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I am a devoted wife and mother to 2 lovely kids. As a writer and editor, I work for the internal communications team of India's most ethical corporate group. Besides writing, I love learning languages and reading. Do bookmark my space and visit often. I look forward to some lively conversations with you.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017


Concolon (courtesy Ecuador) was a very important word when I first started cooking.

I was always over-estimating the time it would require to cook or fry something, leaving me unmistakably with Concolon -- food stuck at the bottom of the pan.

Of course, I didn't start out so careless. At first, I watched the proceedings on the stovetop with a hawk-like eye, only to discover that food got awfully shy when you kept peering to see how it was getting along. In the process, I also discovered the truth of that phrase, A watched pot never boils.

Indian cooking is mostly stove-top based, and relies heavily on the use of fat, oil or clarified butter, known as ghee. When you fry something, you have to make sure there is enough oil in the pan.

Also, when you try to cook something, you have to add enough water to enable the food to cook properly. Or else you are going to end up with a lot of Concolon.

Another way to end up with a lot of Concolon is to start out with a little of Boketto. There I've used it in a sentence. Go, Boketto, go.

But Concolon needn't always be a waste. If you're up for it, you can always scrape the food off the pan and enjoy it. Concolon has always seemed to me to be a distilled flavour of the dish in question, heated to perfection.

Once you are able to see beyond the burnt pan, of course.

Have you been responsible for producing Concolon?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you know the tamil word Kasandu (I never imagined I would have to transliterate that to english letters). It's the burnt stuff at the bottom of the kadai when you make ghee? And then my grandmother would mix it with flour and sugar to make a yummy choorma type thing. Your post totally reminded me of that!

April 4, 2017 at 3:18 AM  
Blogger Jz said...

Um, would you believe me if I emphatically denied concolon-production?
(Perhaps I should invite you to dinner first, THEN ask!) :-)

April 4, 2017 at 4:16 AM  
Blogger Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Cynthia - I'm afraid I probably produce Concolon more than I should .. but it is quite often the best bit! The crust at the bottom is often considered the tastiest part ... as Sujataravi mentions above. I'd not have Boketto though ... I'd be staring angrily at the pot that need too much scrubbing to clean it up ... fascinating word though ... or two .. cheers Hilary

April 4, 2017 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Namratha said...

What a fun theme Cynthia:) I think we have a word for it in most Indian languages because we not only produce it but also enjoy it in some dishes like Upma and the like.
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April 4, 2017 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

You call it concolon, I call in large amounts of fond. LOL

April 4, 2017 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

I tend to burn things a lot. Once I burned water. I left it on the stove in a pot to make tea, and forgot about it. Had to throw the pot out... :D

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April 4, 2017 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Carolyn Astfalk said...

I've never heard the term concolon, but I've sure seen it!

April 4, 2017 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger The Librarian Witch said...

I create concolon quite often. I blame my awful, usless pans though. It's got nothing to do with me... of course...

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April 4, 2017 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Tamara Narayan said...

Yep. Rice concolon is not fun to clean off a pan.

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April 4, 2017 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Anjali Krishna said...

Concolon is a common occurrence after having prepared Upma. Gosh,the number of times I've heard my mother rant about it!

April 5, 2017 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Never heard of the word, Kasandu. If I had, I would have listed it under K. Thank you, Sujata, for this learning. I am particularly partial to the burnt stuff at the bottom of the pan. I hate it when it is wasted.

April 5, 2017 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Please don't deny it, Jz. I love concolon. I think it's the best of the dish. If you invite me to dinner, I hope you'll let me scrape your pans. :)

April 5, 2017 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Hilary, I'm glad you agree. Concolon is the best bit. I'm generally careful, but on the days I'm not, I consider Concolon as a just reward.

April 5, 2017 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Namy, I knew Concolon was something Indians enjoyed, but this post has helped me understand that it has fans around the world.

April 5, 2017 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Denise, Perspective is everything.

April 5, 2017 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Wow! I didn't know water could be burned. But you know, I'm no better. Once I burned tea. Let it boil for too long, and the next thing i knew the pot was all charred and black smoke was rising up.

April 5, 2017 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Carolyn, I hope you liked what you saw.

April 5, 2017 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Jodie, a good cook must blame her tools, what else are the pans for? I hope you don't chuck the concolon. It's too good to throw away.

April 5, 2017 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Tamara, not fun to clean, but good to eat, I hope.

April 5, 2017 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Anjali, you're right. Some things just are more easy to burn. But I still like burnt upma.

April 5, 2017 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

The first dish I ever cooked was bhindi (yep that was a bad choice). Not only did I end up with Concolon but burnt the bhindi as well!

April 8, 2017 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

Suzy, I burnt bhindi this morning, and dutifully scraped the Concolon off the pan and ate it too.

April 11, 2017 at 3:35 PM  

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