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Gear up for the dandiya season
Sakàl times Team | Saturday, 10 October 2015 AT 07:14 PM IST
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From decking up in the perfect attire to indulging in a delightful Gujarati spread, ST finds out all you need to know to get ready for the nine-day festival.

The Grasp

Hold that dandiya stick tight and make it your magic wand. For those who think dandiya is a piece of cake, it’s not. You need to learn the skill to avoid injuries on the dancefloor and sway in style. All this requires practice, and earnest learning at week-long workshops.

Zeus Entertainment, a city-based event management firm, offers personal training for dandiya and garba for groups at multiple studios located across the city, in areas such as Kalyani nagar, Mukund Nagar, Law College Road, Nigdi and more. “We offer a comprehensive six-session course for groups, who can choose the timing as per their convenience.

Some groups call the trainer to their residence to host the sessions,” says Aakash Shah, from Zeus. Nirav Chauhan, a 23 year-old working professional has roped in five friends to sign up for the dandiya workshop. “We want to participate in dandiya competitions this year,” says Chauhan who has taken dance classes before but is making a debut with dandiya.

Diva Belly Dance Academy hosted a session of dandiya and garba workshops for ladies, men as well as kids at their Camp studio till October 10. “This dance form speaks about the sweetness, colour, energy and music of Gujarat,” says instructor Pooja Kumari who will introduce her students to the techniques of Dodiyo, Teen Taali, Do Taali, Hinch and Popat during the workshops.

The Grap

For all the dandiya enthusiasts, this is as important as a fashion week. And the only garment that qualifies to be featured on the dandiya dance floors is ghagra for women and kediyas for men. But the problem with purchasing a glamourous ghagra is that it may be too loud to wear elsewhere.

Hence, costume renters come to the rescue — rent a fancy ghagra choli from any costume shop in town and you are good to go.

Pros Production in Mukund Nagar rents a variety of ghaghra cholis for Navratri. Proprietor Ankeet Jain, says, “Some people get inspired by movies and demand that they want the exact ghaghra that Deepika Padukone wore in Ram Leela and so on. We have 40-50 different styles of ghaghras made around that particular attire of Deepika’s.”

This apart, the shop offers creative pieces like the LED ghaghras. “People like to wear these ghaghras as they are more attractive and bright. They are designed and tailoured inhouse,” says Jain.

They are also bringing in ‘Navratri Umbrellas’ from Gujarat, which are made out of Bandhani.

Mak Drap, another costume rental shop, located at Narayan Peth, offers netted ghagras this festive season. Says Pranam Gokhale, owner of Mak Drap, “The embroidered net fabric is stitched over a cotton or silk lining. These net ghagras are in vogue this year,” says Gokhale.

Men opt for kediyas with Ari-Jari and patchwork. “Sometimes, we also do kaatha embroidery on kediyas,” says Gokhale. He too offers ‘The Ram Leela Ghaghra for those who will not settle for anything less than what Deepika had worn in the film.
These rented ghagras and kediyas are available in all sizes.

On a roll

Homemaker Priyanka Ramaiya shares her recipe for Khandvi, a traditional Gujarati snack, to make and relish during the upcoming nine-day festival.

It’s not tedious at all,” says 26 year-old Priyanka Ramaiya, who got married and came to settle in the city with her husband Vishal, earlier this year. Hailing from Indore, she adds a dash of that local flavour in her preparations.

“My mother is from Maharashtra and my father is from Gujarat, plus we were staying in Indore, so when I cook, my food has a mix of different influences,” says Ramaiya, who loves to conjure new recipes in the kitchen.

For special occasions and festivals, she prefers making authentic Gujarati food, which is her husband’s favourtie cuisine. Back in Indore, before she got married, she used to work as a graphic designer, hence she pays great attention to presentation even when she is serving a meal or snacks.

Besan    1 cup
Haldi powder    1/4 tsp
Buttermilk    2 cups
Oil..    ...2 tsp
Mustard seeds...     1/2 tsp
Til (sesame seeds)...     1tsp
Green chili (slit lengthwise)..    3 to 4
Coriander leaves (finely chopped)    4tbsp
Coconut powder    2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Add salt and buttermilk and haldi powder to the besan and stir well till no lumps remain in the thin batter.
Place a thick bottom kadai on the gas and add the batter. Cook on low flame till the batter thickens. Smear a little batter on a greased surface and try to roll it. If you are unable to roll it, then the batter is not cooked yet.
Spread the cooked batter on flat plates and let it cool.
Once it has cooled, cut it in strips and roll.
Place another kadai tfor tempering. Pour the oil and heat it. Add til and mustard seeds and green chillies and let it crackle.
Arrange the khandvi on a plate and pour the temper on it.
Garnish with pomegranate.


With Navratri comes the dandiya season. We give you a list of some venues in Pune that are going to be crowded and fun this Dandiya.

Mahalakshmi Lawns, Sinhgad Road
Event: Raas Dandiya
On: October 17
Time: 7 pm
This event will have traditional fashion show, food court, live orchestra and lucky draw. Actress Yami Gautam is also expected to be here. They also have a photo booth where one can get clicked.

Yash Lawns, Bibwewadi
Event: Raas Leela Dandiya 2015
On: October 18
Time: 6 pm
Organised by Itant outdoor, this event has dandiya competition. Also one of the attractions is that there will be flower rain by a helicopter. Also Lauren Gottlieb is expected to perform.

Event: Rangeelo Raad Dandiya 2K15
On: October 19
Time: 6.30 pm
This is claimed to be the Loudest Navratri Dandiyas of Pune. This is being organised for the second time. The band has been invited all the way from Gujarat to play music.

Event: Jhanjar Nu Jhankaar Dandiya Raas 2015
On: October 16
Time: 1.30 pm
Organised by One Stop Production, this will have live orchestra and DJ. There are also lucky draw coupons in each and every pass. There are also prizes for the ones who dance well.

Vardhman Sanskritik Bhawan
Event: Bollywood Dandiya 2015
On: October 18, Sunday
Time: 6.30 pm
This event organised by Sky Entertainment will have fun and excitement. There are also competitions and prizes. They plan to celebrate authentic Gujarati garba.

Srushtee Lawns, Mhatre Bridge, DP Road
Event: Dandiya Raas 2015
On: October 21
Time: 6 pm to
This event follows the neon theme where a major part of the decoration will glow in the dark. This is the fifth year of the event. Other than music, there is also Smoke and Bubble Dance along with a Laser Show.

Laxmi lawns, Magarpatta City
Event: Dandiya Utsav
On: October 16 to 22
Time: 6 pm
This event has live band and DJs who will play music. Also there are prizes for the three best dandiya performers.

Hotel VITS Pune, Balewadi
Event: Dandiya Fever 2015
On: October 16 and 17
Time: 6 pm
The event has been organised by Linkin Minds and Human Stand Foundation. There will be smoke dance, Laser and Fire show. There are also prizes for the ones who dress traditionally.

The Corinthians Resort and Club
Event: Rassleela 2015
On: October 17
Time: 5 pm
The event will have live DJ and Bollywood and Gujarati songs will be played.
Prior booking is necessary in some of these dandiya events. Tickets can be booked at meraevents.com and bookmyshow.com

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