Discover more from Sattva
Sattva: Issue 25
New book out | Addictive home fragrance | Fab place to eat in Gurgaon | New vids on my YouTube
Hello! If you are new to my newsletter, a warm welcome.
Sattva (सत्त्व) is a beautiful Sanskrit word that has many meanings—spirit, true essence, good sense, wisdom, quality of purity, energy, consciousness and mind, among other things.
Through this fortnightly newsletter, I want to bring to you all things good, which will make your life better. My focus will be on topics such as mindfulness, productivity, slow living and sustainability, accompanied by genuinely useful recommendations of products, books, music, links to read, and of course food and recipes. Through these, I hope to instil some Sattva in your life.
My book #3 This Handmade Life is out!
Writing a book is a gruelling process fraught with self-doubt and anxiety as the deadlines approach. My mood swings between detachment and excitement when the book is about to release. Detachment, because I tell myself that I have done my best and there is nothing more I can do right now. The excitement stems from the fact that work of many months or years is finally coming to fruition. And to add to it, there is always an undercurrent of stress on how the book will perform – whether enough people will embrace it and whether it will talk to the readers in the way I expect it to. This is that time for me.
My new book (book baby number 3), This Handmade Life has been out on preorder since 7th April. The copies will be out on 9th May and I am waiting for the date eagerly when the preorders will be fulfilled, and the first feedback will start coming in. If you follow me on social media, you might already know what the book is about. But allow me to tell you a little bit about it.
This Handmade Life is about seven skills that will enhance your life – these are baking, spices, fermenting, soap making, skin and hair care, kitchen gardening and fabric arts. All of these are skills that are useful to create things that we use every single day in our life. These skills make us more self-sufficient and our lifestyle more sustainable in the long run. It is the first time I have written a lot of personal stories in a book while talking about my journey into each of these creative pursuits.
Here’s what Krish Ashok, author of Masala Lab had to say about This Handmade Life.
For most of humanity’s history, the ideal of being interdisciplinary and multi-skilled was the default. We are Sapiens not just because of our outsized brains. It’s because we use our hands and brains to make everything from beautiful art to rockets that leave the solar system. The trend towards ignoring hobbies and focusing on becoming specialists in a rat race is a relic of the industrial revolution. Nandita’s beautiful book is a gentle yet persuasive reminder that mindfully making things with your hands is what we need in a world that is obsessed with short attention span consumption and instant gratification.
Even if you are not a maker, this book will inspire you to pick up little creative projects that are mindful, joyful and fulfilling. The book is about calming the mind as much as it is about making things with our hands. I love that the total number of projects I have shared in the book is 52, one for each week of the year. Once you get into the handmade way of life, it will have you hooked.
Order my book here or look it up in your local bookstores after 9th May. Please support your local bookstores, as they could do with all our support post the pandemic. It makes the perfect little gift for yourself and your loved ones. I will have some book signing sessions in Bengaluru once the book is out. I shall keep you updated via Instagram.
Preorder link on Amazon: https://amzn.to/35WeQnc
A home fragrance I am addicted to. And you will be too!
My kitchen has a mesh window in addition to the glass window, so while cooking I often keep the glass open, and the mesh closed so that there is some breeze coming into the kitchen.
Sometimes, the most beautiful aromas (not food smells) would waft into my kitchen from my neighbour’s direction. I would often wonder what this intoxicating aroma is, and I would always forget to ask her when I met her.
A month or so ago, I went to check in on her as she was packing to move out of the country. And I could smell the same aroma in her living room. Her home smelt divine. Not the sharp headache-inducing smells, but deep and delicious rounded notes that you cannot get enough of. The diffuser was burning at the entrance, and I could not resist asking her what was in it. She not only shared the name of the brand and the fragrance with me but also sent me home with a small bottle of the same. As soon as I went home, I went to their website and ordered a 100 ml bottle of the same fragrance immediately lest it goes out of stock or something.
I’ve been using this in my home almost every day since then and I’ve been in heaven. I also ordered another home fragrance, some candles, and a perfume, going by the reviews on their site. It feels like I have struck gold. I won’t be looking at any other home fragrance in a while. Enough of suspense, right?
The home fragrance is Teakwood from Ekam. The other fragrance that I ordered because of a very key review I read on the site (home smells like an expensive spa) was Noir and man, it is sensational. I later realized that my neighbour had gifted me a sandalwood candle on my birthday from the same brand. I can’t wait to light it when the days turn a little cooler.
Links to all the products I bought are at the end of the newsletter.
If you’ve been a regular reader of my newsletter, you’ll know that I’m a sucker for beautiful smelling homes and spaces. I’ve written about using camphor in diffusers as well as Desi Gulab and Oudh from Song of India in my earlier issues.
A fab place to eat in Gurgaon
It’s not the ideal thing to go ga-ga over a place by just going there once and trying out 3 dishes. But what the hell, I’m going to do that anyway.
One, I haven’t eaten out at any exciting places recently. Two, I cannot take my mind off the most delicious salad I ate there. To be cliched, it was love at first bite. I’m talking about this Vietnamese place, Vietnom, in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon where I stopped by for a quick lunch with my publisher, Milee, a few days ago.
I was already impressed by the beautiful vibrant wicker-rich décor, a profusion of indoor and outdoor plants, super chilled AC (which is a must-have in that weather) and the courteous staff. Each of the 3 dishes we ordered was so on point that I cannot stop recommending this place to anyone who will listen.
The papaya and pomelo salad was a burst of flavours in every forkful. The ingredients were super fresh (this I can tell even in my sleep when restaurants make salads with ingredients that have seen better days).
The crispy tofu had the softest and clean tasting tofu with a crunchy coat and a perfectly balanced sauce. A small minus here was that I could taste the powdery cornstarch in the coating, but given how it fared well in all other departments, I could totally ignore this.
The glass noodle dim sum was a fine choice for the textures of the filling inside the chunky dim sum. I could easily eat a dozen of these, but I had to make a good first impression on my publisher 😆.
We wanted white wine sangrias, but they did not have it, so we settled for some Martini Rosso (vermouth) on the rocks, which was most refreshing on a hot day. If you are in and around Gurgaon, definitely give this place a try.
My YouTube channel is back
I decided to shake off my inertia and fear of being in front of the camera after some solid push and encouragement from my parent network – India Food Network. The first lot of videos have been shot in their studio in Mumbai, which was my first post-pandemic flight in March. I am posting millet recipes and high protein vegetarian recipes to start off and the response has been encouraging. Do subscribe to my YouTube if you haven’t already.
You can check out the latest videos uploaded.
1. Super soft and thin jowar rotis, easy and foolproof method
2. One-pot weeknight dinner – Bajra khichdi
3. Foxtail millet tabbouleh salad
4. High protein: Korean style tofu and broccoli rice
5. High protein: Black bean burgers with no potatoes or breadcrumbs
(I’m sharing the links for your convenience. Nothing is sponsored or affiliated.)
Here’s what I bought in my first order from Ekam and I rate everything as 10/10.
I would love your feedback on my newsletter. If you like what you read, please share it with your family and friends. I am grateful for your help in reaching my newsletter to a wider audience.
This newsletter may contain affiliate links for some products. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small commission if you purchase something by clicking on my link, at no extra cost to you. It helps support the newsletter.
None of the product mentions are sponsored unless explicitly mentioned.