July 25, 2014

Spicy Eggplant Curry (Vankaya Masala kura)

Today's dish is made by my neighbor aunty and since it is an eggplant curry made in a different way, I had to click to pictures and post the recipe for future reference. One of the perks of living in India is the loving neighbors who share their homemade dishes and recipes. 
When I signed up for this month's 'Cooking from Cookbook Challenge', I knew I might have to bother my mom to make some of her signature dishes so that I can share them with you all. But luckily I have more than one source here and thanks to my dear aunty I have a yummy eggplant curry in my repertoire. 
Spicy Eggplant Curry (Vankaya Masala kura)
This curry is partially made in the pressure cooker and then finished off in the saute pan. This method helps in cooking the curry with minimum oil and also expedites the cooking process.

July 18, 2014

Behind the scenes of Food Photography

Blogging Marathon# 42: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Misc Food Related -- Behind the Food Photos
Topic: Behind the scenes of Food photography
After getting the backgrounds and props ready, it is time to take the photos of your yummy food. First thing to consider is the Lighting. Here's a previous post where I talked a little bit about Lighting. Finding good natural or artificial light is absolutely critical for food photography.
Behind the scenes of Food Photography

Thotakura Thelagapindi Kura (Amaranth Greens-Sesame Curry)

I have a very simple and healthy curry today. I watched it on a Telugu cooking show and made it right away. I made this last month in US when I had a bowl full of fresh amaranth leaves that I harvested before leaving to India on vacation. I think this curry can also be made with other greens like spinach, kale or swiss chard. 
Thotakura Thelagapindi Kura (Amaranth Greens-Sesame Curry)

July 17, 2014

Props for Food Photography

Blogging Marathon# 42: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Misc Food Related -- Behind the Food Photos
Topic: Props
Props used in a food photo can really make or break a food photo. A well styled and presented photo is a definite plus to any food blog. Props include your serve ware, napkins and everything else that is used in the photo.
I am always amazed how some bloggers have the eye for styling their pictures. The whole setup looks well thought of and the props are placed in strategic locations drawing the eye exactly to the main attraction or the hero of the photo which is the dish that is being presented. This is an art that some have within themselves and some of us need to see and learn. I'm not a very creative person, but I take inspiration from various sources to come up with something that is not exactly the copy of the original but a close representation of it. This below is one such inspired photo.
Props for Food Photography

July 16, 2014

Backgrounds for Food Photography

Blogging Marathon# 42: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Misc Food Related -- Behind the Food Photos
Topic: Food photography Backgrounds
We are starting our 3rd week of blogging marathon today and I took up an interesting theme that doesn't involve cooking. I am going to try and show you what goes behind the scenes in my house after the food is cooked and before the clicks are taken. First day is all about backgrounds that I use in my food photography and how you can make them at home.
When I started blogging in the pre-historic times (if you really want to know, that was 8 years back), I didn't give much thought to taking food photos, they were taken at night with flash on the dining table with absolutely no props and no sense of presentation. But through the years and watching some amazing food photos by fellow bloggers and food magazines, I've learnt that presentation is as important as the taste of food itself and since the virtual readers cannot taste your food, they need to feel it through their eyes. So every aspect of food photo is important including the backgrounds used for the photo.
Backgrounds for Food Photography

July 15, 2014

Manapparrai Murukku for ICC

We are travelling south to Tamil Nadu for this month's Indian Cooking Challenge. I am amazed by the variation of snacks we have across the country, with just a few changes in the ingredients and the method of preparation -- we end up with so many different type of snacks.
When I saw that Valli has a murukku recipe for this month, I was a little disappointed that we are going to make just another murukku recipe, but I was pleasantly surprised how just a few changes can make such a big difference. These murukkus are fried twice instead of just once in regular murukkus making them crunchy and very addictive.
Manaparrai Murukku

July 11, 2014

Kakarakaya Tomato Kura (Bitter gourd-Tomato Curry)

My MIL made this kakarakaya/ bitter gourd curry when she visited us last month. There are quite a few ways to take the bitterness away from bitter gourd, like boiling them with a souring agent like yogurt or tamarind and then squeezing out the bitter water. But this time my MIL salted thinly chopped bitter gourd pieces and refrigerated them overnight. In the morning, she squeezed out the water and made the curry in the pressure cooker.
Both refrigerating the salted bitter gourd and making the curry in the pressure cooker was new to me, so I promptly wrote down the recipe to post it here for future reference.
Kakarakaya Tomato Kura (Bitter gourd-Tomato Curry)

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