SAFFRON POPS UP A BENGALI RESTAURANT
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- Published 21.09.14
Pishimar Thor Chorchori and Niharbalar Pabda Jhal to Ghoshbarir Kosha Mangsho to Didimar Pithe Payesh.
It’s a spread of long-forgotten treasures from the Bengali kitchen that Saffron, the Indian restaurant at The Park, is whipping up till October 15. Celebrating the variety of Bengali cuisine, Saffron has turned into a pop-up Bengali restaurant till mid-October.
Helping them on this heritage trail are Gopa Mitra and Santa Paul, who’ve come forward with recipes sourced from their families and beyond.
“We got in touch with several Bengali women known for their culinary skills and sampled their recipes. Santa and Gopa impressed us the most,” said Sharad Dewan, area director, F&B, The Park, Calcutta.
Alongside the traditional Bengali dishes will be an eye-catcher like BNR (Bengal Nagpur Railway) Mutton Curry that people who had once travelled on the now-defunct line would reminisce of. Saffron is serving up both East Bengal and West Bengal fare as part of an a la carte menu as well as vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis.
Santa Paul’s roots are in Khulna, now a part of Bangladesh. She learnt cooking from her mother, picking up new recipes at her in-laws, who are from Pabna. Santa’s best dishes include paturi, Shorshe Ilish, Data Chorchori, Bhapa Ilish, Puli Pithe and Payesh.
Sociology teacher Gopa Mitra’s ancestors were from Faridpur, in Bangladesh. Married to a ghoti family from Debra, a village in West Midnapore, this foodie found her culinary guru in her mother-in-law. Her best recipes include Posto, Katla Maachher Kalia, different prawn dishes and “jhaal-jhol-ambol”