Two years back, on a whim I made an account on blogspot for my ramblings ... which I still do here . And then suddenly life took me on a whirlwind tour so fast I forgot who my own self was ..... leave alone blog. Then a year later when I came back to it, I decided to turn it into a log of my adventures in the kitchen.
Learning how to cook does not only mean heat a vessel, dunk in stuff and wait for it to cook. After numerous accidents and burnt food, after numerous burns and scalds, after destroying the cooker completely for using it without enough water ... I learnt what this adventure is all about.
I learnt that the oil has to be smoking hot before you let in those potatoes / fish. I learnt that just browning the vegetables in a fry does not mean they are cooked inside too. The water has to boil well before letting in the rice / noodles.
Iodised salt is different from plain salt ... so the amount you are using matters. Not to mention learning how to buy fish / vegetables ... and to knead atta .... the biggest challenge of all.
I had to learn the North Indian way of cooking, the Rajasthani way of cooking and for my nostalgic self the Bengali way of cooking. All the while wishing I had spent a little time everyday in the kitchen back home. But cooks consider kitchens their domain ... so had no luck ( now I consider it luck). :-)
Today I am confident in the kitchen ... can rustle up a snack from almost nothing ... and can serve a dinner for 6 ( that's the max I allow at home ... if more ... we eat out ) successfully.
When I go through my blog, I see how I have grown. And the number of dishes I have dished out amazes me .... and that is only the tip of the iceberg. Not all dishes we cook lands up in our blogs. I wonder if every woman kept a track of the number of dishes / snacks she made in her lifetime ... what would the figure come to?
Anyway ... am ranting now. One year back, with much apprehension I started off with my first post. Today I have a pretty ok kinda blog ... if not a very gorgeous one.
And I want to thank Everybody who has visited Kichu Khon and have cared to leave a line. I thank those who have stuck by me even when I had no comments ... who have encouaged me ... advised me and helped me with your suggestions. I have learnt so much from your blogs.
And for turning into such dear friends ( you know who you are .... I could not have done it without your continious support & love ). :-)
Today I can say I love my virtual world friends as much as I do my real world ones. :-)
My blog gets so many hits .... and am so happy about it. People spend so much time here ... visit so many recipes ... download snaps ... my site has even been ripped once ... (I take it as a compliment though ) .... return to the same recipes. BTW I would like to mention here that my most visited recipe is .... Kundru ki Sabzi !! :-)
I just wish they would leave a line here. It does not take much to say "I liked this" / "I did not like this". I am not about to pout or stomp my foot demanding a comment ... but I still think it is good manners.
Initially I was disheartened .... the number of comments never seemed to increase ... now I know better. So all you fellow bloggers ... don't judge the popularity of your blog by the number of comments it gets. :-)
I made an eggless Mango Cake to celebrate ... ok, ok ... I am still on the lookout for a reason to get rid of those mangoes. I have made this cake earlier with mango juice ( I used Slice ) ... but this time I have added milk.
1 cup maida / APF, a little less than 1 cup powdered sugar, a little less than 1/2 cup cooking oil,
a little cold milk [ ( use enough to make the batter of pouring consistency ... I prefer a batter that keeps on flowing when pouring into the baking dish .... and not fall in huge lumps .... (get the idea? ) ],
2 teaspoon baking powder, 5-6 drops of vannila essence, one meduim sized ripe mango pureed ( I used the Begunfuli / Badam variety ... they are quite fleshy ... if using a smaller variety you can use 2 or 3).
How to : Mix everything together .... you can use a hand blender too.
Add the milk after adding the mango puree. The batter should be thick but of pouring consistency. So adjust the milk accordingly.
Warm oven. Grease a baking dish with a little cooking oil / butter. Pour in the batter and bake at 130 - 160 degrees C.
The cake turned out to be dense, moist and very flavourful. I got two medium sized cakes from the above measurements.
Note : If you are preheating the oven ... check that it does not get too hot. If you have the Warm option .... use it to preheat.
I start the baking at a low temperature first ... it helps in cooking the inside of the cake ... and then increase the temp. to brown it.
Keep checking ( by inserting a wooden knitting needle / knife / chopsticks) and turning off the oven at intervals for proper and even baking and browning.
And if you see that the cake is done yet has not browned well ... keep it in grill mode for around 2 mins ... and then switch off the oven. Do not leave it even for a while when on grill ... it burns very quickly.
Go by your instincts and by what you see. You will get that perfect cake. :-)
Here's a slice for everybody who has visited Kichu Khon. :-) Enjoy !!
Updated on the 26th: Am sending this cake to Srivalli's Mango Mela! :-)