Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Avocado Paratha with tomato-prune chutney

Avocado Flat breads

#AvocadoParatha #Recipe #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography


This is going to be a picture heavy post. I have not blogged a recipe in the last two weeks so my hands were really itching to create something, on set with camera and in the kitchen.

It was cold today (sigh!!!) and I was yearning to eat something warm and hearty - I had seen this recipe in the book - Pure vegetarian By Lakshmi. The book itself is absolutely spectacular, both images and recipes.  I will definitely be blogging about the book, but in a different post. The images using working hands are inspired from classical chiaroscuro painters, who have used rich textures and vibrant colors with deep contrasts, dating back to the time of Jusepe de Ribera, Gerrit Dou, Bigot and of course the master artist Rembrandt and many others. This kind of photography is popularly know as moody. A lot of photographers use actions shots with this concept. Thanks to all the artist who constantly inspire me. My Pinterest board has a lot of these moody action shots, that have inspired me to try this style with my own  creative flavor. Thanks to all the inspiring artist and Nik from A Brown Table. 

The flat bread or paratha is the softest paratha I have ever had and stays soft for 4-5 hours. It can definitely be made ahead of time.

I love to eat my parathas with chutneys and this one is my favorite. With home grown tomatoes, this was a real treat - yum !! Don’t my tomatoes look amazing.  ( home grown pride)

Two weeks away from blogging and I am struggling to write…I wanted to share so much with you guys and now am short of words. ..Well luckily am really not short of images and I kind of over did that. I had a hard time picking images for this post .


You will love the recipe!

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Home-made energy bars - small bars packed with big energy




Last week I connected with an old friend, we spoke to each other after a long time. Time just melted away, it felt that we had never lost touch. Some relationships are effortless, it’s a blessing to have such a friend in your life. I think a lot of it has to do with expectation - some people just give you the time and space, you don’t feel the pressure of keeping up the relationship. It is done out of pleasure not pressure. We chatted for almost two hours on the phone and that is a lot for me as am not much of a phone person. Talking about school days brought back so many memories…there was no sport that we were not part of.  We would be out on the tracks preparing for a race in 40C.

One year I remember my dad was the chief-guest for the sports event at school. I felt like a celebrity, telling everyone he was my dad. Even though dad did not voice his appreciation as much, I could see his pride for me in his eyes. I recollect praying  secretly that he kept his speech to the school very short as everyone hated long speeches.

I don’t think we had sports drink or energy bars those days - we just had water and some snacks. The coach had a first-aid kit and some glucose powder, which was given only if you felt sick. I  wonder  how we managed.  A few weeks back teen told me she is joining tennis, I was surprised (she’s not crazy about sports). I loaded her tennis bag with sports drinks energy bars and what have you. And still that was not good enough for me so I made these energy bars for her….Don’t give me that look, ok ! go ahead judge me. I think I should kick myself for not having tried this earlier. Loved the taste and the ingredient list - healthy.

It’s a great snack for post-workout.  Guilt free too. You can make it in large quantities and probably refrigerate them.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pesto Braided Bread

Spicy pesto bread - soft bread with delicious flavors. It’s vegan too. 

I am not an avid baker to say the least - most times I get a bit intimidated by the recipe. There are a lot of things left to fate when you are baking bread :) When I saw this recipe on Pinterest I was super excited with the simplicity of it. But…. I messed up. The yeast in the recipe was ‘active dry yeast’ and it is supposed to be activated in warm water with a tsp of sugar. Well, I do not know what I did …but the dough was flat. One hour…nothing happens, two…nothing,  it took me a little more than two hours to realize it’s not going anywhere.  I did mention I was a bread dummy. My Fb friends passed a verdict that I had killed the yeast, as the water was too hot. Yikes! Teen recommended that I chuck the ‘active dry yeast’ and use ‘platinum yeast’ (it does not need activation) instead and she was not willing to give me any guarantee. All she said was it has worked for me every time. She bakes a lot more than I do. So I took her word for it. I starred over, It did work life a breeze, thanks to teen.

As far as pesto was concerned, I was going with mint and garlic. I wanted Indian masala flavors and the pesto in the bread did not disappoint me. Rachel has used a basil pesto in the original recipe. So if you guys prefer that - here is the link to the recipe. I have used the recipe from her blog with a different pesto sauce. 

Between the bread dough disaster and my AC getting serviced, I had to go drop teen. So with everything going on, am surprised, I managed to take a few pictures. Minimum styling, I was really looking forward to a nicely styled shot. It gives me reason enough to bake another bread and style it with what I had in mind. 
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Friday, August 7, 2015



#PIÑACOLADAPANCAKES #PinaColadaPancakes #Pancakes #HomemadePanCakes  #Recipe #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

#PIÑACOLADAPANCAKES #PinaColadaPancakes #Pancakes #HomemadePanCakes  #Recipe #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography
Over the years, my mother has come to terms with my love for old and raggedy things. Last month, when I was in India, spending time with my mother, she had all kinds of stuff out for me. I picked a few old vessels and a wooden board.  I really had no use for any of the new things in the pile. As we were sorting through the ‘treasure’, one of her neighbors drooped in unannounced. I was amused to hear my mother say, “she loves to take photograph of food with junky old things” - no explanation required, ‘she’ in this case refers to yours truly. 

The wooden board you see in these pictures is one that I have aged for the last two years, exposing it to the elements, and when I was taking these photographs, I was thinking of my mother. I’m not sure she will approve of this wooden board, and I’m sure she will advise me to dispose of it immediately. After reading this post she will most definitely have something to say - I will keep you guys posted. But this board is not going anywhere for sure.

 For those of you, who have been asking me about outdoor photography, I have a behind the scenes pic for you. (Last one). On a bright sunny day where the clouds are not diffusing the light, look for beautiful shadows. Trees with thick foliage, tend to give gorgeous shadows with light shining through the leaves. Try to set up your food shoot in a way that you have a good play of light and shadow. Adjust the settings and make sure you frame your shot - nothing more to it. 

#PIÑACOLADAPANCAKES #PinaColadaPancakes #Pancakes #HomemadePanCakes  #Recipe #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Eclairs : Pâte à Choux Puffs


#Eclairs #PâteAChouxPuff #Pastry #Dessert #EasyRecipe #Bake #MakeAheadDessert #Baking #Pastrycream #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

It was a sunny afternoon and I had been playing outside in the shade of the lychee trees. Trying to sample a few raw lychees and finally driven away by the caretaker of the orchard. I don’t remember climbing a tree, I was afraid that if dad found out, that would be the end of playing with my friends for the rest of the summer. Thinking back, I regret not doing it.  There was a short cut to the orchard, a narrow walk way with barbed wire that one of us had to hold and the other duck down to enter. It was the coolest place to play hide and seek. Moreover, we were not yelled by the neighbors to dial it down, as that would have interfered with their afternoon slumber. Most days I would be back home before sunset, it was an unsaid rule that was the law of the land when I grew up - at least at my place. Some of the other kids were allowed to play till much later. Most days, a friend or two tagged along to sample goodies from mom’s kitchen: it was no big secret that she was a great cook. 

That day I walked alone and saw my sister reading on the porch, her nails freshly painted, every hair in place: she was always perfectly put together. I walked past her, brushing against her neatly placed slippers, disturbing them. In normal circumstances she would have called out to our mother, but she was too engrossed. Shhhhh! Dad was not home yet, so I had no reason to bury my nose in a book to display my ‘pursuit of knowledge'. He disliked time-wasters and if he saw me loitering around he would always say, “Do something constructive with your time.” Mother was in the kitchen, prepping for dinner. I opened the refrigerator and found a box that came from the most exotic bakery in the neighborhood. “Pastries”, I was delighted. It was not a special occasion, why were there pastries in the refrigerator? I decided not to question the good things in life, so I opened the box and saw six beautifully arranged eclairs. I had seen them at the bakery but almost always bought the black forest pastry instead, a favorite. I was a bit disappointed not to see black-forest pastry in the box. But not disappointed enough not to sample the lovely, gorgeous eclair. I took them out and gave one to mom, one to my sister, and kept one for myself. It was the best thing I had ever had, so creamy and just a hint of chocolate on the shell. The memory of the taste of the first bite brings back a smile. Back then we had no idea what calories were, if it tasted good - you ate it. Both my sister and I were so skinny that we could afford to eat a dozen each. 

When teen told me that she will be baking eclairs, it brought back some fond childhood memories.  I was not sure it was a venture she was capable of taking alone. To my surprise, they turned out amazingly. It’s definitely not rocket science, and the filling is absolutely to die for. Mildly sweet, creamy and subtle flavor of vanilla, perfect dessert with a cup of coffee.  She did not do the chocolate on top, as we loved the texture and taste and did not want to overpower it with chocolate.

#Eclairs #PâteAChouxPuff #Pastry #Dessert #EasyRecipe #Bake #MakeAheadDessert #Baking #Pastrycream #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

#Photography #SimiJoisPhotography

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Instant Rava Idli - the big Indian breakfast

#RavaIdli #InstantIdli #IndianBreakfast #Indian #SimiJoisPhotography

#RavaIdli #InstantIdli #IndianBreakfast #Indian #SimiJoisPhotography
As I entered the chatra ( marriage hall) I could smell jasmine, roses and sandle wood incense in the air. I fixed the pleats of my red and green kanjivaram sari, as my husband whispered to me, “ you are over dressed” . “ Absolutely not, this is a South Indian wedding, there is nothing called overdressed” was my quick response. I loved the scent of jasmine lingering in my hair, every traditional south Indian woman loves to adorn her hair with jasmine flowers, and I am no exception. We found a seat by a distant relative ( that’s the only face we recognized ) and sat there. Everyone seemed busy and occupied ….the bride’s father was busy talking to the guy serving kapi (coffee). A few cousins of the bride were shouting from the elevated stage like platform of the wedding, asking someone something in a tone of urgency. The old aunty next to me ( in India every elderly lady is an aunty and elderly man an uncle) was busy explaining her relation to the bride to another lady. The uncle next to my better half was telling my husband about his brother’s wife’s sister’s son who is also in Chicago and they are looking for a bride to fix an alliance.

In my twenties, I found it a waste of time and money…these lavish weddings….something changes when you hit the magic forties. I was soaking in all the colors, aroma chatter, and was loving every moment of the experience. From traditional kanjivarams to the most modern styles, it was all here, teens to elderly grandmas - all draped in rich colors of silk. My eyes were feasting, after living in the west for a long time ( especially midwest) you forget what color is….

The kapi man approached us and I was quick to take a glass of coffee. ( In South of India coffee is served in six ounce steel glass). It was pipping hot and absolutely delicious a perfect blend of coffee and chicory, I wanted a second, a third and a forth. It would look rather rude and greedy to take seconds and thirds I thought. Before I could plan for a strategy to pick up another glass, a man approached with a smile, “ breakfast banni” ( please come for breakfast) hubs and I exchanged smiling glances and got up, walking slowly to the dining hall….

There were rows of tables with fresh banana leaves and a glass of water ( talk of biodegradable disposable ) a few people were sitting and we found space near some young kids in there late teens. Hot rava idlis, chatni, kesari bhaat, hot upma and coffee… this is the stuff life is made of. As the server approached me he gave me a generous helping of 3 idlis and a lot of chutney…I did not refuse, I wanted it all. It is part of an Indian wedding to eat well to your hearts content, hospitality at its best, people asking for seconds thirds and forth with endless gallons of coffee.

Back on a cold winter snowy morning, when everything around me looked white, so pristine and beautiful. I thought of the colors, the idlis and the coffee. Frantically looked thru my recipes and found a handwritten recipe of rava idli. My sister had written it up for me ( Picture below) the year I got married, it seems like yesterday….

#RavaIdli #InstantIdli #IndianBreakfast #Indian #SimiJoisPhotography
Ilva, Sophia and myself are back with a similar themed post, this is our first one for 2015. Do visit their blogs to read about their favorite breakfast and gawk at the amazing images.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Rose Lassi

Lassi/buttermilk  has been my favorite beverage since my childhood, be it salted and mildly spiced or mango or kesar (saffron), you name it and I will gulp it down like a meal. My better half likes to sip his lassi over the course of the meal, savoring the taste with every bite of food. I am more of the gulp kind, I love to have my mouth fill up with gulps of lassi goodness. As a result I end up making a meal out of it and I’m not ashamed to say I have stolen multiple sips from him after I have happily had mine. I have been seen ordering multiple glass of lassi for myself :), you tend to get judged when you do things like that at a fine dining place. But in the comfort of your own home, you could be drinking lassi from a hose or your blender jar…it’s a perk you enjoy with only homemade lassi. 

This lassi is made from gulkand. Gulkand is a sweet preserve made from rose petals. It is available at any Indian grocery store and has a beautiful rose aroma. It has some great health benefits, I am not going to get into the details of that but let’s just say it tastes amazing and is really good for you. 

#Lassi, #Buttermilk, #FlavoredButtermilk, #FlavoredLassi, #RoseLassi, #GulkandLassi

#Lassi, #Buttermilk, #FlavoredButtermilk, #FlavoredLassi, #RoseLassi, #GulkandLassi
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Mysore Masala Dosa

So many memories are flooding in as I write this post. Our home was the official headquarters of dosa, or should I call it the dosa factory. All my friends will vouch for that and to many of them my mom was a friend and a confidante more than a mere ‘aunty’. In India we do not call elders by their name, so every friend’s mom is an aunty. Now that I think of it, I would always bring in friends from school and it was understood that they would be having lunch at my place. When I turned 16, my mom threw me a surprise party,  she invited all my friends and had a huge poster of sweet sixteen up in the living room - which she painted herself.  We must have been some 20 kids - dosas for 20 giggly teens is not an easy task. Can you imagine, I do not have a single photograph from it, but everything is crystal clear in my mind…I remember it like yesterday.  A baby pink poster with a pink rose (hand painted) and sweet sixteen painted on it. My teen turns sixteen next year, am not sure if anything can top what mom did for me…life is such a full circle. I can’t imagine that so much time has gone by. As I make dosas for my teen and her friends, I always think of my mom and her kitchen, her 1000 watt smile, that can light up a room even today - she has never frowned, it’s always smiles, in good times and otherwise. She did have her share of anger - but frown, hardly.  Life has always smiled back at her. Her smile is still as young as probably when she was sixteen. 

To me dosa is not a mere south Indian delicacy, it’s memories, it’s soul food ….it’s the key to Indian hospitality. Probably that is why my family thinks  it’s one of the things I make best. (if I may say so myself). Probably some where I feel the need to keep up with my mother’s standards of not only making perfect dosas but of hospitality, of  serving food with a smile, that shines from within. 

I have tried to capture dosa so many times but I have never really been  satisfied, am not as happy… I might redo the post with better pictures. I don’t think it is even possible to capture this amazing delicacy. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, when you bite into it, you can taste the crunch, the sweet-sourness of the fermented lentils, the rich aromatic flavor of ghee (clarified butter). Close your eyes, use your hands to break into the dosa and feel the texture, put it into your mouth, the crisp crunchy dosa, the sweet and spicy chutney, the potato filling….culinary ecstasy! I can be really dramatic :)

#MysoreMasalaDosa #HomeMadeDosa #ButterDosa #Recipe

#MysoreMasalaDosa #HomeMadeDosa #ButterDosa #Recipe

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Nutmeg Pear Cake

#SpicyPearCake #NutmegPearCake #PearCake #FruitCake

#SpicyPearCake #NutmegPearCake #PearCake #FruitCake
This recipe has been on my mind since a couple of weeks. Finally found the time to bake this. Adorable right!. It was absolutely delicious, the nutmeg and pear were perfect spice-fruit pairing. I love pears, not only eating it but capturing it on camera too, it’s such a sexy fruit.

Camera reminds me, the last whole week was spent on exploring the possibility of a website to showcase my photography. I am not sure, being the procrastinator I am have been sitting on the idea for a couple of months now. My better half and some of my friends are pushing me in that direction. I have been doing some food photography assignments here and there and I usually send people to my flickr/pintrest account and blog to see my work….! Maybe it is time to build something more professional looking than the blog. I will still keep the blog, can’t live without it. Any input, suggestion, recommendation, will be awesome ! I am excited, as I have some decent images to showcase, but wish someone would do the work for me ;)

Returning back to the recipe, this recipe is a keeper, it’s not overtly sweet so you can serve some  warm spicy maple syrup with it, along with some whipped cream. For me it was good as is, it was so moist, I did not want to add any garnish to it. I just loved the cake and will definitely be baking it very often. I really wish I could have you taste this… I guess you will have to just gawk at it till you bake one yourself !!

#SpicyPearCake #NutmegPearCake #PearCake #FruitCake

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Granola Bars

#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars

#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars

#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars

Granola for snack, granola on the go, granola before a workout, granola after a work out, we consume a lot of granola bars in our household. So I have many variations on the bar that I like to try, I still buy the store bought ones for on the go, as they are individually wrapped. One thing I need to learn and get into is wrapping my food better, I hate it to just be put in a zip lock, I want it to look desirable, not sad. Something I will definitely be exploring this year. Some people really know how to package gifts, especially edible gifts. They are done to a perfection, all you want to do is open the wrapper and devour it. Delicate, feminine things always catch my eye, and I really admire people who have a keen eye for finer details. As far as I am concerned, I stick to the basics,  no extra frills. Maybe it’s time to explore that a bit …any pointers in that direction, will be awesome. 

Before I forget, a lot of people ask me about the smoke. Yes! it’s real. 
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Almond Butter

#AlmondButter #HomeMadeNutButter #HealthyNutButterRecipe
#AlmondButter #HomeMadeNutButter #HealthyNutButterRecipe
I feel like a million bucks today, I have been playing with almond butter and trying to photography it since morning…I know a lot of you might wonder,  there is no major styling, nothing fancy, what is the fuss all about. First of all it’s a rich texture and oily…all the nasty reflections, then the whites were not  white, in simpler words the white balance was off and I was getting all kinds of color cast…finally I got it ( I hope). I really hope my better half does not read this post, I think it is karma getting back at me, remember how I ranted in my last post about ‘him’ using auto WB. (looks sheepishly at her key board) 

A little honey and this could be easily transformed into a meal ;).  I love almonds and use almond butter regularly in my smoothies, baking and even in my curries. I usually do not make a whole lot, a cup usually lasts me a fortnight. The reason why  I am doing a separate post on almond butter, it’s easier to tag in the recipes. It’s a great option for vegan baking/cooking.  

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

#GingerBread #OldFashionedGingerBread #QuickAndEasyGingerBread

#GingerBread #OldFashionedGingerBread #QuickAndEasyGingerBread
Super easy and packed with flavor is written all over this bread. Actually it’s more like a cake. It is not like the conventional bread, it’s a bread disguised as a cake. Not every dessert lives up to this reputation.  I still remember my last year’s soufflé  that fell apart. My nephew was visiting and he has quite a sweet tooth to say the least and you know ‘finally teen’ can live on dessert and honey, that might have been reason enough to try a new dessert, but it was also the holidays, so there was more than one reason to indulge. We were excited anticipating a French delicacy. I don’t know what went wrong, we had such terrible soufflé, it was probably, not probably but surely the worse thing I have ever made. So much so that even the name soufflé evokes very strong emotions lol! But fear not am not going to be baking an exotic delicacy, am going to stick to SIMPLE. This old fashioned gingerbread is easy and most of the ingredients are already in your pantry…almost as good as mix and bake. If you are going to go and buy the boxed ready version of this am going to personally come over and make you bake this… ! With a cup of coffee or mulled wine it is d e v i n e.  I did not just tell you that I made a meal out of this (sheepishly) 
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Peach Sorbet - without an ice cream maker

It's been a quite weekend, last weekend before school starts. I have been having mixed feelings, I am so used to 'finally teen' being home, that it is just hard for me to have her gone for 8 hours. High school now, before you know it it will be four years and she will be off to college. Am going to miss this kid, she's a keeper, such a wise little thing! She has always been like that, even as a first grader, she had called in a family emergency meeting and told us that she does not like her school and wanted to go some other school. Am so glad we listened, we moved her to the  public school, she loved it. Well, am sure I will be sobbing my heart out after four years, but I really don't want to be that parent,  it is very hard then for the kids to move out and find their calling. For now let's see how high school goes, I think it is one of the most beautiful chapters in life. I loved high school and made some great friends and have still kept in touch with them.

The above picture of the sorbet has 'finally teen' modeling for me. I posted this on a photography forum and was asked to find a different 'hand model' someone with fancy nails... 'finally teen' was quite offended.  I love this picture, the nails are not perfectly manicured and painted to match the food, but it is real. Well, isn't that what our blogs are about? We eat the food we photograph and we manage with the limited resources we have, not all of us have the best lights, well most of us don't, I think none of us have a stylist. Sometimes, I find the commercial food photographs too perfect, almost unreal. Well, it just could be me, 'grapes our sour' maybe I can't click as well as they do. But I do gravitate towards more realistic photographs, that explains why V.K Ress is one of my all time favorite photographers. I would love to hear your thoughts? Do you like realistic or prefer picture perfect meals?

Moving on, I have been planning to get an ice cream maker for a couple of weeks now... Unfortunately,  the only space I have left is the garage;  between my props, gadgets and endless pots and pans, I have almost taken over half of the house. The reason I say almost and half is because my other half has his hobbies and his wood cutting machines, his soldering iron and endless tools from home depot have taken over the other half. To top it our teen is a lover of books... does that say it all ? I have to find a place to keep my ice cream maker, before I get it. I just hate counter clutter, so that is ruled out. Before summer went by, I just had to post something frozen, I thought sorbet was the easiest bet and then I saw a great sorbet recipe on Neel's site. Well, he used an ice cream maker, so a little google search brought me here and that is how I got my frozen dessert

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Caramelized Peach with Berry Compote

I feel like the 'energizer bunny' after 4 weeks of bliss.  I am so excited to get back to routine, my family finds it strange that am working at jet speed to get the house back in order, so I can start doing what I love. Vacation was awesome 6 places in 4 weeks...met some amazing people ( post coming soon), family get-together that were memorable and lip smacking food. I think in all these years of my travels to India, this one has been special and memorable. Walking in the rain in Coorg, horrible terrible hair-days that would send finally teen and me in endless bouts of laughter, shopping on the streets of Bangalore with my husband's aunt, shopping with my sister in the unbearable heat of Delhi, eating roasted corn and getting drenched on Marine drive....the list is almost endless.

Finally teen had a friend over today and I wanted to make some thing special for them.  Well there is no free lunch, so had her friend model for me ;) After all the excess calories I have gained, you might think I might go easy... well, had to make something from the gorgeous peaches I bought yesterday ! The compote goes very well with the peach. I was so excited to see that my small basil plant had grown into a nice big bush in just 4 weeks, the basil flavor really worked well with the dessert, better than mint which was my first choice. 

Hope you are all having a great summer. Hugs to all of you and thank you for emails and messages on fb. 
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Enjoying the outdoors :Puff pastry sticks and berry lemonade

I must have read 'The Prophet' a zillion times and every time I read it there is something new I discover...  The book is truly timeless. This is one of my favorite quotes from the book and I almost have it to memory now.

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.” 
― Kahlil GibranThe Prophet

Whenever I read these lines I think of a eagle in flight, free from any bondage, she flies not because she has a destination but she flies because she has wings that give her joy. There are always some people in our lives who give us that lift, to take flight.  The open skies have always enchanted me, be it star gazing at night or hot summer afternoons with impeccable blue skies...a meal or a snack under open skies is so romantic. It makes me realize how beautiful the world around me is, it helps me open my mind and realize what true flight and freedom is.

A simple snack,  walking on the grass with bare feet, lying on the sheet and watching tree tops... small things packed with life's biggest treasures. Here is a simple puff pastry sticks and berry lemonade packed with big fun !!

This is such a simple recipe, that I am wondering if I should post this... anyhow I am going to share it.

Puff pastry sheet, thawed, rolled out and cut in thin strips.

Mix garam masala, salt, garlic powder, chili powder into 4 tbsp of olive oil. Brush the seasoned oil on the pasty, twist it up for a nice shape and bake for 10- 12 min at 375 F or until golden brown. Let cool and serve.

For the berry lemonade 

Blend a cup of berries of your choice, squeeze 1 lime and add sugar, chaat masala and some salt. Now add some ice cold water - makes around 7-8 cups, instead of water if you add some sprite or a shot of vodka,  it takes it to a whole new level of awesomeness.

 Happy Father's day to all the awesome dads out there !

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Monday, June 10, 2013


There are some marriages made in heaven and one should never try and mess with that. Idli-sambhar is absolutely one such pair. Am not sure if my photography has done justice to this pair. These pictures were taken in April, when I was attending the LFP challenge and for some  reason it got lost in the zillion pictures that I have. When my better half told me last week that I should not have space issues for a couple of years at least  ( referring to the  iMac with 1tb of space, that he got me last year), it was a panic moment and I began a  ruthlessly spring clean  my Mac...and guess what I found :) I have mixed feelings about  the rustic styling, I am happy with it but am not sure if the whites of the idlis are real white, I could  have done a better job. But this blog is a journey, so I did not want to trash the photographs as it is part of my memories doing the LFP - 30 day food photography challenge. So here it is, the idlis not as perfect white but the recipe is perfect.

If you have never had idlis: they are steamed lentil and rice pancakes, the dough is fermented overnight, it is extremely healthy and sambhar is a spice curry made with vegetables and a coconut gravy.  I Made the sambhar with red pearl onions and tomato.

For the idli you will need an idli stand for steaming the dough. There are a lot of stands in the market, I have a simple one, you can go in for something fancy but I like to keep my traditional dish simple.

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