Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Blood orange upside down egg less cake - no sugar cake

It is still quite cold this side of the planet, snow on the ground with the promise of more. With all that cold, I wanted to bake a warm spicy cake for our wedding anniversary. Both S and I are not big frosting fans, and with Aish, at school, we really do not indulge in desserts as much as we used to. I wanted to make a simple no-sugar cake. I love the idea of dates in the cake, it adds moisture and mild sweetness, so if you have a keen sweet tooth, you will need to add some sugar to this.

This recipe is adapted from here. I incorporated some spices and made it a blood orange upside down cake. I also added a warm syrup to go with the cake, adding some sweetness and spiciness to the cake.

I'm doing a food photography and styling workshop in Bengaluru, India this May - click here for details. 

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Blood orange - pomegranate- cranberry khatta-meetha (sweet-sour) mocktail

KalaKhatta our very own chatpatta - videshi style

I grew up in India and every year during our summer break we would visit my uncle in Mumbai. Mumbai is known for street food and barf ka gola (shaved ice with syrup) is something that I just loved. A specific flavor was kala-khatta, an absolute favorite. This mocktail is inspired from it.

If you are not familiar with chaat masala, it is a must-have in every pantry. It is a spice blend that has a bit of sourness, saltiness, sweetness, a bit astringent. absolutely lip-smacking. Sprinkle it on anything and it brings the flavors to life. Don't miss making this one...


2-3 cups blood orange juiced
1 cup pomegranate juice
4-5 cranberries
some raw tamarind or juice of half lime
1-inch ginger juice
1 tsp chaat masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder
4 tbsp sugar
1 cup of water
2 cups club soda OR
1/2 cup vodka

Instructions :

  • Take the cranberries and blend with water 
  • Add sugar and make a simple syrup, to this add raw tamarind or lime juice
  • Let it cool then add chaat, red chili powder & ginger juice 
  • Mix with the juices
  • Add club soda and served chilled
If you add vodka omit the club soda. 

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Stir fried noodles - Under 30 minutes

THIS this this is the ultimate lazy person's quick meal. Quicker than a take-out. No kidding. With all the snow, -52F and stuck at home, I am in no mood to spend hours cooking. Though that is a good way of spending time, somehow, I've become this lazy person with my nose in a book. Perfect for a cold brrrr day. 

That was almost ten days ago, I have been meaning to post this, but somehow one thing or the other has kept me away. Between my skype photography lessons, client work and my own life the days seem to blur into nights in a flash. I have never enjoyed photography as much as I am doing this year. I think the classes are so refreshing, thank you for enrolling. Keeps me on my toes.

Between all this, I've been catching up on reading. Right now I am reading two books, both non-dual inquiry. As a teen, I have spent hours learning about Advaita philosophy from my father. Somewhere, between my twenties and now I got distanced from any form of philosophy as life took over. And the same life just pulled me back into it. With such strength, that I willingly got pulled along. The last couple of years, I have started meditating, it has changed my life. I'm just so happy, not that I was ever a sad person, but this happiness has a different texture to it, it has a sense of fulfillment. Earlier, I was outcome driven and now I am more task driven. That really cuts out the anxiety of the outcome and makes the overall experience of doing anything very joy full.

We only live once and we have to be truthful to who we are. There is no perfect life, it is all in the mind and the mind can mislead, often addressed as monkey-mind, needs to get tamed and meditation is a great tool.

Going back to the stir-fried noodles, the sauce is the key. Add any veggies or meat of choice. I have used fettuccine here as I ran out of my favorite brown rice noodles. So pick the noodle of your choice.

Here comes the recipe ....

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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Finding your voice - Online custom photography and styling course

Photography is a journey. It is a visual story-telling. Just like the English language has 24 alphabets, from which we can weave stories, emotions, communication and everything we want to express. Similarly, in photography, we have the camera and the lens from which we can narrate our visual stories.

Why do we need to narrate stories? We are natural storytellers, have you noticed how you narrate a small incident to your best friend, it is like a story. Starting from your voice to facial expressions to the words.

Why do some photographs look so beautiful and tend to be like by everyone? There is more to the photograph than the objects in it, something that touches our emotional core. This visual communication is called visual storytelling.

How do you find your voice? Just like you, your voice is unique too. We all have a face, hands, legs but yet no two people are the same. Even identical twins have different likes, views and so many things that make them unique. What is your visual identity?

Learn how to find your voice as you take your work to the next level. Food photography and styling can be intimidating with camera settings, lenses, light, styling, storytelling, colors, composition,  framing, angle, the possibilities are endless. I hand-hold you to find your own style, from camera settings to styling, to lighting and editing. Photography has brought so much meaning in my life, it really is not rocket science, I would love to share my passion with you. It gives me great joy to see you hone your skills and find yourself through photography.

Each class is custom built for your needs, it is not a one size fits all. I make the time to custom design the class by asking you the right questions. Each class is 75 min long and is conducted via Skype/Face time. US$95/class. List of classes open from Feb-May 2019

CAMERA 101 : From Auto to Manual ( 2-3 classes)

  • Lenses and focal length 
  • Depth of field and how/when to use them 
  • Shutter speed and movement in photography 
  • Aperture mode, shutter mode and manual mode 

Styling Basics (2 classes)
  • Storytelling
  • Composition Theory 
  • Colors
  • Shapes and props
  • Step by step styling 
  • Deconstruction of 8-10 images

Painting your background (1 class)
  • Step by step painting 
  • Dry brush technique 
  • Wet on wet technique 

How to capture steam (1 class 2 hours long)
  • Shutter speed and steam 
  • Aperture and steam 
  • Step by step capturing of steam 

Moody Images- chiaroscuro in food (2 Classes)

  • Lighting
  • Styling
  • Working with shadows
  • Post processing
  • You will create 2 moody images

Finding your voice (5-6 classes)

  • Storytelling
  • Food styling
  • Lighting
  • Deconstruction of 8-10 images
  • Post processing
  • Last assignment where you will style and shoot 2 dishes with your storyboard. An additional class will be conducted to deconstruct your image.  
Each of these classes will be custom built with your requirements in mind. If you shoot in aperture priority mode and want to learn Manual mode, it will be different than some one who uses a point and shoot. 


Buy one get one free. Either you can gift a class to a friend or take one yourself. Limited time offer till February 28, 2019. Price: US$95/class (till promotion last) 

After February 28th - US$75/Class

Once you have filled the form, I will contact you to set up a time so we can go ahead and create the custom class for you and help you schedule. 

Email me for further inquiries. 

Please make sure you have filled the forms before we schedule our first call, so I can do my homework and go over your work and equipment details. - LINK TO FORM 

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Apple Cider masala Chai

I have always loved poetry and there was a time when I used to write. Last week as I was cleaning my study I found my old poetry book. Turned the pages and read a few of them. I'm sharing one here today and my photography for this post is inspired by this poem.

I in myself, myself in me

Let me discover the I in me,
let us all discover the I in us,
Not that I which says,
I want,
I desire,
I own,
Let us see the I where everything seems your own, not belonging but a part of you. Not even a part of you, but complete you and in no other fraction.
Let me see the flower and say :
How beautiful I am
How sweet I smell
The winds, the mountains, the forest, the trees, the lake, the waterfall - all of them are in me and I'm in them. They are all I.
In such a sweet dream I was ...
What strange screams that wake me from this dream, the voice that says: I want, I desire, I own. It is mine cause I bought it, I earned it, my blood, my money...The I has become we.
I say " I love I" and they call me conceit.

Walking in six-inch deep snow and setting up a shoot as the winds blew in more snow, the moment felt as beautiful as poetry. I saw a squirrel startled by my movements rush into a tree and all the snow fell, as it jumped from branch to branch. Absolutely blissful. Nature is beautiful even when it is brutal.

If you want to learn steam photography - best time as the temperatures dip ( summer is not really perfect for steam). Email me   I'm going to be doing a promotion on my classes - stay tuned.

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