Durga Puja 2013 Timtable and Kalakand in Microwave

Subho Shashthi

Durga puja has already started. As Bengal gets decked up with all the pandals and the puja shopping almost come to an end, I on the other hand, living thousands of miles away is waiting for this weekend to arrive. The Durga puja in the US is held during weekends just for the convenience of the attendees.

While I miss on my dose of the Kolkata Durga pooja fever, I’m getting ready to celebrate the US style Durga puja. I will definitely miss the phuchka, alu kabli, churmur, ghugni – oh I cant stop writing the list of road side food that I’ll be missing on this puja – but would have a new taste, a new experience of celebrating puja just over the weekend.

The street food on Kolkata adds an added charm to the whole flavor of Durga puja, but there is always the home cooked prasad. Though my family strictly becomes vegetarian during the four days of puja, mainly because of the fact we have our own durga idol at home, and she has been worshiped in the family for more than a century now. And, as Ma Durga is bid adieu, the next day, ekdashi is the day to eat fish and only fish. The entire family with brothers, sisters, cousins, their spouses, their kids – you know how the Indian family tree is – eats, sitting on the floor. Last year I was heading the frying department of the lunch, mostly because my mom felt her daughter is old enough to get married so she is old enough to cook for hundred people, or at least the dal and bhaja part. So, my task for last ekdashi was to make loitta macher vada for the entire family. It was intimidating, it was tiring, yet there was a satisfaction seeing everybody asking for more.

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Watermelon Mint Sorbet

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With Memorial Day passed by, summer has set in. The Texas sun has started taking its toll, and it has become almost impossible to go out in the afternoon. With the heat rising and the dry weather, the best thing to keep yourself cool is to have loads of fruits.

To make your daily diet of fruit a little more interesting, my mom used to make different types of juice and sorbet for us. Back from school in the heated afternoon, and there was always a chilled glass of lemonade waiting. And, if I was lucky enough there was sometimes the watermelon or orange juice ready.

Watermelon Mint

I love watermelon. My kid sister and I used to have the who-eats-the-slice-faster competitions. So, when I got this huge watermelon from the farmer’s market last weekend, and sis being not around I couldn’t figure out what to do with that huge fruit. I have slices, cubes, juice of the watermelon and the only thing left out was to make a sorbet. Picked up some fresh mint from my garden, threw them in and my sorbet was ready to get in the freezer.

Watermelon Mint Sorbet

Watermelon Mint Sorbet

Indian, Drink, Sorbet, Summer coolers, Watermelon recipe, Summer drinks, Mint recipe, Health drink
Cooks in    Serves 8
  • ½ of a medium watermelon, cut and deseeded
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 10-12 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Put all the ingredients in blender and blend till everything turns to a juice
  • Pour it in a loaf pan and put in the freezer for at least 2 hours
  • Take out and break the icicles, and put it in the freezer once more for 1-2 hours
  • Scrape off the sorbet and serve in glasses of your choice with fresh mint leaves

Hot Tips- You can also have the pureed watermelon without freezing it as a fruit juice

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Recipes for Poila Baisakh 1419

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Cheers to the beginning of a new year. Our non-Bong friends might wander why we are wishing each other Happy New year in the middle of April. The Bengali calendar or Bangabdo refers to  sidereal solar Hindu calendar, which starts from Poila Baisakh (or the first day of the month of Baisakh) and it generally falls on the 14th of April.

The wiki page on Bengali calendar says that this calendar was introduced by one of the ministers of the Mughal empire during the 16th century for the sole purpose of tax collection in Bengal. Some even say that the calendar started from the time of emperor Shashangko.

We Bengalis take the first day of the year very seriously. And, when I say seriously that means whole lot of shopping and even more eating. If you ever try visiting the shopping districts of Kolkata and for that matter in Bengal during this time of the year there will be a huge “end of season sale”. Everybody out in the streets buying something or the other.

While the shopping is going on, there is always the good old street food stalls to gorge on. And, when it comes to street food how can we not mention phuchka, the world famous born in Kolkata typical Bengali golgappa.

The new year always begins with wearing new dresses. As a kid, I always used to look forward for this day, other than of course the time during pujas, when you get loads of clothes even from relatives you meet not more than once a year.

now, when Bengalis are celebrating something there cannot be a lack of food. Poila baisakh is another day of feasting on the Bengali calendar. A wholesome meal is served any all households. And, to ease out this year’s plan on what to cook for your family and friends here’s a list of the authentic Bengali platter.

The day should always begin with luchi, cholar dal, alu dum and may be a sandesh at the end of the breakfast. 

There is a whole lot of option for the lunch menu. A Bengali meal always start with shukto. Shukto helps as an appetizer and the bitter taste of the bitter gourd helps to cleanse your taste buds for the dishes to follow. 

Shukto is followed by dal and some fries with may be a non-spicy vegetable curry.

Bengali meal without fish is like rasogolla without the sweet syrup. There is a huge number of fishes available in the markets, here a what you can do with those.  

As the meal continues, fish is followed by any type of meat. Mutton is the most preferred when it comes to a festive platter, but because of huge count of heart diseases in most families people are going for the chicken curry

All the savory dishes over, its now time for some sweet. Chatni, papad followed by misti doi, sandesh and rasogolla

Hope you enjoyed the meal. Let us know what you made or had for Poila Baisakh. Subho Nabobarsho.

Oh, I just forgot to mention the photo of the platter served is from my ayeburobhaat, my last meal as a maiden. Bhalo kore kheyo !

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Rogan Josh for Your Valentine

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Though not an Indian custom, Valentine’s Day has become a very integral part of the Indian custom. TV commercials, newspaper ads 14th of February has turned into another day of celebration and festivities. Gifting red roses and chocolate have become the new custom. Only on 14th Feb 189 million stems of red roses are sold in US in comparison to 1.2 billion throughout the year.

It’s just not only among the teens; the festivities have even sipped into the minds of the older generation. Just as an example, my mom deliberately took off her nose pin this morning to show my father that she urgently requires a new nose pin. So, whats your Valentine’s Day gift this year. Share it with us.

When there are festivities, food cannot be far off. So, here at Cook Like Bong, we are celebrating this V-Day with an authentic Kashmiri style Rogan Josh shared by Debjani, our guest author. The name of the dish comes from rogan or roghan meaning color and josh meaning passion – what better way than to have this dish filled with colour and passion on the day of love.

Rogan Josh is generally made of lamb, but mutton rogan josh is a very popular dish throughout India. It was brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, and outside Kashmir it’s generally prepared in its commercial form.

The authentic Kashmiri rogan josh gets its colour from two things – the Kashmiri red chilli which is mild, yet gives a great colour to the food, and the dried Muawal flower, which grows locally in Kashmir or the Ratanjot, a root hat infuses the color .

Mutton Rogan Josh

Indian, Side, Authentic kashmiri cuisine, Kashmiri mutton rogan josh, Roghan josh, Rogan josh
Cooks in    Serves 2-3
  • Mutton,cut into 1½ inch pieces 500 grams
  • Mustard Oil 4 tablespoons
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida/Hing
  • 2 one-inch sticks Cinnamon/ Cassia Bark
  • 6-8 Cloves
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 medium red onion
  • 4-6 inch piece Root ginger
  • 8 Garlic cloves
  • 5-6 Black peppercorns
  • 4 Black cardamoms
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 tablespoon ( soak 3 Kashmiri chilies and make a paste along with the fennel seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons fennel powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dry ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup whisked Yogurt
  • Make a paste of onion, garlic and ginger.
  • Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan.
  • Add asafoetida, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns and black cardamoms.
  • Sauté till fragrant.
  • Add the onion and ginger-garlic paste. Stir fry.
  • Add lamb pieces and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly till lamb pieces turn a nice reddish brown color.
  • This may take twelve to fifteen minutes. Make sure to stir constantly and scrape all the sediments from the bottom of the pan, so that the meat doesn\'t get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Sprinkle a little water and continue cooking for twelve to fifteen minutes more on low heat.
  • Add Kashmiri red chilli powder, fennel powder, dry ginger powder, coriander powder and salt.
  • Add whipped yogurt and two cups of water.
  • Cook, covered, till lamb is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Slow cook the lamb, checking for the doneness from time to time.
  • Garnish with cilantro.
  • Serve hot.

Hot Tips – Ideally its served with warm white rice, but you can also serve it with paratha or chapati.As this is a slow cooing preparation, its better not to use a pressure cooker to tenderize the meat. While adding the spices, you can first add the Kashmiri chili and fennel paste, stir it for sometime and then add the other spices.

We have changed the look of the post, let us know if you like this better than the old version.

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Durga Puja 2011 Timings

Puja has already started. From what I heard from my sister and friends in Kolkata, there are thousands of people out in the streets to visit one pandal from the other. Its Panchami today, and the puja has not yet started. Tomorrow morning will mark the beginning of Durga Puja for 2011 (1418 by the Bengali calendar). There are many of us who are out of Bengal now, and just searching over the internet to see if there’s at least one Durga puja going on at your present city.

As of Bangalore, I found quite a few Durga pujas this year. The most popular being the Bengali Association Puja in Palace Ground and of course there are some more in Koramangala Kalyana Manthapa, 6th Block; another Durga puja a few steps from this one is the Durga Puja near Jyoti Nivas college. The fourth is near to the place where I stay now – the Sarjapur Road Total Mall.

Here’s a list for the Durga Puja timings for 2011.

1st October
(13th Aashin 1418)


From that day
7.52 am-Next day

2nd October
(14th Aashin 1418)


From that day
5.46am-Next day

within 9.28am Durga Devi “BODHON” “Amantran” and “Adhibas” in the evening

3rd October
(15th Aashin 1418)


From that day
3.55am-Next day
2.22am “Nabo Patrika”
Within 9.28am

4th October
(16th Aashin 1418)


From that day
2.23am-Next day

5th October


(17th Aashin 1418)



15am 5th October
(17th Aashin 1418)


. From that day
1.16am-Next day 12.35am

6th October
(18th Aashin 1418)


From that day
12.36am-Next day

Immermision within 12.23am

Eid Special – Egg Bharta

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Eid is just a few days to go. And to celebrate this day of celebration here we are with some eid special recipes. To start with the celebration. Here’s guest from Sohini Biswas.


  • 10 hard boiled eggs
  • Paste of 2 onion
  • 2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 3 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, you can use the canned ones too
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 2-3 tablespoon MDH Meat Masala
  • 2 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves
  • ½ cup Full fat milk/Cream
  • Salt to taste


  • Slice the eggs in thin round slices.
  • Heat oil in a wok and add the onion paste to it.
  • Fry the onion paste till golden. Add ginger garlic paste and fry well.
  • Once the paste is well cooked and changes color then add the tomato ketchup and the plum tomatoes.
  • Cook well for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add splashes of hot water whenever necessary but do NOT over flood it.
  • The main secret it to cook the masala paste. The more gently you cook the better will be the taste.
  • Add the cumin powder and meat masala, salt and keep cooking for at least 30 minutes, adding splashes of hot water whenever necessary.
  • Add the eggs and mix well.
  • Add the milk (or the cream) and mix well and cook on a high flame to reduce the extra liquid.
  • Keep stirring otherwise it’ll burn at the bottom.
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves and mix.
  • Take off heat once all the extra liquid has evaporated.
  • Garnish with a few slices of boiled eggs and coriander leaves.
  • Serve with Naan or Paratha.

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Poila Baisakh Special – Kumro Fuler Vada

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Kolkata Knight Riders vs Deccan Chargers – it’s the IPL match today at Eden gardens, Kolkata, and am on way to watch it. After a long gap of 15 years, I am going to watch a match at Eden. The mishap in ‘96 World Cup semi finals compelled me to stop going to cricket grounds. But, a box ticket and the idea of sitting close to King Khan (read Shah Rukh Khan) compelled me to give it a shot.

Its Monday and probably most house holds stick to the no non-veg on Monda regimes, so thought of picking up a vegetarian recipe for today, an authentic Bengali recipe for Paila Baisakh series (check out the Tel Koi in this series) – fritters of pumpkin flower (kumro ful) is one of the most special vadas in Bengali cuisine. The flower dipped in a batter of gram flour with its crunchy yet smooth taste appeals to everyone.


  • · A dozen pumpkin flowers
  • · ¼ cup tablespoon rice flour
  • · ½ cup gram flour
  • · 1 teaspoon nigella
  • · 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • · Sunflower oil for deep frying


  • · Take out the anther from the flowers and wash well
  • · Mix all the ingredients except the oil for frying with 2 cups of water. The batter should be runny
  • · Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok
  • · Dip each flower in the batter and deep fry separately
  • · Once done, wrap the flowers with a kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil
  • · Serve hot with rice and dal

Check for more Bengali style bara (vada) – Bombay Duck fritter, Macher Dimer Vada

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Poila Baisakh Special – Tel Koi

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Paila Baisakh, the first day of the Bengali New Year is just a week to go. Its definitely a big day for all Bongs all over the world. It’s a day to celebrate the joy of being a Bengali – food, new clothes and of course Rabindra Sangeet. The way of celebrating may have changed over time, but you just can’t find a Bengali who doesn’t want to celebrate this day. The Chaitra sale in Gariahat market is just something indispensable. If you are in Kolkata at this time of the year, you should definitely make it a point to visit Gariahat – from big shops to the street vendors, everybody has the “SALE” tag hanging.  The essence of Poila baisakh is being a Bengali in heart. You may celebrate it in a club with friends over a peg of JohnnyWalker, but your heart still beats to the rhythm of “esho hain Baisakh esho esho”.

We at Cook Like a Bong wanted to share our joy with you all, and so we have planned to share one recipe everyday till Paila Baisakh. Starting from today, the menu starts with the Bong favourite – fish. Tel koi is an authentic Bengali recipe, and a must have with warm rice for lunch.


  • 8 koi fish
  • 2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon clarifies butter
  • 3 tablespoon mustard oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Grind 1 ½ tablespoon cumin seeds, and mix with the chilli and turmeric powder
  • Strain with a chakni, and mix with water
  • Heat the oil in a wok and add the extra cumin seeds
  • Put in the koi fish and the spice mixture
  • Pour in water and cook covered till the fish is soft
  • Sprinkle the garam masala and ghee
  • Serve hot with rice

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What to have for Holi

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Its already Holi time and nothing much to say. Here are some authentic Bengali recipes that you can try out for this doljatra.



Desserts and Chatni:

To search for more recipe click to All Recipes.

Wish you all a very Happy Holi!!! Play safe and don’t forget to share your Holi pics and memories with us.

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Posto Paneer Kofta

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Spring is here and so are the thousand colors of nature. Every nook and corner of the street is filled with red, yellow, orange blossoms. Though with the heat rising in Kolkata, there’s not much feel good feeling about this time of the year but still there is a grand festival coming up in just a few days from now. Yes you have guessed it right, its HOLI time. Holi, the National Festival of India is celebrated throughout the states of the sub-continent and West Bengal too is not far behind. The main attraction of holi, or doljatra (as we Bengalis like to say) is the Boshonto Utsav or Spring Festival in Shantiniketan. Thousands gather at the Viswa Bharati grounds on the day from all over the world.

Thinking of colors, the first thing that comes to mind is red, green, blue and yellow.  Remember those days in school, the houses had these names and everybody used to fight with the other houses – Yellow, yellow dirty fellow or the first love letter you wrote – roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you. Do you have any other such poems or phrases, you used to throw, then share it with us!

Paneer balls prepared in poppy and sesame gravy

Thinking about a colourful preparation I scratched my head but nothing authentically Bengali came to mind. So, thought of mix matching the Western with the Eastern. And, there it is the result – paneer kofta in thick poppy paste with slices of red and yellow bell pepper to spice and color it up.


For the kofta:

  • 400gms of paneer or cottage cheese, mashed finely
  • 4 teaspoon gram flour or besan
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon sugar, preferably brown sugar
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

For the gravy:

  • 4 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame, ground to a fine paste with the poppy
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 red and yellow bell pepper diced coarsely
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • Few black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon clarified butter or ghee (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • Mix all the ingredients required for kofta excepting the oil and make a soft dough
  • Prepare small balls each having a rough diameter of 3cm
  • Heat oil in a wok and deep fry these balls in batches, keep aside
  • Heat a wok with 2 tablespoons of fresh oil, throw in the cumin seeds, as they start sputtering add the bell pepper and toss for a minute or two
  • Add the turmeric powder and season with salt and black pepper
  • Pour in the poppy and sesame paste and cook till the oil separates
  • Cover the gravy with 2 cups of water and stir well, cook covered for 10-12mins, check the seasoning
  • Put in the fried koftas as the gravy starts boiling, cook for 2-3min more and take out of flame
  • Serve hot with chapattis or rice

Hot Tips – Koftas tend to dry up the gravy, so if you are a gravy person try putting in more water or else, take out the koftas after cooking and serve the gravy and koftas separately.

Further Reading – Bengali Style Matar Paneer, Palak Paneer with a Twist




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Apple Crumble for your Valentine

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For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.

  • Rosemonde Gerard

Wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day. It may be a regular day for most of us, but still at the back of the mind, this day may seem to be a little different from the other 364 days of the year – a day to love and of course to express your love for the one person who has made all the differences in life.

Though the history of this day has no connection with romance and was celebrated to commemorate the Christian martyrs who were named Valentine. The romantic tinge of this day came with Saint Valentine. Roman Emperor Claudius II, supposedly ordered that young men to remain single as he felt that married men did not make good soldiers. On the other hand, Saint Valentine secretly performed marriage ceremonies to young men. When the emperor came to know about this he persecuted Saint Valentine. Want to know more about the history of 14th February, click to see the wiki page.

This day is celebrated all throughout the Western world. Thanks to globalization 14th February has become a day of celebration for the non-Christian countries too. Though a candle light dinner would be the perfect choice to celebrate this day of love and passions most people remains content with flowers and chocolates. We at Cook Like a Bong would love to share our part of celebration with a dessert – the apple crumble. This dessert is just perfect for Valentine’s Day – rough and course from outside, soft and gooey from inside – just like your Valentine. Choose more of our Valentine’s Day recipes.


  • 2 apples, peeled, stoned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • Vanilla ice-cream or fresh cream for serving (optional)


  • In a thick bottom flask take the chopped apples and mix well with ½ cup icing sugar
  • Stew the apples over low flame with occasional stirring
  • The apples should become soft but not totally pureed
  • Place the apples in an oven proof pan
  • Mix the remaining sugar with the all-purpose flour and butter until it looks like bread crumps
  • Cover the cooked apple with the flour mix
  • Preheat the oven to 150°C
  • Place the pan in the middle rack of the preheated oven and cook for 30 min or till the upper layer turns light brown
  • Take out and serve hot with fresh cream or vanilla ice-cream

This recipe goes to Cooking with Fruits event hosted by Smita of  Tastebuds, also to Bake-off event . As this recipe is very easy to prepare and requires few ingredients, I’m sending it to Any One can Cook under the categories FB and WLI. This apple crumble is on its way to Monthly Mingle: Food for your loved ones hosted at Paulchens Food Blog?!, the event being the brainchild of Meeta of Whatsforlunchhoney.

The Calcutta Cookbook: A Treasury of Recipes From Pavement to Place

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Guest Post: Bhapa Pitha

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While the entire world is busy dieting and maintaining a good figure, we Bengalis can’t just get rid of our sweet tooth. Come January and here’s another reason to celebrate the genetically transmitted sweet loving characteristics of Bongs. The reason this time is simple – Sun (Lord Surya) has come to visit the house of his son, Saturn (Lord Shani) – yes, you have guessed it right its Makar Sankranti held each year on 14th January. This day celebrated as Poush Sankranti (sankranti meaning end of a month). There is a whole range of sweets prepared especially for this occasion, named as pitha – these may be steamed, boiled, or even fried; the main ingredients being rice flour (rice grains ground to fine powder), jaggery (the golden harvest of winter in entire Bengal) and coconut.

This day is celebrated throughout India in different ways; it’s the time of harvest. You can search an array of recipes from throughout India in the Harvest the festival of rice event round up part I and part II.

Our guest, Dipanwita Sarkar was good enough to share a recipe of bhapa pitha with us. If you don’t like it that sweet you make it like savory dumplings.


  • Rice flour 2 cups
  • Grated coconut 2 cups
  • 1 cup jaggery
  • Hot water for kneading the dough


  • Make a dough with the rice flour and boiling water [Boiling water is important otherwise pithe will break]
  • Heat a wok, and mix the grated coconut and the jaggery with continuous stirring till it becomes dry. Keep aside and let the filling cool.
  • Now make very small balls from the dough and press each ball with your finger to make a small bowl shape to put in the filling [The thinner the outer the tastier the pithe but be cautious that it should not break.]
  • Put the filling and close the bowl in whatever shape you like. [You can give a triangular shape with frills at the borders. Be creative give different shapes for different fillings].
  • Steam the pitha in a steamer/rice cooker or simply place the pitha on a sieved bowl and place it over boiling water.
  • It takes almost half an hour to be fully cooked. [So pour water accordingly. Make sure water doesn’t touch the pitha.]
  • Check at intervals. First it feels sticky, but when it feels dry, then it is done.
  • Remove and keep open for 5mins to evaporate touches of moisture on it. Then you can store in a casserole or enjoy steaming hot pitha then and there.
  • Serve pithe with liquid jaggery.

Hot Tips – You can prepare savory pithe similar to this. Just replace the coconut and jaggery filling with vegetables (Dipanwita has used potato and cauliflower) or even minced meat or chicken. If using vegetables cook the vegetables with ginger paste, chili powder and/or tomato puree and coriander leaf. Dry out excess water while preparing the filling. You can also use mashed peas for the filling. Cook the mashed peas with roasted cumin seeds and red chilies. Serve the savory pithe (steamed dumplings) with coriander dip.


Further Readings – Patishapta, Chaler Payesh

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Remembering 2010 – A Year Gone Past Well

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“Here’s to the bright New Year, and a fond farewell to the old;
here’s to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold.”

Here’s another new year and new hopes in mind. But, before we usher in the new year with new posts and recipes in our blog, its time for a little backward journey to the year gone past.

As we stepped into this new year, I would say the last year was another year of learning and gaining new experiences. The main aim for 2010 was to gain a niche in the blogging world, and yes we did it.

I would say 2010 was a good year!

In the kitchen there was definitely more to learn. I shifted from Bangalore to Kolkata, now I had the direct access to my mom’s kitchen and whatever she cooks, especially the authentic Bengali recipes. Be it the lotiya vada or the lotiya shutki, dim posto sorse or dimer malpua – 2010 taught me there’s definitely more to Bengali recipes than just panch phoron and posto.

We published our first e-book, Saradiya Rannabati – one that became an instant hit among the Bong food lovers with a first month download crossing thousand. The Cook Like a Bong Facebook page launched in 2010 nurtures a community of more than three thousand Bong foodies with thousands of active users each month who share their comments, recipes and feedbacks. The page has more than 270 recipes contributed by the users.

Nurturing the idea of the Top 7 Bengali Food Bloggers since the end of 2009, we completed the series of interviews of the masterminds behind the best Bengali food blogs on the web. Thanks to all the good ladies to share their valuable time and making our idea a fruitful venture. There were also guest posts from various bloggers and non-bloggers that we featured. We would love to receive more such appetizing recipes and ideas from you all. If you have any unique recipes in mind, cook it, click it and send it to us. A special thanks to all those wonderful people who found us worthy of receiving awards for our work.

For the first time, Cook Like a Bong got the opportunity to review the ready to cook products of Gits Food, a product review on Gits Karai Sutir Kachori was thus published. Next was a restaurant review idea when I won a voucher for a meal for two at Fava, the Mediterranean Restaurant from Food Lovers Magazine, Bangalore.  And of course the Mainland China Cookbook review, a book worth buying and archiving.

Professionally, I am in the verge of gaining a masters degree in Biotechnology, and had an incredible learning experience from my teachers, friends and family. One of my aims in the last year was to develop my photography skills. The stepping stone was 4 of my photographs getting featured in Bangladesh tabloid – Bhorer Kagoj, view more Kumartuli photographs. I started using more of natural lights to photograph my subjects rather than clicking photographs at night with a higher exposure to get the effect of sun light. 2010 gave me the first opportunity to have a taste of wild life photography in the jungles of North Bengal. Photographing tuskers with a search light at the middle of night in the dense forests of Hallong was an experience worth remembering.

Somebody quoted, “He who breaks his resolution is a weakling. He who makes one is a fool.” There aren’t any resolutions for this year, but of course there are some goals to fulfill in 2011, and much more to learn. We would love to know about your comments and feedbacks for our blog, please do comment on the post or write to us through email.

We would love to thank our readers, friends and family for the support they had ushered on us. Wish you all a very Happy New Year!

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Meringue Filled Tartlets for Christmas

Just a couple of days back a friend from school wrote on her Facebook update “My epitaph should read – here lies the drummer boy who grew up to be a lady!” Perhaps half the school remembers M as the drummer boy from the Christmas Carol competitions held every year in school during December. Christmas brings back loads of old memories, especially those days in school. Brought up in a Missionary school (read Carmel Convent) , Christmas meant a lot – Christmas carols, decorating the school with fake snow (Kolkata temperature never gone below 8°C), preparing the model manger and of course getting a share of the Christmas cake on 25th morning.

Clicked by Kalyan - St. Patrick's Church, Bangalore

School’s over and so is the innocent madness. These days Christmas has become synonymous to a partying late night on Christmas eve and perhaps a visit to the church mostly to see the Winter Fashion of the year (chuckles…). But, this time just thought of doing something a little different – planning to have a gala dinner on the 25th night. What’s your plan for the day?

Decided on the dessert for the night – tartlets with meringue filling decorated with red cherries and sprigs of mint just to retain the colors of Christmas – white, red and green. I have used marzipan to make the crust along with maida, but you can omit the almond powder and use only all purpose flour.


For the crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond powder
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoon ghee/butter
  • Water as required

For the filling:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3-4 tablespoon castor sugar
  • Cherries to decorate


For the crust:

  • Add all the dry ingredients together and pour in the butter/ghee
  • Mix these ingredients to make a bread crumb like texture
  • Pour cold water and knead with your hand to make a not-very-moist dough
  • Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 or 2 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Roll out the dough and line 6 small flan tins. Press the dough into the corners and trim off the excess dough with a sharp knife. Alternatively you can use a single 8” flan tin
  • Prick the dough with a fork and bake for 10-12 min or till the crust turns golden brown
  • Take out and set to cool

For the filling:

  • Beat the egg whites till they form soft peaks
  • Add the castor sugar, vanilla essence and continue beating

Put Together:

  • Pour the filling over the tart crust and bake in a preheated oven at 150°C for 5-6 min on the upper rack till the peaks turn a little brown
  • Serve hot or cold decorated with cherries

Hot Tips – You can create your own filling. Use thick custard or soft cream and seasonal fruits like strawberries, pineapple, raspberries, etc to decorate your tart. Do let us know about your favourite tart fillings.

Further Reading – Irish cream and Strawberry Tartlet, Toblerone tart.

Mowa & Murki on Lakshmi Puja

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Sarat kal” – does that ring any bell? Of course it does. Other than the brilliant blue sky dotted with soft white clouds it’s that time of the year when you let go of all worries and enjoy the four days of Durga Puja. For our non-Bong friends, Sarat kal is the autumn season according to the Bengali calendar. Durga Puja, doesn’t only mean worshipping the goddess of feminine power, but a lot more – shopping before the puja, pandal hopping during the four days, and of course eating and eating and more eating.

I’m sure you all have left your health conscious souls at home and gorged on the wonderful street foods. I just can’t think about passing a puja without gulping on some phuchkas (fuchka) and biting on egg rolls. What’s your Puja special dish, do let us know?

Just after Durga Puja is Lakshmi puja. The goddess of wealth and well being is ushered to almost every Bengali household (though some people worship the goddess on Kali Puja day). This year Lakshmi Puja will be celebrated tomorrow.

After numerous calls, e-mails, wall posts and scraps from friends from all over the globe, I decided on posting something which is specially made for this occasion – murki and mowa (pronounced as moa).

Murki is made from a special variety of puffed rice called Khoi in Bengali and is mixed with molasses or gur. Mowa on the other hand can be prepared with Khoi, mudi or even chidde. Here’s how my mom prepares both these two sweet ambrosia. The basic method of preparation is the same.


For murki:

½ kg of Puffed Rice (Khoi)

250gms of Molasses/ Jaggery (Gur)


  • Start stirring the jaggery over low heat.
  • As it turns sticky and sticks to the back of the ladle, take out of flame
  • Pour of the khoi and mix well
  • Keep aside in air tight container

For mowa:

  • Take about 350gms of jaggery
  • Mix the jaggery and khoi/muri/chidde together
  • With the help of your palm make big balls
  • Store in air tight containers

Mowa is still in the making, will put up the photo as soon as its done.

Don’t forget to have a copy of our Festive recipe e-book and the October calendar. And do send in your entries to the ongoing event Cooking with Seeds – Poppy, a brain child of Priya from Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes.

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