Recipe & Food Styling |Brown rice and lentil pilaf or Rajasthani channa dal pulao – Work is fun when your comfort levels are high
It all started with scribbling recipes and struggling to click good food photos for Lite Bite, seven years back. And now I feel really lucky enough to stumble on a way of life that I not only like, but love to live.
There are three completed food photo-shoot assignments which are pending to be written about on Lite Bite. But I could not resist to pen down the experience and all the fun that went into yesterdays’ shoot for ‘The Park Hyatt’ with Kunal Daswani.
The photo-shoot was finalized after a couple of meets and exchange of mails between the Ad agency (Rubecon), client, photographer and the chefs at the hotel.
The campaign called ‘Beyond Madras’ is a sort of Dinning room teaser Ad shots which the client is planning to launch soon in the media.
Well, I would have completed more than 20 commercial food styling shoots till date and there are times when the amount of stress that goes into organizing the shoot is too much to bear for a normal person like me.
But there are few shoots where the workplace is light & buoyant and there is absolutely no stress at all.
The stress-free workplace definitely makes me feel more comfortable and helps increase the creativity to manifolds. When work is fun, you are more connected with your co-workers and you feel more engaged by what you do.
I have worked with Kunal a couple of times and he surely is one of my favorite photographers to work with.
The positive energy that he creates on the set is palpable and contagious, which multiplies with his timely jokes and unconditional compliments to the co-workers.
The photo-shoot for ‘The Park Hyatt’ was no exception and I was very confident from the word go.
Parijat, the beautiful & gracious representative from the hotel played a wonderful host and made sure that we were comfortable at the set. She pampered us with the uninterrupted supply of fresh juices, creamy cappuccino and mouth-watering dishes from the hotel.
The shot which got cleared in the very first take….
Hmm…that naughty pickle jar…..sitting pretty on the granite, as if laughing at the time I took to get the perfect texture and the after-mess it created during the shoot…
Kudos to the wonderful team effort from the Ad agency, client and the photographer!
The shoot was over by 7 pm and I reached home around 8.30pm. I had already soaked Bengal gram before leaving for the shoot and it was easy for me to prepare our dinner in a jiffy.
I love the chewy texture of brown and mostly use the same for my rice recipes. Here is a quick Brown rice and lentil pilaf or Rajasthani Channa Dal Pulao for the dinner and served it with onion raita.
Mom used to often prepare this Rajasthani channa dal pulao for dinner whenever she would be late from her office and now it has become my reliable time-saver go-to recipe.
Brown rice and lentil pilaf or Rajasthani channa dal pulao
- 1 cup Brown Basmati rice
- 3/4 th cup Bengal gram
- 2 carrots
- 1 Onion
- 2 tbsp.Yogurt or curd
- 1/2 tsp. grated Ginger
- 7-8 Mint leaves
- 2 tbsp. oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. red chilly powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp.Turmeric
- 5-6 Peppercorn
- 1 small stick Cinnamon
- 2-3 Cloves
- 1 small Bay leaf
Method; Wash and soak Bengal gram (channa dal) for 3-4 hours or more.
Wash and soak Basmati rice till you prep all the other ingredients for the recipe.
Peel and finely slice the onion and cut large round chunk of carrots.
Add turmeric, red chilly power, salt and coriander power in the yogurt and whisk well.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaf and peppercorn in it and sauté for a few seconds.
Add sliced onion and grated ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add spice mix yogurt in the oil and sauté for another 2 minutes on medium heat.
Drain water from rice and soaked Bengal gram and add it with the carrot rounds in the pressure cooker along with mint leaves and one and a half cups of water.
Close the lid and cook for one whistle. You can use a large thick bottomed wok or vessel to cook the same, it will take a little cooking extra time than the pressure cooker.
Let the pressure cooker cool and serve this delicious Rajasthani channa dal pulao with yogurt raita and poppadums.
Check Glossary for the English & Hindi names of various foods and ingredients used in the recipe.
- You can also use a rice cooker to prepare the recipe which will give fluffier and better texture to the pulao.
- Avoid yogurt and add a teaspoon of lemon juice to convert this into a vegan version of the recipe.
- Capsicum and fresh corn kernel can be added to the recipe.