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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Narkel Nadu

“Mushikavaahana modaka hastha,
Chaamara karna vilambitha sutra,
Vaamana rupa maheshwara putra,
Vighna vinaayaka paada namasthe”

“O Lord Vinayaka! The remover of all obstacles, the son of Lord Shiva, with a form which is very short, with mouse as Thy vehicle, with sweet pudding in hand, with wide ears and long hanging trunk, I prostrate at Thy lotus-like Feet!”


Ganesh Chaturthi is over (here’s my earlier post on Ganesh Chaturthi) and at home I and my sister are still sneaking into mom’s kitchen to get hold of the left over sweets (prasad). It really feels great to come back home after 2 long years and again indulge into those silly things that I left back here in Kolkata. Ganesh Chaturthi is just a reason for celebration. Even a few years back there were no such celebrations at home and no special puja for Ganeshji. The only way to remember this day was to see the calendar or the telecast of Ganesh idol immersion in Mumbai.

Narkel Nadu


Quite a few years back, during Durga Bishorjon (durga idol immersion), my sister started howling when the Ganesha deity was about to be thrown into water. She was a little kid then. And that’s when mom’s fascination with the elephant headed deity (no offense intended) started. While coming back home shebrought a small Ganesh idol made of brass. Eventually, collecting Ganesh idols became her hobby  and she now has 60 odd Ganeshas of myriad variety. May be I’ll click some photos sometime later and post it here in our blog.

Narkel Nadu

During Ganesh Chaturthi this year it was my work to prepare the Nariyal Laddu (coconut laddu), better know as narkel naadu (nadu or naru) in Bengali. I just thought of sharing this recipe with you all. I prepared it with sugar, but even the combination of jaggery (here’s how Navita prepared it) tastes good.

Preparation time: 15min

Cooking time: 7-8min

Makes 15 naadu


Coconut (Narkel): 1

Sugar (Chini): 250gms

Khoya kheer: 100gms

Cardamom powder (Elaichi guro):  ½ teaspoon


  • Grate the coconut mix with sugar and khoya kheer, mix thoroughly with your hand.
  • Take a thick bottom wok and simmer the coconut mixture with constant stirring, add the cardamom powder
  • Take the wok out of the flame as soon as the coconut starts to get sticky
  • Let it cool till you are able to touch it with your hand
  • Make small one inch size balls with this

Hot Tips- Do not let the coconut to get cooled totally, then you will not be able to make the balls as the mixture gets sticky and becomes a single mass.

Further Reading –  Indrani’s style

A bengali’s take on Ganesh Chaturthi

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[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.

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