Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Godhidha sajjige - Photography exercise : Overhead view

One of the simple breakfast ideas is the upma. When the life-saver idli and dosai batter is not available, most of us think of upma. My husband (and I to some degree) is not someone who will make do with cereals and granola bars. Even bread has to be toasted and be had with a sumptuous vegetable curry for him. So, it is upma in all of its avatars that features often during breakfast in my table. He is particularly fond of the samba godhumai rawa upma and I add this in many packets to my luggage allowance from India. The broken wheat available here is from Lebanon and he is not a fan of the taste.
For this month's photography exercise Aparna had wanted us to capture the overhead view of the food. I tried many options alas to much discontent. Then as I was leafing through the Taj Vegetarian Cookbook, I spotted this recipe with a picture just as I would have wanted to have mine. It was the simple sajjige but presented on a leaf and plated along with some side dishes and captured right from the top!
My earlier photo trial of the Kaala Jamun I made for my husband's birthday dinner (soon will post) is here. But not very unique.

Thus I wanted to make another attempt and this sajjige is what I have brought for the exercise.

It will be a shame to write a recipe with ingredients and method, for it is that simple and easy to fix. Many of us do it in a breeze.

Temper some mustard seeds in few teaspoons of cooking oil, add then some channa dhal, green chillis and curry leaves. Sauté for a few minutes before adding sufficient water and choice of vegetables and some salt. cook until the vegetables are tender and drop the broken wheat in and stir. cover and cook till the wheat is cooked soft. Finally, add about two teaspoons ghee and transfer to a serving dish!
Should you want to add onions, toss them in before adding the water and cook them until translucent.
You may garnish with chopped coriander leaves and some grated carrots too. Options are as many as you can think of. I have sometimes added cooked mung dhal or even added sprouts towards the end of the process for added protein.
As easy as it may sound, taking pictures of food from perpendicular is quite tricky. Some dishes that look pleasing enough did not show as beautifully captured from the top.

One of my friends was discussing food photography sometime ago while she was taking pictures of my mushroom pulav. She had worked for an advertising agency who do many assignments for chocolates and ice cream and in general food products. It was amazing that how much thought and work on details go into making it all appealing.
I hope that I have done justice to the exercise.


  1. Taking pictures is the most difficult thing in blogging! Nice try!I mean the pictures! Simple recipes are very much in demand and there are many novices looking out for such simple food.

  2. O M G Lata U have artistically given such a beautiful shape some what similar to mangai. The recipe looks absolutely superb and awesome and the chutneys and mangai urga to go with it has been captured wonderfully.

  3. Lata, my eyes are going towards the dark green base plate!:-) Imagine the humble upma looking so tempting and inviting!

  4. Wow, feel like grabbing tat plate.. Iam hungry :)

  5. Lovely presentation, looks superb and awesome, irresistible spread as well.

  6. thanks for stopping by my blog post, Lata. you've got some nice pictures yourself. However, I do suggest using a bit more light. Although from your settings it does seem, there is enough entering the still appears a shade underexposed. Possibly you could try lowering the speed still further and/or using some extra lights such as available household lighting directly above the subject. Do try and if you need any help, feel free to ask!

    1. Thank you Rashmi.I will give that a try. Some of the earlier pictures seemed over exposed and hence I thought I shall change the settings. Thanks again for offering and please be warned that i will knock knock often!

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  8. Hi Lata, thanks for your support as always. Nice array of recipes lined up here and no doubt that gajar badam halwa click was eye catching. Hope you are doing well. How is your daughter. Have a wonderful day. Viji

  9. I think you've done justiceto the exercise, Lata. I liked the stylised presentation. The only thing I would suggest is brightening the phtograph a bit using an editor.
    Thanks for joining me.


Welcome and thank you for taking time to drop by.
I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.