Lite Bite http://litebite.in Wed, 31 Jan 2018 14:21:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal – Of food, lunchboxes and childhood memories.. http://litebite.in/recipe-beetroot-millet-rotis-panchkuti-dal/ http://litebite.in/recipe-beetroot-millet-rotis-panchkuti-dal/#comments Thu, 02 Nov 2017 07:25:33 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=12446 "Food is not about impressing people. It's about making them feel comfortable." Ina Garten

I don’t remember my lunch time in preschool or nursery days but I do have a vivid memory of it during my elementary school.

Mom was a working woman and as usual morning time used to be very hectic at home. She would cook breakfast & lunch for me and my brother and pack our dabbas before leaving for office at 8am.

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Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal

Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.” Ina Garten

I don’t remember my lunch time in preschool or nursery days but I do have a vivid memory of it during my elementary school.

Mom was a working woman and as usual morning time used to be very hectic at home. She would cook breakfast & lunch for me and my brother and pack our dabbas before leaving for office at 8am.

Though she made sure that every day she packed the best home cooked food for us, the menu used to revolve around the same fare. We would expect a dry subzis (potato or okra) with roti or Aloo parathas or aloo poha, without fail.

But then, we never bothered about what was packed inside. All we wanted was something which we could gulp quickly and run out of class to play.

But wait, there was a catch..and that one was our worst nightmare attached, with carrying lunchbox inside school bag. That of leaking  oil and liquid and facing the embarrassing moment of taking out the stained books in front of friends. And no amount of plastic wraps and seal helped stop steeping the oil and liquid from the box 🙁

Well, that was part and parcel of school life for us. However, bad it was, we were a bunch of happy children with huge smiles on our faces…always 🙂

Lunch boxes have come a long way from being the boring multi coloured smelly plastic boxes to those heavy duty metal dabbas of yesteryear. Times have changed, but the morning rush to pack a healthy lunch box remains same.

Choosing a right lunchbox is a challenge when you have to cater to the need of three different personalities at home.  And choosing a right lunchbox for your meal can make a world of difference to both, the one who is cooking and also to the one who is eating it.

I enjoy the leisure of cooking at my pace and personally handing over the lunchbox to my children without bothering about the spillage and cold lunch.

But I do cook lunch and pack it for hubby every day. I have tried many lunch boxes which could avoid leakage and also keep the food warm, but nothing worked with great success.

As luck would have it, I received a call from Hamsa for a food styling assignment for Vaya Tyffyn recently.

I was relaxing after a few back-to-back food photo-shoots and was hesitation to take up the project immediately. But she convinced me that I will be getting their full support and help during the shoot. I had to cook and style a few dishes that could be packed for children. I cooked pasta, mini podi Idlis, rotis, sambhar, banana muffins and few other dishes for it.

Well, am glad that I accepted the assignment. I was in for a surprise on the set after they opened the boxes of product. I fell in love with the product at first sight.

It was a compact, well designed and stylish copper-finished stainless steel lunch box from Vaya Tyffyn. It looked delicious both, inside and outside. 

The shoot went on well and I styled many recipes using some of those pretty boxes. I completely forgot about the lunchbox after the shoot was over, when suddenly one day I received a call from Hamsa asking my address to deliver something at my home.

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal
And lo and behold, it was a beautifully packed black coloured premium range of Vaya  Tyffyn!

The manual says, “The Tyffyn comes with a spoon holder and a water resistant bagmat which can be unzipped to convert into a place mat. The leak-proof containers with high-vacuum insulation retain the heat from the packed food for at least 3-4 hours.”

The lunchbox comes with well written instructions about the use and maintenance of the same.

This is what I packed in his Tyffyn today..black eyed bean curry, carrot chayote subzi, rotis with pickle and curd separately. Recipe will follow in next post..

Here is what was in his Vaya Tyffyn yesterday..Beet-millet rotis, panchkuti dal, fresh vegetable pickle, few almonds, prunes and plum.

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal

Sharing some recipes of what is inside the lunchbox here..

Panchkuti or Panchmel Dal aka Five lentil curry

 

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal
Ingredients;

  • 1 cup mixed Lentil
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Red chilly
  • Oil or ghee
  • Salt to taste

Tempering:

  • Turmeric powder
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin seeds
  • Asafetida powder

Method; Chop tomato and onion and grate ginger.

Wash and soak all lentils for few hours or overnight. I have used a mix of the following lentils;

  • Bengal gram (chana dal)
  • Green gram (moong dal)
  • Pigeon peas (tuar dal)
  • Red gram (masoor dal)
  • Black gram (dhuli urad)

Pressure cook all lentils with turmeric, chopped tomato, ginger, and 1 cup of water for 2-3 whistles and mash it slightly.

Heat a kadai and splutter cumin seeds.

Add asafetida powder, salt, dry red chilly, chilli powder, onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour this tempering over cooked dal and combine well.

Add chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Indian flat breads.

Notes;

  1. Add garam masala or whole spices in the making of dal for extra flavor and taste.
  2. This dal recipe is served slightly thick, add a little warm water if you wish to make it runny.
  3. Add a few garlic pearls in tempering for extra flavor.

Beetroot millet rotis or Flatbreads

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal
Ingredients;

  • 1 beetroot
  • 1 cup pearl millet flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. Coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp. curd
  • 1/2 tsp. chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal

Method;  Peel and grate beetroot with a fine grater.

Take both the flours in a large bowl and add sesame seeds, grated beet, salt, chilly powder, cumin powder, curd and combine.

Add little water if needed to bring the dough together ( I added just about 3-4 tsp. of water).

Apply a little oil over the dough and let it rest for an hour.

Divide the dough into small balls and roll into round rotis using dry flour to avoid the rotis stick to the board.

Heat a griddle and cook the rotis on both the sides for a few minutes till it changes colour and is cooked.

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal

Smear a little ghee if you wish and serve it with pickle or any Indian curry of your choice.

My verdict;

  • Eco friendly, no plastic, stainless steel containers coated with copper from outside. It does give me a feel of packing lunch the traditional way (in steel dabbas of yesteryear). And I like the fact that stainless steel doesn’t stain, take on odour or wear out quickly.
  • I can pour a piping hot dal or curry straight from my cooking pan into the container which I never attempted in my so called heat resistant branded plastic lunchboxes.
  • Food does remain warm and fresh after say 4-5 hours of packing.
  • The separator or divider provided is of no use if you are trying to pack two liquid side by side. The liquid leaks from one side to other. I use the separator only for packing dry ingredients like nuts, dried fruits, cookies etc.
  • The bagmat is worth buying for the ease of carrying the lunchbox and for using it as place-mat while eating.
  • Do not overfill the containers and you are good to go with a leak-proof lunchbox.
  • The containers also make a good standalone snack box for packing fruits, nuts or cooking separately.
  • Though the price is hard to swallow, factors such as durability, freshness of food, leak proof, sturdiness, and the classic look makes it worth the price tag.

Disclaimer; I wanted to make it clear that this is not a sponsored post and I have not received any cash remuneration to write about the product on my blog. I am writing the post because I personally like the product and wanted to share my views with you all.

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Recipe & Food Styling | Mixed Vegetable Pickle http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-mixed-vegetable-pickle/ http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-mixed-vegetable-pickle/#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 07:17:22 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=12443 Priceless childhood memories, some great friends, good food and endless time spent on Fatehsagar… these are the memories which make life sweeter.

Come winter and makki and bajre ki roti become staple food for us. Mom will make a huge batch of fresh vegetable pickle using mustard oil. We used to run out of house the day she would heat oil to makes this pickle. The strong pungent smell of mustard oil was hard on our nose.

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Recipe & Food Styling | Mixed Vegetable Pickle

Priceless childhood memories, some great friends, good food and endless time spent on Fatehsagar… these are the memories which make life sweeter.

Come winter and makki and bajre ki roti become staple food for us. Mom will make a huge batch of fresh vegetable pickle using mustard oil. We used to run out of house the day she would heat oil to makes this pickle. The strong pungent smell of mustard oil was hard on our nose.

Well, if you haven’t grown up eating this pickle, you might find it very strong on your taste buds. And with crushed mustard seeds as the base it makes it more an acquired taste for many to relish.

Lucky for me, my husband loved the very first time I made it some 20 years back just after our marriage.

Coming back to one another styling assignment for the brand Abhirami. I have done styling project for their rice and millet varieties, and this time it was for their ‘sevai‘ or thin vermicelli varieties with the photographer Nithin Bharat.

I completed most of the prep before the shoot and was ready for the day with my props and food.

Recipe & Food Styling | Mixed Vegetable PickleReached early and arranged the vegetables and other stuff in the studio..

Recipe & Food Styling | Mixed Vegetable PickleThe varieties of Abhirami sevai..millet, brown rice, multigrain, multi millet, brown rice..and so on ready for the shot..

Recipe & Food Styling | Mixed Vegetable PickleIn action..

Recipe & Food Styling | Mixed Vegetable PickleOne of the shots from the shoot..

Mixed Vegetable Pickle

So here is my instant fresh vegetable pickle that I made today..

Recipe & Food Styling | Mixed Vegetable Pickle

I cannot imagine winter days meal in Udaipur without a good amount of this pickle on my plate. My daughter ran out of kitchen after I started heating the oil for pickle. Do not try this pickle with mustard oil if you can’t handle the pungency and strong flavors of it.

Recipe & Food Styling | Mixed Vegetable Pickle
Dry roasted spices for the pickle..

Recipe & Food Styling | Mixed Vegetable Pickle

Ingredients;

  • 1 cup Cauliflower florets
  • 2 Turnips or radish
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 small Ginger
  • 1 cup Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Jaggery
  • 1/2 tsp. Asafetida powder
  • 2 tsp. salt

Spice mix;

  • 3 tsp. Chilli powder
  • 2 tsp. Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp. Fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder

Recipe & Food Styling | Mixed Vegetable Pickle

Method; Wash all the vegetables and wipe them with a kitchen towel to remove excess water.

Scrape carrots, turnips and separate cauliflower into small florets.

Chop carrots, cucumber, turnip and ginger into small pieces.

Spread all the chopped vegetables in a small plate and steam it for 2 minutes. Make sure that water do not touch the vegetables. I used my Dhokla plates to do the same.

Spread all the vegetables on a kitchen towel and let them dry under fan.

Dry roast mustard, fenugreek and fennel in a small pan for 4-5 minutes and grind into coarse powder.

Fill all the vegetables in a glass jar and add dry roasted powder, vinegar, jiggery, salt, turmeric powder, chilly powder and asefoetida powder in it and combine well.

Heat oil in a small pan till smoking pint and take off the heat.

Pour this hot oil over the jar filled with vegetables and cover the jar with a clean cloth.

You can use the pickle from the next day.

Notes;

  1. Make small batches of this pickle as it may not stay good for more than a month. The vegetables tend to loose crispiness and become soft.
  2. Replace mustard oil with any other vegetable oil if you are not used to the smell and strong taste of mustard oil.
  3. Refrigerate the pickle if you are using less oil.
  4. Avoid touching vegetables with hands, use spoon or fork to mix and fill the jar.
  5. Use fresh pearl millet for best results as rotis made with old flour is tough to roll and start cracking while you roll them.

 

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Recipe & Food Styling | Infused water – Hydrating the smart way.. http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-infused-water-hydrating-smart-way/ http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-infused-water-hydrating-smart-way/#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 07:16:02 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=12438 I always loved waking up in the morning to a cup of warm turmeric & pepper milk, a morning ritual that helps me feel good all day long. This ritual takes a slight turn during summer season when I replace the same with infused water, first thing in the morning.

Infused water..Hmm..nothing fancy, it's just our good old H2O combined with a few slices of fruits, vegetables or herbs. I first saw pretty pictures it and read about the benefits of it on Pinterest a few years back and since then, am hooked to this infused water.

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Recipe & Food Styling | Infused water

I always loved waking up in the morning to a cup of warm turmeric & pepper milk, a morning ritual that helps me feel good all day long. This ritual takes a slight turn during summer season when I replace the same with my infused water, first thing in the morning.

Infused water..Hmm..nothing fancy, it’s just our good old H2O combined with a few slices of fruits, vegetables or herbs.

I first saw pretty pictures it and read about the benefits of it on Pinterest a few years back and since then, am hooked to this infused water. And now, come summer and I love to see these colourful glass jars on my kitchen counter first thing in the morning.

Recipe & Food Styling | Infused water

This is my elixir which keeps me hydrated during long week days and hot summer. A jar of plain water, some fruits or vegetables and a few herbs to pep up the drink and there you go.

I love the fruity undertones of my infused water. Cucumber and lemon, apple slices with a tiny stick of cinnamon, lemon slices and mint, oranges & mint, ginger & lemon..there are endless combinations that I try out each day. Just add whatever fancy you, in plain water, refrigerate and drink it the next day. These drinks are so easy to make and even more easier to drink.

Call it by any name…my colorful infused water absolutely rocks!

Until quite recently, when my cousin introduced and gifted me a bottle of unpasteurized Apple cider vinegar. I have been adding a little apple cider vinegar also in my infused water, since then.

Never drink it direct, always dilute it with water to reduce the acidic after taste of acv. 1 tsp. in a glass of water is good enough. This fermented drink is good for your gut health, controls blood sugar has several antioxidants and boosts immunity” she listed out the benefits of the same.

And yes, do make sure you get the organic, raw and unpasteurized acv with “the mother” on the label for better health” she cautioned me.

I have been using filtered acv for many years in my baking and as salad dressings and love the tartness it gives to my salads and never thought of trying it in my drink.

I recently got a bottle of unpasteurized ACV with “the mother” from Borges and have been trying out various combinations to figure out which one suits my palate best. It sure is an acquired taste.

More about some recipes of ACV after documenting the styling assignment I did last week..

The assignment was for a restaurant Kebabisthan, it was a fun filled 2 days shoot with the photographer Swathy sekaran and Chilli production house.

 

Recipe & Food Styling | Infused water

Water washed and packed a large batch of my boards and other props..

Recipe & Food Styling | Infused water

Could manage to click a few shots of the food with my mobile..

Recipe & Food Styling | Infused water

Working shot at the studio…

I had a wonderful time styling for the products as I could use many of my hand made boards which is not required for many white background based commercial shoots.

This brings me back to some of the recipes I tried from online food blogs using Apple cider vinegar.

Turmeric -ACV Tea

Recipe & Food Styling | Infused water

I often make turmeric-ginger-lemon tea at home and sip it all day long. I don’t follow any recipe as such to make this concoction but I keep increasing or decreasing ingredients according to taste. I have started adding a dash of acv to it for better health.

Ingredients;

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. organic, unfiltered AVC
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Spice mix
  • Mint leaves (optional)

Method; peel and finely chop ginger.

My spice-mix has the following ingredients in it;

  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Bring water to boil, add the above spice mix and boil it for another 9-10 minutes.

Remove it from heat, cover and let the spices seep for 10 minutes. Sieve and add honey, lemon juice and acv in it and stir well to combine all ingredients. drink it warm.

You can also make ahead the above concoction with more quantity without adding acv and lemon juice and store this turmeric tea in refrigerator for up to 20 days or more.

Use the desired amount of concoction, warm it a little and add acv and lemon juice in it. Add fresh mint leaves for more flavors.

Green tea ACV drink

Recipe & Food Styling | Infused water

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 green tea bag
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. acv
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 small ginger piece
  • Crushed mint leaves

Method; Place a green tea bag in a glass and pour hot water over it.

Add honey, lemon juice, sliced ginger, acv, crushed mint leaves and enjoy it warm.

You can also add crushed ice and enjoy ice cold acv green tea.

Recipe & Food Styling | Infused water

Note;

  1. I have reduced the recommended quantity of ACV in my drinks, as I still need to develop the taste for it.
  2. Try not to heat ACV and honey directly as it can reduce the healing properties of the same.
  3. Add more honey or water to adjust the drink to your taste.
  4. Turmeric acv tea is good for cough and sore throat, these concoctions work for me.
  5. Use fresh turmeric to make tea for better health.
  6. Acv has a strong flavor, work around it to find which recipe works for you the best and reap the benefits.
  7. Both the drinks could be relished warm and ice cold.

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Recipe | Healthy Oats and Apple Squares – Journey of life through mom’s eyes.. http://litebite.in/recipe-oats-and-apple-squares/ http://litebite.in/recipe-oats-and-apple-squares/#respond Fri, 08 Sep 2017 07:14:07 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=12413 Please don’t call me channa, pingu-pongu, betu, chotu-pattu in college ma” my son instructed before leaving for the orientation program on the first day of his college life.

Hmm..will try my best” I smiled and looked at him from the corners of my eyes…the lad is all grown up.

School days are over for son and he is ready for yet another milestone in his life's journey. We packed his bags and were on our way to attend the orientation program in his college and also to help him settle comfortably in the hostel later.

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Recipe | Healthy Oats and Apple Squares

Please don’t call me channa, pingu-pongu, betu, chotu-pattu in college ma” my son instructed before leaving for the orientation program on the first day of his college life.

Hmm..will try my best” I smiled and looked at him from the corners of my eyes…the lad is all grown up.

Recipe | Oats and Apple Squares

School days are over for son and he is ready for yet another milestone in his life’s journey. We packed his bags and were on our way to attend the orientation program in his college and also to help him settle comfortably in the hostel later.

It was not so very long ago when I had excitedly informed mom that we have put him in primary school. “It will be over before you know it, just enjoy their childhood days and try to capture these innocent moments” my mom’s words echoed in my ears as loaded his bags in the car.

Years rolled by as we drove past the high ways early in the morning.

It seems like yesterday when I held him in my arms and he first looked at me and smiled. I can still picture those tiny fingers, soft pinkish feet, wavy hair and that baby smell which still linger to me.

I remember his first wobbly steps and holding his hands to help him walk.

 

How time flies..given a chance, I would love to go back to days when he was a baby and freeze that time forever.

Recipe | Oats and Apple Squares

Mom, wake up, we have reached”, my son opened the door and asked me to come out.

We walked down the well-organized garden of his majestic college campus. All I could see there was a sea of proud & anxious parents, their eyes filled with big dreams and a heart filled with endless love for their children.

It was an anxious moment for us to leave him there and come back home. The journey back home without him in the car was probably the longest ever and the most silent one we have ever experienced in recent times.

I understand that I have little control over his activities and actions at this phase of life. But I wish and hope he comes out to be an independent, polite and emotionally strong individual with the guidance and values instilled in him at home.

You have already shot past me in height long back and may not like to be hugged and kissed anymore. But in my eyes you will always remain my bubbly pingu-pongu baby..always 🙂

Healthy apple oats snack cake

Recipe | Oats and Apple Squares

I packed a chocolate brownie for him for his hostel mates during his last visit and am planning to send a few of these goodies the next time.

Ingredients;

(makes 15-16 squares)

  • 1 cup instant Oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 large apple
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Method; Pre heat oven to 180  and grease a flat baking tray.

Grind oats into fine powder.

Add ground oats, wheat flour, cinnamon powder, raisins, baking powder, baking soda in a large bowl and combine well.

Grate apple (I did not remove the peel, you can if you wish to).

Add grated apples, yogurt, honey and oil in another bowl and combine well.

Add dry ingredients in the wet ingredients, fold and mix with a spatula.

Pour the batter into the baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes or till done.

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Recipe & Food Styling | Healthy Broccoli and Amaranth leaves Flat-breads – Things that keep me busy, happy and sane.. http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-healthy-broccoli-and-amaranth-leaves-flat-breads/ http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-healthy-broccoli-and-amaranth-leaves-flat-breads/#respond Fri, 08 Sep 2017 07:13:25 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=12417 When you take the step towards your dreams, you will be met with fears because you have never traveled this way before. As you go, you will discover that you had nothing to fear.” ~ Gardner

Rewind a few years back to when I used to get panic attacks whenever a couple of projects land in a span of few days. I would become anxious and stressed out as the deadlines draw near. It was a real tough time to find a point of balance between my career and personal life, more so when you are passionately inclined towards both.

However, with over seven years of work experience in the industry, I now feel more at ease with myself.

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Recipe & Food Styling | Healthy Broccoli and Amaranth leaves Flat-breads

When you take the step towards your dreams, you will be met with fears because you have never traveled this way before. As you go, you will discover that you had nothing to fear.” ~ Gardner

Rewind a few years back to when I used to get panic attacks whenever a couple of projects land in a span of few days. I would become anxious and stressed out as the deadlines draw near. It was a real tough time to find a point of balance between my career and personal life, more so when you are passionately inclined towards both.

However, with over seven years of work experience in the industry, I now feel more at ease with myself.

I am able to remain sane in the face of all the chaos by taking control of my time and prioritizing my work.

Careful selection of projects, planning ahead of time, listing life goals and slowing down whenever possible are a few pointers which help me sail smoothly year after year.

As for working in the advertising and media world, I feel very privileged and fortunate to have worked with some of the most talented, experienced and enthusiastic people in food industry.

Here are a few food photo shoots for television and advertising industry that I completed recently with some talented people from media world.

And time flies when you are working with them..Latha menon of Iris films is one such person.

This was my first time working with her, I was really impressed with her way of handling people on the sets with smile and confident.

Working and directing people for tvc is taxing but she was calm and composed till the end of the television shoot and handled every situation on the set with great aplomb.

Recipe & Food Styling | Broccoli Flatbreads

Discussing the shot with her for Hatsun curd TVC..

Recipe & Food Styling | Broccoli Flatbreads

Curd rice shot in progress..


Recipe & Food Styling | Broccoli Flatbreads

I have worked with this friendly and extremely dedicated team of Zac from Rubican for many projects but never got a chance to get clicked with them. Here is one picture during the shoot for Hatsun with Latha Menon.

Recipe & Food Styling | Broccoli Flatbreads

One another television commercial for the popular brand Milky Mist with director Lawrance of Ice media which I loved doing. I was given free hand to try out various paneer recipes and styling the same for the tvc.

Recipe & Food Styling | Broccoli Flatbreads

Working place does make a lot of difference to your productivity. My work station was right before the sea shore, nothing can be more captivating and energizing than watching the waves hit shores as you work….

Recipe & Food Styling | Broccoli Flatbreads

Still photo shoot for Ultra brand of mixer grinder from LG with Arun Natrajan, his supportive team and the ad agency Rediffusion.

Broccoli Flat Breads

Recipe & Food Styling | Broccoli Flatbreads

Coming back to the recipe for Lite Bite, here is my most favorite paratha or flatbread which I often prepare during long shooting days. I make ahead the flatbread for saving me time on busy days. I half cook the flatbreads and refrigerate them for 2-3 days in butter paper till use.

Ingredients;

For dough

  • 1 cups millet flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. carom seeds
  • Warm water to knead
  • Salt to taste

For filling;

  • 1 cup grated broccoli
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic pearls
  • 1/2 cup amaranth leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste

Recipe & Food Styling | Broccoli Flatbreads

Method; wash and chop amaranth leaves.

Finely chop the onion and garlic pearls.

Add millet flour, wheat flour, salt and carom seeds (ajwain) in a large bowl and combine well.

Add yogurt, warm water and knead into a soft dough. Cover the dough with a lid and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Add grated broccoli, chopped onion, garlic, amaranth leaves (chawli bhaji), pepper and salt in another large bowl and combine well.

Pinch small balls from the dough and flatten it to make a small circle.

Place a ladleful of broccoli filling over the flatten dough and close it to make round ball again.

Heat a griddle, dust the filled dough with wheat flour and roll into flatbread or chapatti.

Recipe & Food Styling | Broccoli Flatbreads

Place the rolled out flatbread on hot griddle or tawa and let it cook for one minute. Flip to other side and cook it applying a little ghee or oil if you wish.

Serve the healthy broccoli flatbreads with fresh yogurt or raita.

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Recipe & Food Styling | Banana-Orange Oats Cake – It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.. http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-banana-orange-oats/ http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-banana-orange-oats/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 09:20:33 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=12388 It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ~ Confucius

I am not a prolific user of various social media platforms but I do appreciate the power it holds to connect with people and to grow your business.

There are times when family commitments and your work fill a large part of your life and the best you can do is to unplug from social media on a regular basis.

These small breaks help me focus on the work in hand and also give ample time to relax.

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Recipe & Food Styling | Banana Orange Oats Cake

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ~ Confucius

I am not a prolific user of various social media platforms but I do appreciate the power it holds to connect with people and to grow your business.

There are times when family commitments and your work fill a large part of your life and the best you can do is to unplug from social media on a regular basis.

Last few months have been busy doing food styling for various brands and television commercials in the city and I was like a headless chicken the whole of last month.

I took a long break from social media once again to complete the work in hand. These small breaks help me focus on the work in hand and also give ample time to relax.

The lack of connectivity with friends and bloggers is quite upsetting at times, but I keep myself motivated by engrossing myself completely in the ongoing projects in hand.

So, life is moving at its own pace for me..and finally I could manage to sit down and document a few food shoots that I did recently to keep a track of my work life.

Recipe & Food Styling

Ingredients sorted out and prepping going in full flow for television commercial for Ultra grinder at the studio..

Recipe & Food Styling

I had a great time working for the ad agency Re-diffusion for the tvc…that’s me with my messy table..

foods styling and recipes

Table is set for the final product shot..

foods styling and recipes

Prepping for Vaya Tiffyn commercial at a studio..

foods styling and recipes

Good to see the food cooked and styled by you in print..

And here are a few pictures from a shoot which is too dear to me, for the comfort levels and encouragement from the entire team.

foods styling and recipes

Our mandatory pack-up shot for Melam spice brand with enterprising & creative Dhanya, ever enthusiastic Kunal Daswani and the very supportive team of Melam.

And here is a healthy cake recipe which I wanted to post for long..

Banana-orange Oats Cake

foods styling and recipes

Ingredients;

(serve 4-5)

  • 1.5 cups Oats
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup grated jaggery
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Blueberries or raisins (optional)

Method;  Grease small round baking tins and pre heat oven at 180°c for 10 minutes.

Grind oats to make fine powder.

Peel and mash banana in a large bowl.

foods styling and recipes

Take orange juice in a pan and bring it to a boil and take it off the flame. Add grated jiggery in it and let it melt.

Add oil and vanilla extract in the pan and combine well.

Add salt, baking powder and baking soda to the ground oats and mix well.

Pour the liquid ingredients in the wet ingredients and fold it to combine into a batter.

foods styling and recipes

Pour the batter into baking pans and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Let the cake cool before de-moulding it.

foods styling and recipes

Drizzle a little maple syrup or honey and serve.

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Recipe & Product Review | Two healthy wholegrain Crepes http://litebite.in/recipe-product-review-healthy-wholegrain-crepes/ http://litebite.in/recipe-product-review-healthy-wholegrain-crepes/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 09:01:20 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=12385 My weekend starts with asking the same question to my family over and again “what do you want for breakfast?”

Anything other than Idly, dosas, parathas, upma and sandwiches” the instant reply I get to hear from my children and hubby.

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My weekend starts with asking the same question to my family over and again “what do you want for breakfast?”

Anything other than Idly, dosas, parathas, upma and sandwiches” the instant reply I get to hear from my children and hubby.

I turn around my face and stare at my laptop table, trying hard to think of some exciting breakfast options. My eyes pop out looking at the unopened carton from Kent. It’s an electric crepe or dosa maker by Kent which was delivered to me last week.

I delightfully open the carton, a gamut of ideas flow into my mind. I march into the kitchen with my gadget, whip up a batter and in no time a delicious breakfast is ready on my table.

Yayy…these paper-thin delicate beauties can be so intimidating, all the more when you don’t have proper gadget or well-seasoned griddle to prepare them.

But with my new gadget from Kent I now find making crepes, chila and paper thin dosas a breeze.

Look at these beauties…oh  well, there is nothing in the morning that can brighten up faces more than a stack of soft and lacy crepes drizzled with warm honey, peanut butter or maple syrup.

Oh yes…breakfast is about to get a lot more interesting with the addition of one another stylish gadget in my kitchen.

The more I cooked with it, the more comfortable I became to try out new recipes with the product. The product gave me confidence to try out recipes which I normally avoid – crepes.

More about the product;

Kent’s easy to use Dosa & chilla maker helps you prepare healthy and oil free recipes with minimum effort.

I like the ease of use and the sleek design of it. Kent has been designing kitchen appliances for over    years and is a leader in many stylish and innovative kitchen appliances.

The appliance is compact and light weight which makes it very easy to handle and store it in kitchen cabinet.

The non-stick base promotes healthy cooking and ensures that your food is cooked with minimal or zero oil.

The product is travel friendly as it is light and easy to carry.

Two healthy wholegrain Crepes

These chickpea flour crepes need very few ingredients and are light and airy. These can be served with sauce, chutney, cheese or vegetable hummus.

1. Instant Chickpea flour-millet Chilla

 (make about 4-5 crepes)

Ingredients;

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup Foxtail millet flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. curd
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Method; Combine all the above ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Plug the Chilla maker to heat the base.

Pour the batter in the large plastic tray provided with the product.

Hold the handle of the appliance, turn the base and quickly dip it in the batter for a few second.

Two healthy wholegrain Crepes

Bring it back to the original position and let the crepe cook. You can add a few drops of oil if you wish at this stage of cooking.

Take off the cooked paper thin crepe with the wooden ladle and repeat the same process to make more crepes.

Serve the crispy healthy crepes with the chutney or sauces of your choice.

2. Banana Millet-Oats Crepes

 Banana Millet-Oats Crepes

These healthy whole grain crepes are more delicate and soft. You can serve them with freshly whipped cream or fruit compote of your choice. Rest the batter for a few minutes before making these crepes.

Ingredients;

(makes 5-6 crepes)

  • 1/2 cup Oats flour
  • 1/2 cup pearl millet flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp. ghee or butter
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • A pinch of salt

Method; Peel the banana and add all the ingredients into a blender and grind until the batter is completely smooth.

Rest the batter for 20 minutes or more for better result.

Banana Millet-Oats Crepes

Pour the batter into the plastic bowl and make crepes following the same method as above.

Serve the healthy crepes with fresh fruit compote, honey, maple syrup or any other accompaniment you fancy.

Banana Millet-Oats Crepes

Notes;

  1. These crepes are a bit tender than the ones made with eggs. Take care not to break it while taking off the base.
  2. Wait for the edges to turn slightly brown before taking it off.
  3. Use a few drops of oil if you feel the crepe or dosa is getting struck to the base.
  4. Wipe the appliance with moist cloth and avoid metal scrub to clean the base.

You can find the product – ‘Kent Dosa maker’ here.

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Recipe & Food Styling | Quick potato curry and spinach bedmi pooris – When pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.. http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-potato-curry-bedmi-poori/ http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-potato-curry-bedmi-poori/#comments Sun, 12 Mar 2017 09:07:01 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=12369 When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.” ~ Nancy coey

I received a call from Maheshwar (photographer) few days back for a client meet and decided to visit their office to discuss about the food shoot and have a look at the kitchen.

As I enter their newly constructed terrace kitchen cum office, a sudden waft of an interesting mix of Indian spices welcomed me. It's 10 am and I can see the kitchen buzzing with activities, as large pots of curries are stirred in one corner and rice is steamed in another.

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Recipe & Food Styling | Quick potato curry and spinach bedmi pooris

When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.” ~ Nancy coey

I received a call from Maheshwar (photographer) few days back for a client meet and decided to visit their office to discuss about the food shoot and have a look at the kitchen.

As I enter their newly constructed terrace kitchen cum office, a sudden waft of an interesting mix of Indian spices welcomed me. It’s 10 am and I can see the kitchen buzzing with activities, as large pots of curries are stirred in one corner and rice is steamed in another.

Hi Sanjeeta, welcome to our office.”, greeted Sastha, founder of Madras Curry Cup with a big smile and a warm hand shake.

After the formal introduction about his venture and the requirement for the photo shoot, our conversation moved on to somewhat lighter topics.

“My passion for cooking started when I was craving for home food in foreign land, and had no other option left than to cook a decent meal all by myself.” he contemplated his words and continued.

I have had many professional degrees and work experiences abroad, but I decided to stick with my passion for food and cooking…and that’s when Madras Curry Cup was born.” told Sastha, his eyes crinkled at the corners as his smile widened .

We selected the recipes, crockery and the layouts for each photograph and decided to shoot on the said date.

I reached the office early in the morning with my props.

Sastha was already there, instructing and prepping for the shoot with  his staff. With all the chefs around him in his kitchen, he still loves to hold the ladle, experiment and cook the curries all by himself.

I could completely connect with him.

I was recollecting the scenes from my photo shoots when people get uneasy watching me dip my hands in greasy curries, mashing, squeezing and prepping every morsel of rice and vegetable by hand for that one perfect shot.

Why don’t you ask your assistant to do it, Sanjeeta.”…the question asked to me frequently during a shoot, which I smile at and shut eyes to 🙂

I too love to get completely engaged with what I am doing during a food shoot, be it getting that perfect round vada for the nth time or running around to wash my delicate props, surpassing the bemused assistants standing near me.

Probably these are the times when the subconscious mind, which believes in the saying ‘Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work’, controls out thoughts.

Recipe & Food Styling | Quick potato curry and spinach bedmi pooris

We discussed about the dishes, props and the layout of the pictures to be shot on both the days of photo shoot.

I was all set with the prep and garnishes to be used for the shoot..

Recipe & Food Styling | Quick potato curry and spinach bedmi pooris

My yummy work station..

Pumpkin mor kulumbu with cumin rice and baby corn curry with saffron rice…Pic courtesy Maheshwar and Madras curry cup

Normally I don’t taste or eat the food to be shot, but this was an exception as Sastha let us taste the food before it was placed in front of the camera. I loved the vegetarian dishes he prepared…vada curry, mushroom, mixed vegetables, creamy pumpkin mor kulumbu...Mmm..delicious is the word.

Mahesh, who tasted their non-veg versions was one happy foodie on both days.

Recipe & Food Styling | Quick potato curry and spinach bedmi pooris

I like how creatively they have used the picture to convey the message of ‘carry home‘ meals.

Recipe & Food Styling | Quick potato curry and spinach bedmi pooris

Best wishes to Madras Curry Cup and Sastha.

Pack up shot on day two..bone tired, but the smile still lingers..one happy team that is!

Tangy potato curry aka Khatte aloo with spinach bedmi pooris

Recipe & Food Styling | Quick potato curry and spinach bedmi pooris

Last few months have been too hectic with family commitments, work and travel but cooking and eating good food never stopped. It’s just that I could not get enough time to click more pictures of the recipes.

Holi is round the corner and one of the few recipes I love cooking during the season is this quick tangy potato curry or khatte aloo with daal or bedmi pooris to fall in the groove of festivity at home.

The potato curry is my go-to curry on most of the working days when all I have to do is to pull out pre-boiled potatoes from fridge, mash, add a few spices, curd..quick boil and voila..my curry is ready in no time.

1.Tangy potato curry aka Khatte aloo

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 cup curd/yogurt
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 green chilly
  • Water as required
  • Salt to taste

Spices;

  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. carom seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder

Method; Boil potatoes and roughly mash it.

Grate the tomatoes.

Whisk curd by adding one cup of water in it.

Heat oil in a wok or kadai and splutter cumin and carom (ajwain) seeds in it.

Add grated tomatoes, slit green chilly, chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, asafoetida powder, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.

Add mashed potatoes in kadai and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Pour whisked curd and about half a cup of water or more according to your taste and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve the spicy potato curry with any Indian flat bread or pooris.

2. Spinach Daal poori or bedmi poori

Traditionally Bedmi pooris are made by stuffing the lentil past-spice paste inside and deep frying it. When short on time, I prefer the easy way out, by adding the lentil paste to the dough and rolling the pooris.

Ingredients;

(10-12 small pooris)

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp. semolina
  • 2 tbsp de-husked black gram
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • A pinch of asafetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Method; wash and soak black gram (dhuli urad daal) for about 2 hours.

Grind the black gram with green chilly without any water.

Take a large bowl and add wheat flour, semolina, 1 tsp. oil, salt, asafoetida powder (hing), garam masala, finely chopped spinach, ground black gram and combine it using the moisture in the spinach.

Leave it for a few minutes for spinach to release more moisture.

Knead into a semi hard dough using very little water.

Heat oil in a wok.

Make small balls from the dough and roll into small pooris.

Depp fry each poori till they turn golden in colour.

Serve these spinach Bedmi pooris with spicy Khatte Aloo ki subzi.

Notes;

  1. Add water in small quantity to knead the dough for pooris. It should be slightly harder than the normal dough used for making chapattis.
  2. You can puree spinach for better handling of dough.
  3. A teaspoon of Fennel powder (saunf) and dry ginger powder added to the dough gives a wonderful aroma to the pooris.
  4. Roll out a few pooris before frying to keep the process of deep frying quick and easy.

 

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Recipe & Food Styling | Shahi Mushroom Curry – To jump off the cliff and learn how to make wings on the way down.. http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-shahi-mushroom-curry/ http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-shahi-mushroom-curry/#comments Fri, 03 Mar 2017 16:12:37 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=12354 The lessons you learn the hard way are always the ones that stick…

All along, and ever since I was first exposed to commercial food styling shoots, it really hit me to think that how smooth my transition would have been had there been someone to guide me through the nitty gritty of food styling.

Back then, I was fairly new to the commercial world of food styling and had no mentor whom I could observe or assist. I had to jump off the cliff and learn how to make wings on the way down :)

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Recipe & Food Styling | Shahi Mushroom Curry

The lessons you learn the hard way are always the ones that stick…

All along, and ever since I was first exposed to commercial food styling shoots, it really hit me to think that how smooth my transition would have been had there been someone to guide me through the nitty gritty of food styling.

Back then, I was fairly new to the commercial world of food styling and had no mentor whom I could observe or assist. I had to jump off the cliff and learn how to make wings on the way down 🙂

I had to work extremely hard and try to master the tricks of trade by actual experience, on the sets and studios of various television and still shoots. Not to forget the long hours of sitting in front of laptop, gazing at food pictures and reading articles on food styling during wee hours.

As I fell into my groove and gain more confidence, I found that food styling is one of the most satisfying career I could have opted at anytime of my life.

However, I gained knowledge and practical experience the hard way and always wanted to share it with others whenever I could.

Recipe & Food Styling | Shahi Mushroom Curry

Class for CFG and at a college, 4 years back

I had already taken workshops and classes couple of years back for professional photographers as well as college students.

It was such an uplifting experience, it made me feel happy and boosted my self-esteem as a food stylist.

But outdoor shoots, home projects, family commitments, travel and blog keep me completely engaged and I often struggle to keep my work-life balance sane.

I had been getting several phone calls and messages from a couple of photography institutes to take up classes on food styling but lack of time made me put them at hold.

Recipe & Food Styling | Shahi Mushroom Curry

After ignoring for almost a year, I finally decided to take up the call from ICAT design and media college to take up the class on food styling. It was a 2 day classroom session for 2nd and final year students of photography.

Recipe & Food Styling | Shahi Mushroom Curry

I had to cancel a television shoot for this class..but no regrets, I enjoyed spending my time preparing slides and notes on food styling for students.

Recipe & Food Styling | Shahi Mushroom Curry

Interacting with a bunch of enthusiastic students was a wonderful experience. It was a fruitful day of learning and sharing about food, photography and styling, for all of us.

But the biggest and the most important thing I learned during this student teaching session is to ‘be confident‘.

How true is the saying..”An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Shahi Mushroom Curry

 Recipe & Food Styling | Shahi Mushroom Curry

Shahi mushroom curry is one another variation I often cook at home where nuts are used to make the base gravy. This recipe comes second to my Charmagaz mushroom curry which uses several seeds and yogurt for gravy.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 10-12 button mushrooms
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup of fresh peas
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Salt to taste

Spices;

  • 2 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel powder
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 1’ cinnamon stick

Recipe & Food Styling | Shahi Mushroom Curry

Method; Soak cashew nuts in milk for 15 minutes and ground into fine paste.

Peel and finely slice onion and grate the tomato.

Wash mushrooms very well and dice into small pieces.

Heat oil in a wok and add cardamom pods and cinnamon stick.

Add sliced onion and sauté it till it turns brown.

Add ginger-garlic paste, grated tomato, chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, fennel powder, salt and sauté for 5-6 minutes on medium heat

Add mushrooms, peas and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add cashew paste, cover the wok with a lid and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Serve the creamy shahi mushroom curry with plain rice or any Indian flat-bread of your choice.

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Recipe | Mixed lentil, vegetable stir-fry and millet – Holding hands together.. http://litebite.in/recipe-mixed-lentil-vegetable-stir-fry-and-millet/ http://litebite.in/recipe-mixed-lentil-vegetable-stir-fry-and-millet/#respond Sun, 22 Jan 2017 02:15:29 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=12339 A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” ~Dave Meurer

Whenever I reflect on our marriage, it brings a smile on my face. I never thought I would have a love marriage, but that was what was in store for me. Yes, ours was a love marriage against all odds and distances.

22nd January 1996, it's been 21 years of togetherness. Well, Marriage is just a reason, lifelong friendship is the most precious gift that we received on this day.

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Recipe | Mixed lentil, vegetable curry and millet

A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” ~Dave Meurer

Whenever I reflect on our marriage, it brings a smile on my face. I never thought I would have a love marriage, but that was what was in store for me. Yes, ours was a love marriage against all odds and distances.

22nd January 1996, it’s been 21 years of togetherness. Well, Marriage is just a reason, lifelong friendship is the most precious gift that we received on this day.

We are two different personalities trying to adjust to each other’s idiosyncrasies, constantly working through the misunderstandings and still holding hands together, no matter what lies before us.

Recipe | Mixed lentil, vegetable curry and millet

And life after marriage is great.

Thanks again dear husband for being there through thick & thin, for making me smile and pushing me but not letting me fall…because now I stand tall.

Recipe | Mixed lentil, vegetable curry and millet

Watching 21st sunrise together at a Mahabalipuram beach resort..

We are having a good time…growing old together, rediscovering ourselves, and finding ways to spice up our lives at every moment!

But as time goes on and life gains more speed with work, home and growing children, the one thing we need to figure out is to find ways to spend more time together in coming years..

1. Mixed Lentil curry

He is an early riser and morning sleep is dear to me, he plans future and I live in present, art is black and white for him and I love my colours, he is non-expressive about his feelings and I love to exhibit mine…

Whatever differences there may be between both of us, the one thing that keeps us bound is the love for simple Indian food’. A simple meal of dal-roti, rasam-rice or khichdi-papad is what we crave on every single day.

Recipe | Mixed lentil, vegetable curry and millet

 

Here is one such simple meal of mixed lentil, vegetable stir-fry, rotis and millet. The coconut powder in the recipe gives it a slightly different taste than the usual dal I make daily.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup mixed lentils
  • 2 tbsp. coconut powder
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 garlic pearls
  • 1” ginger piece
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Spices;

  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed black pepper
  • A pinch of Asafoetida powder

Method; Use a mix of these lentils in the recipe;

  • Green gram (dhuli moong daal)
  • Bengal gram (channa daal)
  • Pigeon pea (toor daal)
  • Red lentils (masoor daal)

Recipe | Mixed lentil, vegetable curry and millet

Wash and soak all the pulses in clean water for an hour.

Finely chop onion, grate ginger, garlic and tomato.

Add a little water in coconut powder and keep it aside.

Pour 1 cup of water in a 2-3 liter pressure cooker and add the soaked daal with turmeric powder in it.

Cook for about 3 whistles and let the pressure settle before opening the lid.

Heat ghee in a kadai or wok and splutter cumin seeds in it.

Add chopped onion, grated garlic, slit green chilly and sauté for 1-2 minutes till onion and garlic turn light brown in colour.

Add grated tomato, ginger, crushed black pepper, salt and cook for another 2 minutes.

Pour cooked daal and coconut milk in kadai and let it simmer for a few seconds.

Take the kadai off the flame and garnish the mixed lentil with chopped coriander and serve with hot chapattis or plain rice.

2. Quick Snake gourd stir fry

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 2 cups chopped snake gourd
  • 7-8 garlic pearls
  • 2 red chilly
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • Salt to taste

Method; Wash and chop snake gourd into small pieces.

Finely chop the onion.

Crush garlic pearls and red chilly in a mortar and pestle. (optional but recommended).

Heat oil in a kadai and add onion, crushed garlic & red chilly paste and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add chopped snake gourd, salt and cook covered for another 4-5 minutes on medium heat till the vegetable it almost cooked but retains its crunch.

3. Cumin flavored Mixed Millet

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup mixed millet
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste

Method; Wash millet and soak it for 5-10 minutes. I stock a mix of a few varieties of Barnyard, little millet and foxtail millet and use it for various recipes.

Heat ghee in a 2-3 liter pressure cooker and splutter cumin seeds in it.

Add water in it and bring it to a boil.

Add soaked millet in the cooker, close the lid and cook for 2 whistles.

Let the pressure settle before opening and serving the cooked millet with any Indian curry.
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