Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Quinoa kofta curry - quinoa and potato balls in a rich curry

#quinoa #QuinoaBallsInCurry #QuinoaKoftaCurry #IndianVeganCurry #SimiJoisPhotography

I lift my head from my i-pad at the sound of the doorbell, teen is back from school. I heat the kofta curry and make hot chapattis as she narrates her day at school, she flicks her long straight hair from her forehead and I tell her to tie her hair before it dips in the curry . Déjà vu….. it seems like yesterday when in my gray school uniform I walk back home in anticipation of a hot yummy lunch. It’s kofta - my favorite, with hot chapatis, it’s not quinoa, I did not know quinoa then ..it’s bottle gourd kofta dunked in delicious curry. Hot chapatis, straight from the griddle to the plate.   My mother asking me to tie my hair else it will be swimming in the curry and me carelessly tossing my long (then) tresses. Twenty plus years,  it’s strange how we see our reflection in our children. I have a bitter-sweet feeling as I serve her hot chapati from the griddle, just like my mom did. I miss being a teen, running to my mother, confiding in her and eating food made by her …at the same time enjoying every moment of being a home maker. Making hot food, being there, listening to my teen’s stories of her school …life is indeed a full circle. 

It’s amazing how food connects us. It’s called comfort food for more reasons than one, I think more than anything it just fills your soul. Twenty years ago as a teen school girl if my mom had told me this, I would have laughed, “ t taste great, so it’s the world’s greatest comfort food". I can only smile at that younger me. You are truly what you eat, eat mindfully. Food is more than a meal at the table, it’s memories, it’s a connection, it’s a relationship that you make with your loved ones as you share your meal. It is the best part of the day. 

#quinoa #QuinoaBallsInCurry #QuinoaKoftaCurry #IndianVeganCurry #SimiJoisPhotography

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Friday, February 27, 2015

52 Weeks Of Creative Exposure : week 8

#52WeeksOfCreativeExposure #Photography #Art #PaintingWithLight #SimiJoisPhotography
#52WeeksOfCreativeExposure #Photography #Art #PaintingWithLight #SimiJoisPhotography
I am no historian, but the human intellect intrigues me. Imagine, Thomas Wedgewood trying to create the first silhouette on paper …with a device that remotely resembled a camera ( camera obscure). You read about Aristotle and his observation about light and light rays, sunlight traveling through small openings between the leaves of a tree, the holes of a sieve, the openings wickerwork, and even interlaced fingers will create circular patches of light on the ground. This was hundreds of years before us…the curiosity of the mind has surpassed the very definition of creativity - it has broken all bounds and rules. It was not feeding ‘ instant gratification’ instead it was seeking to quench the intellectual thirst. Don’t get me wrong ….am one of the breed that’s born to seek instant gratification too. 

Am part of many photography forums on different social media, many of them do critique and am partner in crime…constant chatter about photography not being photography if it is post processed, if elements are added and removed….17th century Dutch masters like Vermeer had a lot of details in his painting, it is widely speculated some of the masters like him used a camera - a highly debatable controversy. I look at Vermeer’s work and marvel gasp and am blown away - camera or no camera…it was his vision and it does not make it any way lesser if he had used a camera. And camera then was a basic box with a pin hole. Does it really matter - in the long run it’s art, you work on your strengths and you use tools to help you minimize your weaknesses. You create what is your vision. Artists are supposed to have a wide open outlook, just like scientists - open to possibilities. 
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sweet Potato and Carrot Halwa in Coconut Milk

Make it vegan or regular. In slow cooker or gas stove….
Rich, aromatic full of flavor, nothing beats a great halwa. I love Indian desserts and this is one of my favorites. It is made from sweet potatoes, carrots and coconut milk - vegan halwa.   The flavors work very well and I love the mild coconut flavor in the halwa. It is a great slow cooker dessert.  It’s halwa but formed as a ladoo ( balls) just to control my portion size ;)
#SweetPotatoCarrotHalwa #VeganHalwa #SlowcookerHAlwa #IndianDessert #SimiJoisPhotography

SweetPotatoCarrotHalwa #VeganHalwa #SlowcookerHAlwa #IndianDessert #SimiJoisPhotography

I am an over enthusiastic shopper. No! It’s not handbags, foot wear, make up or dresses….( that too but  not as much). I go berserk in a grocery store - produce section drives me crazy. For one I do not do weekly menu planning - neither do I have a grocery list that is cast in gold. I have a basic list, but it’s always way beyond what’s on the list. For most of my friends going grocery shopping is a chore and a stressful exercise, for me it’s quite the opposite. I even take cell phone pictures of produce - if you follow me on FB or Instagram you know what am talking about. 

A few weeks back I got a huge amount of sweet potatoes ( no kidding!)…the freshness just enticed me. Everything sweet potato was on my mind, pies, curries, soup and even ice cream (am planning that really soon).  Thankfully Sweet potatoes has a long shelf life, I forgot about them and discovered them a couple of days back.  I had originally planned to make an ice cream or a curry, but..I was not in the mood for ice cream in sub zero, horrible, terrible, no good winter day ( ops! I shall reserve this rant for another post) anyway, long story short…I wanted to have a warm dessert - something traditional.  Halwa it was. I used coconut milk instead of milk - loved the flavors. 
SweetPotatoCarrotHalwa #VeganHalwa #SlowcookerHAlwa #IndianDessert #SimiJoisPhotography

There are a lot of ways to serve the halwa - make it into tiny bite size balls (ladoo) and coat them with powdered pistachio or desiccated coconut.  Or just serve in a bowl topped with pistachio. 
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Friday, February 20, 2015

52 Weeks of creative exposure : week 5, 6 and 7


#Light #SimiJoisPhotography #Sunset #SunRise

#Light #SimiJoisPhotography #Sunset #SunRise
Nothing fascinates me more than light and nothing can be more gorgeous than nature’s canvas and how it paints with light. 365 days in a year and no two days are alike, the sunset is different from the sunrise, sometimes it is a pale pink, pale blue, vibrant reds, purple hues, golden yellows. I just cannot get enough of it. Something about the morning and dusk that touches my soul…and every time I capture an image, I think ….everything else looks fine but I have failed to capture the magic of the moment. I never feel I have done justice to the light. And how can a 36mm X 24mm capture the vastness of the sky and every nuances of every light ray. It is something that can only be seen and absorbed, to reflect back on a later day. 

Even on cloudy days, I love the texture of the light,  no hard shadows, no drama perfectly diffused. Great for food  photography, unlike popular belief that it is hard to shoot on cloudy days. Yes,  dark can be challenging but not cloudy. 

The collage of sunrise and sunsets if from the past few months - I just wanted to have them all together in a collage - so even thou it is not for the last three weeks, I thought it is nice to share. 

#Light #SimiJoisPhotography #Sunset #SunRise
#Light #SimiJoisPhotography #Teatime
 I was sitting down and sipping some tea on a late sunny morning and the light was glorious. I loved the way the deep shadows created shapes.
#Light #SimiJoisPhotography #Teatime
 This image below is from a cloudy dark evening….
#Light #SimiJoisPhotography #Teatime


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chocolate N Coffee Mousse

Light, airy, fluffy and creamy that is a mousse for me. I love chocolate and everything about chocolate. Chocolate and coffee make a perfect pairing and I love the silk smooth texture. 
#ChocolateCoffeeMousse #MousseRecipe #BobbyFlayMouse #AiryMousse #SimiJoisPhotography

#ChocolateCoffeeMousse #MousseRecipe #BobbyFlayMouse #AiryMousse #SimiJoisPhotography
I have been indulging in this mousse so much so that I feel I might never touch chocolate again. Which is such a lie…Just as I had finished snapping my images….I had 2 helping of this delicious rich, creamy, airy mousse.

The recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay and I was hoping for a rich dark sinful color. But somehow to be honest…when I mixed the egg whites and the chocolate, it did not incorporate perfectly…tiny micro tiny  bits of chocolate were in the mousse. I was a bit disappointed …..wait for it. But, the moment I took the first spoonful I was sold…the tiny bits melted on my tongue,  (not large enough to be bitten) when it melted in my mouth…it was a burst of flavor. When I make it again, I do hope I repeat the mistake, I just loved it. The chocolate was not very hot and I had removed it from the stove 2 min before I folded in the whipped egg whites, I am sure to document this for myself, so I do the same thing next time.

This is a very simple recipe and even my teen can make this with her eyes closed ( ahem! I did mess it up a bit) As I dig into it spoon by spoon while keying in this recipe, am so glad I made this.

Disclaimer : I am not to be held responsible for overindulgence !! 


#ChocolateCoffeeMousse #MousseRecipe #BobbyFlayMouse #AiryMousse #SimiJoisPhotography


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