Garam Masala – The Bhadralok Way

Ever wondered why your ethnic dishes do not quite taste and smell ethnic though you followed the ethnic recipe (handed down by your grandmother or extensively researched over the internet) to the letter? The answer comes from an unexpected source – from Einstein’s very own mouth: “God lies in the Details.” And when it comes to Indian cuisine the detail would very much read as ‘Masala’

Just like Dal, different parts of India follow different methods while preparing Garam Masala. With Durga Puja just around the corner, we thought it would be apt to begin with the recipe for Bengali Garam Masala. The flavored and aromatic Bengali version can be used for marinating fish, chicken and mutton. It can also be used in vegetables and curries in the end for that extra punch and aroma.

 IngredientsBengali Garam Masala

  • 4 dried whole red chilly
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds (til)
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp cloves (laung)
  • 2 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 10 small green cardamom (elaichi)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds (dhaniya)
  • 3 bay leaves (tej pata)
  • 1 tbsp ginger


  1. Roast all ingredients in a dry pan (except ginger) over a low heat.
  2. When the spices give out their aroma, allow it to cool.
  3. Using your Usha Grinder, grind the ingredients finely, while adding ginger. (Mustard oil can be added to make a paste. This paste can be used as a marinade.)
  4. Store it in air tight container in a cool dark place.

To get that perfect taste and aroma remember the portion used is as important as the ingredient itself. For the former closely follow the recipe at hand and as for the latter using the Usha Mixer Grinder will make your work a lot easier. The new Usha Mixer Grinder (MG 3473) adds a revolutionary new dimension to the art of food preparation with its Vortex Pulsar Technology (VPT). VPT disperses high energy with super turbo rotations to help achieve the perfect texture, colour and aroma for your Masalas and Chutneys. While, the Mixer Grinder’s 2 Fin Coconut Blade has been specially designed with sharp and robust blades to help you achieve the desired outcome smoothly.

USHA Mixer Grinder with Vortex Pulsar Technology

USHA Mixer Grinder with Vortex Pulsar Technology

Priyanka Chopra at USHA Play

Priyanka Chopra at USHA Play

Priyanka Chopra at USHA Play

If one were to ask what is common between Priyanka Chopra, Mary Kom and Usha, it would be Sports: The spirit that connects people and inspires them to achieve higher things. No wonder while speaking at the recent Usha Play event she stated that after Mary Kom she has developed a new-found respect for sportspersons.

Usha Play provided a platform to acknowledge sportspersons and a chance to celebrate the success of the movie Mary Kom. It was gateway to a world of sports, other than cricket, where the gorgeous actress felicitated sportspersons from various Usha Initiatives spanning across the fields of Golf, Marathon and Flying Discs.

Usha Chairman Krishna Shriram takes the stage and Plays the Piano

Usha Chairman Krishna Shriram takes the stage and Plays the Piano

The theme of the event ‘Play’ was set even before Priyanka stepped in, with Usha Executive Chairman Mr. Krishna Shriram taking the stage and later playing the Piano immaculately!  The rest of the evening unfolded keeping this tune of Play on a high octave. To put to words the mood of the event in the very words of Mr. Krishna Shriram “We borrow both creativity and energy from sportspersons around us.” He went on to state that as a company Usha supports sports and the idea of ‘Play’ because it is more than just business, as sports connects and inspires.

Priyanka Chopra felicitates various Sporrtsperson

Priyanka Chopra felicitates various Sportspersons

This enthusiasm was shared by Priyanka herself, who once was an avid Frisbee player, as introduced by Mr. Rajesh Tara. The felicitation ceremony began with Priyanka handing the Usha Play Trophy to Amateur Golfer Gauri Monga, followed by Arjuna Awardee Marathon runner Asha Aggarwal.  The Mumbai Frisbee team came next. Both the sportspersons and the team have been part of various Usha Sporting Initiatives.

Priyanka Chopra hailed the power of sports at Usha Play

Priyanka Chopra hailed the power of sports at Usha Play

Speaking on the occasion Priyanka hailed the work done by Indian sportspersons, their inspiration and discipline and the power of sports to transform people, which she recently underwent after her Mary Kom stint. According to her the transformation was not just physical but was also spiritual! She further stated “With the abundance of sporting talent in the country not only girls but all sportspersons need to be supported and encouraged to achieve their best.”

Director Chhaya Shriram handing Priyanka a Habadersery Basket

Director Chhaya Shriram gifts Priyanka a Haberdashery Basket

Later, Director Chhaya Shriram gifted her a wonderful haberdashery basket and an Usha Janome Dream Maker Sewing Machine. Expressing her delight Priyanka said she simply adores both the gifts and her mother would love them too!

Priyanka felicitates various USHA performers

Priyanka felicitates USHA performers

She went on to felicitate three Usha Dealers – Mr. Subhash M. Rathore, Mr. Vimal Jain and Mr. Bharat Dharamshi – for their outstanding performance. And also shared the stage with various TISVA Distributors.

Priyanka Chopra with various TISVA Distributors.

Priyanka Chopra with TISVA Distributors.

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Whom did Priyanka Felicitate?

Priyanka Chopra Felicitates USHA Silai School WomenRecently the gorgeous Priyanka Chopra felicitated two USHA Silia School Women at The HAB by Usha, under the Usha Initiatives programme. We all do know who Priyanka is, but what about the two women – Kamar Shaheen and Ms Shivnanada Nagnathrao Kothurwad – she acknowledged for their will towards self-independence? This is their story…

Ms Shivnanada Nagnathrao Kothurwad story could be termed as ‘noir’ if this was fiction, but since truth is stranger than fiction ‘tragic’ is the appropriate word. But the real message of the story is about ‘one’s will to rise above the dire circumstances that fate hands out to us.’ Like a twisted fairy tale it begins with a wedding: She believed that her marriage arranged by her parents would pave the way for her happiness and prosperity in future. But little did Shivnananda or her parents know that she was marrying a person who though professionally a local school teacher, also had a criminal record under section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.

Ms Shivnanada Nagnathrao Kothurwad

Ms Shivnanada Nagnathrao Kothurwad

Thus all hell broke loose in the life of Shivnanda after the marriage. The criminal in the husband began to show his real face with time. Incidences of domestic violence started increasing as time passed with the husband subjecting her to assault and battery for small reasons. There were even three attempts when her husband tried to murder her! Shivnanda had no choice but to run away from the criminal of a husband. She moved to her parents’ home (only as a paying guest) with her 2 young children to Sultanpur village in Nanded district of Maharashtra.

She resolved not to give up and wanted to be economically independent for her children and herself. Her husband had refused any financial support to the children or her. The USHA Silai School initiative came at the most appropriate opportunity for her. She started informing the community about the Silai Schools and gradually due to her expertise she gained popularity through word of mouth and over a period of 1 year she has taught more than 20 learners charging a minimum of Rs 150/- per month. Moreover her job work in the Silai Schools helps her to earn an approximate of Rs 100-150/- per day. Today her income has increased to Rs 6000-7000/- a month. In her own words, Shivnananda puts in, “the income from the Silai School has helped me to send my children to schools and I would like to thank Usha for giving me this opportunity”

The Silai School at Sultanpur village has helped an enterprising woman like Shivnanda come out of the clutches of poverty.  By refusing to go back to her criminal husband she has protected her own life and USHA Silai School has helped her sustain an independent and honorable life.

Creations by Shivnanada

Creations by Shivnanada

Unlike Shivnanada, Kamar Shaheen’s story lacks the darker shades of human nature, however it is one again of abject poverty and the will to rise above it. She is from an interior village called Bilora in Amravati district of Maharashtra. Daughter of a fruit seller and housewife, Shaheen and her family spent her childhood in acute poverty. However, her parents ensured that Shaheen attended the local village school to complete her Class XIIth.

Untitled-1 copyDuring her schooldays, she developed a penchant for sewing and stitching from her mother. This preliminary skill learnt from her mother and her determination to come out of economic hardships made her one of the best potential candidates for starting the Usha Silai School in her village. When the Usha’s local NGO partner contacted her, she was enthusiastic about the programme. With a resolve to succeed in this endeavor, Shaheen started her own Usha Silai School in Feb 2012 after being trained.

Gradually, the Silai School gained momentum and girls from near and far started attending her Silai School. Today, there are about 20 learners enrolled in her Silai School. Her income now is approximately Rs 5000/- per month. During festive seasons of Ramzan and marriage seasons her earnings go up to a minimum Rs 250 to 300/- per day from the job work she gets. Usha Silai Schools have helped her achieve her dream of economic independence.

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Priyanka’s Day Out With USHA

Priyanka Chopra with USHA Director Chayya Shriram

Priyanka Chopra with USHA Director Chhaya Shriram

There is something lacking in the word ‘Marvelous’ to describe Priynaka Chopra, because she is so much more than that. Priyanka recently visited The HAB by USHA at Mumbai and charmed everyone. Beginning with her sewing to punching skills, she added even more charm to the beautiful interiors of The HAB.

Priyanka Chopra on the USHA JANOME Seiwng Machine

Priyanka Chopra on the USHA JANOME Seiwng Machine

A little experienced in sewing she claimed, growing up their first family sewing machine was an Usha one. She also showed off a few punches wearing designer gloves made on Usha Janome Sewing machine. Following which she stitched for herself a hand band with ease on the same machine. Later she was gifted a stitched portrait of herself masterfully crafted on the USHA Janome Memory Craft – a machine as marvelous as Priyanka, which is capable of creating any design the user wishes, against all odds! Walking around The HAB she amused all, with her antics of carrying a Duffle-Bag and trying on a skirt, all of which were crafted at The HAB.

Priyanka Chopra being gifted with with the sewn portrait

Priyanka Chopra being gifted with the sewn portrait

She went on to show us some real punches on an Usha Punching Bag along with Usha Director Chhaya Shriram. Following which she felicitated two Usha Silai School women for their achievements and never-say-die attitude. Speaking on the occasion, she appreciated and applauded the work done by Usha Initiatives through its over 4000 USHA Silai Schools spread across the country that have empowered women in rural areas. Connecting the dots she further added that one of the primary themes of the movie Mary Kom is women empowerment, which Usha has managed to accomplish in real life all across the country. She ended with thanking USHA, saying that without the brand’s contribution the movie Mary Kom wouldn’t have been possible.Priyanka Chopra Felicitates USHA Silai School Women

She was later spotted at the TISVA store – a Designer Lighting Store perched above The HAB. Where among glamorous chandeliers and sleek contemporary lights she lit a traditional Indian Diya accompanied by Mr. Krishna Shriram.

Priyanka Chopra at TISVA

Priyanka Chopra at TISVA

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The Genius of the Movie Mary Kom

Mary KomA lot has been written about the brands being featured in the movie Mary Kom through in-film promotion. So what does that say about the movie? The answer being: The brands beginning with USHA had full confidence on the cast, crew, director and foremost on the legendary story of Mary Kom, which no doubt you will agree once you have watched the movie. And with the critics awarding constellations and not just stars to the movie, proves this beyond a shadow of doubt.

Unlike other movies where in-film promotion is jarring, it is never so in Mary Kom. Priyanka Chopra goes about doing her marvelous magical stuff (read acting) without any disconnect, speaking lines that one would naturally do in real life and not in a commercial.

10599289_10154471862990251_6407367261618533489_nMost likely you never even noticed these in-film promotions before you read a news feature talking about it. The best in-film promotion in all of Hollywood and Bollywood and all others Woods put together probably happens in movie The Transporter, starring Jason Statham driving around in his Audi. It was subtlety at its best. But they did it with just one brand. Here we have 20! And all of it done so very subtlety.

Some of your friends and acquaintances, who are into Brand promotions, might disagree. Well, that’s their job – they are hardwired to notice such things. Never mind them, because that experience would be similar to watching Sholay with a Camera person, which a friend of ours did a few years back. His experience was jarring, not because he found Sholay lacking but because of the constant chatter of his cinematographer friend who kept commenting on the angles taken and how it could have been done better! Forgetting to take into account that Sholay was actually shot on traditional 35 mm film! And was later converted to give it the look of being shot with a 70mm (the reason being 70mm cameras were expensive in those days). During that era Hollywood was using 35mm to shoot documentaries and here was a genius who made a legendary film with the very same camera type!

So our accolades go out to the writers and director who managed to seamlessly integrate 20 leading brands into a span of 3 hours without a hitch!

By, the way look out for USHA, when you are watching the movie. We are impossible to be missed, now that you know.10534692_10154471855855251_3464035536723766996_n

The Spirit of The Game

Broadie-ImageWho is Brodie Smith? No, he is not a Cricketer from Mumbai Indians Team, which also happens to be associated to be USHA. He happens to be the international Ultimate Frisbee legend, who claims “I love throwing the frisbee and playing Ultimate Frisbee,” – a fact evident by his numerous YouTube Videos.

Usha International as part of its Usha Sports Initiatives roped in the Frisbee legend in 2012 to promote the sport in India, during the Usha Ultimate Delhi-ght Frisbee Tournament. For those of you who think Frisbee is just about throwing a Flying Discs around, you couldn’t be more wrong.

The game has its own series of complex rules and terms, among which the one that stands out most is called “The Spirit of The Game.” The rule states that players have to admit their own fouls without any intervention of any Referee. The honesty that brings to the game really makes it more than any other ‘Game of the Gentlemen.’

Besides the usual exercise and workout that any game contributes towards a healthy body and sound mind, an Ultimate Frisbee game does more! To begin with the game ensures a full body workout as all parts of your body are involved whether you are jumping to catch a disc or running around trailing one. And with each throw your hand muscles get the necessary action too.

For this one we are going to go a little medical:  A 30 minutes game of Ultimate Frisbee ensures a healthy dose happy hormones like endorphins to boost your mood. And remember our point on the ‘Spirit of the Game’ rule add that to your happy hormones and you start making friends as the game progresses even with your opponents. Yes, this is social networking on the field. Try it, it is better than Facebook!Untitled-1 copy

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Run USHA, Run

Not many of you have heard about the Rath India Open Marathon, which first took place in 1982 coinciding with the 9th Asian Games, but many among you have participated in it! Don’t be surprised, as today it is better known as the Mawana Indian Open Marathon. It is one of the oldest running (pun intended) sports event in the country.

Untitled-1 copyA part of USHA sports Initiatives it has produced leading women athletes like Asha Aggarwal, Sunita Godara, Suman Mehta Rawat, and Rigzen Angmo. Some of them went on to be awarded the coveted Arjuna Awards. Today the Marathon occupies a special place in the sports calendar of AFI.

Keeping this glorious tradition alive, the route of the Marathon makes it a point to run through some of the most magnificent historical landmarks in Delhi. In the past it has been routed through the likes of India Gate, Jantar Mantar, All India Radio and Connaught Place. It also bears the distinction for being the first Marathon to test run the race route proposed for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.   10649672_10154453790550251_9151304437457179253_n

And at the end of it, it is not just another walk (rather run) around the parks of Delhi, for every year the Marathon takes up a noble cause. In the past it has taken up a diverse range of causes from environmental protection to earthquake relief, depending on what the country needs the most.

Will you be running with USHA in the next Marathon?

8 Reasons to Watch Mary Kom

Here are 10 good, solid, hard hitting reasons why you should cancel all your previous plans and hit the theaters in swarms to watch Mary Kom:Mary Kom

1. Get to know the real story of Mary Kom. A recent survey revealed only a very few Indians know who she really is. This is your chance to get to know the real Mary Kom, and thereby also pay homage to other such unacknowledged sportsperson of India

2. Watch it for Priyanka Chopra’s performance in Mary Kom. Well, Priyanka Chopra is Mary Kom. Period. Her acting is so convincing that you forget you are watching Priyanka Chopra, it is all Mary Kom. If there was an Olympic Medal for acting, she would have got it with her knockout performance. If you like to watch movies depending on their ratings and critical reviews, well this one is a 5 star winner. Just Google it, we are not kidding.

3. The story is real. The story is gritty. The story has everything from romance to action, all acted out with the never say die spirit. And it will take you in from the very beginning and will only leave you long after you have walked out of the theater, or perhaps never. Even the songs are not just great but they blend in perfectly without jarring you out of the story. The songs serve more than their purpose for once in a Bollywood movie.

Mary Kom

4. Every time a Bollywood Actor, perhaps after a thousand push-ups and bench-presses reveals his six pack, all of us go gaga. Well, Priyanka has done better, getting six-packs is one thing, but getting a Boxer’s body (which sadly even some professional boxers lack) with two years of intense training is a thing that deserves a standing ovation.

5. It is not just Priyanka, who acts great, other cast members and supporting actors have done a great job too, from Sunil Thapa to Darshan Kumar – who play her trainer and husband respectively.

7. It is a tribute to all women who have fought against all odds, like the many women who have been empowered through Usha Silai Schools and sports initiatives.

8. The Boxing is as real as it gets. Those moments in the ring are for real with actual Boxers, cuts and bruises and not make-up and CGI effects. Once Mary Kom joked that her favorite movies are Rocky part 1 to 100! No matter how many Rocky’s come and go, there will be only one Mary Kom! So go watch it.


Mary Kom’s Raging Bulls

Mary Kom Boxing Academy Imphal

Mary Kom Boxing Academy Imphal

The vision of the Boxing Academy set up by Mary Kom states “Quality Boxers with Prestigious Sports Medals from under-privileged potentials”. So far its Boxers have taken part at various state and national level championships and tournaments brining back Gold and Silver.

The Star Boxer after having realized that there is a lot of hidden talent, very like her, living untraceable lives in the interior parts of our country, set up the academy in 2006. These unacknowledged young people, she believes posses skills and enough will-power to bring laurels to the country. And with this motive she goes about inspiring and training our future champions.

No, wonder after speaking at The HAB by Usha she updated her Facebook Status to #UshaIntl Thanks for a great evening. I’m sure our paths will cross again when it comes to empowering women #UshaMpower

Mary Kom Facebook Status

Mary Kom Facebook Status

For just like her USHA INITIATIVES is empowering both women through its various Silai Schools and supporting and sponsoring various sports events – Marathon, Frisbee, Golf and Cricket. The former Silai Schools are an attempt to empower under-privileged women in rural areas of the country. Whereas, the latter sports initiatives do not only encompass urban areas but go on to include rural Frisbee camps for the marginalized.



In a recent interview the Magnificent Mary said “With women’s boxing becoming an Olympic event, lot more nations will compete in 2016 and the competition will be tough. I hope it helps Indian women boxing as well and there’s a growing awareness about the sport, and we hope to see lot more talent in the country.”

Just as Dingkok Singh’s success in the ring, got Mary into boxing, so has Mary’s success inspired many to enter the ring. Now with the release of the biopic Mary Kom starring Priyanka Chopra, there is hope that many more women will take up boxing against all odds.

Priyanka Chopra as Mary Kom

Priyanka Chopra as Mary Kom