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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Bengali Food Bloggers Interview Part 3 – Indrani

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Bengali Food Bloggers Interview

This series tries to bring the personal side of the blogger in the list of Top 7 Bengali Food Blogs. This is Part 3 and features Indrani of Appyayan. Earlier interviews:

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

About Indrani

Indrani started the blog in Apr 2008, and till date, it has around 130 posts in several categories. Indrani is based out of Singapore and calls herself a – busy full-time mom of a 10 year old girl and a set of twin boys (2 years old). The blog predominantly features Bengali recipes, and sometimes, other regional Indian and western recipes too. Samples – Patishapta Pitha, Badhakopir Tak Dom, Narkel Shorshe Patol, Bhapa Ilish, and Broccoli Brinjal fry. Incidentally, the blog started at same time as bengalicuisine and has the same number of recipes as of this date. Call it coincidence, huh. She maintained a recipe index of the blog till August 2009.

Without further ado, we give you Indrani.

What inspires you to write a food blog?

Food is an important part of our life. I absolutely love cooking. So my love of cooking and learning new recipes inspire me to write a food blog, so that I can share my love with the world.

Who had been your inspiration for cooking?

My mom had been my true inspiration, who is a great cook. She can create a good food out of anything.

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

My husband

What was the first dish that you prepared and when?

The first dish I learnt to cook is Dharosh Posto (Okra / bhindi in poppy seed sauce), because this is my favorite Bengali dish. I learnt this at the age of 13.

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

There are many good food blogs which I visit regularly, but if you ask me specifically, other than Cook Like a Bong, I would recommend, (a) Sailu’s Kitchen, as she has a collection of great recipes (b) eCurry, as she has introduced me with so many new food and I learned so much from her blog, (c) Foodie’s Hope, I just love to visit her blog.

How many cook books do you have?

I have 4 cookbooks – one Bengali cookbook, one on Indian Cuisine, one on baking and one on Chinese cuisine (my fav, just after Bengali cuisine).

What’s your favorite cookbook?

I have a collection of bookmarked recipes from cooking sites and other food blogs, if I put all of them together and make a book, that’ll be my most favorite cookbook.

Tell us something about food from your part of the world?

For the quintessential Bengalis, food is one of the most important aspects of daily life. As it’s said, “Bengalis do not eat to live, but live to eat”. But don’t take Bengalis as an over-eater. Fish and rice, are the most staple food in Bengal, but hardly a day goes by without a Bengali eating some form of dal (lentil). Bengali daily meal has a good proportion of everything we need in our food. A typical daily meal will include rice, dal, some fries with dal, one vegetable dish and a fish or egg or chicken dish. Lastly a chutney, not daily but often. I think, Bengali cuisine is the most sophisticated cuisine in India.

What would you eat for your last supper?

For last supper, I would love to eat some comfort food like dal-bhat-bhaja (lentil-rice and some fry) or khichudi

Which other food blogs do you read regularly?

There are many good food blogs, I try to read as many of them in my little spare time

Your fondest food memory?

I don’t recollect any food memory, but I’ve fondest cooking memory which I absolutely cherish. When my mom used to get sick, bapi (my father) and me used to cook that day. My bapi only knows to cook dharosh aloo posto (okra-potato in poppy seed sauce) and dal (lentil soup), as those are his favorite dishes and easy to cook, too. I used to cut the vegetables and bapi used to cook. He used to show me every step very carefully. We had such nice time together. Whatever I learned about cooking so far, all credit goes to my mom. If she hasn’t pushed me to learn to cook, I couldn’t have survived after marriage, as I am living abroad since my marriage.

Your most trusted kitchen companion?

My mixer-grinder/blender.

What made you to call your blog “Appayan”?

Appyayan” is a bengali word which means to serve your guests which I love to do. My intention to start this blog was to serve my visitors and readers with some authentic bengali recipes, which I learned from my mother, mil and grandmother and other healthy and tasty recipes I experiment in my kitchen daily and love. This is the reason behind the name of my blog.

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

  1. Garlic Flavoured Masoor Dal (Lahsooni dal)
  2. Paneer butter masala (my daughter’s favorite food)
  3. Chatpata Chicken

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

The above mentioned favorite cookbook of mine, my bookmarked recipe collection, that I can’t do without and my favorite chef is Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, I just love to try his recipes.

Bengali Food Bloggers Interview Part 2 – Bong Mom

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We had the first part of Food Blogger Interview series with Jayshree. It is the first part of a 6 interview series of the Top 7 Bengali Food Bloggers, which we came up with 6 months ago. This post is the second in line for the Blogger Interview Series and the lady this time is a very well known blogger, Bong Mom.

7 Top Bengali Food Blogs

7 Top Bengali Food Blogs


About Bong Mom
She started her blog in October 2006 with the first post as Alu posto and Musir’er Dal. She had been a regular blogger for the last 3years and a few months, catering wonderful and finger-licking recipes all the time. With a page rank of 4, Bong Mom CookBook is one the most popular Bengali Food Blogs over the internet.

What inspires you to write a food blog?

I’ve said it in my first post and I reiterate:

Growing up all over West Bengal, and some parts of Bihar, in a Bengali household I learnt one thing, Bengalis love to eat, feed others and cook (at least Bong women do).

So growing up amongst such a race it’s natural that I love to eat and to make my food dreams into reality have taken to loving cooking my food. I get solace in cooking, the comfort of the spices sputtering in the oil, the waft of the Jeera & Tejpata as they turn brown, the rich yellow of my musuri’r dal gives me peace, makes me calm and in this far off land makes me connect to my home.

I want to pass on my legacy of Bengali food to my two little daughters and all the other little ones out there who growing up in a foreign land will find a way to connect to their Bangla roots through the smell and taste of Bangla cuisine.

This is also for all others who are unaware of the Bengali Cuisine, to try out and sample the nuances of Bengali Cooking.

Who had been your inspiration for cooking?

Cooking was more of a necessity than inspiration. I didn’t really cook much when I was with my parents. I did love to eat and cooking back then was an occasional trial of the recipes in the magazines.

Cooking for survival happened when I started my first job far from home and it was pretty expensive to dine out every day.

Now I really love cooking, more so because I am so far away from home, that cooking gives me immense comfort. The smell of the spices, the sounds the smell brings back memories of home. It also lets me eat my food just the way I want. Most of the stuff I cook is Bangla Home food, things my Ma, grandma cooked at home

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

Definitely my husband. He is the one who has to wait hungry, while I click. LOL

Sooner my Dad joined in. He even got me shaal pata’r utensils from Kolkata for shots. But then I shouldn’t leave out my dear S (my eldest daughter), she steers clear and is patient while I am trying to get the shot and of course my Ma, my most ardent reader.

What was the first dish that you prepared and when?

Don’t remember the first, maybe Maggi. But once I started cooking officially, I used to regularly make Dim er Dalna/Egg Curry. That is the only thing me and my room mate cooked and ate on most days

How many cook books do you have?

Very few. I like cook books with lots of stories

What’s your favorite cookbook?

I have been reading food memoirs recently and love them. I would recommend Ruth Reichl’s “Tender on the Bone”. I don’t think I would cook anything from there but the writing will definitely wonderful

Tell us something about food from your part of the world?

Go read my Blog. LOL

What would you eat for your last supper?

Bhaat(Rice), Musuri’r Dal, Alu-posto ar ekta pati lebu

Your most trusty kitchen companion?

My Magic Bullet processor, my dishwasher

What made you to call your blog  “Bong Mom CookBook”?

Coz I am a Bong, a Mom and I Cook and would love to write  a Book some day

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

Doi Maach, Musuri’r Dal and Kalakand

Well, that was Bong Mom for you.

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Bengali Food Bloggers Interview Part #1

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Bengali Food Bloggers Interview

Almost 6 months back, we (Sudeshna and Kalyan) came up with a list of Top 7 Bengali Food Blogs. Of course, the list was with our personal experience and didn’t follow any standard procedure for ratings. Soon afterwards, we planned to interview each blogger in an attempt to bring their ‘other side’ to you.

6 of the Top 7 bloggers agreed to an interview and we emailed the same questionnaire to each. Now that we’ve received responses from all six, we’re starting Bengali Food Bloggers Interview series. You’ve known their recipes. Now you can know their personal side too.

The original answers have been tweaked a little to remove the typos etc, keeping the answers identical in spirit. The text is Italics is our own commentary. In Part 1, we’ll feature Jayashree Mandal of Spice and Curry.

About Jayashree Mandal

Jayashree Mandal started the blog in Oct 2006 with the first post on Alu Posto ar Amer Ambal. However, the posts became frequent and regular only from Nov 2007. With a pagerank of 4, the blog is fairly popular. Samples – Mochar Ghonto, Pomphreter Kalia, Pui Shager Cohorchori. The blog has a good blogroll list too. Also, most of the recent images have copyright notice. Good move to thwart rampant plagiarism on the web. Located in Kolkata, Jayashree also has a personal blog.

What inspires you to write a food blog?

I started my blog on a personal note to keep track of the recipes that I was trying out and making while staying far away from home. This was also a useful engagement for me as I am a stay-at-home mom.

Then of course there were few blogs like Cream Puffs in Venice and Tigers and Strawberries and our very own Mahanandi and Sailu’s Kitchen which are like true leaders to me who has also contributed to the fact of starting this blog.

Who had been your inspiration for cooking?

I do think it is my ma and ma-in-law who has greatly influenced me or rather inspired me to cook. [Well, a positive Saas Bahu chemistryJ]

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

Support I do think is my ma-in-law as she has always helped me coming up with new recipes as I do think a food blog is all about good ,authentic recipes and food.

My hubby who is always there to taste a dish and give honest opinion about it, before I go ahead and publish it.

What was the first dish that you prepared and when?

If I can recall perfectly, my ma was quite ill for sometime. So the cooking has to be done by me . Hmm… May be when I was in 11th standard and I prepared simple Khichuri and dim bhaja (omellete)

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

I do think this is very difficult, as there are many good food blogs, I would certainly emphasize to the food and clarity of recipe part, so my list will include:

How many cook books do you have?

I generally don’t try to cook from cookbooks unless I am in a mood to try out something new. I have Veg Khana by Neeta Mehta, Non-Veg starters By Sanjeev Kapoor and last an old Bengali cookbook “Ranna Samagro” by Vincent Gomez and Bela Dey

What’s your favorite cookbook?

Nothing in particular.

Tell us something about food from your part of the world?

I have spent my childhood days in UP and then again I am a Bengali, so I have imbibed everything from both the parts, I like eating as much a Nimona with rice as much ilish macher Bhapa with garam bhaat. [Great variation, lady.]

What would you eat for your last supper?

This is definitely a light dessert like a flavoured yogurt or payesh or a slice of cake with a scoop of ice-cream on top

Which other food blogs do you read regularly?

I like to read

And some International Food Blogs like

Your fondest food memory?

There are many interesting food memories, but then the hustle-bustle during Durga Puja and the entire way of spending the time with cooking, eating good food and enjoying with family is perhaps my fondest memory revolving around food and cooking.

Your most trusty kitchen companion?

This I am leaving it, as all are my companions.

What made you to call your blog “Spice and Curry”?

Don’t know, I was just looking to register at blogger and in a jiffy, it splashed and there I was working for my blog.

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

Think it will be Chingir Macher jhal, Kosha Mangsho and Apple cinnamon Cake

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

Nothing in particular.

Anything you want to add which I missed out.

Just wanted to say, that one should enjoy cooking and serving the people who matter to us the most, instead of cooking things just for the sake of blogging. We are here, food blogging because our family has been cooperative and supportive of whatever we are doing.

I just wish we should not take things for granted. Blogging should be enjoyed and it is a sure way of de-stressing unless we cross the limit and it starts to give stress. Avoiding unnecessary competition and living in harmony is always a way better thing to do.

And last but not the least, it was a pleasure giving this interview. All the Best.

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