Gits KaraiSutir Kachori Mix – Product Review

Let’s face it, people who like cooking usually don’t prefer Ready to Eat packs. I, being a food blogger and all (J) normally try and avoid packaged foods. I like preparing the food I serve from scratch.  But a cook never really grows unless you try out all that’s there to try – ready to cook/eat including.

I tried Gits Karaisutir Kachori mix a couple of weeks back and was pleasantly surprised that I kind of liked it. This post is a product review of the same.

Karaisutir Kachuri

Karaisutir Kachuri

Why Ready to Eat Mix?

First Things First. Why take resort to ready to cook mixes, when there is an absolute pleasure of preparing ingredients from scratch? The answer is simple – either you can spend half a day in the kitchen for just preparing the fillings for karaishutir kochuri or you can do the same thing in just 20 minutes.

Gits Karaisutir Kachuri

The packet says you can get up to 30 kachoris from it, but if you put a generous amount of the filling in the dough, you can make around 20. The end product was excellent.

Gits Karaisutir Kachuri

Gits Karaisutir Kachuri

How to prepare it

While talking about karaishutir kachori, there’s always the problem of rolling the dough into a perfect circle, which is quite a tough job. So, if you find it tough to make the perfect circle, then I think you should own a chapatti/paratha maker to make the kachoris.

I prepared the mix in almost the same way as instructed in the packet.

Emptied the packet in a medium sized bowl, and poured luke-warm water over it little by little. If you pour a whole cup of water, the mix tends to form lumps, which is quite hard to get rid of.

Karaisutir Kachuri Bhaja

Karaisutir Kachuri Bhaja

Mixed it well and kept it for 20 min covered with cling film. Heated 1 teaspoon of oil in a wok and just stirred the mixture for 2-3mins, and took out of flame.

Make the dough as is made while preparing luchi (poori), and divide into 20 small balls. Take one ball dip into little oil and roll a little, put about ¾ tablespoons of just made filling and cover the filling with the dough. Roll again to make 5 inch diameter size circle. Do the same for the rest.

We had the kachori with alu dum, it tasted awesome, even my neighbor liked it.

Downsides

The mix has some amount of asafetida (hing), so if you are averse to the strong sulfurous smell of that, it’s better to avoid the mix.

Karaisutir Kachuri Pur Bhaja

Karaisutir Kachuri Pur Bhaja

How can you get Gits Karaisutir Kachori mix

Gits products can be obtained from supermarkets and grocery stories from 35 different countries including India. The products are also available online and can be bought through Amazon.

Disclosure: This isn’t a paid review, but the ready to eat packs were received from Gits free of cost. I’ve tried to maintain neutrality while evaluating the product. Please let me know if you feel otherwise.

About Gits

Gits started as small company way back in 1963 and have evolved into a household name in the ready to cook and ready to mix Indian food product segment. Their offerings include snacks, desserts, papads, savouries, meals and desserts.

If you like the post, chances are you would like the Gits product too. Try it out.

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Bread Chopsuey

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Promise is most given when the least is said.
~George Chapman

Have you ever made a promise? The everyday ones. A promise that you could have written in caps with a bold and font size 72.

This post is a part of the Valentine’s Day Special recipes. Valentine’s day is just 2 days away, and today is Promise Day. Earlier we talked about Paneer Pulao in Rice Cooker on Teddy Day, Chocolate Cake in Microwave on Chocolate Day and Bengali Style Matar Paneer on Propose Day.

When I googled for the word “Promise”, there were more than 9 million hits including some promise day sms, lyrics from a song by Ciara, a wiki page on promise and many many more. I clicked on one particular link showing the etymology of the word.

Have you ever thought of writing promise as “Promys”, am sure the primary school teacher would have come to you with a long stick in hand. But, that was how the word was spelt in 1400s when it first appeared in Middle England. Through the centuries the word evolved and is now spelled differently.

I made a promise to myself today. By next year am going to be a good baker. I had been an awful baker all this time; you can have a look at my baking disasters. Recently, I have made some improvement in my skills, but still pounds to bake before I perfect the art. J.

Today’s recipe is a simple and easy to prepare one. It is a healthy breakfast and an ideal way to start a day. This recipe is on its way to Srivalli’s Kids Delight – Wholesome Breakfast.

Serves 4
Preparation time 10min
Cooking time 10min

Ingredients:

  • Bread (Pau ruti): 4 pieces, cut into four squares
  • Hard Boiled egg (Sedho dim): 4, cut into quarters
  • Boiled potato (Sedho alu): 2 medium sizes, chopped coarsely
  • Coriander leaves (Dhane pata): 2-3 sprigs, chopped coarsely
  • Sunflower Oil (Sada tel) for deep frying
  • Bhujia for garnishing
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice (Lebur rash): 2 tablespoon

Preparation:

  • Heat oil in a wok and fry the bread pieces. Fry till they are almost brown, take out and place over a kitchen paper to soak out the excess oil
  • In a large salad bowl put the fried bread pieces, boiled potato, chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice, salt and toss
  • Divide the tossed breads in four serving bowls, garnish with  the eggs and bhujia

Hot Tips– Its best to fry a little old bread pieces, fresh bread tends to crumble. I have cut the bread pieces into four. You can cut it with a cookie cutter in any shape of your choice.

Wish you a Happy Promise Day!

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Paneer Pulao in Rice Cooker

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There’s nothing as nice. As a new Teddy Bear.
To tickle and cuddle, And take everywhere
To share all your secrets,Your laughter and tears
To keep by your side Through seasons and years.
There’s nothing as nice As a new Teddy Bear…
Except for an old one With memories to share.

~Jeannie Hand-Stuart~

Did any of you get a teddy today? Today is Teddy Day and as promised we are here with the third Valentine’s Week special recipe. There’s Matar paneer on Propose Day and Microwave Chocolate cake on Chocolate Day.

After these two it’s a simple and non-greasy preparation for the menu. You can have it with the spicy Mutton kasha, or the healthy Cauliflower curry.

Paneer Pulao

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 10min

Cooking time: 30min

Ingredients:

  • Long grain or Basmati rice (Chal): 2 cups
  • Farmer cheese (Paneer): 200gms
  • Peas (Matar shuti): ½ cup
  • Cumin (Jeera): 2 tablespoon
  • Onion (Peyaj): ½ cup, finely chopped
  • Water (Jal): 4 cups
  • Sunflower Oil (Sada tel): 5 tablespoon
  • Coriander leaves (Dhane pata) for garnishing
  • Salt to taste

Paneer Pulao

Preparation:

  • Wash the rice and spread them over a clean newspaper so that the water gets drained off
  • Cut the paneer in small square pieces
  • Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a wok, and fry the paneer pieces till golden brown
  • Plunge them into warm water with little salt, keep aside
  • In the rice cooker pour the extra oil, onions, cumin and salt, mix well, turn on and cook for 2-3min
  • Add the rice and mix well with the sautéed onions, pour in 4 cups of water
  • Cook for about 15 min
  • Add the peas and cook for some more time, check in between whether the rice has been cooked well
  • Add the paneer, and cook for 4-5mins more
  • Serve with chopped coriander garnished

Paneer Pulao

Hot Tips – You can also prepare it over flame. Just follow the steps, but use a little less water and cook over low flame.

Further Reading – Paneer pulao, Zafrani Paneer Pilaf

What’s your Teddy Bear Memory?

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Chocolate Cake in Microwave

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Lovely Chocolate and Lovely you. And lovely are the things you do, but the loveliest is the friendship of the two, one is me and the other is you. HAPPY CHOCOLATE DAY

My day started with this message. Most people I know love Chocolates (and chances are, you too) and when a day is dedicated to this, it ought to be celebrated.

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Day

Chocolate Day is 2nd day of the Valentine Week. As promised, each day of the Valentine week, I would post recipes befitting the occasion. I started with Matar Paneer with a Bengali twist on the Propose Day, and here’s  chocolate cake for the C-Day.

Uh oh, not so soon. Before jumping to the recipe, lets talk about Chocolate for a little while.

History of Chocolate

Cocoa trees grow in the wild in Latin America, and that’s where Chocolate is said to have originated from. It was the Olmec tribe who started preparing chocolate as early as 1000BC. Chocolate beans used as currency in many parts of Latin America almost till 19th Century. The Mayas also used chocolates for rituals and ceremonies, but it was strictly for drinking. The first chocolate bar came from Cadbury’s in England in 1842, and that started a new era of chocolates. [Source: Wikipedia]

Benefits of chocolate

No, seriously. You may be surprised to know that Chocolate has its own share of benefits.

Besides being a mood enhancer, chocolate has a very high food value, delays aging and helps avoid cardiac problems. It is believed that chocolate consumption releases chemicals in the body very similar to ones when you are in love. So, the next time you indulge yourself with a bar of chocolate, just think about all its good effects. J

Note: Indulging in chocolate doesn’t mean watching this movie.

Cooking Chocolate Cake in Microwave Oven

I tried making a chocolate pudding that I read in a Thai recipe book. The pudding was to be steamed in braine marie, but I tried doing that in the microwave. Now, here’s the news. The pudding didn’t seem to be like the one in the book pic, but it was a perfect cake like texture. That was my eureka moment, baking cake in a simple microwave oven. The tasters loved it. 🙂

Prepare Chocolate Cake

Prepare Chocolate Cake

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 15min

Cooking time: 6min

Ingredients for Chocolate Pudding

For the cake

  • Plain flour (Maida): 1 cup
  • Caster sugar (Guro chini): 1 ¼ cup
  • Egg (Dim): 3
  • Cocoa powder: 4 tablespoon
  • Unsalted butter (Sada Makhan): ½ cup + for greasing
  • Plain chocolate: 100gms

For chocolate sauce

  • Unsalted butter: 2 tablespoon
  • Cocoa powder: 2 tablespoon
  • Milk (Dudh): ½ cup
  • Caster sugar (Guro chini): 3 tablespoon
More Chocolate Pudding

More Chocolate Pudding

Preparation steps for Chocolate Pudding

For cake

  • Beat the egg and caster sugar together, whisk well till frothy
  • In another bowl sift the flour and cocoa powder
  • Gradually add flour and cocoa powder into the beaten egg, whisk well
  • Pour in individual bowls and place in large tray filled with water
  • Microwave high for 6 min or till a tooth pick inserted at the middle of the cake comes out clean

For the chocolate sauce

  • Melt the butter and cool down to room temperature
  • Mix milk, caster sugar and cocoa powder well, whisk well
  • Pour in the butter and stir again

Decoration

  • Take a dessert plate and place the cake on it, pour in the chocolate sauce and garnish with chocolate chips

Further Reading – Black Forest Chocolate Cookies, Chocolate Dessert

Happy Chocolate Day folks!

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Bengali Style Matar Paneer

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Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

A woman proposes a man. The man rejects. And then the man is punished for the refusal. Ever heard of such a thing?

Custom dictated if a man is proposed on 8th February, he can deny it only at the risk of punishment, which varied from a kiss to buying a gown or a pair of gloves.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

Well, you know that already. So, Ladies lets get started. In case you are a man, there’s nothing better for a lady to see a nice dinner table decked with her favorite food. You bet.

I love cooking, but there can’t be anything better if I see my man cooking dinner for me. Even if that’s not so good to taste, I would just devour that.

We at Cook Like a Bong are celebrating this week of love. Valentine’s Day is just round the corner. I am sure you all are busy thinking of what best to present to your loved one:). To make that special person feel how much you care, I am sure, you all are ready to do a lot (but not like the Hindi movies “Main tumhare liye jaan bhi de sakta/sakti hoon!” [– “I can sacrifice my life for you!”] – that’s too much:) ).

StepMom Proposal Scene, my favorite

Propose Day

Today is Propose  Day and I thought of preparing something simple yet special. K is not here, but I’m sure he would have loved it. The Matar Paneer is Bong-ofied by yours truly. Bon Apetite!

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 15min
 

 

 

Ingredients of Matar Paneer

Farmer cheese (Paneer ): 200gm
Potato (Aalu): 2 medium sized
Peas (Matar, ): ½ cup
Tomato: 1 medium sized
Cumin (Jeera): 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder (Jeera guro): 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1teaspoon
Chili Powder (Lanka guro): 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder: ½ teaspoon
Clarified butter (Ghee): 1 teaspoon [optional]
Sunflower Oil  (Sada tel): 1 ½ tablespoon, + extra for frying

Fresh Paneer

Fresh Paneer

Preparation for Matar Paneer

  • Cut the paneer and potatoes into small 1 inch size cubes, chop the tomato
  • Simmer about 2 cups of water with little salt
  • Heat oil in a wok and gently fry the paneer cubes till golden brown, drop the fried paneer in the salted water
  • Fry the potatoes till half cooked in the same oil, keep aside
Half Fried Paneer

Half Fried Paneer

  • Drain excess oil keeping just about one-and-half tablespoon of oil for the cooking
  • Add the cumin seeds and wait till they start popping, reduce the flame
  • Add the tomatoes, cook till they soften and the oil starts coming out
  • In the mean time, add all spices in a small bowl and pour in just about half cup of water to make a smooth paste
  • Pour the spice paste in the wok and cook, if it starts getting too dry then pour in some more water
  • Throw in the half cooked potatoes, salt and just as much water to cover the potatoes
  • Cook till the potatoes are almost done
  • Slowly drop the soaked paneer and cook till the gravy thicken
  • Sprinkle the garam masala and pour in the ghee
  • Take out of flame and serve with roti, paratha or vegetable pulao
More Matar Paneer

More Matar Paneer

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Bengali Food Bloggers Interview Part 2 – Bong Mom

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We had the first part of Food Blogger Interview series with Jayshree. It is the first part of a 6 interview series of the Top 7 Bengali Food Bloggers, which we came up with 6 months ago. This post is the second in line for the Blogger Interview Series and the lady this time is a very well known blogger, Bong Mom.

7 Top Bengali Food Blogs

7 Top Bengali Food Blogs


About Bong Mom
She started her blog in October 2006 with the first post as Alu posto and Musir’er Dal. She had been a regular blogger for the last 3years and a few months, catering wonderful and finger-licking recipes all the time. With a page rank of 4, Bong Mom CookBook is one the most popular Bengali Food Blogs over the internet.

What inspires you to write a food blog?

I’ve said it in my first post and I reiterate:

Growing up all over West Bengal, and some parts of Bihar, in a Bengali household I learnt one thing, Bengalis love to eat, feed others and cook (at least Bong women do).

So growing up amongst such a race it’s natural that I love to eat and to make my food dreams into reality have taken to loving cooking my food. I get solace in cooking, the comfort of the spices sputtering in the oil, the waft of the Jeera & Tejpata as they turn brown, the rich yellow of my musuri’r dal gives me peace, makes me calm and in this far off land makes me connect to my home.

I want to pass on my legacy of Bengali food to my two little daughters and all the other little ones out there who growing up in a foreign land will find a way to connect to their Bangla roots through the smell and taste of Bangla cuisine.

This is also for all others who are unaware of the Bengali Cuisine, to try out and sample the nuances of Bengali Cooking.

Who had been your inspiration for cooking?

Cooking was more of a necessity than inspiration. I didn’t really cook much when I was with my parents. I did love to eat and cooking back then was an occasional trial of the recipes in the magazines.

Cooking for survival happened when I started my first job far from home and it was pretty expensive to dine out every day.

Now I really love cooking, more so because I am so far away from home, that cooking gives me immense comfort. The smell of the spices, the sounds the smell brings back memories of home. It also lets me eat my food just the way I want. Most of the stuff I cook is Bangla Home food, things my Ma, grandma cooked at home

Who was and is your greatest support(s) for this blog?

Definitely my husband. He is the one who has to wait hungry, while I click. LOL

Sooner my Dad joined in. He even got me shaal pata’r utensils from Kolkata for shots. But then I shouldn’t leave out my dear S (my eldest daughter), she steers clear and is patient while I am trying to get the shot and of course my Ma, my most ardent reader.

What was the first dish that you prepared and when?

Don’t remember the first, maybe Maggi. But once I started cooking officially, I used to regularly make Dim er Dalna/Egg Curry. That is the only thing me and my room mate cooked and ate on most days

How many cook books do you have?

Very few. I like cook books with lots of stories

What’s your favorite cookbook?

I have been reading food memoirs recently and love them. I would recommend Ruth Reichl’s “Tender on the Bone”. I don’t think I would cook anything from there but the writing will definitely wonderful

Tell us something about food from your part of the world?

Go read my Blog. LOL

What would you eat for your last supper?

Bhaat(Rice), Musuri’r Dal, Alu-posto ar ekta pati lebu

Your most trusty kitchen companion?

My Magic Bullet processor, my dishwasher

What made you to call your blog  “Bong Mom CookBook”?

Coz I am a Bong, a Mom and I Cook and would love to write  a Book some day

Name three dishes (along with their links) from your blog that you like preparing often

Doi Maach, Musuri’r Dal and Kalakand

Well, that was Bong Mom for you.

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Strawberry Sandesh

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“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.”
-Ernestine Ulmer

Strawberry Sandesh

Strawberry Sandesh

Remember bite that you had craved for at the middle of the night at a place miles away from home? Well, for me its mom’s varied curries, phuchkas and padar dokaner mishti (পাড়ার দোকানের মিষ্টি – sweets from the local sweetshop). If you are from Kolkata, or have any other Bengali affiliation, probably you crave for the same.

If you live outside Bengal, you may find it tough to find any bengali sweet in your neighbourhood. Let alone different types of Sandesh. [You may find Phuchka though. Even if not, home made Phuchka is easy to prepare].

So, here are the simple steps to prepare an exotic variety – Strawberry Sandesh. If you can’t wait to know how to prepare Strawberry Sandesh, you may skip a couple of paragraphs ahead. Or else, read on for its History

History of Sandesh

Bengali cuisine was revolutionized in the 19th century. And the four sweet shops of Kolkata (কলকাতা ) , the then Calcutta) played a major role. These shops were named after their founders – Bhim Nag, K.C Das, Dwarika Ghosh and Ganguram and with these started the history of Sandesh (সন্দেশ).

Of these 4 pioneers, Bhim Nag patronized Sandesh (also referred as sandes, shandesh, sondes). Even after a century, Bhim Nag’s Sandesh is still a don’t-miss-when-you-are-in-Kolkata.

Most popular variety of Sandesh includes kara paker sandesh (কড়া পাকের সন্দেশ ), nalen gurer sandesh (নলেন  গুড়ের সন্দেশ), naram chanar sandesh (নরম ছানার সন্দেশ). Several companies even claim to do R&D in this field, but fresh chana (curd cheese) sandesh still remains a popular name.

The Request

In Cook Like a Bong Facebook page, Anshika requested for the flavored sandes recipe. I took the chance and bought some fresh strawberries from the market and prepared the strawberry sandes. It was an instant hit (it kicked ass!) among all who devoured the sweet.

Makes 10 sandesh

Preparation time: 30min + 1 hour

Cooking time: 20min

Strawberry

Strawberry

Ingredients:

  • Full cream milk (Dudh – দুধ): 1 litre
  • Strawberry (স্ট্রবেরি): 150gm
  • Sugar (Chini – চিনি): 3 tablespoon
  • Lemon Juice (Pati lebur ras – পাতি লেবুর রস): 2 tablespoon
  • Water (Jal – জল): 4 tablespoon
Channa

Chhana

Preparation:

  • Boil the milk, as it starts to increase in volume pour in the lemon juice and gently stir with a ladle
  • Chop the strawberries (don’t forget to put in some pieces in your mouth J) and put those in a pan with the sugar and water
  • Cook over low flame with stirring at times so that the puree doesn’t get stick to the bottom of the pan
  • Take out of pan when it turns sticky, keep aside to cool
  • Pour the chana (curd cheese, chhana, chhena) over a thin cloth so that the whey drains out, keep it hanged for 10-15min
  • Take the chana out of the cloth on a big plate, the texture will be a little spongy
  • Press the chana only with your palm and continue till your palm feel oil
Chhana Strawberry mix

Chhana mix

  • Fold in the strawberry puree with the chana
  • Transfer the strawberry mixed chana to the wet cloth and refrigerate for an hour
  • Take the chana out of the fridge and make shapes of your wish, garnish with sliced strawberries
Strawberry Sandesh

Strawberry Sandesh

Hot Tips – Alternately, you can also put the chopped strawberries in a blender and heat the puree with only sugar for 4-5 min or till it thickens. This Sandesh is made with fresh chana, so consume it within 24 hours of preparation.

You can also use calcium lactate to curdle the milk, but I don’t like the smell of it so I prefer using lemon juice.

Further Reading – Kara Paker SandeshCream FudgeCarrot Sandesh

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January Monthly RoundUp

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9 new posts, traffic improvement, bloggers interview series, events initiation and community engagement (both here and at Facebook page) made January 2010 pretty exciting at Cook Like a Bong. New year, Republic Day, Makar Sankranti and Saraswati Puja marked the month.

Posts in January

  1. Microwave Chocolate Honey Spiral Cookies – Enjoy the crunchy and colorful cookies as an appealing snack. This one was Sudeshna’s first wonderful baking experience (thanks to Indrani).
  2. Dim Posto Sarse – Enjoy Eggs with Poppy Mustard paste and a memoir of Sudeshna’s trip to the Himalayas; Vaishno Devi to be precise.
  3. Potpourri : The carnival of Bengali Cuisine – A biweekly series on several interesting aspects of Bengali food – influence of popular culture, bengali food in bengal, outside bengal, heritage and history and issues of the day.
  4. Bengali Food Bloggers Interview: A series that plans to ‘bring out’ the personal side of your favourite Food Bloggers. Part 1 features Jayashree Mandal of Spice and Curry. Know her favourite food blogs, why she started cooking, what was her first dish and lots more.
  5. Monthly Mingle Roundup Part 1: Meeta’s celebrated monthly event was hosted at CLB this time. Theme being Winter Fruits and Vegetables. Part1 talks to Bakes and Soups – savour 6 different soups, Ukranian Borscht, butternut squash and chestnut soup and some more
  6. Monthly Mingle Roundup Part 2: Part 2 talks about Fruits, Sides and Others. Indulge in 4 winter fruit recipes, 13 mouth watering side dishes and 5 potpourri winter recipes from 9 countries.
  7. How to People find this blog: 5 keyword goof ups – A funny take on how Google sometimes goofs up while sending traffic to CLB. Sample these – mishti doi food poisoning, how to color diya crafts, Which Beatles record started as egg and bacon etc.
  8. Carnival of Salads – Celebrating a month of non-spicy, non-greasy yet tasty food. Rush in your entries by 14th February. Also, check the rules.
  9. Policies – There are sections on Disclaimer (follow the authors’ suggestions at your won risk), Picture policy (don’t borrow stuff from CLB without authors’ consent) and Privacy Policy (no misuse of your info with CLB).
  10. About – The about page has now sections on Sudeshna and Kalyan. You can know more about why Sudeshna started the site in April ‘08 and why Kalyan joined her in July 09.

Events participatedMalar Gandhi’s Kitchen Disasters.

January Traffic Report

Cook Like a Bong crossed 100,000 pageviews this month (applause!). We’ve achieved this in first 6 months of bengalicuisine version 2.

Pageviews varied widely in January, with weekly stats standing at 5403, 6419, 5014, 4848 i.e a variation of almost 33%. However, the spike in second week can be attributed to Makar Sankranthi. Suddenly, loads of visitors landed at CLB looking for recipes like Pithe, Patishapta and (surprise!) how to make cake in pressure cooker.

This is evident from the spike during 13th to 15th January.

Some other facts

  1. Most Popular keywords – Bengali cuisine, bengali recipes, chicken kasha, mishti doi, egg sandwich, Mughlai paratha and Shukto
  2. Comments 123, Facebook fans 238, Feed subscribers 100

Hope you liked this roundup. Any suggestions on what else should we include?

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