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On much popular demand (as requested by many on Instagram), the summer food series is back this year with rural flavours of Bengal. These posts will give you a glimpse of rural Bengal and the taste that we urbanites are missing or lost today amidst the chaos of imported flavours. Starting today with Neem Begun, the much famed  bitter stories of Bengali’s meal platter. Neem Begun , an old school traditional Bengali dish, very ancient and very ethnic. A true spring detox recipe to cleanse out the system. Neem pata diye begun bhaja is nothing but crispy fried neem leaves with cubed brinjals.  A Bengali meal typically starts with something bitter. And this is in an accordance with ancient Ayurvedic practices. A typical meal should starts with something bitter, followed by other tastes of spicy, pungent, astringent, sour and should ends on a sweet note. And our love for bitter food does not starts and ends with bitter gourd only. To begin with we have neem leaves and many more bitter flower and leaves that we regularly use in our daily meals. Neem or margosa is known for it’s medicinal properties since ancient times and is loaded with antiviral, anti […]
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Summer food round up With the sun shining high and mighty, summer arrived early this year.  Here we present a round up of traditional summer foods from Bengal and how we modify our every day meals as appropriate for the season. Fresh vegetables are prioritized, and a minimalist approach to cooking lends a beautiful touch to our summer menu. Summer is known for jack fruit, sojne ( moringa flowers, leaves, drumsticks), neem leaves, gourds and mangoes , king of fruit that brings wide culinary potpourri to the summer table. Eating seasonally is an age old practice for the best nutritional values but in the modern times we are slowly forgetting that. Here’s the list – 1. Bengali mango dal – tok dal – is a perfect marriage of sour and sweet flavours, with a delicate balance that you need to achieve else it might get spoil for you. A kiss of fiery red chillies ,the rhythmic dances of tiny mustard seeds, and a whiff of bhaja masala, my rendition, together creates a magical harmonic balance of taste and flavours. This green mango dal can certainly brings a fresh and stimulating touch, to your meal and can enliven your senses. Click here […]
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Please note that this post has been originally published on June 2017 and now has been updated with new information. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. This will be my concluding post on Yellowstone national park and before we venture onto our new destination, here is a quick roundup of what you can do in Yellowstone national park. Yellowstone is world’s first and most significant national park, and it’s rich and varied topography, landscapes and flora-fauna has something for everyone. From off-beat hiking trails to geyser gazing sights, or chasing the herds of bison or one-to-one interaction with wolves and bears, fishing, camping and rafting you can choose anything that cater to your interest. As I have said before, it is an experience. So do not rush to see everything, it is vast and cannot be covered in two-three days. So, here goes the top priorities or must- see sights before charting out new territories on your own. Old Faithful – There is much more to Yellowstone than Old faithful. It is touristy, yet it will enthrall you […]
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Dear Readers, Here’s the BIG NEWZ I want to share with you all. I am going to host a Bengali Pop Up @hyattcentricblr This is in collaboration with @authenticook   who champions the richness of regional cuisine through their home chefs, and has given me this wonderful opportunity . Thanks Hyatt for trusting me on this. . We have curated a special Bengali menu, themed around United Bengal that will highlight the essential flavours of two Bengal. . Here’s a sneak peek of yesterday’s trial session that we did at Hyatt. Featured here : Tentuler sorbot / Tamarind Sarbat with Kolkata’s favourite munch – Ghoti Gorom ,a delectable mix of roasted chanachor,  finely chopped onions , green chillies, peeled and diced green mangoes, grated carrots and sprinkled with chaat masala , a generous drizzle of lime juice and raw mustard oil. Hinger kochuri with aloo r tarkari a la Mishti dokan style Mochar chop Dimer devil I had tried to curate a menu that reflects pure home style Bengali meal that brings the joy of comfort food like – Shuktoni, Kancha Pepe diye musoor Dal (a homely musoor dal with green papaya and nigella) kuler achar / Indian jujube sweet pickle […]
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Sojne shaak / saag chorchori – Spring is here, and its time to have some immunity boosters on the table. Not the packed chemicals, I am talking about the natural food that helps to improve your immune system. And what better could be than this – Sojne shaak chorchori. Sojne or sahjan or better known as moringa, drumsticks in English is native to India and the tree blooms and flourishes precisely at this time of the year. A slow transition in atmospheric temperature, that trigger off several other parameters, right from air quality, weeds that begins to multiply precisely at the onset of spring, viruses that begin to prolific in Spring and several other things that makes the season treacherous for many. But amazingly nature has solution for this and how fascinating it is that the synchronizing blooming of this particular tree cures many of the season’s ailments. What is Moringa / drumstick / sojne / sahjan tree? Moringa Oleifera is a tree native to India and its parts had been used in traditional medicines for thousands of years. The tree is blessed with anti-oxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, and is believed to prevent chicken pox, together with neem or margosa.   […]
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Today I am going to share with you all, a very special dish, absolutely close to my heart , Bengali phulkopi singara / aloo -gobhi ke samose and this was supposed to be my last post in my winter food series. But an acute bronchitis had kept me away from my daily routine for over a month. Spring is here and it looks promising. This dish was also part of my food festival recently held in my neighborhood to commemorate the 70th Republic Day of our Nation. The only food that truly captures the essence of unity in diversity of our nation, I believe is none other than this humble simple samosa – which had marked its presence in every nooks and corners of the country. From village, towns to cities, you will find samosa in its many variations and am yet to meet anyone who does not love a bite of crispy samosa. Potatoes are truly indispensable in samosa filling but the taste could differ to great extent, depending upon from which region the samosa is hailing from. Punjabi samosa will taste very different from the Bengali singara and so as the South Indian ones with undeniable presence of […]
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In Indian culture and cuisine, pickles reserves a special class of condiment, an all-around condiment that you can literally put on anything and it will taste great. It has that special power to enliven the most dull and boring bowl of dal-chawal (rice). Winter is my favourite pickling month especially for vegetable pickles and tomato pickle. The sun is bright and shining, these days and I consider the leisurely hours spent watching over your jar of pickles in the afternoon, basking in the warmth of winter sun is sheer luxury of modern life. Today I am going to share one of my new family favourite pickle – carrot – chilli pickle. This one is almost instant pickle that you can start eating right away, requires no ageing or maturation time. In my growing up years I have watched intently how my mom used to make mango and lime pickles through out summer, thanks to big mango and lime tree in our backyard. So making pickle is nothing new to me, only the constraints of modern life keeps me busy for elaborate pickle making techniques. Hence, this instant version of carrot pickle comes very handy and is a hit in my […]
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Next in our Winter Food Series is – Indian flavoured red kidney bean chili – vegan / vegetarian. Ever since I had discovered this hearty bowl of chili, it has become my comfort food for cold and chilly winter nights. When the feel of Winter is in air, skies becomes brighter, misty mornings eventually lead to cold evenings and what better would be than this ? bowl of vegetarian red kidney beans chili to warm up the soul. This happens when your beloved “rajma- chawal” goes Mexicana , but remains Indian at heart. So apart from jalapenos, which has been adopted by us as our long lost kid, and chocolate this red kidney beans chili, remain classic at heart, draw flavours from all the warm Indian spices. This chili is so easy to make, thick and flavourful that you wont miss the meat here. Over the years it has become our to-go chili bowl for all occasion and had been a super hit with vegetarian as well as serious meat-eaters alike. The best part about this chili bowl is that it is extremely easy to make, packed with nutritious vegetables, aromatic Indian spices and off course one secret ingredient – […]
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Before the nail biting coldness of winter wanes, into warmth of a promising spring, here is a series of Winter Special Posts, starting from today that will feature some of the winter favourites of our home. First in the series is – Bengali style aloo phulkopi dalna or kosha / aloo gobhi matar ki sabzi but in a true Bong style, that is without onions and garlic. Before the last of the cauliflower, fresh green peas and new potatoes bid adieu from the local markets, here is that lip smacking aloo gobhi matar that promises to make any meal scrumptious.The best of season’s goes into the simmering pot – cauliflowers, fresh green peas and new potatoes in their tender jackets, tossed in hot mustard oil, chunks of roasted tomatoes that lends an undeniable tangy taste to the dish and ravishing red color to the gravy , scented with earthy cumin, the holy 3 C’s cinnamon- cardamom – cloves with a hint of green chillies for the heat. Vegetables, herbs and greens taste better in Winter, unless they are summer produce, and this is so true with the cauliflowers. By any means, cauliflowers taste way better in winter than in any […]
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Greetings. Wishing everyone a brand new year to begin with, beautiful moments, treasured memories, and all the blessings , a heart can know. And here I am back with this sweet post, because I believe every beginning and end must be on a sweet note. Rasmalai – another jewel of sweet from the vast repertoire of Bengali sweets. Though in Bengal, rasmalais usually looks quite different from the hugely popular North Indian varieties which is ubiquitously present in every corner of the country, the method of preparation is quite similar though. Rasmalai is nothing but an extension of bengal’s famous spongy rasgulla, served with rabdi or thickened milk as per the local preferences goes. In short, preparation and learning to make super soft and spongy rasmalai starts with perfecting the rasgulla recipe itself.   However, few pointers to make super soft, halwai / sweet-maker style rasmalais are as follows – 1. The base chhena – like rasgulla too, rasmalai also needs super soft chhena, not crumbly one. And it all starts with how good your milk is. Always use full cream fresh milk for the recipe. How to curdle the milk properly, there are lots of things to consider while […]
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