[Food-india] How did you learn to cook Indian?
[Indrajeet] In India it is very rare that men cook at home. I didn’t really ever cook at home, but I do remember watching my mother who is an exceptional cook. I moved to the United States and was faced with the task of making a meal for myself. When I finally started making a meal, I remembered exactly what my mother did from watching her. When I realized I was good at it, I started experimenting more. It’s easy when you have no money to eat out and lots of time.
[Food-india] Who are some of your favorite food blogs and websites?
[Indrajeet] Allrecipies.com , Aayisrecipes.com , Sindhirasoi.com, the-cooker.blogspot.com
[Food-india] What is your favorite Indian meal to cook at home for yourself and for entertaining friends and family?
[Indrajeet] My favourite Indian meals to cook at home are: Idli-Sambar, Tandoori Chicken, Mutton Biryani, Sabudana Khichadi, Prawn Khichadi.
[Food-india] What is your other favorite Indian meal that you like to eat but not good at making?
[Indrajeet] The food I love eating but am not that good at making is Indian Chinese, especially Chicken Manchurian.
[Food-india] What are other types foods you like?
[Indrajeet] Other types of food I like are Mexican, Afghan, Turkish and Thai.
[Food-india] Your food photographs are amazing. Would you like to say something about the food photography?[Indrajeet] I am a great fan of food photography. The visual appearance of food is just as important as the taste of the food itself. As such, I am also a big fan of plating. It’s like using the plate as a canvas and having beautiful food installations on a plate. Even the most mundane food can look interesting when plated and presented properly. This is something I strive for when photographing food.
For a few years, I had Kraft Foods as my client and I learnt a lot about food presentation and photography from the experience. However, it’s hard to work on Kraft’s million-dollar photography budget when doing it your own kitchen, so I try to make the best out of whatever I have available to me. Shifting from film cameras to digital has been very liberating for amateur photographers like me. It helps me experiment and see the results instantly. I use a Nikon D-80 camera and prefer using soft natural light. I rarely use artificial lighting as even the slightest shadow translates and changes the look of the food. And except for the minor brightness or contrasts adjustments, I prefer to leave the photos unprocessed.
Of course, just like cooking, photography is something I enjoy very much and I find it to be extremely relaxing.