Chefs Rahul Kanojia and Jesse Mann have made it a mission to introduce Calgary to regional dishes and street food snacks from all over India. Starting as a pop-up, Saffron Street’s popularity led to their stall at First Street Market, which opened last year. Since then, Kanojia and Mann have been churning out classic Indian street-food snacks like dahi puri and pav bhaji.
Dahi puri is a bite-sized snack with a crispy, fried flour shell filled to the brim with a spicy mix of potatoes, onions and chickpeas. Covered with dollops of yogurt, tamarind and mint chutney, the dish is finished with crunchy fried noodles called sev, chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds. Saffron Street’s dahi puri is meant to be eaten in one bite and packs such enormous flavour it is impossible to stop at just one. For something more substantial, pav bhaji, is a combination of warm, buttered dinner rolls paired with a spicy thick gravy of potatoes, tomatoes and assorted vegetables. Saffron Street bakes fresh rolls daily for the dish, which is pillowy soft and the perfect vehicle for the rich, spicy bhaji.
As a new business, the chefs and founders acknowledge that every day presents a new challenge, but they are spurred onwards by their supportive customers. A market favourite is their rotating regional plate feature, which highlights traditional curries from different parts of India; so far, Mann and Kanojia have presented the flavours of Punjab, Maharashtra, Kashmir and New Delhi. We can’t wait to taste more!
Saffron Street | First Street Market | 1327 1st St. S.W. | Instagram: @saffronstreetyyc