Sunday, February 28, 2010

Masala Bread Upma Recipe

This is a perfect evening snack for a rainy day and the click was on one such rainy day some months back!
Masala Bread Upma

Bread Upma Recipe - Ingredients

  • Bread - 3 to 4 slices chopped into small squares
  • Onions - 1 chopped lengthwise
  • Tomato - 1
  • Tomato sauce - 1 tbsp(optional)
  • Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - a pinch
  • Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Coriander leaves - 2 tsp for garnish
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Salt - as required
To temper:
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil- 2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few

Masala Bread Upma

1.Heat oil in a tawa, add the 'to temper' ingredients and fry for a min.Add onions and saute it till it becomes light brown.
Masala Bread Upma - Step12.Add tomatoes and saute till mushy and raw smell leaves. Then add turmeric chilli, garam masala powders, required salt and tomato sauce. Fry till the spices get mixed well. 
Masala Bread Upma - Step2
3.Sprinkle little water and allow it to cook for 2 mins.Add the chopped bread and mix till all is combined well.Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and switch off!
Masala Bread Upma - Step3

Your masala bread upma is ready to be served!

Masala Bread UpmaMy Notes:

  • You can even add a tsp of ginger garlic paste while sauting onions.
  • Also if you dont prefer the masala flavour just ignore the spices and go ahead like the normal upma.In that case you can skip garam masala and add sambar powder.
  • Adding tomato sauce gives a nice tangy taste so I prefer adding it.
  • If you dont like the chunky tomato pieces, you can also puree the tomatoes and add it.
Masala Bread Upma
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kodumai Dosai / Oothapam | Wheat Dosai

I tried Wheat dosai from here , Quite healthy and filling for breakfast!

Wheat Savoury Pancakes (Kodhumai Dosai)
Wheat Flour - 1cup
Finely chopped Onion- 1 medium sized
Coriander leaves - 3 tsp
Finely chopped green chilli - 1
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Jeera - 2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp [optional]
Salt to taste

1.Mix all the above ingredients with water except oil, and make batter like we make for pakodas but slightly thinner, with no lumps formed.

2.Heat the dosa pan, drizzle oil and spread a laddle full of batter, the thickness should be like pancake. Pour 2 drops of oil on the sides, wait till its cooked.

3.Flip and let it cook on the other side too.

4.Switch of flame and serve with coconut chutney or chutney podi!
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Food Photography - Choosing the backgrounds, props and angles for your food pics

Hello everyone,
Hope all is well with you! Finally with a photography post - Choosing the backgrounds, props((bowls, plates, towels, supporting props for the backgrounds etc)) and angles for your food pics.Not that I am gud at it....but wanted to share few of my learnings/observations in this 1 yr of food blogging!

The most impt thing that attracts me to a recipe is the pic, You may have used the right ingredients, with right proportions and the dish has come out perfect but the end viewer cant see/feel any of these, so ur pic should speak for all the above.

I am fond of sambar satham esp the ones served in hotels. I made this sambar satham sometime back, noone can even try to spoil it like how I did......;) ha ha anyways I m not going to post the recipe, but will surely when I excel in it!

NOTE : All the pics below in this post are straight from my camera except for the image size reduction and sharpening of pics.I really dont like much editing as I feel the natural feeling is lost.Daylight always works best!

First let us get into choosing the props: I admit that my sambar sadam was super flop so pls see only the content of the pic not the food ok?!;)

The first confusion is the bowl: the boat shaped brown one or the white one(only 2 becos I ruled out the other bowls due to shape and size).Hmm ok I have made up my mind with the white one as I felt yellow rice wud go well with white bowl.

Now having finalised the bowl, next comes the base...I am trying with a white cloth.Actually white goes gud with everything either bowl or plate or base like the ones I hve used in Marie Biscuit dessert & Masala Kuzhipaniyaram. But here I feel the white base gets totally merged with the bowl.

Now going in for my fav chocolate brown cloth.Hmm...this is kind of ok for me but not much appealing .....

Now the same choco brown napkin on the white base hmm this looks fine to me so going ahead with this setup.

TIP: You dont even need neat napkins specifically for your food pics, Just pull out ur chudis, dupatas, saris like how I did for peanut ladoos, rose milk and what not?! sometimes even ur babies nappies wud go great like what I did for the corn pic series which most of u liked :) But remember white base always has its own professionalism so just mix and match to see which compliments best for ur food.

Now coming back....the set up of the below pic is ok but looks boring without any colors.....
So for the background I m keeping some colorful vadams, does it give an extra touch to the pic?! The white plate of the vadams still merges with white but dont worry its just going to be in the background. Ok now all set, so next comes the angles.
Angles for your food pics:
This is the most important area which makes ur pics appealing.
Angle1: This is just a closer look of the above pic......hmm not bad. This is a top angle which is a most easy shot as you can cover everything on the table easily.

Angle 2:
This has been taken from a bit of side & front angle...In most cases side front angle works fine when u get closer to the food.


Angel 3:
No major difference between A2 and A3 its only the bowl base showing off

Angle 4:
Hmm now my fav...blurring the background. I usually take most of my pics in auto mode with no macro setting on. So it means any simple setting wud do to get this blur.

The simple 2 things you need to understand are :
1.Assuming that u have a background for ur food, lets go ahead....Just focus ur eyes on the food which you want to highlight...just dont let ur eyes see the other areas at all.

2.First click the shutter button halfway to lock the focus(also called as setting focus lock) then click to capture the pic. Actually this was the first tip I got when I purchased my digicam from the shopkeeper & that seem to be very useful till now. If you dont understand the locking thing read more here

Angle 5:
Another side-front angle with slight blur of the vadams

Angle 6:
This side-top angle covers all props in the pic.

I usually take around 20-25 pics per dish but I'm seriously trying to minimise it as it leads a confusion when I come to editing. Now If I am to post this recipe, the pics I'll choose will be Angle 3,5 & 6. Before I wind up, would luv to hear your choice of angles!

Also do give me ur suggestions on what food photography topics you'd like to read and whether this post reached you or not. So to end up I wud say, it all comes by experience....the more u click the more u learn :) Happy Weekend!
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Potato curd gravy

I happened to receive a cooking manual attachment from my collegue, It has around 300 recipes. And my first try from that manual is this potato in curd gravy. I modified the recipe a little to suit our taste, the curd adds a nice flavour to the potatoes....a definite try for all potato lovers!!

Potato in curd gravy
  • Baby potatoes(skin peeled and boiled) - 10 to 12 apprx
  • Onion - 1 finely chopped
  • Tomato - 1/2 finely chopped
  • Jeera, Mustard seeds - 1 tsp each
  • Curd - 3 tbsp
  • Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
  • Red chilli, Dhania powder - 2 tsp each
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Green chillies - 1 chopped
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 1tbsp

  1. Heat oil. Add the cumin and mustard seeds. When they splutter, add ginger-garlic paste, chillies and curry leaves. Add onion, tomato and fry for 5mins.

  2. Add turmeric, dhania, red chilli powder and fry for 2 minutes. Let all the masalas mix with onion and tomato. Add curd, required salt and fry for 5 minutes, Stir continuously keeping in low flame.

  3. Gently prick the potatos with fork to make tiny holes, now add it to the above mixture (This is to make the potatos nicely absorb the gravy). Add little water and stir well.

  4. Simmer for 5 minutes, leave till gravy thickens. Its semi dry gravy so goes well with pulavs/fried rice. If you want more loose gravy then take it a bit before the gravy thickens.
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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