Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mini Samosa cocktail bags

Crunchy on the outside and savory-spicy and juicy on the inside. A perfect samosa in a bite size, great as a cocktail or mock tail snack. And look so adorable. VeggieSamosaBags4-SimiJois

FrozenPeas-SimiJois2015
It all started with frozen peas. I wanted to have a quick lunch and got out some frozen peas, as I looked at the beautiful peas. I just placed them in a green bowl to take some pictures. I added my spices and made some masala peas and was thinking about samosa. I have no idea how these happened, before I knew it I was working wild in the kitchen and had quite a few of these cuties ready.

These are great cocktail or mocktail snacks, that you can prepare ahead of time and freeze it and fry them later. It’s super cute and bite size. I just fell in love with them, crunchy shell, soft insides, just like a samosa. You cannot bake them,  I tried it and it was very uneven baking all round, so I do not recommend that. For everything else let’s count calories but not for dessert or samosa. It’s really not worth it.

About the stuffing, you can add anything, potatoes, peas, carrots, paneer, cheese…bacon ! Take your pick.

Really picture heavy post again !! Someone take my camera away, I just can’t help taking pictures and then sharing it with you guys :)

MasalaPeas-SimiJois


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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spicy baked green beans

Crunchy on the top and gooey n cheesy beans on the bottom, with a kick of spice. This is a great meal with some soup for a cool spring day. 
 Easy vegetarian baked green beans

 Easy vegetarian baked green beans
I am really not a huge fan of beans, neither is anyone in the Jois household.  I  have never really been excited to see fresh tender string of beans and dreamed of all the possibilities.  I hardly know what to do with it, baring the three or four recipes I am aware of . I must have bought five pounds of tender fresh beans, I don’t know what I was thinking and admit I got carried away. Green beans may not be a favorite but baked meals are. What happens when you pair a favorite with a not so favorite ? You got that : I loved it. I must confess, I ate up most of it without leaving much for teen or hubs. There reaction was neutral, but I really loved this  (I said that already). For one it’s easy and you have most the ingredients at home.

In other news, I have been getting my yard ready for summer - I was surprised to see the garden center full of people and everyone buying by the truck load. I think it’s a bit early as I plant the weekend of Mother’s day for the fear of frost killing the saplings. Does it mean we are going to be having an early summer (screams with joy). The cherry blossoms are going to bloom any day and that’s early as the last two years we have had cherry blossoms bloom in May. Yes, I do document this kind of thing.

I was supposed to post this recipe on Thursday, had a couple of photography assignments that took more time than I thought and a bunch of things at home. Editing 50 plus images from 200 images is quite a task (at least for me). Finally, it’s all done and I am looking forward to a relaxing Sunday. The next couple of months, I don’t have much going on and I want to work on some personal projects, will keep you guys posted.

 Easy vegetarian baked green beans

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

52 Weeks of creative exposure : week 12 -15


Daffodils-SimiJois2015
Daffodils2-SimiJois-2015

I have not forgotten my commitment to take one image a week for the 52 weeks of 2015. It’s just that I forget to post. I have really missed colors, this one a tribute to spring.  I was out almost the whole day today, it was too gorgeous to be wasted indoors. First it was a long walk, followed by small errands and aimless wandering in the garden center by my house. Have you ever just wiled away time,  it is such a fulfilling creative exercise. Am all for it and there are days, I just spend gazing at the deep blue summer skies. Am off to spend some more time doing pretty much nothing…

Well, I will leave you with this thought and catch you very soon with a recipe and some more stories.

PinkNpurpleFlower-SimiJois-2015



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Friday, April 10, 2015

Rava dosa from broken wheat.

Crunchy, crisp and flavorful, it melts in your mouth. Savory crepes or dosa made from broken wheat and rice. 
Vegetarian Rava dosa, easy healthy recipe

Pour some oil, heat the griddle and sprinkle some water on the hot griddle - perfect surface for dosas. 

Vegetarian Rava dosa, easy healthy recipe


Vegetarian Rava dosa, easy healthy recipe

Soaking in the sun is probably my recipe for nourishment of my soul ....
As a child, youth and now an adult, warming my ever so cold feet to the warmth of the sun is soul filling. It’s so strange, loft philosophy, esoteric art, poetry,   does not touch my soul like the light from the sun, playing hide and seek in the forest, glittering streams of waterdeep blue skies, the smell of freshly cut grass and buzzing of the bees. I am so ready to welcome spring with my arms wide open. 

This has been a good year so far in terms of the blog and photography. I am digging the creative journey.  I am not pushing myself, I am not sure if this is a good thing but it’s making me creatively more aware. I spend a lot of time wandering around trails and waiting for spring to sprout. I watch the rain pour down on my window and enjoy the water drops slipping on the glass and trickling down. The dark rainy April evenings followed by bright blue skies the next day…it’s all so beautiful. Sometimes, I consciously make an effort not to cary my camera, so I can soak the moment. Hopefully to carry that energy back to my kitchen to create something on my gas stove or with my camera and if I am lucky both.

I shared ‘A life of Spice’ with Andrew Scrivani (you guys know I am a HUGE fan of his work) and here is what he had to say. I am absolutely ecstatic and literally dancing …


It is clear that Simi's influences, both cultural and artistic shine though her photographs. The richness of color, the dynamic range of light to dark and the recognition of the beauty and simplicity of her subject matter speak to her artistry. Her work embodies the less is more mantra. 

-Andrew Scrivani 

Kimberly - The Hungry Goddess and Sara  invited me over for a podcast. It’s an informal chat about food photography, and we girls had a blast, if you want to listen to the recording click here. I share few tips on food photography. We are planning to do another podcast on spices - stay tuned. Thank you so much Kimberly and Sara for having me over.

This is a picture heavy post, I really got carried away…

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Monday, April 6, 2015

A Life of Spice : A book


It was about the same time last year that Monica Bhide was looking for a food photographer…it was a quirk of fate that we met in one of the forums. She mentioned on the forum that she was looking for a photographer….in just a matter of weeks, I saw myself working with her for this amazing book. It has been a beautiful creative journey with “A life of Spice’, I loved working on each and every image - the creative freedom that Monica gave me is incredible. She hardly ever questioned my creative reasoning behind an image. I hand painted all the surfaces to showcase the rich colors that represent Indian and pairing those colors with spice was such a beautiful creative experience. I really hope my images do justice to her beautiful words. She’s an amazing writer and her words weave magic on paper. I am just soo excited to share the book cover with you. Hope you guys like it. 

 As I read her books from ’The Devil In Us’ to ‘A Life of Spice’, I see myself gazing into the horizon, thinking searching….somewhere they have influenced the way I create images. I really am not able to put it in words, but I know somewhere, they compel me to look inside and search for my own roots, the essence of who I am and express it in my images. Thanks Monica for writing and cheers for working with you in the future. 

Here is a link to Amazon, if you want to preorder the book ( available April, 27th).

I am also sharing one of Monica’s favorite images from the book. She’s got raving reviews for the book, am sharing with you guys some of the reviews.



“Monica writes stories about food, but often they are really stories about searching. She looks for what the world will reveal if you ask questions of the things we usually keep silent. She’s a generous writer, seeking the finer, richer sides of us.”
Francis Lam, editor-at-large, Clarkson Potter, and New York Times Magazine columnist


“Monica Bhide is more than a food writer. She’s a chronicler of culture and family history. She is a romantic for the bond between parent and child. She is an essayist of her own heart and mind, fearlessly searching for the truth in both. She is endlessly fascinating to read.”
Tim Carman, James Beard Award–winning food writer for The Washington Post

“Monica's stories take us on a journey through time, across continents and cultures.  With her we fast and feast for love, we share the wonder of fairy tales with a child, we feel the longing for a lost homeland, we delight in culinary discoveries, and we find our own identity in a new land. Throughout Monica reminds us that the essence of food is love—love for our family, our history, our humanity.” Elise Bauer, Creator of SimplyRecipes.com
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