February Monthly Round Up

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9 new posts, Valentine’s week recipes, salad carnival and increased community engagement (both here and at Facebook page) made February 2010 pretty exciting at Cook Like a Bong. Valentine’s week, Holi and (unfortunately) sudden traffic drop due to hosting trouble marked the month.

Posts in February

  1. Strawberry SandeshA Bong can’t remain away from sweets for long. The strawberry sandesh is an ode to all those sweet lovers staying in a place far from sweet shops.
  2. Bengali Style Matar Paneer – Matar paneer is a favorite among North Indian communities, I tried putting in some Bengali twist to this very popular Indian recipe
  3. Chocolate Cake in Microwave – After many attempts, disasters and heart break, at last I succeeded in preparing a cake in microwave
  4. Bengali Food Bloggers Interview – Bong Mom: A series that plans to ‘bring out’ the personal side of your favourite Food Bloggers. Part 2 features Bong Mom of Bong Mom’s CookBook. Know her favourite food blogs, why she started cooking, what was her first dish and lots more.
  5. Paneer Pulao in Rice Cooker: Celebrating the Valentine’s week, paneer pulao was the recipe for Teddy Day. This preparation looked as lovely as your Teddy.
  6. Bread Chop Suey: This one is a must prepare for the kid at home, or even for the kid at heart.
  7. Gits Karaisutir Kachori Mix – Product Review – This was the first product review at Cook Like a Bong. Will be publishing the second one soon.
  8. Happy Holi – Celebrating the festival of colors at home. Here’s some more pics from my neighborhood. The kids went mad.

Awards:

Indrani was very kind to share two of her awards with me. Thanks a lot Indrani. Know more about the awards in our Awards Page.

Random: The luck arches the closing ozone.
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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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October Monthly Round and Event Announcement

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October was a month of festivities. October brought in the Goddess Durga back to her father’s home in a four day festivity with loads of pomp and grandeur.  Then came the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Lakshmi is worshiped in every household on the Purnima (full moon night) of the month of Ashwin. Just a few days after was the time for Diwali and Kali Puja. Cracking fireworks and lighting the oil lamps is an integral part of this festival. I celebrated Diwali in Bangalore this time. With all these festivities, Cook Like a Bong had only 5 posts for this month including 4 authentic Bengali recipes.

October Roundup_Compressed

Here’s a summary of activities last month at the blog.

We also took part in some of the ongoing events for this month:

We are also co-hosting the 7-stages of life event at Radhika’s blog.

In the month of November we are very glad to host the Think Spice event, the brain child of Sunita of Sunita’s World fame. This month’s theme is Turmeric, so it’s Think Spice: Think Turmeric.

Turmeric is a spice had been grown in India since 3000 B.C. It grows in the hot and humid climate and so the climate of South-Eastern Asia is most suited for the cultivation of turmeric, though it is grown widely in different parts of the world. It is cultivated primarily in Bengal, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Java, Peru, Australia and the West Indies. It is almost impossible to imagine an Indian delicacy (other than desserts) without turmeric. This spice has been widely used in various cuisines also all over the world. When Sunita asked me choose the spice for this event, it was very simple to choose, the most widely used spice of this sub-continent was not in the list of the previous hosts and so I chose Turmeric or haldi.

Some health facts about turmeric:

  • Turmeric is a known antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic agent.
  • Turmeric stimulates digestion, supports the liver, and reduces intestinal permeability.
  • It is taken in some Asian countries as a dietary supplement, which helps in stomach problems and other ailments.
  • Curcumin slows the development and growth of a number of types of cancer including prostate cancer. Turmeric may also slow the rate at which hormone-responsive prostate cancer becomes resistant to hormonal therapy.
  • It is also a good source of Vitamin C and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Iron, Potassium and Manganese.

Other names:

Indian: haldi, halud, arishina, pasupu, manjal
French: curcuma, saffron des Indes
German: Gelbwurz
Italian; curcuma
Spanish: curcuma
Arabic: kharkoum
Burmese: fa nwin
Chinese: wong geung fun
Indian: haldee, haldi, huldee, huldie
Indonesian: kunjit, kunyit
Malay: kunjit
Sinhalese: kaha
Tamil: munjal
Thai: kamin

The rules for this event are very simple, prepare anything (vegetarian or non-vegetarian) with turmeric in it and send your entry to bengalicuisine@gmail.com with the subject line as “Think Spice: Think Turmeric”.

You can also send in your older archived posts for the event just update the post with the link to this event (you need not repost the old post) and also a link to Sunita’s blog.

Please also add the following details in the mail:

Your Name:
Your Blog Name:
Name of the Dish:
Link/URL of the Post:
Attach a Picture of the Dish. Size 300 x 300.

Think Spice: Think TurmericPlease feel free to use this logo.

The deadline for the event is November 30, 2009 12 midnight at your time zone.

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September Monthly Roundup at Bengali Cuisine

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Wishing you all a very happy festive season. I hope you all had a very nice Durga Puja and Dusshera week. It’s the first day of the month and as you all know this is the monthly round up time.

September had in all 7 posts among which 4 were authentic Bengali recipes. Here’s a summary of activities last month at the blog.

September Monthly Roundup at Cook Like a Bong

4 Authentic Bengali recipes –

  1. Narkel Nadu
  2. Chicken Keema Curry
  3. Luchi
  4. Kasha Mangsho

We also held the Durga Puja Food Festival event and had a number of recipes from many food bloggers all over the world. We’ll soon be publishing the roundup along with the eBook for the Food Festival.

September had a rise in the number of visitors coming to Cook Like a Bong, and the visitor count has this time touched 17,000.

Durga Puja being shifted to September this year we took almost a week break from blogging to celebrate the greatest festival of the Bengalis. There are very few Bengali households where the Durga Puja rituals are carried out at home; Durga Puja is mainly a neighborhood Puja these days with more than 1500 pujas in Kolkata itself. I am proud to say that Durga Puja is carried out at my own home.

Here are some of the snapshots from my family Durga Puja festival.

AlpanaDaabBaron DalaSarba Bhadra Mandal108 PadmaBoli

YajnaPacha Pradip

See the previous roundups here:

August Monthly Roundup

July Monthly Roundup

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August Monthly Roundup at Bengali Cuisine

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August has been pretty awesome here at BengaliCuisine. We had 7 new posts, loads of traffic improvement and corresponding comments. Here’s a summary of activities last month at the blog.

August Collage

August Collage

5 Authentic Bengali recipe

  1. PatishaptaThe most popular Pitha (Pithe) prepared during Makar Sankranti (Sankranthi)
  2. Mishti DoiA very popular dessert, yet rarely prepared at home
  3. Bhat Dal and BhajaA no frills carb rich bong meal
  4. ChanchraOne of the very few bong delicacies untouched by foreign culinary influence
  5. Rasogollar PayeshBuy Rasogolla and prepare pudding (the post also gives out a couple of links on how to make rasgulla)

FestivalFor the first time, Sudeshna celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi. Here’s how a  Bengali celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi . Recipe for Narkel Nadu is still awaited though. [Update: 3 days later, Sudeshna posted how to make Narkel Nadu]

Top 7 Bengali Recipe Blogs – Bookmark the list of 7 most popular blogs on Bengali recipes. To give a personal touch, we’ve kept out links of Sulekha and other community food websites whose focus is on collaborative food community building. We have also kept out Sutapa’s site (it being way ahead of any other website on Bengali food) and Cook like a Bong (for obvious reasons you see J).

Events participated

The recipes here also participated in some food events. Here’s the quick list:

  1. Mishti Doi to Linda’s event on Got Milk?
  2. Chanchra to Indrani’s event on Spotlight:Fish and Haalo’s Weekend Herb Blogging (originally started by Kalyn)
  3. Rasogollar Payesh to FIL: Milk hosted by Sanghi of Sanghi’s Food Delights

August Traffic Report

Traffic August 2009

Traffic August 2009

August witnessed 15000 + Pageviews, i.e.  almost 4 times that of July. Now, this HUGE difference is partly because WordPress pagestats plugin was installed only in July 10 and the site was down for a couple of days due to hosting issues. But mainly, the increase in traffic is due to return of the original readership of bengalicuisine. Now let me explain this.

Sudeshna’s earlier blog was fairly popular till January 2009. But she broke her hand in Feb and that’s when the post frequency reduced dramatically. Sudeshna still managed a couple of posts per month, but it was nowhere close to her earlier average of 8 recipes a month. Now most readers who came there saw only a couple of posts in ONE Month! Naturally, they kind of almost forgot about the blog.

As posts became regular in the second version of bengalicuisine and Sudeshna started commenting on several blogs, original readers returned. In fact, one of our earlier regular readers Tulip, commented – I had visited your blog long time back, i guess the blog design was different then. Suddenly i got this link from my bookmark…and visiting again !! Thankfully.

Hopefully you’ve bookmarked this blog too! Better still, Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.

July Roundup at BengaliCuisine

July had been pretty active here at BengaliCuisine. Here’s a quick round-up of the posts last month at the blog.

Bengali recipes in July 2009

Bengali recipes in July 2009

A fresh start

New home: Though Bengalis (bongs, as say some) claim to be Khaddo Roshik (food connoisseur) and there are fairly good number of published Bengali food writers, there aren’t too many Bengali food voices active online. Notable exceptions being popular Bengali food recipe sites by Sutapa and Sandeepa [coming soon: complete list of Bengali food blogs]. After a year of blogging at wordpress, Sudeshna thought of giving the blog a Pro look – own domain, hosting, custom plugins, nicer pictures etc. This is where Kalyan pitched in.

We (Sudeshna and Kalyan) got our domain name and hosted it on godaddy, installed Arthemia theme and plethora of useful plugins. Doing these entailed a steep learning curve, and predictably, lots of pangs at each step. We’re sure you would have faced similar trouble due to useless information overload. We just wish there were some good Tech How to guides for food blogs. Alas, we couldn’t find many. We promise a detailed series of posts on the tech aspects of the blog to help out bloggers struggling with tech.

8 Recipes Bengalis like

Breakfast with Egg Series: 6 quick breakfast recipes with eggs. Each post starts with a quotation on egg, gives some trivia about the dish, discusses the recipe, shows the dish pictures and links to some interesting posts on the subject by other bloggers. Here you go:

  1. Mughlai Paratha
  2. French Toast
  3. Scrambled Eggs
  4. Banana Pancake
  5. Boiled Egg Sandwich
  6. Egg Roll

Bhapa Chingri: An easy, but stylish, fish recipe. Stylish, because it delivers best taste when cooked in a Double Boiler. Technically, Chingri (Prawn) isn’t a fish [it is an insect], yet it is called Chingri (Chingdi) Machh.

Phuchka: The runway winner in the StreetFood category, phuchka (pani puri, golgappa) can be prepared at home in 20 min. Read the post to learn how.

Events participated

The recipes here also participated in some food events. Here’s the quick list:

  1. Broken Egg photo for Jugalbandi’s monthly Click contest, July theme being Bicolor
  2. Breakfast with Egg series posts to NTTC#5 event hosted by Sneh of Gel’s Kitchen
  3. Scrambled Eggs to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Lynne of Cafe Lynnlu
  4. Banana Pancake to event Heart of the Matter hosted by Michelle, this month’s theme being Budget-Friendly Foods
  5. Boiled Egg Sandwich to Divya’s yummy event on “Show me your sandwich
  6. Phuchka to the “Family Recipe” event at The Life and Loves of Grumpy Honey Bunch co-hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life
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