Sunday, October 08, 2006

Practice makes Perfect

It was lovely Fall day and a saturday when I had an enlightening encounter with food bloggers in the St. Louis area (and some from quite far away). Thanks to Alanna of Veggie Venture for organizing this event. Part of the proceedings was lessons on plating by Bruno of Zinfully Delicious! And lessons in food photography from professionals! So I was dying to practice all that I had learnt and here it is.

Again, there was scramble in the fridge for ingredients. Unfortunately other than wilted corriander and some relatively fresh tomatoes and big green chillies, I didnt find anything substantial. Plus I was dying of hunger. So here is a super quick rice recipe. I think the only innovation here was using a huge block of ginger to flavor the water while the rice was cooking.

Corriander-Tomato-Pepper Rice

1.5 cups Rice
1 bunch Corriander (chopped roughly)
1/2 Red onion chopped
2 Tomatoes (chopped big)
1 Big green chili (choped big)
3-4 inch Ginger
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Sambar pwder
2-3 cloves
2 dried red chili
3 Big cardamom pods
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds

How to?

1. 1 tsp oil+ dry spices. Once the cumin seeds pop, put in the onion. Fry on medium for 3 mins
2. Bung in tomatos, chili, ginger, corriander. Stir for 1 min.
3. Bung in the rice, turmeric, salt, sambar pwd.
4. Put 3 cups of water, cover, cook till rice is done.

Above pic shows some of my Indian cookig vessels. Beautiful, black, anodized metal, easy-to-clean, much-healthier-than-non-stick, much-cheaper-cos-I-bought-them-in-India vessels! Last spring there was this huge article in the NYT and the author was basically on a mission to find alternatives to non-stick cookware since there have been recent studies that point to some hitherto unknown concerns with non-stick vessels. It is common knowledge that once the black coating gets chipped, one should use the non-stick pan anymore. But new research cast some doubts about using non-stick on high heats. And since quite a few parts of Indian cooking are done at very high heat levels, I decided not to buy non-stick stuff anymore.

Plus the article in NYT pointed out two alternatives (these were tested on ease of cleaning as well as amount of oil required to prevent burning, among other things). One was a ceramic type material (European, super-expensive) and the other was anodized metal. I already had a gun-metal (!) vessel from India that I loved but it was really big and I was looking for cook and serve type things. So this summer when I found the two pots shown above, I was very happy! I plan to slowly buy all the pots and pans in this series (they have reduced weight allowances on airlines!!!!) They are available in quite a few places and in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are quite heavy and stable and awesome to cook in and to clean. I also got a new pressure cooker (nice shiny black anodized) to match all these.

Back to plating!!!!!!

The rice was ready. Another scramble through the fridge revealed 5-day old curry and yogurt. Thus a plate was created.......I guess it isnt that original. But it loooked darn good.
Here it is-Spicy Tomato-Corrainder-Chili Rice, flanked by hearty vegetable curry and 'boondi' raita.


Alanna Kellogg said...

OH MY: the very first Leaning Tower of Bruno!

Alanna Kellogg said...

OOOO: and I missed the 'texture' underneath. A+, food blogger!

g said...

Thanks! But the problem of big plates is still the color could have been richer, dont you think?

Kalyn Denny said...

Hi, very fun meeting you and all the St. Louis bloggers. I agree with Alanna, great use of texture under the plate. It looks very good even if you aren't completely satisfied with the color.

Asha said...


Mrs. K said...

Don't know how I reached here, but I am glad I did. What a beautiful blog you have here! Mind blowing pictures too...I will visit more often. :)

Anonymous said...

Great job Gunjan!

Anonymous said...

I'm totally impressed! I noticed the creative surface texture right away! And the leaning tower of Bruno is a great solution to the "soup " problem. Very nice having all of you in last saturday. Now I too will be hooked on blogging.