Recipe & Food Styling | Quick potato curry and spinach bedmi pooris – When pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work..
“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.
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..
My yummy work station..
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.
I like how creatively they have used the picture to convey the message of ‘carry home‘ meals.
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
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
- 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
- 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.
(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.
- Add water in small quantity to knead the dough for pooris. It should be slightly harder than the normal dough used for making chapattis.
- You can puree spinach for better handling of dough.
- A teaspoon of Fennel powder (saunf) and dry ginger powder added to the dough gives a wonderful aroma to the pooris.
- Roll out a few pooris before frying to keep the process of deep frying quick and easy.