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Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu – Dwell on the beauty of life

4 March 2016 2 Comments

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu
Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” Marcus Aurelius.

Ah…excuse me, I didn’t get your name.”

Sanjeeta

I turned around and looked at the representative from client’s office standing behind me. We would have spoken at length on topics ranging from food to Indian culture on the sets for last two days, but forgot to exchange our names.

Oh..good, I was watching you work from a distance since yesterday and wanted to ask something. Is this ‘our curd’ that you are using for all the shots or have you added something in it to make it look more chunky?” he asked me curiously.

It’s just plain curd. I did just a little bit of styling to make the curd look chunky and appetizing in every shot” I smiled and replied.

Thanks, btw all the shots have come out beautifully.

My pleasure” I was rather ready for a cup of coffee at that hour of the day than this unexpected compliment.

But then, what better way to get your work endorsed right on the sets by the senior official from client’s office himself.

I can’t ask for a better award than this!

Well, my coffee can wait 🙂

This is how the TVC happened….I received a call from a production house (Slingshot creations) who called me for a quick discussion on the television commercial for a popular brand, Hatsun.

I met Bharadwaj and Naresh at Coffee Day near my house, they summarized me the screen shots and the food to be prepared & styled for the same for 2 days tvc.

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu

The shoot started with a small puja on the set…

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu

The indoor kitchen set getting the final touches on the first day of TVC

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu

The 2nd day outdoor shoot started early around 5.30 am at a very picturesque location.

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu

The main hero of the photo-shoot on my work table..

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu

And when the cows were roped in for a ‘grazing shot’…

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu

Some happy moments with beautiful actress Auritra Gosh of Google ad fame who also acted in this tvc. Sorry for the over-exposed picture..can’t help..even the smart phone started acting 🙂

It was lovely sharing some wonderful moments about our passion & life on the location with her.

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu

Relaxing with a cup of strong ginger tea in between breaks.. 🙂

Back home, I was definitely not in a mood for any time consuming cooking. Quick and easy meals without compromising on nutrition are my call, any day.

The batter for Millet Idly and a spicy curry or Kara Kuzhambu was already done a day before the shoot and refrigerated. I called my children from the location and asked them to prepare Idlis.

1. Mixed Millet Idly or Steamed Millet cakes

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 3 cups mixed millet
  • 1 cup de-skinned black gram
  • 1/4 cup flattened rice
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Method; I use a combination of various millet for this recipe.

  • Barnyard millet (kuthiravali)
  • Kodo millet (varagu)
  • Little millet (samai)

550

These millet are a much healthier option than white rice for making idly and other such recipes.

Take one cup each of the above millet and rinse them with water for once.

Soak the washed millet and flattened rice (poha) in about 4 cups of water for 2 hours.

Wash and soak black gram (dhuli urad daal) and fenugreek seeds (methidana) in water for 2 hours.

Grind black gram and fenugreek seeds in a grinder or heavy duty mixie till it becomes smooth. Add little water at a time in the grinder to make the grinding easy.

Take the ground black gram batter out in a vessel.

Grind soaked millet and flattened rice for a few minutes using a little water.

Mix both the batter in a large vessel, add salt to taste and keep it aside for 7-8 hours or overnight for fermentation.

Take Idly mould and grease it lightly with oil.

Pour a ladle of Idly batter in each mould.

Place the mould in a pressure cooker filled with 2 cups of water. Close the lid (remove the vent or whistle) and steam it for 6-7 minutes.

Take the mould out and let it cool for 10 minuets before de moulding the steamed Idlis with a knife.

Serve the hot millet Idlis with Sesame podi or Kara Kuzhambu. 

2. Sesame Podi or powder

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu

Ingredients;

(8-9 servings)

  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup black gram
  • 1/4  cup Bengal gram
  • 5-6 dried red chilly
  • 3-4 garlic pods
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • Salt to taste

Method; Heat oil in a kadai, add Bengal gram and balck gram and roast it till the gram become light brown in colour.

Transfer the roasted gram in a plate and add sesame seeds in it and roaste for a few seconds, make sure that you don’t burn the delicate sesame seeds.

Dry roast the dry red chilly and garlic in the same wok for a few seconds.

Grind both the grams into slightly coarse powder, add dried red chilly and grind it again. Take out the ground gram in a separate plate.

Grind sesame and garlic pods just for a few seconds only. (it releases oil and make the powder lumpy).

Mix both the powders well and store in an air-tight container.

3. BrinjalKara kuzhambu or spicy curry

Recipe & Food Styling | Millet Idly, Sesame powder and Kara Kuzhambu

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 5-6 baby Brinjal
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • Salt to taste

Spice-mix

  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. Bengal gram
  • 1 tsp. black gram
  • 5-6 peppercorn
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds

Tempering;

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 9-10 shallots
  • 4-5 garlic pods
  • 4 dry red chillies
  • Few curry leaves

Method; Wash and roughly chop the baby brinjals into small pieces.

Peel garlic and shallots (small onions).

Dry roast all the ingredients listed under spice-mix and powder them. I make this powder in large quantity and store for saving time.

Heat oil in a wok or kadai and splutter mustard seeds in it. Add broken dry red chilly, curry leaves, asafoetida powder (hing), garlic pods, shallots and copped brinjal in it and sauté for 5-6 minuets on medium heat.

Add tamarind paste and about 3 cups of water in the wok, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes.

Add ground spice-mix and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes before taking it off the flame.

Serve this spicy and tangy Brinjal Kara Kuzhambu with Idlis, steamed rice, dosas or any Indian flat breads.

Notes;

  1. Do not add to much water and make the batter runny, the Idlis will not come out puffy.
  2. Use a small marble sized ball of tamarind if you can’t get tamarind paste.
  3. Any other vegetables can be replaced with brinjal in this recipe. Drumstick, carrots, beans, radish etc taste good in it.
  4. Add one teaspoon of rice flour mixed in 1 tbsp of water and boil for a few minutes, if you feel the gravy is too runny.

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2 Comments »

  • Easyfoodsmith said:

    Breakfast time…seeing lovely soft & light idlis does only one thing to your appetite…CRAVE!!

  • Arvind Waghela said:

    Great stuff… Sanjeeta, Please add some recipes about Rajasthani menu, that will be great.

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