Who am I

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I wish to give a long and a lengthy ‘About-Us’ and here it is:

I am Mangala. What about the name Mangala? Mangala is my real name. I thought I should not display my original name in blogs and decided to promote it with the name Sarah. I like this name Sarah and felt Sarah will sound glamorous :P. But then, why pseudo-names? why not blog with my actual name? I decided to be factual rather fictional and considered to write with my very own name ‘Mangala’.

Why this space?

When there are millions and millions of food and cook blogs over the net, why cooking.jingalala.org? Is it to while-off the time? to fish new friends? to brag over? to teach people cooking? to yield cash? Well, though the notion had them ALL in little percentage, the big area in the chart of ‘Concept Behind’ is occupied by the small word – ‘Sharing’. I thought, rather documenting my family’s recipes just to myself in a word document or in an excel-sheet and hiding it with myself in my password protected laptop, why not share them to anybody and everybody over the web?

The backgrounds of the recipes are mostly from the places where I grew up and spent my childhood days – Madurai and Trichy in Tamilnadu, India. Stories behind the recipes often will be from my both grandmother’s homes, ammachi and appatha :),  aaand some from school friends, college friends, friends at work, neighbors, aunt, uncle, in-laws and fellow-bloggers. Of-course.. of-course.. recipes from my Amma will definitely be top in the list. If I got to put recipes from my blogger friends or unknown bloggers, I will leave you a link to their original recipe. About my family: a nice fat happy family and will introduce to you in few of my recipe stories.

Photography? I am like, I wanted to try eeverything I like. Painting, sewing, embroidering, singing, dancing(?%^$#@), acting, driving, swimming… cooking, but, at last I’m a know NoTHING 🙂 . In to my recent likes come ‘Photography’ lol. I’m at Level-0 in photography, or at least in food-photography.  Though I can never expertise in them, I can at least learn the basics and present my recipe pictures little clean. When I googled for basic food photography, Nags of cookingandme.com had a wonderful post. It is helping me a lot today! So the snaps of the food pictures in my posts are my own clicks and sometimes do a post-production with my snaps before blogging about it. Though post production is taken care by Mr.Picasa, (a little left drag for color, right drag for highlight…finished), capturing the picture is a hard task for me. Never can I master photography [mastering is a Big word], but I have hope in presenting you with decent pictures of my recipe post. If you would like to know what camera I use for my posts, I suggest you read my yummy Mango Pie post 😀

Who inspired for Jingalala?

I like to search for recipes, not for ‘how-to-dos’ but for their images. Some images make me hungry even when my tummy is fully fed. Like a nomad, I had this habit of recipe-image searching. If an image looks good I open the link and get to see their ‘how-to-do’. On such a nomadic walk over the net, the internet introduced to me two handsome sites, DK’s chefinyou.com and Rakanand’s Rakskitchen.net. I only stop and stare at their food pictures when my tongue-waters silently inside. Not just the presentation pictures, but the step-by-step pictures. O my God! It is a hectic job. Every scroll we make in their page is their hard-work. I realized it very lately when I tried to picture step-by-step for my first recipe. I am now having a habit of visiting some more food and cooking blogs. Everybody’s is unique I would say. Some way or other each one of their cookery site is different. I do not know what is different in mine, but wish I get more time and patience to have it liked by most of you all. I will let out all the tips, tricks and mystery behind all recipes 🙂

Why Jingalala?

I did not know when I got this thought, may be several years back, I had idea to write this phrase: ‘life jingalala’ (hae, even before it came in that advertisement :)) behind our car if we own one. Or to give a funny clause to my site like ‘paati-sutta-vadai’(Grandma’s Fritters). But, I liked jingalala and named it so. The .org in cooking.jingalala.org has nothing to do with non-profit organization. We did not have .com so opted for .org.


I am no veteran in cooking, neither a novice. I know quantity of ingredients play a soul role in cooking; but never understood the measurements of cups, teaspoons and tablespoons :). I’ve seen my mom’s cooking and use the same habit of measuring with eyes. I’m now slowly learning to take notes of the approximate time and measurements of my cooking so that I can give you the right information. Do not consider this as a warning:); I felt it like to share with my members.

I will ask for comments

Jeevs – my husband.  Good comments from Jeevs is like a rare rainbow :). He comments on my cooking ONLY if the dish is extremely good. I got tired asking remarks for my dishes, and decided not to ask at all ;). I learnt to encode the real comments from Jeeva’s remarks very recently. If he says no word after eating, it means the food is edible and good :D. If it is a ‘Nalla iruku ma’ (it’s nice darling), it means the dish is TOO GOOD TO EAT and if it is a ‘Romba nalla iruku ma’ (it’s very nice dear), it means my dish is EXTRAORDINARILY AWESOME. This founder of cooking.jingalala.org is a-new to my list of inspirations. In fact, I learnt many virtues from him :P. Latest of which is ‘Do Not Expect remarks for your works’. Good comments make me feel happy, great and excited; bad ones make me upset and ‘no-comments’ make me worse :D.  Well, that was during the initial period of facebook. It is not that I am not expecting your comments for my posts in this blog. I definitely will and I definitely need them.  But if I see ‘no comments’ for my posts, I will now not feel worse :).

Even a single-word comment of ‘Nice’ will make me happy. Sure, you can leave your link too in my comments section if you tried my recipe or even if you started a new blog! Actions for bad comments? 🙂 you knew it, just disapprove. What if your good comments are not approved for long time? It means I am travelling/spending time with my family or sleeping 🙂


Yes, you can leave links of my site and links of my posts to your friends, in your posts, facebook, twitter etc. Every little recipe-post in whichever site it is will definitely have the author’s dedication and time. Since I am a newbie in blogging, forget about the writing… but capturing a good picture of them and post-producing them is really hard for me. Please do not reproduce the contents and the pictures in any form without my knowledge. I will sure be excited and happy if you would first ask me.

Origin of cooking.jingalala is still a long story and you thought the story is all over :D. Everytime Jeevs ask me to start a cookery blog, I will just visit to my favorite blogs and being a gawker, I keep scrolling up and down, jump to their many pages and think ‘No. Never will I present recipes and dedicate time like them’. But today.. it’s happening! After several push from Jeevs and few of my friend’s encouragements I’ve made it today! One of my other targets is to have links to my recipes in Tamil language too. Though it might sound vain, to me, if you like something, then reading it in your native language brings you some satisfaction.

Thank you for visiting friend! Cheers to you for reading the long write-up. I wish I can offer you a hot cup of ginger-tea for your visit, but here you have more than that! Scroll down and up, navigate to pages, explore and learn on the recipes: the origin of the recipe, stories about them, and remarks on them. Kumon, Tweet on! Have a Jingalala time cooking!

[You can read more about me]

Mangala from Cooking.Jingalala

Eat well!

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  • Lakshmi


    i just cant believe this meenu…

    stunned .. hats off for the idea.. and the presentation…

    irupu chati logo..

    u awesome desc on ‘ about us’ ( .. and not about me… !!)

    site yes default with your fav orange color..
    decent yet flashy too 🙂

    appurom magala meenakshi….

    i love u darling.. this is a grt idea 🙂

  • Hi Meena,

    I didn’t know you original name was Mangala. I used to travel with Jeeva quiet a lot. Atleast 1.5 hrs daily some time back. He is one of the very nice person I have met. Best of Luck on your efforts. Take care.

    S. Ashraf Ali.

    • Thank you so much Ashraf.

  • Devi

    Meens.. Site is so good.. I liked d logo, colors used, font, etc etc… 🙂

    Very good idea to spend ur time usefully n creatively… Grt Meens…!!

  • Devi thank you girl.

  • Divya

    Hey Managala, blog is too gud & useful and pictures are eye catching.. 🙂

    blog design-um super…

    paravailla, you have made efforts to follow my advice. Keep it up dear.. 😉 :):)

  • Dhivya

    Hey Meena unnoda site a idhu??Amarkalama iruku..:))))
    Mangala nu paatha udanae konjam confuse aagiruchu…
    Cooking jingalala – Paeru super and i loved the way you have taken the photos.. pakka 😀
    Step by step procedure with photos… aha ahaa oho ohoo….
    Arumayana aarambam… Way to go !!!!!!!!!!

    Posting it here again to be on the record.. 😀

  • Thanks so much Dhivya! <>

  • B.Shunmugam


    Very nice idea. All the best.

    • Thank you so much Shunmugam!

  • Hey it’s Really cool mangala madam. Writing is superb. btw, Muttai chops recipe post pannunga mangala ji..

    • 😀 Thank you so much PM. Sure will post that mutton/muttai chops too!

  • Kiran

    Super Meena… Its really Jingalala… :-)… Super like…. 🙂

  • Krupa

    Hi Meena
    Superb blog !!!!!!!!!!! will be trying out your yummy recipes.

    take care……….

    • Krupa!! I’m so glad you visited my page 🙂
      Really happy 🙂

      Yes, try them and let me know.

  • Archana

    Hi Meena, I just looked into your website. WOW, you are doing a great work. I liked all the food items you have posted. Waiting to try one by one, especially the kathirikai chutney, never had one. BTW, this is Lilly 🙂 So, you made the kali the day we had a chat. Looks yummy with jaggery! Never knew in school and college that you had such great cooking and photography skills. Liked your efforts and passion! Good Luck! Will be following your recipe posts 🙂

    • Lilly romba romba romba thanks 🙂 Felt happy to read your comments. Sure follow me, hope I make to all of your expectations 🙂

  • Anbuselvan

    Hello Patti ma…

    First I want to say sorry to you for not reading your blog for a long time… After reading it no words to say about it… Its really amazing work … creative… presenting our traditional food using modern technology… hats off to your dedication & hard work.

    The way you presented the steps are very easy to follow, and the photography is a catalyst to the recipes which is really a well added catalyst. I will keep on adding more comments to your work… but for now the Who Am I? page really well narrated and master piece for your blog. Last but not least one day I will definitely come for that ginger tea…

    Keep cooking… clicking… blogging… posting… Enjoying… 🙂

    • Good morning ACP sir 😀 Thanks thanks thanks so much for visiting this humble site of mine 😛 See how the word ‘Madurai’ in Madurai chutney recipe dragged you into this blog 🙂 What more does a blogger need than the well-wishes, pats and real criticism from her friends?
      Jingalala team is awaiting to serve you the ginger tea. Thangal pinnootathirku mikka nandri 😀

  • Rakesh

    When I tried to make it yesterday .. The banana were raw even after 10 mins cooking ! I had to add more water to prevent from sticking (steel vessel) and at last it turned very sticky and mushy 🙁

    • Hi rakesh,
      Dont be upset. I’m sorry that it turned out to be a bad experience. Were the ratio of the measurements of ghee-sugar-and banana the same as it is mentioned in the ingredients list? The ghee added will not make the halwa stick to the vessel. Why did you add water to it ? I missed to write another item in the ingredients list. It is patience 🙂
      Few of my friends called and told that the recipe came out wonderfully well. Sure the recipe will come out well for you too. Thank you for the feedback Rakesh.

  • Rakesh

    Sorry I misplaced my comment here , it was meant to be posted at “Raw banana fry – Vaazhakai varuval” . Thanks for advice.

    • 🙂 o I mistook it for banana halwa. Was the valakai cooked in medium-low flame Rakesh? as mentioned in step 5 in valakai varuval post? I wish I am there in the kitchen when you try 🙂 but for now I could only say that the steps5,6 and 7 give enough instructions to cook the raw banana. Also, try closing the vessel with lid opened lightly. When it comes to cooking, it is all about experience. If my instructions don’t help, sure your practice will help you !

  • Preetha

    Hi Mangala…A big Hi 5 to you.. This site has become my favourite and i am spending most of my time at office mouthwatering looking at the dishes. First i tried your kadala curry and have it photographed.. will upload that if possible ..

    My next target is cheppakelangu fry.. I am a big lover of home made foods. So i would try most of the items u have come up with. The one that i fell in love with at the first site was uluthankali.. one or the other day i am gonna attack the fort.

    Looking for more such traditional food recipes from you. u r doing great..

  • Rani

    Good . Enjoyed ulunthang Kali .

    • Thank you Rani. Hoping to add more enjoyable recipes like Uluthangali 🙂 Join the team 😀

  • Amuds at cookndine

    Lovely blog mangala…loved ur presentation too..

  • Curious Wanderer

    Thank you 🙂

  • Shari @ My Fancy Pantry

    Lovely blog! 🙂

  • teena

    Nice to know you dear 🙂

  • Jaso

    Hi Mangala, I had carrot halwa last night and wondered how it was made and found your blog. How well you write and photograph. I was drooling. It is a cold morning in Toronto with snow outside. In my mind, I’m in warm Chennai smelling yummy food. You took me there. Thanks!!

    • Ah.. Jaso…. Really happy to know that my Carrot Halwa writing took you to our lovely Chennai. I badly wanted to escape to Chennai from this brutal winter 🙁 🙁

  • rachna

    You write so well and i’m sure you cook just as well 🙂 wish there was a way to taste the recipes as you read them.

    • Hi Rachna,
      aw, thank you so much Rach. There will soon be a way to taste my recipes as you read the stories. Google is working on it 😉

  • Miss Santos Rap

    Your recipes are really easy to follow! I’m just 15 and I still can’t cook but I’m sure gonna try the carrot halwa and let you know!
    P.S. Your photography is good :O
    Take care and cook more

    • Halo Santos!
      Thank you very very much for your supportive comments 🙂
      Sure try the carrot halwa recipe, you’ll like it.
      Will definitely cook more very soon 🙂

  • sushma veera

    hi, my nephew who is studying in Australia introduced me – in Malaysia, to your blog and I just love it. I like the way you have pictures for each step – gives us more confident in cooking, knowing that we are doing it right. Keep up the good job.

    • Hi Sushma,
      Happy to read your comments. Please convey my thanks to your nephew for introducing my food and cookery blog to you 🙂 Will sure continue the blog with more and more recipes.

  • Anushree Mukherjee

    Can You please give me one suggestion? I want to make Mango-Pomegranate cake….for this can I mix pomegranate juice with the mango pulp? I don’t want to use cream or cheese for this purpose and want to make it in a very simple way.

  • Babu Kothandaraman

    Nice of you to acknowledging the others’ work too //the internet introduced to me two handsome sites, DK’s chefinyou.com and
    Rakanand’s Rakskitchen.net. I only stop and stare at their food
    pictures when my tongue-waters silently inside.//

  • Vishnu

    Tried your pepper chicken recipe and it was great! Thanks for sharing it. Keep up the great work!

  • neha khare

    i like your sense of humour

  • Madumalar

    Hi Mangala,
    New to yr site but very interesting. Love your recipes.
    Since living in rather cold country most of my or my mum’s recipes
    are long forgotten. After a long time now I started cooking various types of recipes
    Keep posting for new recipes. Wishing you advance Happy Deepavali. Madumalar

  • Priya

    Hi Mangala! I just discovered your blog today. Very intrigued and hoping to try some of your recipes soon. My fiancee to be is Tamil and I am Punjabi – trying to learn South Indian cooking now (not easy!) I like that you added some nice things your husband comments to you after he eats your cooking, so sweet! So, ma in Tamil is ‘dear’ for woman? How do you say this to a man? So sweet – I really enjoyed this! 🙂

    • Priya,
      Thank you so much for the sweet comments! Please do try the recipes and let me know if you liked it. I’m happy and thrilled to know about your story 🙂 . Yes, adding ‘ma’ after a sentence to a person is something similar to saying ‘dear’. You can add ‘pa’ in the same way if you wanted to say it to a man. Although ma and pa can be used for both genders too 😀
      e.g. inga va ma (come here dear), inga va pa (come here dear)

      • Priya

        Awesome, Mangala, thanks! I am slowly trying to learn the food, language, everything. Your blog will be a part of my journey 🙂

        • I wish I can resume my blog works just to be a part in your beautiful life Priya….

  • smitha

    Hi Mangala,
    came across your site today searching for Chicken Soup. Loved it and my chef friend also asks for seconds! yummo, thanks for the recipe

    • Dear Smitha,
      Thank you for your support! Very glad that you and your chef friend liked my Chicken Soup recipe 🙂

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