Kalabhat-yogurt-mango breakfast parfait

8:08 PM

Though as a grown up I dread summer but when I look back, Summer evokes such fond memories of childhood vacations spent at grandma's. Those were the simplest times with pure joy found in everything.
My Mama bari or maternal home is in a very remote village of Midnapore near the Coast did not even have electricity back then but we never missed it. we had friends and cousins to play with, pure unadulterated nature to explore and loving family and home to come back to. Everything was pure in what they offered. We had the most basic food foraged, caught and collected from our own farms, cooked by Dida. Even the breakfasts were simple affairs.

Bengali food has always been based on the principles of Ayurveda following which we not only include each of the six tastes to our meals for a more nourishing and fulfilling experience we also base our diet on easily digestible rice based products. Apart from various types of rice that contributes as the main carbohydrate to a Bengali diet there are numerous other rice based products like Muri (puffed rice), Chire (beaten rice), Khoi (puffed rice in it's husk), Chalbhaja (Another type of puffed rice but not as puffed and little spicy), khud (broken rice)  etc that makes our breakfast and snacks wholesome and filling.

You will hardly find a Bengali who have grew up in the 80's or before not have had Doi-chire-Aam as summer breakfast. Doi here refers to homemade yogurt and mostly chinipata doi where sugar is added to the milk before adding the culture. This Chinipata Doi often were our desserts during summer days even in our family this was served as a part of wedding meal. 

This Kalabhat parfait is born from that memory of my summer vacations and Doi-chire-aam. IF you know me then you know I do not suggest or recommend anything unless am very sure of it. And this Kalabhat parfait is a delicious thing to start your day. Kalabhat or black rice is naturally high in anti oxidant and contains anthocyanin that fights cancer and helps in reducing inflammations. Naturally gluten free, full of fiber and rich in protein content and so very versatile too. You can use them as steamed rice to pair with your curries, add in stir fries or salads, make desserts and even add them in your soup. Trust me this chewy slightly glutinous grain is a delight to have.

Mixed grain rice and pan seared Gandhoraj chicken Buddha Bowl

8:24 PM

Buddha Bowl is a wonderful concept where you pile up a bowl with your choice of grain, veggies and other accompaniments resembling the tummy of a laughing Buddha. The idea definitely is to include more ingredients from each food group with minimal processing to make it quick, balanced and nutritious. If you are someone  who wants her weekday meal sorted under 30 minutes then Buddha bowls are definitely for you. Depending on your choices you can change it to suit your requirements, like if you have more time or you want a fancy bowl of goodness then add more items to your bowl, if you are on specific kind of diet then you can make it grain free by adding cauliflower rice/ spiralised zuchhini or carrots or sweet potato, you can make it vegan by replacing the protein with tofu or lentils etc.


Amar Khamar and some lost varieties of Bengal's own rice variety.

10:33 PM

I found Amar Khamar through Insta and could not help but appreciate the way they are trying to celebrate one of Bengal's most important crop- The Rice. Which obviously for us Bengalis is not only a crop but a whole range of products that had sustained us from time immemorial.
So when a few weeks back Sarah from the organisation reached out to me I was keen to know more. Over a cup of coffee we discussed how they are trying to revive the Bengali indigenous rice varieties by working closely with farmers, Self help groups and the specific weather and present soil condition of 24 parganas. which took a worng turn when in 2009 the cyclone Aila hit the area and the inflow of saline water made the land unfit for agriculture . Add to that the growing need of polished high yielding quick cooking variety that made the indigenous rice grains vanishing from the Bengali map.
Though they try to connect the world to some unheard of rice varieties through the help of world wide web and social media but their faith in food and food security goes beyond that. They try to educate the farmers to grow sustainably and using environment-friendly methods of organic farming. As a result indigenous local seasonal food lovers like me are over joyous to see products that we have heard only in story books or in fables.
If you think am exaggerating then hear the name of the varieties they are brinigning to the market right now. Khejur chori, Kalo Nunia, Chinakamini, Talmugur, rani akanda, Chamormoni, Kalabhat-some of the most fascinating names and each grain is different in taste, texture and mouthfeel.
Apart from Rice they also are offering Mung or yellow lentil and turmeric powder.
I would be posting a few recipes with their rice varieties in my next posts. Recipes with which I tried to do justice to these unique grains and recipes that are easy and nutritious.
In the mean time why dont you go and meet the amazing farmers at Amarkhamar page and their youtube link in the below links
Website where you can order:

Disclimer: This is not a sponsored post. 

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