Monday, August 13, 2018

How to make coconut milk - three easy steps

I just love coconut milk and the reason is the versatile use of this amazing vegan milk....

I use it in curries, dips, soups, curried rice, sweet rice,  smoothies, ice-cream, baking and kheer (Indian pudding)... I'm sure I'm forgetting a few others.

The milk is thick, mildly sweet and very flavorful.

The best way to make fresh coconut milk is from fresh coconut.

  • Grate the coconut
  • Soak in 1 cup mildly warm ( not hot) water for an hour. Hot water will make the coconut spoil easily and it will smell. 
  • Grind 
  • Sieve - if you do not many any chunks, use muslin cloth, else a sieve removes 90% of the coconut meat.  

Unfortunately the shelf life is only 24 hours - yup it goes bad very easily, so unless you plan to cook/use it do not make it ahead of time.

You can add additional water and remove more milk, it will be not as thick as the first batch. You can also freeze the coconut meat and use it in curries.

Have you tried  Coconut Horchata is the yummiest drink I have ever tasted...

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Pesto Zoodles, healthy pita pockets, vegan buddha bowl and more - The color diet

In a 2012 study, 52% of Americans ( polled numbers) said doing their taxes was easier than figuring out how to eat healthy. USA, is one of 10 most educated countries in the world and we do not know how to eat well. You walk into any super market, you have fresh produce, locally grown, organic, imported ... you name it. Where is the issue, is it time? is it lack of education ?? What is making an abundant nation unhealthy ?? I don't have an answer to this question but I do think cooking is not rocket science, a bit of planning, some simple recipes and some good music while cooking the secret to a good home cooked meal.

I am sharing three simple recipes for week nights. I am not a nutritionist, so I do not have much knowledge about carbs, protein, fat ....but I do know from my gut feel that a good meal incorporates raw foods and colors. As much color as you can get. I can it the color diet... you just cannot go wrong with veggies. Just make sure you go through the dirty dozen list - aka the most pesticide laden fruits and veggies. One way is to avoid the dirty dozen or just buy organic. Make sure you also go through the clean fifteen list - that way you are not forced to buy organic.

I make three kinds of pesto and I rotate between them ... I usually make all three and have it in my refrigerator. Add lime to all of them and it stays good for at least one week in the refrigerator.

First I will share the recipe of the pesto - that is the main punch of flavor to these almost raw meals.


Mint pesto

  • Small bunch of mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp walnuts
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 jalapeno
  • salt to taste 

Basil Pesto  
  • Small bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp cashewnuts
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 jalapeno
  • salt to taste 

Lime Basil-Cilantro Pesto 
  • Small bunch of fresh basil and cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds 
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 jalapeno
  • salt to taste   
Blend into smooth thick paste and store in airtight container 

  1. Add 1 tsp garam masala to 1/4 cup of ketchup.
  2. Add 1 tsp sriracha to 1/4 cup Greek yogurt 
  3. Add 1 tbsp roasted sesame, 1 tbsp crushed pepper to soy sauce 

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mango-Peach-Cantaloupe-Turmeric Sorbet

Mango-Peach-Cantaloupe-Turmeric Sorbet by Simi Jois

Mango-Peach-Cantaloupe-Turmeric Sorbet by Simi Jois

I somehow feel like this is the beginning of the year and I need to make a resolution. I know we are past half the year, but for me I feel the excitement of a new year. The last year has been a blur, health issues that came out of no where. I'm blessed to have had so many angels in my life that helped me get back on my feet. I have really felt the generosity and love of so many people, who made me their priority. I think when times are difficult then you truly realize the value of kindness. You know you are loved when someone makes you their priority against all odds. Huge blessing.

Since last year I have started journaling and reading. I have rediscovered my love for books and most often you will see my nose in a book with OM chant playing in the background. I have fallen in love with Eckhart Tole and read and re-read his books, so if you are an Eckhart fan and you have any recommendations for me, please email me.

It's strange, as I write, I feel so much of me has changed, in so many ways, I am so much more sure of myself. I know exactly what I want and I have made myself my priority. I don't do things to make  others happy. I have to be grateful to my sister,  hubby, some of my friends and my aunt,  who have encouraged me on this path. Gosh ! I owe my life to them. If you have to make just one person happy in your life, let that be you,  you can only give if your vessel is full... don't run on empty. Not just that, I have stopped doing things that do not bring me happiness. It sounds difficult but it's not. You just have to make up your mind. We have been  raised to make everyone happy even if it is at the cost of your own happiness. Most times it is not worth it, for the people you are trying to please don't matter.

"Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

I have learnt a lot in the last one year, I have witnessed generosity and love first hand. When a friend literally puts their own life on hold and is there for you, even though you tell them you do not need their help...that's more than love or kindness. Life shows its kind self in moments of adversity.  I'm filled with gratitude for the kindness in my life.

Mango-Peach-Cantaloupe-Turmeric Sorbet by Simi Jois

Mango-Peach-Cantaloupe-Turmeric Sorbet by Simi Jois

This sorbet is for one of my close friends who loves fruity desserts. Enjoyed the afternoon talking about books, philosophy and of course the sorbet

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Online Photography Classes

Online Photography Lessons - Simi Jois

A lot of you have been reaching out for my online photography classes. Thank you for the overwhelming response. Right now all classes for June-July are closed. However I have openings for August-September. If you are interested, please email me

This is a personalized class, a one-on-one using Skype or Face time. I usually have the first call (which is free) to access your requirements and expectations and then we plan the class needs and time/date. You can learn at your own pace and place of your choice. The class is followed by some homework, I give constructive feedback via email for the submitted assignment.

I have a few tailored classes:
Camera one-on-one : all about using camera in manual mode.
Quick fix styling guide : Some tips for styling difficult dishes.
Story telling : How to weave a story with light
Moody Photography : one of my most popular class
Steam Photography : class starts October end.

Here are some testimonials from my students :

It's always a pleasure learning from you….This was my first time learning from an expert and I did not expect to take away so much in an hour long Skype session. Simi exactly knew which parts to touch on and perfectly balanced the theory and practical aspects of food photography. And the fact that a one on one private class is so affordably priced is definitely an added bonus.
-Ashmita Bharadwaj

I want to say a huge thank you for all your time and help in improving my work. I really really enjoyed the session, it was very thorough and easy to understand as well. My basic concepts are so much better now.

Thank you for the class, I really enjoyed it. I must confess, I was a bit nervous at first.  I learnt so much in one session, I cannot wait for our next. I highly recommend this class, I thought I knew about shutter speed and aperture but I soon realized and I am glad I asked you to go through it. Also, all the tips about styling that make it so much easier. Thank you Simi.

These images are from my photography class. For images from my students scroll to end of post and click.

Online Photography Lessons - Simi Jois

Online Photography Lessons - Simi Jois
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thanks for the readership. I appreciate you subscribing to my blogfeed and following my blog.
In accordance with the new General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) that goes into effect in the European Union on May25, 2018, the privacy policy on Turmeric N Spice has recently been updated. You can read the privacy policy here. For any questions email me. Thank you ! Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday Stills

Sunday Stills - Simi Jois
 A quick post - Sunday stills. I did not have much in terms of fresh produce but I do love the aubergine color of the egg plant and the pink-red of the onion. The first image is more like a rustic kitchen scene. The second one is a bit whimsical. I love the textures of the background, wanted to use it with the rich purple color. I'm going to try bold whimsical color palette.

I want to start posting tutorials me if you want something specific.

That's all for now. Have a fabulous week.
Sunday Stills - Simi Jois

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