"I miss Kolkata, and the thing I miss the most is the authentic Bengali food. My story like many of you, four years of hostel life and then working in Mumbai, I was tired of eating out at restaurants every day. Eventually my taste buds were immune to the difference that each restaurant or chef had to offer. I realized it was high time for me to give it a start and experiment with cooking. So one day I just went out and bought all the necessary stuff to set up the kitchen in my small apartment in Bombay. The next thing I knew I was trying to do was find recipes on the internet but it wasn't easy. First of all I could not find well-structured site that would offer authentic Bengali recipes and secondly there wasn't enough clarity in the instructions for a novice like me. So I ended up calling Maa and took her tips. And there it was, I prepared my first Dal, Rice and Aloo Bhaja. Surprisingly, it turned out to be good or maybe in my excitement I did not consider the taste.
Now cooking is one of my greatest pastimes, I come back from office and start cooking simple authentic Bengali meals. I have realized that the passion for good food is a natural stimulant to one's creativity while cooking. Experimenting with food has become my hobby, I try new recipes all the time, some authentic and some fusion.
Through BonGong, I want to share the taste that every 'Bong' is raised with and to make your home away from home experience memorable and joyful. I still miss Kolkata and still miss Maa, but the thing I no longer miss is the taste of Bengal."
"While I lived at home in Colva, Goa, I never cooked. Then 5 years ago, I moved to the USA which was my first time away from home and my mama's cooked food. I lived in a small town in upstate New York and I still remember it was a cold winter's day, I was terribly homesick and craving some Goan prawns curry. So I walked in about two feet of snow went to the Indian store and got the ingredients. Then with my mama on the phone, I made my first Goan curry.
It was good (close to my mama's) and that's when I realized that if I cook I could eat the food I loved. Slowly my cooking improved, I moved to New York city had access to more stores and a rich variety of seafood and Indian ingredients, so started cooking for friends for occasions like Easter, Thanksgiving.
For Easter this year, I cooked a whole bunch of Goan delicacies like Sorpotel, Roasted tongue, Lobster. With all the affirmation I received from the people trying the food, I realize that my cooking was good. Via BonGong, I'm sharing a part my family's secret recipes, my own creations, ways to make complex dishes simple and more importantly to make dishes healthier while not loosing out on taste.
Bon Appetite and Happy Cooking..."
"Staying away from home makes you appreciate the food you grew up eating even more. I'm a big foodie with a big appetite, who has been away from home for the last seven years. The hardest part of the seven years has been the craving for home cooked Goan food. With the help of hand written recipes from Mom I started cooking and learning the tricks to making Goan dishes like Cafreal, Xacuti and not forgetting the simple basics prawn curry rice.
Slowly, I realized that people really appreciated the food I cooked, thanks to mom and her recipes. This has now become a hobby which I enjoy every day of my life.
My advice to those who have the same dilemma as me is to start small and learn few recipes, make them your trademark dishes which you can cook whenever you home sick or have friends or family over. BonGong is a great place to start. You can see all my trademark recipes here. Go ahead try them.
"When I got married, I was a total novice to cooking. I knew how to cook Maggi noodles and prepare tea, but that was it.My husband is a foodie and a self proclaimed food tasting expert. So, I was quite nervous when I stepped into the kitchen for the first time post marriage. However, after few weeks of trial n error plus some expert directions from my mother in law over the phone, I realized that I can cook. Not only that I started to enjoy it.
Now, after 3 years, cooking is something that I am most passionate about. My husband hates to go on team dinners as he misses my cooking there. That is probably the best compliment I have received for my cooking. I have shared a variety of recipes mostly north Indian and Kashmiri style."
I hope you will enjoy cooking with these recipes as much as I did.
"I am a very picky eater, and there are a lot of things that I don't eat. At the end of the day, it is just much easier to cook for myself. I am also quite impatient, so I like to whip out meals that take less than 20 minutes from prepping to being served on the plate.
My parents worked long hours, so as kids, my brother and I often cook. Our signature dishes are - Poached Egg, Stirred Fried Chinese Spinach, Steam Fish, and Shrimp with Sweet Soy Sauce, etc. All of which take about 20 minutes each to make.
I like to experiment with food, so a lot of my cooking resulted in an interesting fusion of east and west cuisines."
"It all started when my sister and me ordered a sizzling chocolate cake at a restaurant in Mumbai. We both fell in love with the cake and wished that we had this option in Goa. That's when I decided to bake a chocolate cake and see if I could replicate the experience. I tried all recipes which I begged, borrowed and stole from various sources but the cake never quiet tasted like the one we had in Mumbai. This prompted my mum who was excited that i had shown teeny bit interest in cooking to sign me up for a baking class and that's where I caught the "Cooking Ka Keeda". I acted upon this new found interest by trying some of my mom's classic goan recipes.
Over the past few years, I've had friends and family over for dinner and they've all liked my cooking. Through Bongong, I wish to share some of my mom's authentic goan (hindu) recipes and also some of my experimental dishes...
"Cooking has been my passion since childhood. My father is farmer so we always had supply of fresh vegetables, herbs, lentils. we had a big family so everyone had work assigned and my share was cooking, I started cooking when I was around 10 years old. Back then we did not have Internet, TV shows and all kinds of websites so I learnt cooking mainly from my mother and by experimenting on my own and very soon Maharastrian food became my specialty.
After getting married I moved to Pune. Pune is known for variety of delicious food, it is haven for foodie person. I got access to more ingredients, more vegetables and my passion for cooking kept increasing. Soon after marriage I had kids who were quite picky about food so I started making variety of dishes which will be tasty and provide required nutrition for my kids.
Now almost all have access to Internet and there are many cooking shows which teach you cooking, so with this website BonGong. I would like to bring some of my simple maharastrian dishes to you and hope you will like those."
"The only reason I entered the kitchen when I was living with my parents was to drink water. I was pampered with my mom's delicious and healthy home food. I moved to London for a year and had to somehow feed myself. When I realized nobody is going to do it for me, I started making my mom's simple dishes and realized cooking is also very relaxing. After a hectic day, I was looking forward to cooking as I felt it was my own little happy world. Since it was a dorm kitchen, I could not try out much but I was introduced to the art of cooking.
When I moved to the US a couple of years ago, I started cooking again and had my own kitchen this time. I have been like a child with a new toy ever since. Exciting, experimenting and enjoying. I cook mostly South Indian food as I grew up with it. I squeak with happiness at just the thought of eating hot rasam rice with appalam. The joy of cooking healthy home food and the satisfaction you get cannot be matched with the initial high followed by guilt from restaurant food. I hope my recipes pass on the same joy to the readers.""
"I originate from Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, India. I did my Masters in Computer Engineering From Syracuse University, New York and I now work as a Business Analyst in the Bay Area, California.
My Passion for cooking started when I was doing my Bachelors Degree in India where I used to recreate the special recipes printed in the Eenadu Sunday booklet and my brother used to love them. There was hardly a recipe that went wrong and I used to get so much applause for my cooking. I learnt day-to-day dishes while doing my Masters. I watch a lot of television cookery shows and cook when i'm stressed.
I will not say my style of cooking is traditional. I like to experiment a lot and across cuisines. I travelled a bit in India and Paris and Italy and have tasted quite a variety of Cuisines in the US. You will find me incorporate ingredients across various Cuisines and putting New spins to existing recipes. At the same time I can create the most traditional recipes in the most authentic way. I bake, I grill, I broil, I fry, I steam...you name it."
Through BonGong I want to document my recipes, at the same time share tips and experiences and mistakes while experimenting and invoke the cook in you.
"I had learned the value of home made food long ago when I had to move to the hostel for my Bachelors. The one good thing about the move though was being able to experience food from all over India through the new friends I made. I was never really fond of cooking, even though I loved trying a variety of food, until I really had no choice but to cook after I came to the USA in 2010. That is when my culinary journey began with hours on the phone with mom, mom in law, aunts, grandma and of course the internet! I must not forget to mention my wonderful husband, Mayur, who willingly agreed to try all my food! I can proudly say he is the reason I love to cook.
I have to share a secret about me... I get bored with the same food too fast. Turns out I use this to my advantage by experimenting with different ingredients and techniques of cooking. So far so good! :) However, Goan food has always had a special place in my heart. Bongong is a great site, especially for people like me who have come a long way from home, and are lost when life forces them to step into the kitchen for the first time. Through Bongong I would like to share some of my 'successful experiments'.
So for all the new cooks out there and for the veterans... let the journey to the kitchen begin!!!"
"I started cooking early while in India. At that time, it was just a Hobby and I would only cook dishes like simple egg fry, daal, khichdi - my all-time favorites. However after moving to England,far away from home, it became a necessity and then I really started cooking and trying out all the dishes that my mom used to make, the self-cooked food made it feel like a home away from home. Then I started looking for recipes on internet, TV Cookery shows, magazines. I used to call up my mom at every odd hour to get help on the recipes and soon realized that it is very important in any dish to understand the ingredients. Eventually, I stared improving on my cooking skills and started getting more compliments from my hubby and his colleagues. And time came when my hubby told me that the first thing which his colleagues ask in morning is not "How are you today?" , they ask "What have you brought in lunch box today?" All these compliments encouraged me. Receiving calls from friends and colleagues for recipes was no surprise for me. Through Bongong, I hope to reach more people and spread my receipes. For the folks just starting out, I will suggest to try with some basic recipes like egg fry, sandwiches and slowly graduate to vegetables (Sabji's) and curries and for housewife's, we all know that 'The Way to a Man's Heart Is through His Stomach'. Spice up your kitchen and try new, different and exciting recipes."
"I never cooked till I got married and then it was like performing experiments in Science lab aka Kitchen. Initially I got help from Mom, Mom in law for their traditional recipes, then it was food blogs and youtube.
I started tweaking the recipes as sometimes I did not have the required ingredients or no time to do the whole lot of procedure and the outcome was good. Friends loved the food and I became more confident of going my way and making my own recipes.
I used to forget how I made the dish, thanks to Leanne for giving the opportunity to contribute in Bongong now even I will be able to keep a track my recipes! Cooking is fun and can be a stress buster too! Hope to give you healthy and hearty and kid friendly recipes. Happy Cooking!"
"Hi! I am Rima. An engineer, daughter, sister, wife, mom and most importantly a Goan! As a child, my mom insisted that we (my sister and me) focus on our education, and would very confidently say that we would be able to figure our way in the kitchen when the need arises. Call it mother's instinct, but I think that' s exactly how it has ended up being. Ironically, I was so inexperienced in cooking that Leanne still jokes about how we never imagined we would be able to cook at all! And that was when we were well into our late teens!.
Serious cooking for me started as a necessity after marriage. Being married to a major foodie, my kitchen experiments are still heavily biased towards the food cravings I hear. So here I am, after some heavy doses of criticism, tons of practical advice, and encouragement, I think I am more successful in the kitchen than I had ever imagined or even hoped.
Other than that, like most other bongong cooks, I also cook out of nostalgia. I am passionate about everything Goan, and replicating my mamma's and ajji's (grand-mom's) Goan recipes just feels a little bit closer to home. Through bongong, I wish to propagate this legacy and extend the knowledge of my successful kitchen experiments.
Some fun facts about me...I have a weakness for chocolates, am never tired of watching Bollywood movies, and I honestly believe I cannot survive more than a few days without eating fish!"
"Hi! I'm David, and I've been a foodie all my life. Growing up in Bombay (yes, Bombay!) and Goa, I was surrounded by a family that cooked Goan food. My family, grandparents, aunts and relatives were all tied into traditional cooking, without a recipe book in sight. Most of those recipes are now lost to time, and will probably never be replicated in their entirety.
Looking back, I regret not having made notes on what was being cooked right there in front of me, rather than exploring new and to my fledgling mind, more interesting 'foreign' cooking. It was only as I grew older and ventured away from home that my passion for Goan food came to the forefront. There were just not enough options locally in the Middle East and Canada to keep a foodie like me satisfied. I realized, albeit a bit too late that I never wanted to be far from a Goan food source, so I became one. I've always cooked, ever since I was a boy, whether it was the 6 egg omelette that I made on Sundays, or the dishes I made for friends parties in college to currently for my little family and close circle of friends, cooking food has always been an integral part of me. I love cooking, period! So, here I am, hoping to share my love of food with you. Enjoy!"
"I would like to introduce myself as an amateur in the culinary world who likes experimenting with food and adding novelty to traditional dishes by tweaking the great old fabulous recipes a little. Growing up in Hyderabad, you tend to have love (actually craving) for a variety of food ranging from South Indian to North Indian to Gujarati to Marwari to Indo-Chinese and the list goes on. Such is the gigantic range of cuisine one gets to experience if they ever happen to be in Hyderabad.
Moving away from the lovely city of great food made me sad but then it encouraged me to start making what I liked. My cooking has always been directly proportional to my learning, I started learning with yummy trials and not so bad errors. Cooking regularly for one self can be often boring and tedious but not if you are willing to be a little radical. Hope you enjoy making and tweaking my entries!"