This Vishnu temple stands as a testimony of great Indian art & architecture. It was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 A.D.
This is the cover for a photo-journal that I have put together. I have it in the Apple book store and will be available on amazon within a week. It is about 84 pages or should I say 42 full-page spread of just photography. I have depicted both the inside and outside of this temple.
Take a tour with me and see this temple through my eyes. I shot the entire place with only the available light. The insides had absolutely no lights, the only available light was the day-light streaming in from the windows and doors of the magnificent masterpiece.
For those interested, I will give you more links and information. I am thinking of giving portions of the earning to the needy cause, I just haven’t decided which cause it will be, so please stay tuned.
As I drove along Ocean parkway in Long Island, N.Y. which is a thin strip of land along the ocean, I could see the sun setting and this is what I captured which I am sharing with you. This a place I frequent even in the winter to find my center.
I hope you can get the feeling I got that evening as I watched the sun go down that evening.
A sari is the attire of an Indian woman ranging for simple cotton to elaborate silks with gold and silver treads. The Sari usually are about 4 feet wide and 6-9 feet long. And if you look closely the way its worn differs from region to region. And if you understand the nuances of style you can tell where they are from and of course the quality dictates the status and place in society.
I have sectioned the ingredients based on the way it is put together. So treat each section independently. It will all make sense when you put it together.
I lb. Firm tofu
¾ to 1 lemon juice
1 to 1½ tsp. sea salt or to taste
1 to 2 tsp. of hot red chilly pepper powder for the marinate
1 to 2 tsp. olive oil for brushing before grilling
10-12 small sweet peppers (select different colors)
5 ripe tomatoes-ripe of the vine
3Tsp. olive oil
1 large red capsicum (bell pepper)
5-6 cloves of whole garlic
Salt to taste
Spices for the sauce- to be bloomed in hot oil
1 stick of cinnamon
4 whole cloves
⅛ tsp. cardamom seeds
Grind all 3 in a dry coffee grinder
After it is ground use about ¼ tsp. for this recipe and save the extra in a small container.
1 to 1½ Tsp. of ground spices combine
Red chilly pepper powder
All equal proportions
A pinch to turmeric
For finishing sauce
½ tsp. black mustard seeds
½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
1 small onion sliced
If you don’t have these spices use either a curry powder or chilly powder. Use the one you are familiar with so that you know how much to add.
2 tsp. pureed fresh coconut (you could use the frozen coconut puree or canned unsweetened coconut milk)
Sprigs of fresh coriander leaves, you can substitute with parsley if you like.
2 or 3 Thai green peppers optional
Marinating your tofu
Drain you tofu, try to get out as much liquid as possible. The best way to do this is to place your tofu between two plates and place some thing heavy on the plate on top to weigh it down, this squeezes out the liquid. I placed a pot with water and placed in the sink for about 2 hours then wrapped with several paper towels and place it for several hours in the refrigerator for about 12 hours or over night.
P.S. Intermittently change the paper towels replacing with fresh dry ones.
After most of the liquid is out, break the tofu into bite size chunks and add Lemon juice 1-1½ tsp. salt, 1-2 tsp. spoons of hot chilly pepper powder and marinate over night. You can add the small peppers too. An hour before grilling skewers the small sweet peppers and tofu and set aside.
Score an X on the bottom of the tomatoes brush with oil and place in a F350° pre-heated oven along with 2 whole onion with the skin. In a small ramekin place your cloves of garlic with 1 Tsp. of olive oil. Roast them for about 25 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the garlic do not allow it to get too dark. A blonde color is what you want. When you get the aroma of roasted garlic remove from oven.
Preparing your Red bell pepper
Take you red bell pepper and char it over an open flam. Allow the whole pepper to get black. After the whole pepper is black place in a covered small pot for about 5 minutes. Remove and rub your fingers over the charred pepper and remove the skin. Try not puncture the pepper. Very carefully remove the entire charred shin. After you have cleaned it remove the stalk and seeds. I usually clean it in a small container to collect the juices after the skin is removed, then strain it and add it to the roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic.
After you remove the tomatoes and onions out of the oven peel off the skin of both the tomatoes and the onion. Place tomatoes, onion, garlic and cleaned bell pepper in a food processor and jog it several time for the sauce and set aside. This makes it a chunky sauce.
Seasoning for the sauce
Slice 1 onion for sautéing. Heat about 1 Tsp. of oil, when it is hot toss in the mustard seed, wait until it crackles, once you hear it stop crackling add the cumin seeds. After about 10 seconds add the sliced onions and sauté until it is nice and golden brown. Remove from pan and place in a tea strainer to allow excess oil to drain out. In the same pan add the strained oil to1½ Tsp. of olive oil, when hot add all your ground spices and allow it to bloom. This takes just a few seconds, at the most 15-20 seconds in hot oil.
P.S. It is very important to have sufficient oil while blooming the spices. So if you have less oil add a tsp. or so. Spices bloom well when there is sufficient fat.
Now putting the whole dish together
Place the sauce-tomatoes, onion garlic and bell pepper that were jogged in the food processor on a low flame and bring to a simmer. After about 5 minutes add the bloomed spices and blend in your coconut puree. Finish off the sauce with the sautéed onions, mustard and cumin seeds.
Finally if you like a zing of hotness cut your Thai hot green peppers and sprinkle around. This is optional.
While the sauce is simmering place your skewered tofu and peppers on a grill spray or brush with some oil. About 2 minutes on each side should be sufficient.
Liberally ladle your sauce on to the plate and place your grilled Tofu and peppers and serve with brown rice.
Use coriander or parsley as a garnish. You may finely chop and sprinkle over the plated dish.
If you have any questions please contact me and I will be more that happy to clarify things for you. You may email me, I have a contact page.
Since you got this far…..Congratulation, bon appetit !!!
The colors will awaken ones appetite, now its the skillful blending of these flavors that take it to the next level. I can imagine tasting it. What about you…..have any ideas? I’d LOVE to hear yours!!!