2011 In Retrospect

Fan us on Facebook . You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email

A very happy and sumptuous NEW YEAR. Well, it’s rather late in the day but as the cliché goes – better late than never. Plus, the Gregorian calendar still says January, so we are well within threshold for the wish. Let us have a quick recap of how last year went by at Cook Like a Bong.

Sholo Ana Bangali (100% pure vegetarian, oops bong)

Sudeshna travelled widely last year, but luckily enough, she had free access to her mom’s kitchen, Bengali cookbooks and Lifestyle TV channels. CLB featured authentic Bengali recipes including Kumro fuler vada (Pumpkin flower fritter), Fulkopir datar tarkari (Cauliflower stem curry), age old secret recipe of Dudh Shukto and bitter yet sweet Tetor Dal (Lentils with Bitter Gourd). Fish, at the risk of stereotyping Bengali heshel (kitchen), was present in all its glory – Sabji diye Macher Jhol (fish curry with vegetables), Tel Koi (Climbing Perch in Spicy Bengali curry), Rui Macher Vada (Rohu fritters).

Kalyan, meanwhile, celebrated India cricket team’s world cup win with Rajbhog (giant Rasogolla).If you’ve never been to a cricket game, find an Orbitz deal and go.


Sudeshna also started experimenting more often in the kitchen – trying to merge Bengali recipes with cooking styles in other parts of the world. She used the microwave for frying ilish or even preparing paturi. She cooked Mexican rice with a Bengali tinge and then celebrated Tagore’s 150th birthday with Rabindrasangeet, urrr.. rather with Tutti Frutti Cakes. Inspired by Bangalore Bongs’ two favourite hangout places, she also tried her hand at Chicken Teriyaki and Hyderabadi Biriyani.

And, then there were the share of sweets and smoothies– starting from the not so common Patol Mishti to the South Indian famous Shahi Tukda. Sudeshna tried out baking in her small oven and the chocolate brownie cupcake turned out very yummy.


Writing galore

Bengali New Year started on a very note, we got invitation to write a food column for FirstPost, a Network 18 venture which has become very popular. There were number of guest posts from several bloggers as well as non-bloggers, plus an interview with Kalyan Karmakar, the man behind Finely Chopped. Click to know more about all the recipes in Cook Like a Bong.

Getting Personal

Sudeshna received her Masters degree in Biotechnology and also got a job as an Analyst. Kalyan travelled extensively in the US and started to cook full time, well sort of. And, finally, we got married November end. And that kind of would explain why we were missing in action last 3 months. Now with wedding prep, wedding and honeymoon over, we are back in business.

Expect an even more wonderful, sumptuous, finger licking food discourse this year from Cook Like a Bong. Let us all Eat Like a Bong.

 If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader

Subho Bijaya

Follow me on Twitter. Add me as a friend on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream.

Subho Bijaya to all of you. Wish you all had a wonderful Puja break this time. Starting tomorrow we at Cook Like a Bong will be posting various recipes custom made for the Bijaya season, so stay tuned and have fun till then.

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.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too. You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader

Bodhon: The starting of Puja

Follow me on Twitter. Add me as a friend on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream.

The sixth day of the Navaratri (9 nights) is celebrated as the starting of Durga Puja, the Maha Shasthi day. This is the day that marks the unveiling of the Durga idols in various Puja pandals along with the starting of the 5 day long worship of the Goddess of power, Ma Durga.

Bodhon or the invocation of the deity is done during the evening of Shasthi and as myth says, the deities thereafter comes alive. It was yesterday that we started with the Maha Shasthi puja. Just in Kolkata there are more than a thousand places where the goddess is worshipped in community pujas leave aside the ones worshipped at indivudual homes. My house too comes under one of the places where the goddess is worshipped for these 5 days.

Along with the goddess comes her four children – Laxmi, Ganesh, Saraswati and Karthik. They all are indivudually worshipped as Gods, but this time of the year they remain as the offspring of the Mother Goddess. In this platoon of Gods and Goddess the demon Mahishasur is also worshipped. As it is said, that when Durga killed the demon kind, Mahishashura he was booned by the Goddess and was promised to be worshipped along with her.


These thousands of pandals are decked gorgeously with lights and with various other decoration items. This time the only pandal I visited till now is the Babubagan Community Puja. There theme for this year is to get rid of the mechanical world and bring back the greenery. The pandal is made of worn out machine parts, while the idols signifying the almost lost Santhal community and their love for nature .

In between all these glories and worships, something good happened to me. My photos from Kumortuli, Kolkata got featured in Bhorer Kagoj, a newspaper in Bangaladesh.  

It was only Shasthi and there are four more days for the Puja. Stay tuned and will update you with more stories and photos from Kolkata Puja. Till then have a happy and safe Puja.

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.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too. You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader

Restaurant Review: FAVA

Follow me on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream.
You can alsoSubscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email

If you are searching for a change of taste from the varied Indian cuisines served in Bangalore restaurants, Fava, the Mediterranean restaurant may be the best choice. Fava, as sous chef, Vijay David explained is a bean which became a part of the Mediterranean diet as early as 6000 BC.

The Restaurant with Sous Chef Vijay David

Fava is located at UB City. If you are aware of the place, all you need to do is climb up the stairs to the fountain and the restaurant is just behind it. I went to Fava a week back to enjoy a lunch voucher I received from Food Lovers Magazine. As the voucher claimed it was a “three course” meal with starters, main course and dessert. I arrived quite late in the afternoon but the restaurant was still running busy. UB City being a hub for the top companies in Bangalore, the restaurant had a mixed crowd of office goers taking a break from their work as well as some families with kids.

I was sitting alone with the big menu card in hand. The soft music playing soothed my worn out soul from the long journey (UB City is quite far from the place I live in Bangalore). The menu for al a carte was quite big. The restaurant serves all types of Mediterranean food, but they specialize in Lebanese and Italian cuisine- steaks, grills, medzzes and many more.

I picked up the hot yogurt chicken and corn soup as the starter, grilled chicken and vegetables for the main course and tiramisu for dessert. After a wait for a little while I got a bowl full of hot piping soup to start with. One gulp of the soup and it felt like heaven. The soup was thick and creamy and it took me an eternity to finish.

After the wholesome soup which felt panoptic enough to fill up the space for main course and dessert, I decided on waiting for a while, while I completed some of the pages of the novel I was reading. The table I was sitting was almost at the centre of the non-AC part of the restaurant, the UB city fountain was at my front and the huge cocktail counter of Fava at my back. Fava has an AC space too, but I opted for the non-AC part so to enjoy the sunny Bangalore afternoon.

The main course as was expected after the starter was another elaborate one with a big grilled chicken breast well garnished withgrilled vegetables and a bowl of sauce (not sure what sauce it was exactly, but it tasted great with the chicken). Fava offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian “three course” meals and I am sure it would be a pretty hard task to choose from the various options for the meal. If you are visiting a Mediterranean restaurant for the first time, I feel its best to leave the choosing task on the people serving your food. Coming back to where I left the soft and juicy main course stole my heart. The gentleness of the non-spicy yet succulent dish was a feast. As chef David told me later they also specialize on cooking meat in its own juice, a technique he named which I can’t recall right now. They have duck cooked in low flame and kept to cook for twelve hours.

Fava has an exquisite collection of desserts to offer. I of course chose tiramisu, an Italian dessert consisting of layers of sponge cake soaked with coffee and brandy with mascarpone cheese and topped with grated chocolate. The cold and soppy dessert was a sinful pleasure.

Fava, a newly created restaurant by chef turned entrepreneur Abhijit Saha is a treat by itself. The ambience, soft music, the excellent food and above all the warmth of the people serving the food is an exotic experience.

Meal for two: 900 INR excluding local tax and alcohol
Address: 203, 2nd Floor, The Collection UB City, 24 Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore
Phone number: +9180 2211 7444
If you want us to write a review your restaurant or any food product please do contact us at the following email id – Kalyan: aamikalyan@gmail.com or Sudeshna: sudeshna.bandyopadhyay@gmail.com

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.
You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or  Subscribe in a reader

Happy Mother’s Day

Follow me on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream.
You can alsoSubscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email

Ma is probably the first word that comes out from every child. Whatever language you speak this word makes you remember just one person, the first lady who brought us into this world. Today is Mother’s Day. In India we never celebrated Mother’s Day (wiki has something else to say, though) before globalization struck, but still its just a day to celebrate and to remember the most loved woman.

Bison mother and child, Gorumara, North Bengal

While searching for some links, came across this Mother’s Day poem, hope you like it:

A Thousand Thanks

Mother’s Day brings to mind

The thousands of things you did for me
that helped make me happier,
stronger and wiser,
because I had you as a role model.
I’m grateful for all the times

you healed my hurts
and calmed my fears,
so that I could face the world
feeling safe and secure.
I’m thankful for all you showed me

about how to love and give–
lessons that now bring
so many blessings to me
each and every day.
Your sacrifices and unselfishness

did not go unnoticed, Mom.
I admire you, I respect you,
I love you.
And I’m so glad you’re my mother!
Happy Mother’s Day!

By Joanna Fuchs

Mom had been my first teacher, my strength, my best critic and I know my secret admirer :). Last but not the least, ma had been the best cooking teacher I could ever get. My ma is the best cook I have ever seen. Though she prefers preparing Bengali dishes, she loves to experiment in the kitchen. Her kitchen is like her laboratory and ma the scientist in there. This blog is also an ode to the various dishes, particularly Bengali recipes that I have learnt from her and this post is a collection of few of her wonderful recipes.

Shukto – The first served food for any lunch in any typical Bengali household. The bitterness of the bitter gourd and the plethora of all the other vegetables is said to have a cooling effect to the body that serves as an appetizer.

Cholar Dal – This typical Bengali lentil preparation is best had with luchis on a lazy Sunday morning

Kachuri – A little deviation from the Bengali puris or luchis, these stuffed puris is an envy for all those who can’t use the rolling pin to make a perfect circle (including me)

Aamer Dal – A must have during the warm summers

Kanch Kalar Kofta – Raw banana always seem to be a bad option for any meal, but if you have this kofta, you’ll ask for more

Lau Chingri – A lovely medley of the vegetable and the most loved fish (Trivia: shrimps are actually insects)

Chanchra – Although most Bengali recipes have an influence from the ruling dynasties in Bengal, this typical Bengali preparation has been left untouched by any invader

Bhapa Chingri – A very easy to prepare mouth watering fish preparation

Patla Ilsiher Jhol – Hilsa is mostly prepared with muatard, but this non-spicy preparation stands its chance to be loved by anyone

Mutton Kasha – a Bengali menu can’t be over without mutton in it

Aamer Morobba – This is one of my most favorite dishes, I love it and have it almost throughout the year

Misti Doi – Sweet yogurt so as translate in English, but misti doi has its own magic spread over its taster’s tongues

Patishapta – This is a sweet dish prepared during the harvest festival

There are numerous other recipes that mom had taught me, and there’s loads more to learn from her. This one is a very short list of my favorite mom-taught recipes.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.
You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or  Subscribe in a reader

Subho Nabobarsho

Wishing you all Bongs and non-Bongs a very Happy Bengali New Year 1417.

In the words of the great poet, Rabindranath Tagore, we welcome the new year :

Esho he Baisakh esho esho|
Tapasnishwas bahe murmursure dao uraye,
batsarer aborjana dur haye jak||
jak puratan smriti, jak bhule jao geeti,
ashru bashpo sudure milak
Here is a video for the occassion:


Follow me on Twitter. Add me as a friend on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream

I am still in Bangalore and enjoying the pleasant weather here. The weather is cool and breezy and the sun shining with all its glory.Bangalore airport flower

The winter flowers have just started to bloom and they are looking fresh as ever, making the city a colorful patch even in this dry season. kalapoti

The weekend was great, we went here and there and loads of fun. We went to watch a play after a long long time, it was from the theatre group Dramanon, a play named [Sic]. After 2 hours of play we wanted some fresh air and so headed for UB City. I have never been to UB City in the evening even though I stayed here for more than 2 years.


The high tower with its blue and white light looked majestic in the dark background. It was real fun to watch those kids playing with the fountains.

UB-City-fountain-kid playUB-City-fountain

Play, UB city and we needed some more air, so the last option was to have a long drive. We hit the road for Cafe Coffee day on the Mysore Highway. We drove for 70Km to have a cup of coffee at the 24 hour open cafe. Reached there, and to our surprise we were not the only people who had the same idea in min. There were more than 50 people sitting there, driving all the way from Bangalore to have a cup of coffee. Though started with just coffee, we didn’t actually stick to our initial plan. The only sup of coffee turned into more coffee, sandwiches, mousse, burgers, and more coffee.

Mysore CCD

Tummy full, and minds fresh, we headed back home. A weekend passed well.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or  Subscribe in a reader

A bengali’s take on Ganesh Chaturthi

Follow me on Twitter. Add me as a friend on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream.

[This is a Ganesh Chaturthi post. If you’re just interested in the Narkel Nadu recipe, please wait for another day.]

How a Bengali celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganpati Bappa

Ganpati Bappa

Globalisation has had an unlikely effect – Festival in Bengal. When I was a kid the only visible aspect about Ganesh Chaturthi in Kolkata (Calcutta then) was the telecast of the immersion ceremony of the huge Ganesh idols in Mumbai (Bombay then). We didn’t even know when is Ganesh Chaturthi unless we saw the holiday calendar. But, now even we Bongs have started worshipping Ganapati Bappa on Ganesh Chaturthi (also called, Ganesha Chaturthi, Vinayaka Chaturthi). Take my home, for instance. Since morning mom has been decorating the house. She painted miniature  alpona at the door step (Alpona is an oriental style of painting motifs on floors during any ceremonies, usually done using rice flour mixed dissolved in water).  There wasn’t any Ganesh Chaturthi katha or vrat though (I guess there would be, but a couple of years later. Here’s a link on how a FM channel in North Bengal is celebrating the festival). I had my part in the ceremony too. Prepared some Narkel narus (coconut-sugar balls) and went to college. But by the time I was back, my sister had finished off half of it and mom had distributed almost the rest among our neighbors, leaving me with just a couple of my favorite nadu.

Ganesha – created and beheaded

I wasn’t much aware of what actually Ganesh Chaturthi is. So, while writing for this post just thought of sharing the info I gained from mom and the internet. Ganesh Chaturthi is said to be the day when Lord Ganesh comes down to earth to bestow his blessings on his devotees. Ganesh or the Lord of Ganas is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. While Lord Shiva was away, Parvati thought of creating a son to guard her. Parvati created Ganesha out of the sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. She then set him to stand guard at her door and instructed him not to let anyone enter. In the meantime, Lord Shiva returned from the battle but as Ganesha did not know him, stopped Shiva from entering Parvati’s chamber. Shiva, enraged by Ganesh’s impudence, drew his trident and cut off Ganesha’s head. Parvati emerged to find Ganesha decapitated and flew into a rage. She took on the form of the Goddess Kali and threatened destruction to the three worlds of HeavenEarth and the subterranean earth.

Ganesh Puja Prasad

Ganesh Puja Prasad

Parvati’s rage

Parvati was enraged beyond control. Seeing her in this mood, the other Gods were afraid and Shiva, in an attempt to pacify Parvati, sent out his ganas, or hordes, to find a child whose mother is facing another direction in negligence, cut off his head and bring it quickly. The first living thing they came across was an elephant. That elephant was facing north (the auspicious direction associated with wisdom). So they brought the head of this elephant and Shiva placed it on the trunk of Parvati’s son and breathed life into him. Parvati was overjoyed and embraced her son, the elephant-headed boy whom Shiva named Ganesha, the lord of his ganas. Parvati was still upset so Lord Shiva announced that everyone who worships Ganesha before any other form of God is favoured. So Ganesh is worshipped first in all Hindu occasions and festivals.



Ganesha has become the symbol of Hinduism these days. Various styles, postures of Ganesha are openly sold in the market. People these days have started a new hobby collecting Ganesh idols, and my mom is one of them. At present she has a collection of odd 60 idols at our home. These are of different postures, sizes and made of various materials from plaster of Paris to 8 metal alloys and from terracotta to ivory. Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi. And please come back tomorrow for the Narkel Nadu recipe.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too. You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader

Broken egg for Click

We are sorry for the website down time; there was some problem with the hosting server. Now we are back and the website running fine.

A fort night back I had posted with a week’s resource of “Breakfast with egg”. Egg is the best way to have a wholesome and yummy breakfast. Out of these recipes the Mughlai Paratha recipe has become an instant hit.

Talking about eggs, I am sending this photo to Jugalbandi’s Click contest for this month, the theme being Bicolor.

Broken egg

Broken egg

Camera Model:  Nikon D60
F-stop: F/5.6
Exposure time: 1/60 sec
ISO Speed: ISO-200
Focal Length: 55mm
Photo editing: I did a little auto contrast to the image using Picassa.

Welcome to Our New Site

Welcome to our new website. This website is about: the love for Bengali food. Learning how to cook Bengali dishes with the age old spices. Here, you will find everything about Bengali cuisine and how to be a master in the art.

Inviting smiles

Inviting smiles

Why a blog on Bengali cuisine?

One Answer – because we had a hard time finding a real good food blog focused on Bengali recipes and Sudeshna churned out regular Bengali recipes at her blog (which clocks > 7500 pageviews a month), so this attempt.

Another Answer – 230 million (source Wikipedia) Bongs are spread over India, Bangladesh, US, UK etc. Over decades, Bengali food (both sweets and dishes) have earned reputation in India and elsewhere, yet renowned voices of Bengali food in English are too few (Rinki BhattacharyaSutapa). Of late, however, there has been sudden growth of Restaurants serving Bengali food. Bangalore has 10+ quality Bengali restaurants now.

There are millions of Bengalis spread around the globe, who just want to taste mom’s alu posto or the chatni at the end of the afternoon meal. But most of us are not aware of the right ingredients or when to use them. This blog will help you through the preparations and so that your kitchen can also smell of the one back home. We dedicate this blog to all those who love aroma and taste of Bengali food.

What more? Our blog will also have some recipes from the other cuisines from India and other parts of the world.This blog aims to become one stop shop to master the art of bengali cuisine. There are at present 80 different recipes to choose from, which we had imported from our previous wordpres.com blog. Pick one, cook (or ask your cook to cook) and let us know how it fared.

If your taste buds are yet to encounter Bengali dishes, there is a lot for you to benefit from here. If you are a seasoned cook, I would appreciate if you could give your valuable comments on the posts. So sit back and enjoy the delicious recipes from all over Bengal.

CHEERS ! ! !

Thanks to all my dear viewers for making my blog a success. It has crossed another hurdle , today I can proudly declare my blog to be among the 2000+ viewer blog group. It felt so great to see that 2006 hits when I logged in this evening. And hold on, my blog has attained this new feather in just 3 months.

So there should be a gala treat to all of you. Aah !!! Let me think what to treat you with……

Ok, may be with the delicious “Chingri macher malaikari”. So my post coming up will the Chingri macher malaikari (Prawn in delicious coconut gravy). So watch out for it.

Thank you

Thank you all my visitors to this site for making my work a success. The blog is not even 2 months old and it has crossed that 1000 hits hurdle. This has given me a new zeal to work on new recipes and post those all for you.

So till my next post happy cooking and happy eating.


Hello everybody ,

I had been busy with my profession  so couldn’t give much time to my hobby. I am sorry for my absence. Would be writing about a new recipe tomorrow.Till then please do bear with me.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin