Blogger Interview Series Part 4 – Sharmila

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After an wonderful response to the Top 7 Bengali Food Blogs post, we decided on interviewing the authors of these very popular blogs. This post is the fourth in Blogger Interview Series. If you have missed the first three interviews, click on the following links:

  1. Jayashree Mandal of Spice and Curry
  2. Bong Mom of Bong Mom’s CookBook
  3. Indrani of Appayan

About Sharmila

Sharmila started her blog, Kichukhon in December 2006, though she started blogging regularly since 2008. Her blog is an ode to her father, who as she says in her own words “loves good food”. In her blog, Sharmila writes about recipes without sticking to any particular type of cuisine, but also blogs about traditional Bengali food. Here’s an insight of the maker of the wonderful Bengali food blog, Kichukhon.

What inspires you to write a food blog?

Initially it was all those wonderful food blogs on the web.

Later I started to get requests for particular recipes or guidance regarding a recipe, from sincere readers.
That inspires me to keep going.

Who had been your inspiration for cooking?

Actually nobody.
Cooking, for me, was a necessity after I got married. It is only after a lot of disasters that I can say I enjoy cooking today. 🙂

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

This blog is entirely my effort … with a lot of trials and errors. Of course am grateful to a few blogger friends who encouraged me during my early days of blogging.

What was the first dish that you prepared and when?

I really don’t remember, maybe some chicken preparation. Back home, during Sundays, I would sometimes try my hand at making a dish with chicken.

CLB Note: Her blog has 10+ chicken recipes. Check them out. And if you need more, here’re our bengali chicken recipes.

What are the 3 food blogs that you would recommend our readers to read?

1. http://aht.seriouseats.com/
2. http://sutapa.com/
3. http://www.marthastewart.com/

How many cook books do you have?

None.

What’s your favorite cookbook?

I don’t read cookbooks.

What would you eat for your last supper?

Steaming hot dal, plain rice and aloo bhaaja with a little ghee and lemon. 🙂

Which other food blogs do you read regularly?

There are some very good food blogs out there … naming all of them is going to be difficult.

Your fondest food memory?

That would be of the food cooked in open air improvised chulhas when we used to go for ‘choruibhati’s or picnics.
The khichuri (rice and lentils cooked together)  or mangsho (mutton or chicken curry) cooked that way used to be so flavourful.

Your most trusty kitchen companion?

My pair of kitchen scissors.

What made you to call your blog “Kichu Khon”?

“Kichu Khon” in Bengali means “A Few Moments”.

Like my blog description says, since I was logging about the few moments I spend in my kitchen, I decided on the name “Kichu Khon”.

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

The Coffee Cake
Chingri Malai Rice :
Jhaal Muri / Masala Muri

Which cookbook can you not do without and which chef is your hero/heroine?

I do not follow any cook books. But I like Kylie Kwong‘s recipes, very similar to my way of cooking – quick, flavourful yet simple.

Well, thank you Sharmila, for taking out time to share your personal side for our readers. We wish you good luck with your food blogging experience. Cheers!

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How do people find this blog: 5 keyword goof ups

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How do people come to your blog?

Has it ever happened to you that visitors come to your blog via completely unrelated keywords. Say you run a travel site but visitors come via “tamil woman saree bathing“? Well, we at Cook Like a Bong  regularly get such search engine traffic hilarious moments. This post is about how google messes up while directing visitors to bengalicuisine.net.

One of the tasks of a webmaster is to understand what are people looking for when search engines send them your way. For instance, this being a site on Bengali cuisine, I would expect visitors to come here while searching for Bengali food, Bengali recipes, Bengali rasgulla, Chanchra, bangali ranna etc .

However, sometimes the keywords that send traffic range from uncommon, to weird, to outright irrelevant. Here’s 5 such keyword strings:

Google

Mishti doi food poisoning

I’ve heard of food poisoning being caused from meat, raw foods, and unwashed vegetables. But never from consuming Mishti Dahi. Medicine sites say that the symptoms of food poisoning are vomiting and abdominal cramping.

The natural question, then, is: why was someone looking for how to prepare Mishti Doi that causes vomiting? OMG. Did we inadvertently participate in some ‘killer intent’? Or, ‘how to fake pregnancy to your husband’? Just when I was about to get excited about all this, google search spilled the beans.

The first result on Google for Mishti Doi food poisoning is Sudeshna’s post on Bhapa Chingri (Steamed Shrimp). Phew! Figure out why.

How to color diyas crafts

I was surprised at first. After all, why would someone looking for craft activities like how to color diyas would come to a Bengali cooking site. But then it dawned. One year after writing a post on Diwali Diya Daler Bada, Google suddenly started sending loads of visitors to this post. Evidently, one of them turned unlucky. Check out the post for some colorful diwali diyas.

Advisable to eat rohu in monsoon?

Well, Sudeshna has talked about rohu fish (or rui maach) in 3 posts – Macher Dimer Vada (Roe fritter), Macher Jhol (Fish Curry) and Doi Rui (Rohu Yogurt gravy) and about monsoon in 5 posts. But never, I repeat never, has she advised on whether to eat rohu in monsoon.

Being a Bengali almost always automatically meant that you ‘have to’ love fish (in addition to several other bong connection myths). And now do search engines also expect a Bengali cook to even advice on seasonal variation in safety factors of eating any variety of fish. Duh!

Morola.com

A quick google search will return results that start with Motorola.com And why not? Commonsense dictates the odds of someone looking for Motorola.com is higher than ABengaliWordforaFish.com.  More than Google’s misplaced results, what surprised me more was who on earth wants to search for a website like NameofTheFish.com?

Pepped up, I searched for several such sites and here’re the results…

rui.com will redirect you to a golf and tennis website

ilish.com and katla.com seem cybersquatters

pabda.com or chingri.com don’t even exist and

tangra.com is  a web solutions provider. Indeed, curiosity killed the cat. 😛

I'm starting to crack

I'm starting to crack

Which Beatles record started as egg and bacon?

Yes, Beatles composed a song ‘Yesterday’, whose lyrics had words like eggs, omlette, ham, cheese and bacon.  In fact, this is one of the few songs that talk of egg delicacies. Sample this:

Scrambled eggs,
Good for breakfast, dinner time or brunch,
Don’t buy six or twelve, buy a bunch,
And we’ll have a lunch on scrambled eggs.

But would Paul McCartney have thought in his lifetime that someone looking for his famous song would come across a how to cook Scrambled Eggs post at a Bengali food website? Hell no.

Well, I guess you have traffic coming from such funny keywords too. Please share a few here.

Images Courtesy: Danny Sullivan and 1HappySnapper

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