Tandoori chicken glammed up. The making of the The Times Life shoot

If you remember I had written that there was more to the story when I wrote about the pesto pomfret recently.

Well the second half of the story played out yesterday.

It started first with the tweets and texts and fb mails that I got from across the country and then the newspapers were finally delivered at our place.


The story Times Life did on us was out. On the front page.

I was overwhelmed with the messages, calls and wishes coming in. Blog page views tripled. Friendship requests, follower counts went up. I realised that a front page Times Life release in media terms possibly has the same impact as using Tendulkar as your brand ambassador.

Oh yes, we in the social media do love the big daddies of mass media. Specially at times like this.

So thanks Ismat, Anuja and the team at the Times.

There were three of us at the shoot.

There was Maria Goretti, whose terrace we shot at. I’ve been reading her blog for a while and she writes some pretty powerful stuff along with the stories of her bakes and cooks. Her recent posts have been from the cooking course she attended at Europe.

This is the link to Maria’s blog. Maria was the perfect host that afternoon. Very warm and did not make me feel bad at all about my being 45 minutes late in reaching. 


(It’s Karmakar without an ‘r’ by the way)

Maria had grilled some beautiful chicken and even vegetables which looked so tempting and introduced me to roasted garlic cloves. Her piece de resistance was, the dessert that is the darling of Mumbai these days, a many layered moist & scrumptious red velvet cake.

 IMG_0723 IMG_0738 Maria Goretti's red velvet cake

Another blogger whom I met for the first time was Kajal Tejsinghani. Her blog is called Aapplemint. I checked out Kajal’s blog before coming to the shoot. I knew that the feature was on photography and as I saw the exquisite stratospheric photos on her blog I wondered why they had contacted me for the same feature! The pics Kajal takes are in a different league.

As is the cooking Maria dishes out on her blog.


Kaajal had got some really cherubic chubby chocolate chip muffins. She also put together a beautifully balanced Oriental salad. Those things always photograph so well. And taste exquisite too.

The oriental saladIMG_0731  chocoate cupcakes

I got the pesto pomfret for the shoot.

pesto pomfret

Apart from the fish I had made some tandoori chicken as well. A politically safe meat, which made it to the cover.

I dressed it up a bit for the shoot and thought I’ll share the secret for making ‘good looking’ tandoori chicken at home.

Well it’s primarily the redness that one aimed for and I used Kashmiri mirch for that and the Mediterranean spice, sumac. The sumac adds to the redness without making the dish hotter. And a touch of extra virgin oil brushed on for a bit of glitter to make the earthy chicken fashion shoot friendly.

glammed up tandoori chicken

Here’s the recipe:
  • Marinade: 3 tablespoons of curd, 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chilli powder, 1 teaspoon sumac, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 chicken legs. ‘Score’ the chicken – slash with a knife on both sides. This ensures that the masala goes in and the slashed surface looks that much more dramatic. Apply the marinate on the chicken
  • Preheat the oven for 10 min at 200 C.
  • Place the chicken on a grilling rack and put it into the oven. Sprinkle some sumac and chilli on the upper surface of the legs
  • Roast for 35 min at 200 C
  • That’s it. Brush on a film of extra virgin olive oil if you plan to photograph the chicken. Adds to the glam quotient
  • I plated the chicken with a salad of corn, mushroom, mint leaves, cherry tomatoes, capsicum seasoned in sumac to build to the colour theme

    3/ 10/ 12 Here's a cooking video which I later did on the India Food Network for Tandoori chicken
 IMG_0693IMG_0692 IMG_0700 tandoori chicken

Anuja, the photographer, completed the shoot very quickly and then we dug into all the beautiful and delicious food.

IMG_0715 IMG_0721 IMG_0743

One person from the feature whom we missed that afternoon is my twitter friend from Bangalore, Monika Manchanda. Her food blog is called Sinamon Tales. She’s now taken her blogging to the next level as she retails her bakes and conducts some pretty popular cooking classes too.


Thanks once again to everyone who has written in, messaged, congratulated us on the feature.

Yes, I have not stopped grinning since yesterday morning.

This is the link to the e paper with the article and this is the text link.