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.


Auction Preview: Antique to Modern Jewelry at Jasper52, New York, Aug 15

Auction Preview: Antique to Modern Jewelry at Jasper52, New York, Aug 15

What: Antique to Modern Jewelry

Where: Jasper52, New York, USA

When: August 15

Top lots of the sale:

– 11.76ct Unheated Yellow Sapphire and 1.21ctw Diamond 18KT White Gold Ring (GIA Certified). Brand: Orianne.  Metal Purity: 18K.  Gemstones: Sapphire, Diamond. Estimate $ 12,000 – $ 14,000

– 18.49ctw Diamond 14KT Yellow Gold Tennis Necklace.  Brand: Orianne.  Metal Purity: 14K.  Gemstones: Diamond. One electronically tested 14KT yellow gold ladies cast & assembled diamond tennis necklace. Seventeen and one-quarter inch length necklace composed of a flexible graduating ribbon of diamonds, terminating in a concealed clasp with twin safeties. Identified with markings of “14K”. Trademark is “Orianne”. Bright polish finish. Condition is new, good workmanship. Tennis bracelets & necklaces got their unusual name from an incident involving the U.S. professional tennis player Chris Evert during a tennis match in the 1980’s. Evert had been wearing an expensive diamond bracelet, an inline string of individually-set diamonds. Previously these bracelets were known as eternity bracelets. When the clasp snapped during play, she asked the officials to stop the tennis match until the bracelet could be found. Since that day, bracelets and necklaces featuring an inline string of diamonds have been called tennis bracelets and tennis necklaces. Three prong set round brilliant cut diamonds, measuring 5.60 – 5.40 x 3.30mm (depth est.) approximate total weight of 3 Stones = 2.03ct. Estimate $12,000 – $14,000

– 3.04ct SI2 Clarity Center Diamond Ring (3.82ctw Diamonds) GIA Certified. Brand: Orianne. Metal Purity: 18K. Gemstones: Diamond. One electronically tested 18KT white gold ladies cast diamond ring with a bright polish finish. The featured diamond is set within a diamond bezel supported by elaborate intertwining diamond set shoulders, completed by a two millimeter wide band. Trademark is Orianne. Identified with markings of “18K”. Condition is new, good workmanship. One prong set cushion cut diamond, measuring 8.72 x 7.64 x 5.86mm exact weight 3.04ct. GIA Colored Diamond Report attached. Graded loose for color prior to setting in the GIA Laboratory, Report #2171301396. Clarity SI-2 Color Fancy Dark Yellowish Brown Depth 76.7% Table 61.5%. Sixty-Eight prong set round brilliant & baguette cut diamonds approximate total weight of 68 Stones = 0.78ct. Graded in the setting. Clarity SI-1 to I-1 Color G – I. Estimate $ 10,000 – $ 12,000

– Na Hoku 18k White Gold Diamond 7.28ct tw Palm Necklace. Carat Weights: 7.28ct. Size/Dimensions: 17″ long. Additional Info: Includes official Na Hoku appraisal document; see photos for details. Estimate $ 9,000 – $ 11,000

– Fine Estate Oval Ruby Ring Diamond Halo 18k White Gold. Carat Weights: 1.47ct Ruby, 0.75ct Diamond. Size/Dimensions: Size 6.5. Additional Info: Comes with Carte Blu jewelry report; see photos for details. Estimate $8,000 – $10,000

– 2.01ct SI3 Clarity F Color Center Diamond Ring (2.41ctw). Metal Purity: Platinum. Gemstones: Diamond. Estimate $ 7,000 – $ 8,000

– 1.77ct SI3 Clarity H Color Center Diamond Ring (2.38ctw). EGL USA Certified. Brand: Orianne.  Metal Purity: 18K. Gemstones: Diamond. Estimate $ 5,500 – $ 7,000


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.


Terms of adornment: “American Jewelry From New Mexico”

10 Albuquerque Museum American Jewelry 1

The phrase “New Mexican jewelry” tends to have specific connotations: turquoise and silver. While these are certainly essential features of the New Mexican jewelry tradition, they are hardly the only ones. As any New Mexico resident knows, our state is an amalgam of cultures and traditions, both indigenous and imported. The artistic productions that have emerged from that commingling of cultures are as diverse as the people who live here.

Hence the title of an exhibition that opened in June at the Albuquerque Museum: American Jewelry From New Mexico. The exhibition does not limit itself to showcasing “New Mexican jewelry” as that phrase connotes, but rather expands the conception of regional jewelry to include a much wider range of styles. The introductory wall text explains, “Rather than focus on a single culture group, individual, artist, time period, or medium, American Jewelry From New Mexico tells the stories of diverse heritages simultaneously, as artists live in concert, trade, and adaptation with their neighbors.” Tradition is honored here, as is creativity that pushes past the norms or creates new ones.

That creativity is evident initially in the exhibition in several ancient works, many of them Puebloan. These early works demonstrate artistry spanning materials and styles, from a Basketmaker necklace composed of gastropod shells (circa 400 BCE-100 CE) to a dragonfly pendant made of goethite, from Pueblo Alto at Chaco Canyon (1020-1150 CE). Though the exhibition follows a general chronological arrangement, accompanying wall texts focus not on the steps of history but on the evolution of innovation. In these early works, trade routes between tribes influenced the materials used in the crafting of adornments. When those routes were disrupted by Spanish colonization, new exchanges occurred, as did new jewelry practices.

Causal patterns of contact and creativity reached something of an artistic apex in the 19th century, when there was a fusion of Hispanic silversmithing traditions with Native jewelry making. For the Diné, the results were structural pieces — among them cuffs, rings, and manta pins — of silver and turquoise, the silver often stamped. Zuni jewelers, the wall text notes, frequently used the metal principally as a setting, a foundation for presenting colorful stones. The representative works on display include a bolo tie, by Leo Poblano, of an eagle dancer mid-step, arms raised, with jet stone, mother-of-pearl, and coral composing his ceremonial attire (circa 1940s). Both the Diné and the Zuni used silver in their creation of squash blossom necklaces, typically with a central naja crescent and blossom ornaments along the chain.

If these works are quintessential New Mexican jewelry, their presentation here makes clear that, while they fit within that categorization, they assert individual ingenuity. In one case of squash blossom necklaces, we see a consistency of overall shape but wide variations in sizes, stones, and component symbols. Nearby cases have silver-based concha belts, from the 1870s to the 2010s, of Zia birds, butterflies, and even mouse traps, with a mouse-head buckle (Squeak by Bob Haozous, Warm Springs Chiricahua, circa 2003).

In the last few decades, regional jewelry making has seen a surge of experimentation, and it is in the final sections of the exhibition that things get delightfully weird. Santa Fean Lawrence Baca’s Knife, Fork & Spoon Necklace (2001) has a chain featuring ovals stamped with eating utensils, culminating in a central cross made of a vertical knife and a horizontal half-spoon, half-fork: the trinity of consumption. Diné artist Clarence Lee adorned a silver bracelet with a pickup truck following and being trailed by dogs; a turquoise stone represents water in the barrel the truck is carrying (circa 1997). In Where’s Oz? (2018), Albuquerque artist Goldie Garcia embellishes a glittery necklace and earrings with poppy-like fabric flowers, whose centers are bottle caps featuring characters from The Wizard of Oz.

The modern pieces, like those earliest in the exhibition, are materially innovative, from Debra Baxter’s brass knuckles crowned with aqua aura quartz (2017) to Kristin Diener’s New Orleans and Alabama/Mississippi Gulf Coast Love Story: Loss and Lament: Fertility Reliquary II (2005), a reliquary that sits upon a mannequin as though it were a chastity belt. The piece’s 23 materials include toy scissors, a Route 66 guitar pick, a candy wrapper, and vintage nude photographs. (Baxter and Diener live in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, respectively; both are from the Midwest.)

Amid the progressive definitions of jewelry in the exhibition’s modern section, there is also tremendous craftsmanship and sheer beauty in many of the works, emphasizing jewelry’s fundamental aesthetic role. (Wall texts also discuss its commercial role: the jeweler as, often unavoidably, businessperson and brand.) Works by designers and jewelers such as Rémy Rotenier, Lonnie Schroder, Paula Crevoshay, and Keri Ataumbi exhibit intricate detailing with elegant gemwork. Even as the exhibition encourages deeper consideration of materiality, creativity, and the very concept of what it means to be a New Mexican artist, those thoughts might get put on hold at the sight of another shining jewel.


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


Nothing Scotch about this egg

Scotch eggs,Nargisi koftas,Daniel Boulud

Over the last two decades, chefs in the West have taken relatively humble dishes and tried to turn them into something special. The hamburger is one instance. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, most American chefs did their own riffs on the burger, including, perhaps most influentially, Daniel Boulud’s version at DB Bistro Moderne in New York. This used high-quality beef, foie gras and every other luxury ingredient Boulud had lying around in his kitchen.

Then, it was the turn of the boring old Mac and Cheese to get the haute cuisine treatment. These days, fancy chefs will add slices of black truffles to the cheese (the flavours go well) while lesser chefs will mistakenly believe that they are elevating the dish with liberal use of synthetic truffle oil.

British chefs took longer to catch on and when they did, the luxury updates focussed on better cooking skills and ingredients: good fish and superb frying for fish and chips; triple-cooking of chips for the perfect texture, pigs-in-a-blanket or bangers and mash made with artisanal sausages etc.

I like the idea of upgrading dishes though, frankly, one often gets tired of the newer versions fairly quickly. I would never order a so-called gourmet burger, for instance. And very few of the upgrades actually last; most fade as new trends develop.

The Nargisi kofta was originally a curry that was recreated by the Brits as Scotch eggs

These are a few exceptions though. Joel Robuchon’s pommes puree have become the benchmark for upmarket mashed potatoes. Anton Mosimann’s Bread and Butter Pudding has transformed the way that old nursery favourite is cooked. And though Heston Blumenthal’s triple-cooked chips are difficult to pull off (even the ones I had at Heston’s own The Hind’s Head were rubbish), that hasn’t stopped chefs from using “triple-cooked chips” as a menu cliché.

One such dish that has become a favourite of chefs who want to upgrade old comfort staples is the Scotch egg. If you have tried one of the industrially manufactured versions in the UK then you will know how disgusting mass-produced Scotch eggs can be. The pork component consists of cheap sausage meat, which is basically mince made from the parts of the pig that nobody wants to buy. And the inside is a tough, hard-boiled egg, laid by a battery chicken in an industrial operation somewhere.

Why should the fortunes of the Scotch egg concern us? Well, because it is an Indian dish

So, it was relatively easy for chefs to upgrade the dish. All they had to do was to use good quality free-range eggs and proper sausage meat.

As the remake grew in popularity, newer versions emerged. One obvious route – to indicate that the dish had been freshly made – was to soft boil the egg (the original dish calls for hard- boiled eggs) so that a liquid yolk oozed out when you cut into it. A second was to change the batter. At one of Bruce Poole’s restaurants in London (it may have been La Trompette) I had an interesting Scotch egg over a decade ago: the egg was soft-boiled, the batter was panko (which is of Japanese origin) and they had used good quality truffle oil to add another layer of flavour.

These days, the upmarket Scotch egg turns up again and again as a canapé. Chefs use quail’s eggs, which are much smaller than hen’s eggs and you are encouraged to pop the whole thing into your mouth at one go.

Why should the fortunes of the Scotch egg concern us?

Well, because it is an Indian dish.

Yes. Really.

This is not something Brits are ready to accept. The London store Fortnum & Mason even claims to have invented the Scotch egg. And there have been many theories about the name because it is clearly not a traditional Scottish dish. One theory even has it that the recipe was first written down by the author of Ivanhoe, who was called Sir Walter Scott. And so, rather than call it the Ivanhoe Egg, they named it after the author – Scott became Scotch.

But I will go with the views of the late Alan Davidson, the greatest food historian of the 20th century. Davidson says that British soldiers ate our Nargisi kofta curry and loved it so much that they tried to recreate it at home. The original curry had a tomato gravy and when this proved too difficult to reproduce in Britain, they started using a hot sauce instead. It was a small step from eating the koftas with a bottled sauce to serving them on their own and leaving it to individuals to decide which condiment they wanted to use.

The original curry had a tomato gravy that was difficult to recreate in Britain (Shutterstock)

That’s how the dry Scotch egg was created and today, its Indian origins are either forgotten or denied outright. I have read many outlandish theories about its origin. One states that it was invented as a fish-mince dish in Yorkshire by an establishment called William J. Scott and sons – hence the name Scotch egg. Another ascribes Algerian origins to the dish, which might have been slightly plausible had Britain (rather than France) colonised Algeria or if there had been mass Algerian immigration to the UK.

Mass-produced Scotch eggs consist of cheap minced meat and a hard-boiled egg (Shutterstock)

We know that the first British recipe for a Scotch egg turns up in 1826 and calls for the dish to be eaten with gravy. This fits in nicely with the Raj origin theory: all the we-Brits-invented-it nonsense works on the assumption that a dry Scotch egg was the original. But as that early recipe proves, it started out as a gravy dish.

But where in India did the British find the original Scotch egg/Nargisi kofta?

One view is that it is a Hyderabadi dish but I have met chefs from Lucknow who say that it is part of their tradition. And let’s not forget that kofta is a Middle Eastern word. So my guess is that some enterprising Indian chef in the middle ages was experimenting with a new kind of kofta curry when he came up with this dish.

It could have been invented in North India and then travelled to Hyderabad or the journey could have taken the reverse direction. Either way, it is hard to find a good Nargisi kofta in either Lucknow or Hyderabad these days.

When the food writer Anissa Helou was researching her masterly Feast: The Food of the Islamic World, I had dinner with her at the Maurya in Delhi. Though she enjoyed the Dum Pukht biryani, she told Gulam Qureshi, the chef, that she had searched in vain for a good Nargisi kofta in India.

Chef Gulam Qureshi at ITC makes delish Nargisi koftas

Gulam wandered off and then, towards the end of our meal, he returned with a plate of Nargisi koftas. They were outstanding. Anissa loved them and a recipe for Nargisi koftas (and this story) ended up in Feast.

Last week, I phoned Dum Pukht and asked Gulam if he could make some Nargisi kofta for dinner. And he was kind enough to do so. But this time he made the original dish: a curry.

This was the classic version, he explained. The last time around, he didn’t have the keema required to make the koftas so he had used the mixture that goes into Kakori kebabs instead.

I am nobody to argue with one of the country’s best Avadhi chefs but while his gravy version was terrific, I much preferred the improvised Kakori-mince version.

Chef Manish Mehrotra cooked the modern Nargisi kofta with chicken mince and his dish was a great hit on the menu of Indian Accent (Rohit Chawla for Indian Accent)

Gulam’s Nargisi kofta is not on the Dum Pukht menu yet but he is working on putting the dish on his tasting menu. Let’s see which version he goes with.

Sadly, even Manish Mehrotra has taken his modern Nargisi kofta off the Indian Accent menu.

Influenced perhaps by the Scotch egg revival in the UK, Manish tried to create a kofta in which the yolk stayed runny. He poached the egg, threw away the white and put the yolk in the centre of the kofta.

Then, he found he had a problem. In the time it took to cook the mutton mince, the yolk solidified. So Manish decided to use chicken mince which cooks much faster and lets the yolk stay runny. The dish was a great hit in its time but Manish has now moved on.

Much of Manish’s food has its roots in humble dishes that he modernises and upgrades (the famous Daulat ki chaat, for example). Gulam’s food, on the other hand, is largely faithful to the Avadhi court cuisine tradition. But that’s the beauty of the Nargisi kofta. It works brilliantly as both a modern and a traditional dish. It is a true Indian classic.

As for the British Scotch egg; they can keep it. We much prefer the original.


Emails from Hart family computer indicate marital issues

— New documents were released Tuesday from Clark County investigators related to the deaths of a Washington family whose disappearance gripped the country this spring.

Jennifer and Sarah Hart, and their six adopted children, disappeared from their Woodland home in late March – shortly after a Washington Child Protective Services caseworker tried to contact the women at home. Neighbors had called CPS, concerned that the children were being abused and neglected.

The Hart family’s SUV was soon after found crashed off a northern California cliff in Mendocino county, killing the couple and four of the children. Jennifer Hart, who was driving at the time of the crash, was under the influence of alcohol, while some of the children had a Benadryl-type drug in their system that causes drowsiness. Two of the six kids, Devonte and Hannah, remain missing.

KOIN 6’s reporting following the crash revealed the family left behind a trail of child abuse concerns in three states, including Washington. Oregon investigated the family in 2013, and ruled that while there were some indications of abuse or neglect, there was insufficient data to conclude child abuse or neglect had occurred. In Minnesota, where the Harts lived while they adopted the six children, Sarah Hart was found guilty of misdemeanor domestic assault in 2010, after daughter Abigail complained of abuse.

The documents provided to KOIN 6 News on Tuesday raise new questions about what was happening with the family behind closed doors.

After adopting Markis, Abigail, and Hannah Hart in 2006, the Harts looked to continue growing their family through adoption. A 2007 document filed by a Minnesota adoption worker indicated that while the Harts had initially wanted to adopt only three more children, they changed their minds and were open to considering sibling groups of up to five kids – which would have meant eight adopted children in total.

Before the adoption of Jeremiah, Sierra, and Devonte in 2009, a Texas adoption caseworker wrote a glowing letter about the couple, calling them “open, loving, and understanding.” The caseworker said Markis, Hannah, and Abigail had blossomed in the family’s home.

“I would have no problem placing kids of any age, race, or sex in this home because I know they would be loved and cared for beyond anything I could hope to have for them,” the caseworker wrote. She called herself a friend, adding that she would “highly recommend” them to anyone seeking an adoptive family for children.

And even after the adoption of Markis, Hannah and Abigail made the Harts a family of eight, the couple looked to continue growing their brood.


Childish Gambino photographed at Auckland powhiri for Pharos festival

Donald Glover has arrived in New Zealand ahead of his Pharos festival this weekend, and has been photographed at the event’s venue.

The entertainer, who performs hip-hop under the Childish Gambino moniker, received a powhiri from iwi representatives at the Tapapakanga Regional Park on Friday

One of those involved in the official welcome was artist Janine Williams, who captured the moment on her Instagram account.

“Had the honour of being part of the powhiri as mana whenua for the Pharos event onto our whenua today at Tāpapakanga Regional Park,” she said in the caption.

“A show designed especially for this venue, it’s going to be an amazing weekend!”

In a video posted to Williams’ Instagram Story, Glover appears to be wearing a kahu huruhuru and pounamu – along with a massive grin.

In another video, Glover signs a painting of himself, which is credited as having been created by Paul Walsh.

Pharos is an annual event that was launched last year in Joshua Tree, California, before Glover chose to hold the second in Aotearoa.

He describes the festival as “a gathering of the five intuitives of the human experience: tribe, ritual, experience abstraction, architecture, language”.

“Be helpful. Do not be a detriment. No irony.”

The festival’s official website advises attendees to dress in their “frequency colour”, but notes that the dress code is not mandatory.

The Tapapakanga Regional Park location is on the outskirts of the Auckland region, where the Splore music festival also takes place.

Some tickets are still available to the R18, three-day event.