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Recipe & food styling | Rose and Fennel Oat Cookies – You can’t go wrong where there is love & inspiration

13 December 2014 3 Comments

healthy rose and fennel Oats cookies

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” ~ Vonnegut

It has been over 5 years already and I still remember that moment when I decided to start a blog. My hands were unsteady, my heart pounding hard & loud….and I clicked that ‘enter’ button to begin my online journey through Lite Bite.

I had absolutely no idea or expectation as to where this journey will take me to. But what an amazing journey it has been!

Over the years, I am able to carve a beautiful path to reach to my dreams through Food blogging with the support of my loving family & friends.  Hmm…well, as they say “You can’t go wrong where there is love and inspiration”.

What started off as a personal diary of sharing recipes and food stories at Lite Bite, has now matured into writing articles for magazines and taking up commercial food styling assignments for companies and various brands.

Yes, I am so much in love with what I am doing.

The best part of my work is meeting and making friends with interesting and talented people from the industry.

The other day, I received a call from a popular production house –Happy Unicorn and was offered the assignment to work as food stylist for a television commercial.

I met the very energetic & enthusiastic director & producer duo Avinash and Arabbhi at their office and got the details about the project, few days prior to the shoot.

It was flattering to hear that they Google searched me and had almost researched my entire blog to check my work and credentials. Arabhi could happily recall many of my recipes and was discussing my Semolina cake posted way back in 2011 and the Ragi Idlies during our meet 🙂

The job was to work as food stylist for a television commercial for a famous brand in Chennai – Lion Dates.

The other surprises in store were the opportunity to work with very talented & supportive Goldwin Fonseca (product and TV commercial specialist) from Mumbai and to shoot at majestic AVM studios. I would have crossed this studio a million times over the last 15 years in Chennai, but never though that I would be shooting here one day.

Shooting for television commercial is entirely different from packaging and still Ad shoots.

Still Ad shoots are done in a compact and cozy studio with the help of a food stylist, photographer, a person from the agency and the client office to guide and approve the shots.

A television commercial requires a large studio and sufficient space to support the enormous camera, lighting gadgets and comfortable movement of hundreds of people to assist the entire production team.

healthy rose and fennel Oats cookies

We assembled quite early in the morning, I arranged my props, ingredients and the products from Lion Dates on a few make-shift tables.

It all started with a small round-table discussion with the director, producer, photographer, product specialist and stylist to plan and work out the shots for the day.

healthy rose and fennel Oats cookies

Pic credit;  Joel Fonseca

It was wonderful to see Goldwin working with his instruments and setting tricky shots for capturing actions in camera.

healthy rose and fennel Oats cookies

Pic credit;  Joel Fonseca

Though the enormity of shooting for a television commercial might intimidate a new comer, there are production houses who leave no stone unearth to give personal attention to every person involved in the shoot.

There were uninterrupted supply of hot and cold drinks and quick bites during the entire shoot apart from a homely breakfast and lunch buffet at the studio.

healthy rose and fennel Oats cookies

Pic credit;  Joel Fonseca

Whoever said that working for a television commercial is a glamorous job….

Hmm…that stubborn dollop of jam refused to fall in the center of Puri …the hand model kept faltering in spreading the jam on the rotis….I would have rolled and cooked closed to hundred perfectly puffed up Puris, roits  and spongy Dosas for those action shots…that messy bucket filled with jam and gooey halwa….and have lost count of Date jam and Halwa boxes we would have discarded before we got that perfect scooping action captured in the camera.

Television shoot is a strenuous job and does require a lot of patience, high levels of energy and constant self motivation to keep going.

But on the whole, it was a wonderful experience…the shoot was packed off late in the evening and we all said goodbye….till we meet next.

Back home, I took complete rest for two days and baked some warm and quick cookies.

Rose and Fennel Festive Oat cookies

healthy rose and fennel Oats cookies

There is nothing more festive and comfortable than the aroma of warm spices and some sweet baked goodies.

Meetha paratha (sweet flat bread) is one such recipe which reminds me of winter nights at home. Our home would get filled with comforting scent of baked sweetness, every time that mom made these flatbreads.

Loaded with crushed nuts, dried rose petals, flavorful spices and fried in fresh ghee, these sweet flat breads or Meetha paratha was the perfect way to end a cozy dinner at home in cold winter nights. The combination of dried rose petals and fennel seeds is typical to many sweets made in Rajasthan during festivals and wedding seasons.

These flatbreads take almost no time to make and cook and often get converted into biscuits or crackers in mom’s kitchen in her make-shift oven – a kadai filled with sand.

She would use the same ingredients as used in making sweet parathas  but reduce water and increase the fat content in the recipe to make a hard dough for baking crisp cookies. These biscuits  (well, cookie was not a common term those days) not only tasted good but looked delicious.

I use almost the same ingredients but change the flour ration at times and include Oats or other grains to make these more healthy and  wholesome. These cookies are not too sweet and make a perfect tea-time snack.

Honey gives a deep, rich flavor and helps the cookies remain moist and fresh for longer time. Honey also makes these Rose and Fennel Festive Oat cookies slightly soft and lends a chewy texture to it.

healthy rose and fennel Oats cookies

Pluck and wash the rose petals and pat dry the petals using a kitchen towel.

Spread the rose petals on a cloth of paper and let it dry for 2-3 days under shade. Sun drying the leaves will make them turn black loose the aroma.

Store the dried rose petals in an sir-tight jar.

healthy rose and fennel Oats cookies

Ingredients;

(12-15 cookies)

  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1/2 cup Whole-wheat flour
  • 3 tbsp dried Rose petals
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • A pinch of salt

healthy rose and fennel Oats cookies

Method; Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a baking tray.

Sift wheat flour, crushed dried rose petals, salt into a bowl.

Grind Oats (I used quick cooking Oats), fennel seeds (saunf) and sugar in powder and add this to the bowl of wheat flour and combine well with a fork.

Add honey and oil in the bowl of dry ingredients and combine to make a hard dough. You can add a teaspoon of milk or water if the3 ingredients are not coming together.

healthy rose and fennel Oats cookies

Shape small portions of dough into balls, flatten slightly and arrange the cookies on greased baking tray.

Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. These Rose and fennel Oat cookies remain soft and chewy in texture.

Notes;

  1. Replace Oats and use wholewheat flour to amke these cookies.
  2. A teaspoon of rose preserve or Gulkand give a wonderful flavor to these cookies.
  3. You can avoid honey and use sugar i the recipe. Make sure to add enough moisture to make the dough.

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3 Comments »

  • Lata Raja said:

    that is incredible while hectic. I am so glad you are living your dream.
    I might consider making rose petals to carry. They make such a pretty photograph and those cookies are very inviting to try.
    Lata Raja recently posted..Flower tea for Black and White WednesdayMy Profile

  • Anusha said:

    Loved reading about your experience Sanjeeta 🙂 It sounds very adventurous yet demanding. Hats off for pulling it off and oh! those cookies how do you come up with such flavor combinations? Brilliant

  • SujathaArun said:

    I’m almost addicted to your blog. I would eagerly wait for your recipe and related stories every week.
    Appreciate your hard work and effort , bringing a special and different recipe, every time !!
    Off the topic… looks like you have reduced a bit(on seeing the pics).Take care and good rest too, as we need Sanjeeta’s special recipes lots and lots with good old memories.

    Wishing you the best!

    Sujatha
    SujathaArun recently posted..Cranberry Kara Kuzhambu – A Lip Smacking South Indian delicacy with cranberryMy Profile

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