have more nutrition than refined oil in which during the refining process, the nutritional benefits are lost.

2. What is cold pressed oil?

What is cold pressed oil?

Cold pressed oil refers to a method of oil extraction where the oilseeds are crushed and pressed (without using heat) to extract oil. The entire process involves pressure and no heat and that is what makes this oil healthier than any other form.

3. What is refined oil?

What is refined oil?

As the name suggests, it is all about filtration of oil through various chemicals and heat that makes the final output very light and shiny in texture. The mechanical process makes the oilseeds lose the majority of nutrients that the human body needs on a daily basis. They are rich in fat and devoid of nutrition completely!

4. The ancient process of oil extraction

The ancient process of oil extraction

When it comes to cooking oil, we all have heard a term called ‘Kachi Ghani’. The word ‘Ghani’ refers to a long cylindrical contraption that was used in early days to extract oil from oilseeds. It is more like a mortar and pestle device, made of stone or wood and is used to extract oil with the help of animals like cow or buffalo. This is the oldest and simplest method of oil extraction that involved no heat. Whereas, the modern age oil extraction process involves chemicals, heat, and machines to extract oil from the oilseeds.

5. Difference between the two

Difference between the two

They both come from the same source (oilseeds) but go through different processes. The process of extarcting oil through cold-pressed method is basic and mechnical. It is similar to the way we extract juice from a manual juicer. No wonder, nutrition of the oil is retained.

6. Is there anything called hot pressed oil?

Is there anything called hot pressed oil?

Yes. In this process, the press cylinders or the pressing machine is attached with heaters. Heating softens the oil seeds and hence not only the process of extraction becomes easier but more oil is extracted. However, much of the nutrition is lost.

7. Are cold pressed oils healthy?

Are cold pressed oils healthy?

According to reports, cold pressed oils are way healthier than refined oils. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and oleic acid. Also, they are free from chemicals added to oils during refining process. They are also more aromatic and hence add more taste to the dishes.

8. Are they safe for cooking on high heat

Are they safe for cooking on high heat

It entirely depends upon the type of oil that you are using. For example, sesame oil and olive oil should ideally be used at low temperatures, but mustard oil and sunflower and safflower oil can be used for cooking at moderately high temperatures.


Gourmet Secrets: United Curry of Goa

Goa,coastal state,prawn curry

Goa has a coastline of 101 km and seafood is second nature to Goans, as is rice, their staple crop. The soil is rich in minerals and humus, thus conducive to plantations, especially of spices, fruit and nuts. Making efficient use of the water sources, the terraced orchards support coconut palms and fruit such as jackfruit, pineapple and mango. The heat and high humidity though, restrict the crops to tropical fruits and vegetables like giant okra, aubergine, plump pumpkins and bottle and ridge gourds. Intrinsic ingredients in Goan food are red, unpolished rice to mop up curries; palm jaggery for sweetmeats and desserts; and local breads known as pao, baked fresh twice a day – in particular the healthy, whole wheatpoiee.

The fruit of the sea

Seafood is a staple for most Goans. Fish and prawns are even sun-dried earlier in the year to make sure that the Goan lust for seafood is satisfied during the monsoon, when the glamorous big catches are not available. Goans eat any kind of fish, from the fancy lobster, jumbo prawn and pomfret, to the modest clam, mackerel, small mud crab, and mussel. Fish is frequently coated in a red masala and fried in a dusting of fine semolina; stuffed with a red spice paste known as reichado, or dunked into velvety smooth coconut curries. The monsoon brings in a whole new selection of fish caught in river estuaries as they swim up-stream or raised in salt pans, which the locals swear are more flavourful than sea fish.

Goan food is divided into dishes cooked by Catholics and those cooked by Hindus. The Goan Catholic repertoire has a fiery red local soul and a Portuguese spirit. The Goan Hindu kitchen uses the same indigenous ingredients, but they throw in tamarind as a souring agent instead of the pungent toddy vinegar and kokum. And the Goan Hindu kitchen, which has a vast repertoire of dishes, is confined to small eateries and homes within Goa, whereas Catholic dishes are notoriously famous both in Goa and abroad.

What unites everyone in Goa is the prawn curry or as they say in Konkani, ‘sungta chi kodi’. My grandmother was Goan and a marvellous instinctive cook. She used to say that the prawns fished from rivers and the backwaters of Goa were sweeter than those from the sea and so she used only that variety in her famous prawn curry and balchao. She also insisted on cooking in a terracotta pot and using well water to grind the coconut for the silky smooth velvety coconut milk which went into the curry.

A taste of home

I recently had a divine prawn curry at the Novotel Dona Sylvia in south Goa. It rivalled my grandmother’s and felt like “home”. The only difference was that the masala paste was ground with coconut so it was slightly coarse whereas my grandmother would stir slightly thick coconut milk into the cooked masala paste, which made hers completely smooth. Some people use kokum to add a sour note. Others use tamarind. The thick, bright red curry paste is always made with mild red Kashmiri chillis (which don’t come from Kashmir at all but Guntur in Andhra Pradesh). I suppose the word Kashmiri was coined to denote the spice level. Goans used a large dried red chilli in the paste, which is not commonly found nowadays. Plenty of garlic, a bit of ginger, turmeric, some good local black pepper, cumin and sometimes dried coriander are all that you need for a perfect Goan prawn curry masala. And of course you must remember to add the prawns at the very end so that they don’t overcook and turn to leather.

Novotel is lucky enough to have chef Carmelino Luis and he cooks homestyle Goan food like a pro. His rissois, bite sized little moon-shaped appetisers, have a soft, flaky pastry and unctuous creamy prawn filling. His kismur, a staple of the Hindu Goan menu is made with a dry prawn commonly found in Goa known as sookhem, or a smaller one with a more delicate flavour known as galmo. An exquisite version is made where the dish is smoked after tossing.

Every family in Goa has its own recipe for this famous dish of Goa. Little differences in the recipe distinguish whether the cook is from the north or south of Goa, whether he/she is Hindu or Goan, Brahmin or not. All this can be revealed through one simple curry! Here goes.

Prawn Hooman (Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort)


12 nos medium prawns
80 g coconut
6 g garlic
6 g coriander seeds
5 g cumin seeds
5 g turmeric powder
60 g tamarind pulp
8 nos dry red chillies (Kashmiri)
80 ml fresh coconut milk
20 g white radish, juliennes
40 ml oil
20 g onion chopped
15 g tomato chopped
6 green chillies, slit
Salt to taste
2 – 3 tbsp water
Fresh coriander to garnish


In a blender, make a fine paste of garlic, whole red chillies, grated coconut, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, tamarind pulp and turmeric powder and keep aside. In a pan, heat oil, sauté chopped onion till translucent. Add tomatoes and green chillies and sauté for another few minutes. Add the masala paste and radish, salt and cook till the paste releases some oil. Now add two to three tablespoon water and cook the masala for a further two to three minutes. Add the prawns and cook till just done. Thicken with the freshly-squeezed coconut milk. Check seasoning. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot with Goan rice