MagicKart Review

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While picking up your item of choice from a store is a fun experience, waiting in the check out line just to buy one small item take the fun out of it. I prefer to shop online. Also, now that I’m living outside the country, shopping online is my only option for sending gifts to family. Online shopping has opened a new door to customers like us.


Even in India there are now quite a handful of websites offering online shopping options. Most of them are offering various types of items from home goods to electronics. When I came across I felt like a kid in a candy shop, especially because of the fact that this website is dedicated to kitchen items and table ware. I love shopping kitchen items, and serve wares. has a wide range of kitchen items and the prices are pretty competitive.

The homepage is plain and simple, and browsing through the website is very easy, you’ll find just the right item for you. And, the best part is they have an online chatting service with the support team. I tried it out, and they are very prompt.

Magickart was started by a team of three enthusiastic people, and their work shows up on the site. Such a big collection of kitchen appliances and cookware is really hard to find online in India and even in stores. So if you are searching for something to gift your loved one this festive season, MagicKart is the right option.

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Food Review – Korean Stir fry Ready to Cook

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When it comes to Southeast Asian cuisine, other than the Thai curries, I always opt for the stir fries. So when Saffron Road Foods sent their newly launched simmer sauces for a review I was overjoyed to find the Korean Stir fry ready to cook product in the package. I instantly thought of cooking and reviewing this simmer sauce in my blog.

Preparing the simmer sauce took me less than 15 minutes from chopping vegetables to serving it to the dinner table. The result was an awesome combination of healthy homemade food with loads of vegetables and the taste of restaurant style meal. The ease of cooking it also made this simmer sauce a perfect for a date night or just when you are too lazy to go through through spice cupboard to prepare something for dinner.

Saffron Road Food Korean Stir Fry Pouch

I prepared it with some South Asian choice vegetables – baby corn, bok choy, carrots, mushroom with an Bengali addition of some cubed onions to it. The packet for Korean Stir fry had the option of beef strips for meat, I opted for chicken and it turned out perfect. You can also use other meat like lamb, or for the vegetarian option try it with tofu.

Most of the Saffron Road Foods simmer sauces have almost the same directions to prepare the food. Heat oil in a skillet, add the meat and vegetable, saute them. Add the simmer sauce and stir. Cook till the sauce starts to bubble. I feel, as these simmer sauces are used even by the novice cooks, a mention of which vegetables to use for which simmer sauce would do good. The last time I prepared Rogan Josh simmer sauce, I don’t think mushroom or baby corn would go with that.

The Saffron Road Food products are all non-GMO verified products and so a re very safe. They have some of the simmer sauces available in their online store, and you can also get all their products in almost all of the large retailers throughout US. Check their store locator to choose the store nearest to you.

As with the other simmer sauces from Safrron Road Food, I truly enjoyed making and eating the Korean Stir fry. I served it with some jasmine rice and vinegar dipped cucumber, and it felt like a to-go order from our favorite South Asian restaurant. Here’s how I made it.

Korean Stir Fry With Chicken

Side, Korean, Korean stir fry, Simmer sauce, Product review, Korean cuisine, Stir fry recipe
Cooks in    Serves 4
  • 1 lb chicken, cut into thin strips
  • 2 carrots, cut into inch size strips
  • 1 baby bok choy, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 can baby corn, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushroom
  • 1/2 onion, chopped into cubes
  • 1 packet Saffron Road Food Korean Stir Fry simmer sauce
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • Wash the vegetables, and drain out the excess water
  • Heat oil in a skillet and add the vegetables except the bok choy. Saute till the vegetables are half cooked
  • Now add the chicken strips and bok choy and cook till the chicken strips are well done
  • Pour in the contents of the pouch, mix well with the meat and vegetables and cook covered for 2-3 minutes or till the sauce starts bubbling.
  • If you want to keep the gravy serve instantly with jasmine rice, else cook till the gravy is dried.

Korean Stir Fry

Disclaimer – I am not paid by Saffron Road Foods to write product reviews in Cook Like a Bong.

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Book Review – Cooking on the Run by Boria Mazumdar

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What do you do if you’re in a hurry but still you’ve got to eat? The answer is easy for someone who has been cooking “for a while”. If you are one such person, more often than not, you use your years of work experience in the kitchen and very quickly figure something out.

But, the situation drastically changes when your culinary skills fluctuate between Chhede de ma Kende bachi (Clueless in Kitchen) to Omlette maker (comfortable preparing different egg dishes). You would likely to lean towards the likes of milk-cereal, bread butter toast or banana milk shake for breakfast, or the likes of Maggi, canned foods and some Ready to Eat packs for any other time of the day (of course, you can always order a home delivery from the neighbourhood Pizza delivery, order a take-out online, but those are out-of-scope for this discussion here). Boria Majumdar’s new cookbook, titled Cooking on the Run, can be a godsend at such times, it is very helpful in such a scenario. Wait a minute. Doesn’t Boria Majumdar write and speak about Cricket, and other forms of sports?

Well, yes. And I, for one, was pleasantly surprised when I got his message that his first cookbook is out and if I would like to review it. Of course I would, I thought.  A few days later, Boria sent me the pdf and the printed version of his book too. Thanks Boria.

Going through the book was a like a breeze of fresh air but I was faced with a dilemma – how do I review a cookbook that, even Boria says, is designed for Indian Men? Kalyan and I got together and figured the way out.

We figured we’d review the book from two perspectives – I’ll don the food blogger hat and review the book, while Kalyan will review it from “Indian Man’s” perspective. Fair enough? So, here we go.

Cooking on the Run by Boria Mazumdar

Boria very modestly writes in his book that it “does not have a grandiose purpose” and is “simply the average Indian man’s survival mechanism in times of need”. The book is much more than that though. It is one of those cookbooks which are as much a treat to read for its anecdotes and surrounding story as much as it is for the recipes themselves. I’m very sure pro-cooks would love to read it and keep it in their bookshelves.

Boria grew up in a Bengali household and from a very early age he started getting fond of the finished products from his mother’s kitchen. But, not until did he was in Oxford that he actually set foot in a kitchen to cook. The book reveals not only recipes that he tried over the years to amuse his friends from college and work; but it’s a journey through his life in the kitchen and beyond.

Going through the book, one chapter particularly caught my attention – Tangra, Kolkata’s very own China town. Boria, while discussing his favourite Chinese restaurants over the world, paints a realistic picture of the place. Sitting in my apartment in Texas, I felt nostalgic. I couldn’t but smile and recollect my days as an undergrad and the frequent visit to Chinatown with my friends.

The entry to Tangra is marked by the stench of city’s waste lands (Dhapar maath) and scores of tanneries in the neighbourhood. It was the almost unrecognisable right turn from Gobindo Khatik road that leads to the potholed road of Kolkata’s china town. Notwithstanding this, we used to frequent the area (like thousands of others) in search of the best and authentic Chinese food that the city had to offer. Our favourite was the Big Boss restaurant. We stopped by the place every month, and without fail. The dim lights, the aroma from the kitchen, the bustling customers – all made it special.

The book includes details of various parts of the world where Boria spent time and I’m sure if you happen to be familiar with any of those areas, you would become nostalgic too. The book includes details of Samosas of Flora on Flinders Street, Melbourne or the take out Dosas from Udipi Palace in Chicago or the late night cart sellers in the Oxford campus.

Boria’s experience in these areas are an interesting travel read. And when combined with the recipes, makes it an useful book to keep on your bookshelf. However, since first and foremost, it is a cookbook, let’s talk about the outputs from the kitchen.

The recipes are for everyone to cook and try. The ingredients are not some formidable expensive items from a gourmet store, but simple things that you can get from your next door grocer. So, the author gets it right there.

The cooking directions are detailed and I believe even a first time cook shouldn’t face any problems whatsoever. The recipes are large in number, and belong to various cuisines across the world. However, if you’re looking for a list of recipes you can prepare from a particular book, this book is not where you should be searching for.

The author is Bengali by birth and even though you’ll find recipes from across the world, there’re plenty of instances when you would find a touch of his Bengali in this chronicle. Personally, I loved that Bong touch, and since over two-thirds of this blog’s readers are Bengalis, it is safe to assume that you would like it too. But such Bong references (Jhal Muri, Aloo Posto, Kasha Mangsho among others) might be an overdose if your tastes are different. [here’s my own version of Kasha Mangsho, Aloo Posto]

Another feature, or rather the lack of it, that struck the food blogger in me, was that the book doesn’t have any pictures. When I first started cooking and searching for cookbooks, I always used to pick those that had more pictures, everything else being equal. The pictures give a first time cook a better grasp to understand the recipes and also tell the newbie how the end product will look like. It also is a welcome break from the pages of text. He creates an array of stories twining these recipes, which makes this book worth a read.


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Book Review- The Mainland China Cookbook


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What if you can just relive the taste of your favorite recipes from your favorite restaurant right at your home? Sounds a good idea? Sounded to me, and I ordered The Mainland China Cookbook by Anjan Chatterjee. You can buy the book on Flipkart (disclaimer: aff).

Why a Chinese cookbook review on a Bengali food blog?

Chinese cuisine is of great interest to many Bengali food lovers. And the other reason is because of the author. Anjan Chatterjee, who is a Bong foodie and runs Specialty Group of fine-dining restaurants throughout the Indian sub-continent. What started with a single Bombay restaurant (Only Fish), has proliferated into 7 brands across several cities now – Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta, Sigree, Haka, Flame & Grill, Shack and Machaan

The author, Anjan Chatterjee

Anjan Chatterjee is India’s most successful restaurateur, as Vir Sanghvi introduces him in his writing. Born and brought up in Kolkata, Mr. Chatterjee runs 52 restaurants all over India. The Mainland China Cookbook as he mentions in his interview to The Telegraph, “…was a dream of mine to give them(Chinese food lovers) a treat that they can take back home.” .

What the book offers

The book is neatly divided into a number of categories according to the course of the meal. From starters and soups to chicken and meat, from noodles and rice to pancakes – this book has it all. The book starts with a prologue of the author’s journey to the oriental land in search of this thousand year old cooking style. There are recipes from the different parts of China – Peking, Sichuan, Canton and Sanghai. Whether you ask for the most common Chinese dish in India – chili chicken or that not-so-common king prawns Hubei style – you name it you get. It seems the entire Mainland China menu is delivered through this book.

I liked the entire idea of this book. To me it’s absolutely unique. Rather I have never seen a restaurant giving away their signature dishes to the common public. The recipes are mentioned in very simple language stressing on stir and deep fried dishes (a happy finding for all of you who don’t have a microwave or baking oven at home).

As Mr. Chatterjee claims in his book, the Chinese cuisine follows the principle of yin and yang, or the balance in the food. So is the book balanced with a wonderful collection of photographs of the prepared dishes by acclaimed food photographer, Anshika Verma. There is also a list of stores and shops in major Indian cities where you can buy the raw materials to prepare these lip smacking Mainland China signature dishes.

Not so rosy areas

The only glitch in the book was the use of metric measurements rather than the usual measures of cups and spoons in using the ingredients. It was a refreshing change, but not so practical. Also there are only four recipes in the dessert section. Though the author had a justification for that, saying that the “Chinese repertoire of dessert is not so wide”.

Leaving apart these little glitches, I would say the book is worth a collectible in your cookbook library. So, Go Get The Mainland China CookBook

This post is on its way to Divya’s “Show me Your” cookbook event.

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Restaurant Review: FAVA

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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: or Sudeshna:

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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.


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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