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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Flora , West Hartford review

      If you follow my blog, you might know I already visited flora for Connecticut blogger's meet. And I wanted to visit again, and two weeks back for my birthday lunch, I choose to come here.
Like everyday diet even when eating out, I love to visit places which offers sustainable or healthy food. In Hartford area, there are several excellent restaurants but finding plant-based Flora itself is a blessing. 

      Flora is nested on the second floor of the American Legion Hayes-Village Post 96 building. Flora is unique and innovative on it own. Flower mural painted by local artist Andres Montiel on the walls of the stairs and microgreens grown on site at Flora and used in their dishes.

      Open space with a full-service bar and cozy fireplace with excellent ventilation for natural light are instantly motivating with impressive service and creative, extensive vegan choices.

      I started my day with a yellow pineapple juice and husband had shaved jalapeno soup. The yellow pineapple juice was refreshing and I got the fair share of soup from my husband. It was thick, whippy, filling and succulent at the same time.

      For starter, we had artichoke and spinach dip that comes with a toasted house-made seed bread. It was indeed different than the usual greasy and heavy ones. A healthy twist without compromising the flavor and texture.

      For the main, I opted for grilled organic chicken breast which comes with avocado slices, farro, spaghetti squash, rutabaga, kale garnished with sunflower seeds and chili oil. It was undoubtedly a well-crafted dish with a healthy balance. Rightly grilled chicken added a great punch with avocado, farro, and made crunchy with sunflower seeds. And husband got falafel wrap that comes with terra root vegetable chips. Delicately baked falafel oozes dainty deliciousness.
      For our sweet ending, we had fried whole wheat bread with cashew butter. It was almost decadent dessert with every bite sensing the nutty bites.  The only minor gripe was, if they could take care of the presentation as much the taste.

      We witnessed locally sourced, healthy and unique dining Flora's motto “As vegan as you want to be". Coming back to Flora again for sure, for the experience, without any reason or occasion.  Flora is undoubtedly a great add-on to Hartford country's foodie's scene with its healthy innovation and inspiration.

Monday | closed

Bar stays open late

Kitchen hours:
Tuesday | 11:30am to 10pm
Wednesday | 11:30am to 10pm
Thursday | 11:30am to 10pm
Friday | 11:30am to 10pm
Saturday | 11:30am to 10pm
Sunday | 11:30am to 10pm

45 Raymond Rd
West Hartford, CT 06107
Phone: 860.216.5992

Saturday, February 10, 2018

National Rail Museum, New Delhi

      As a parent traveler or mother traveler, I often look for places that my kids can enjoy as well. My son has a great fascination for locomotives. There is a significant part of parenting is you can revisit or relieved your favorite things with your kids. This time during our visit in India we visited National Rail Musem. Nested in Chanakyapuri very conveniently with the rich 163 years history and heritage, the National Rail Musem has a beautiful history and heritage. 

    The museum opened on 1st February 1971 has more than ten acres of land and emphasizes on Indian rail heritage. It has both indoor and outdoor exhibits.  The list of display includes the "Fairy Queen" steam locomotive, it is the oldest working steam locomotive and is also featured in Guinness book of world records, "John Morris Fire engine", it is the only solid rubber tire working vehicle, Saloon of Prince of Wales, Patiala state monorail trainways , Saloon of Maharaja of Indore, Saloon of Maharaja of Mysore, Electric locomotive 4502, Electric locomotive Sir Roger Lumley, etc.

Miniature Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station

                                                     Miniature Lotus Temple

Miniature Delhi Rail Station 

        A good thing about the museum is that the entry fees is a very minimal amount, 50 Rupees(0.8 US dollars) for weekdays and 100 rupees (1.2 US dollars) for the weekend in Indian currency. It was a  lovely atmosphere we spotted several school student, or kids visiting the museum, my son was excited to see them. The museum does not limit to school visits, also offers summer camps, seminar etc. for any age group We took the "Joy Train" ride; the train took us through the entire premise between all outdoor exhibits. A display of miniature signature rail stations of India was one of the thrilling parts. Like India's every state has its own culture and color, so does India's every railway station and this exhibit tries to portrait it too, Connor to Nilgiri and Darjeeling to Bikaner. It was a great feeling experience the yesteryears of India's royal state's regal and rich vintage coaches.  Museum also offers activities like diesel and steam engine simulators and 3D coach ride etc.

                                                        Rail Heritage Restaurant

      The museum focuses on little one's entertainment with a small play area with tabletops made like chess boards etc. There is a lovely cafe in the museum convenient to eat if you have little children as it is located inside the museum.


        We had a memorable few hours spent in the museum with joy train ride and seeing some priceless exhibits and experience the joy of peeking through the history and heritage of Indian rail. I visited with my son, he had a great time and I was equally pleased too. Without any age barrier, anybody can experience the joy of yesteryear India's rich rail heritage.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Namphake - Harmony of Peace and Tranquility

The meditation center

      In the kitsch of chaotic world, Namphke village is tucked in quaint calm and tranquility of solitude. It is situated on the banks of Burhidihing river which is a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra river.  25 miles away from Dibrugarh Assam, the road from the tea town Dibrugarh takes you through the emerald green tea gardens, dusty roads with the glimpse of river views to the melange of natural beauty and peace, Namphake. 

Burhidihing river

      The lifeline of the village is Namphake Buddhist monastery. The origin of Namphake village can be traced back to 1850 A.D. The people living here are descendants of the great Tai race believed to have migrated from Myanmar. They have over 150 families now. This monastery is considered as the most esteemed and oldest Buddhist monastery in Assam. It has a meditation center with the attached library has several Buddhist manuscripts reserved and is a notable tourist attraction of Assam. 

Main Entrance

      The monastery set is eco-friendly and the natural setting also reflects their artistic side through adorning traditional handloom pieces. 

      Following the path of Buddhism encourages them to be more tolerant and peaceful. As a peace-loving community, they almost witness zero incident of crime. The monastery has its own set of rules:

  • Have to take off your shoes before entering
  • Encouraged to maintain a quiet and peaceful atmosphere 
  • It is devoid polythene or plastic 
  • Do not interrupt in religious activities


Religious Circle

      Namphake is a travel tranquility for your soul and mind. It is standing high in the harmony of peace and simplicity.

Ashoka Pillar

Mucalinda Tank with meditating Buddha statue guarded by a snake.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Bukhara ITC Maurya,Chanakyapuri, New Delhi review

      The famous who visited, the awards and the showstopper dal, I was little nervous to write about Bukhara.  The visit itself, you experience the warmth and high hospitality the Indian culture stands for with rhythm of rustic interior keeping rendition with yesteryears of Mughal inspiration.

     We were hit by the usual Delhi traffic that got us little late for lunch. Consider ourselves lucky, 5 minutes passed lunch, and we were greeted with the most gracious welcome.

      As we already felt little guilty about getting late, so started our day with the main and how would it be without the iconic dal Bukhara. And then pudina paratha, Murg malai kabab, and Kastoori kabab.

      Dal Bukhara: cooked for 24 hours in the earthen oven (tandoor)  with tomato and ginger garlic was indeed a show stopper and signature. Thick whippy black gram dal comes with a generous dollop of butter on top. If you haven't yet tasted, just start with it and witness the taste of deliciousness ever.

      Kastoori Kabbab: let the magic happen on your tastebud.  Chunky chicken pieced lightly coated with egg yolk melange of ginger garlic and peppermint carefully cooked in the oven. Juicy and zestful.

     Malai Kabab: Meticulously prepared comes on the wooden square luscious and luxurious taste of malai velvety touch with the tint of green chilies and coriander. Gloppy and gilded.

      Bukhara's menu is not so extensive to get lost but covers enough for any taste bud whether you are non-veg or vegetarian. As a tradition, you should eat with hands, but if you want to use fork and spoon, they will gladly provide you.

        Since it does not offer any rice dishes, we gladly ordered mint, Partha. Soft and minty paratha goes well with all the entries.

      As everything went so sweet, we made it, even more, sweeter with Ras Malai. Indian sweet cheese balls with reduced milk. Melt in silken balls adorned with pistachio and decadent saffron flavor.

      One of the best iconic culinary experience and value for the price.  I would be glad to visit next time when I'm in Delhi.  

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Glimpse of Assamese village scene

They say India resides in the villages. In today's science and technologies enormous achievements inevitably wipe out the differences between village and city. However, there are a few places where village charm is still there. My recent visits to Assam India I click a few pictures in Assam. Love to share with you guys.
  Me wearing traditional assamese attire called mekhela chadar in my in-law's ancestral village.

Tengamora (Roselle) - A favorite assamese sour vegetable.

Banana and banana flower- both edible. Banana flower curry is a favorite assamese staple. It can make scrumptious curry with chicken and sometimes with lentils and sometimes without anything.

 Bhoot Jalokiya(Ghost chili) one of the hottest chili in the world. It can make a very spicy pickle.

Pukhuri(Small fish tank). Almost every assamese village household own a pukhuri for daily fish need. 

 Bhoral(Paddy Storage). You can't imagine an assamese village household without a bhoral. It a symbol of farming culture.

Paduli (Typical assamese driveway narrow and long)

 Cows gazing in the field.

Kaji Nemu- A type of assamese lemon don't know anywhere else found except Assam. Very juicy and it has a great aroma it can increase your appetite.

Oolkobi (Knolkhol or Kohlrabi) - A favorite vegetable.

River fish - fresh caught of the day. Fish curry is one staple food in almost every assamese meal.

Pothar (Paddy field) - A barren paddy field after cropping the harvest.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Happy Magh Bihu

Meji- The holy fire 
With a mixed feeling happy Magh Bihu all. Last day in Assam trip. We are leaving home, Assam tomorrow on the day of Magh Bihu. I almost feel like a five-year-old little girl who refuses to go to school. I refuse to leave Assam. It's always difficult for me to decide what makes me so sad - my parents, brother, family, and friends or those familiar sights I grew up with.
                                     Masor Tenga (Assamese sour fish curry)

Magh Bihu, the most fun, food and frolic festival of Assam. It's all about enjoying food with friends and family after the successful harvest. It usually falls in the 2nd week of January. If you read my blog, you might know there are three Bihus in Assam. Magh Bihu is the one celebration where it's about eating and enjoyment, and that is the reason it's also called Bhugali Bihu. Bhug means enjoying and eating. The day before Magh Bihu is called Uruka. On this day friends and family get together for community dinner. Food consists of fish chicken, duck, thick black gram, fried yam. With the changing time, our traditions change. As Magh Bihu is a typical harvest festival, traditionally young man or farmers build a makeshift cottage call Bhelaghar and also a Meji with hay and wood. On the day of Bihu, Maji is lighted there is a folk belief that with the Maji you burn the cold and are ready to welcome the spring. Bullfights and egg fights are also performed during this fun-filled Bihu time. Making and sharing  pitha and sweets is essential part of Magh Bihu
                                      Laru- Coconut and sesame sweet balls

I have so many wonderful memories of Magh Bihu with my family and friends. Lucky to witness the Magh Bihu in Assam with my family. With this beautiful note bidding adieu to Assam until next time with all the wonderful memories in my heart.

The modern day bhelaghar 

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