Thursday, 14 April 2011

Perfect Skin in PS and Tikka massala!

One of the problems I have had when photographing models is that they don't always have perfect skin, this also goes for portraits of people, I have tried different methods of achieving nice smooth skin, one method is to use gaussian blur but I have never been really satisfied with the results.
For this shot I used MEDIAN.
First of all I copied the entire layer and pasted onto a new one.
I then masked off the eyes.
Then from the drop down menu I selected filters-noise-median,
I used a value of 2 pixels on this shot.
Next I chose layers-blending options-soft light.
Flattened the image and cleaned up any blemishes.
While the end result is not perfect I find that it works better than Gausian Blur.

Well that was short but sweet so here is a recipe for chicken tikka massala that is very nice and a piece of piss to make, for heavens sake even I can make it.

Marinating the Chicken:

3-4 boneless chicken breasts, skins removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
250g thick natural yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Skewers, If using wooden skewers completely submerge them in water for approx. 30 minutes. This will stop them from

catching fire while grilling.

Tomato Gravy:

250g canned cocktail tomatoes
250g heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 red chilies, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika powder
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
Handful of coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper


Mix all of the ingredients for the marination in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix until the chicken is nicely coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Or for at least a couple of hours.
On the next day, either prepare your charcoal grill or heat up the grill function of your oven to high.
Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers, discarding the marinade. Grill the chicken evenly on all sides, until juices run clear - approx. 5-10 minutes.
To prepare the gravy, heat a large pan to medium and melt the ghee or butter. Sauté the garlic and chopped chilies and coriander until fragrant, about a minute or 2. Sprinkle the ground cumin, paprika powder and a pinch of salt.
Sauté for a further minute or two until the mixture turns into a paste-like texture.
Pour in the canned tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it and to release any bits stuck to the pan.
Simmer uncovered for approx. 10-15 minutes on low heat until the sauces begins to thicken, then add the grilled chicken pieces and cream. Simmer for a further 7-10 minutes, thickening the sauce further and to heat the chicken and cream through.

Serve sprinkled with fresh chopped coriander leaves and with steamed Basmati rice, fresh naans and pickles.

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