There is this humongous mysterious misty Eucalyptus filled jungle standing tall between civilized world and the habitat of savages. A jungle so immeasurably dense that the trees lost track of whose leaves were whose. Darkness and densness consumed all the greens and golden rays of the sun. They say the sun never blazes over there and the moon is always curled up in darkness like a phantom in the forest.
My curious eyes tried to penetrate the jungle and see what lies on the other side. All my unsuccessful attempts left me with some burning questions:
Do their damsels get deliriously happy and dance barefoot on the moonlit sand seeing and touching the burst of colors from the deep purple beans grown in their gardens?
Like us, do they make those drop dead gorgeous pile of Amber split lentil Halwa in Spring evenings?
Like us, do they savor tea in every single Magnolia-morning to warm up their stiff souls?
Do their grandmas hold the precious babies on the lap under the far away stars and whisper lullaby in their ears?
Do they, in a high heated noon, after the rain, watch the rainbow rising from the horizon while enjoying some Pomegranate-pearl studded Apple salad?
Do their fish cutlets flood with a luster of gold like ours?
Does their version of wildly luxurious coconut-carrot soup smell like sweet dreams?
Do they worship soul-foods in their cold, blue, lonely, chilly days like we do?
Back then I was 16 and I already figured out a world full of urban sleepwalkers where nobody was actually awake. A world full of churning hatred, human heart like verbal firing squad, bitter suspicions… A world busy with mocking, angry talk, spreading vicious debate, heated conversations….
I’d be better off in the jungle. So, I surrendered to this dark, seductive, irresistible allure …. I crossed the jungle. I met the habitat who has chosen exile. And I spotted their emerald island. It was unearthly.
There were color and beauty everywhere. Smooth black skin, ruby red Hibiscus tucked in the hair, saffron shirts, peacock blue sarees. White hearts.
They wore more color and happiness than these Persimmons.
The said ‘savages’ did not howl, leap, spun, and made horrid faces at me. They were just a small clan of tribal people who cares-a-damn about so called modern civilization and happily decided to dwell into the woods.
They treated me as one of their own with some Orange-Shrimp. Sweet, earthy scent intoxicated my senses. It made me lose my mind. It carried me to the other side of paradise instantly.
Every inch of that bowl, every particle of the ingredients was filled with warmth. And this dish sent me into full-throttle bliss.
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion, garlic, ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes. (Couple of green chilies will also do)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Steamed rice, for serving
* In a saucepan, saute onion, garlic, ginger, chili in olive oil for 5 minutes. Pour juice. Bring it to a boil. Add shrimps. Simmer over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes.
* Season with salt and sugar.
* Garnish with parsley and serve with rice.
Heat, sweetness, tartness, beauty and inherent likability are all at play into one single dish. But It was not the quantity of the dishes but the cheerfulness of the hosts which made the feast.
With each step back towards the civilized world, I must digest the brutal fact: those colorful characters do not spend their income on war and guns. Only hunting and survival tactics they practice which they Inherited from their ancestors. They do not exhibit the savage practice of killing each other off; they are erudite savages who labor hard for peace.
The latticework of love all over that place reveals another brutal truth: those barbarous people are not a part of our savagery-wrapped civilization. They are beautiful, mythical ; straight out of a Novel.
Those ‘savages’ will overflow their guests with kindness even if they cordially dislike them. We bombard who we dislike.
Love shrimp with citrus. Hope you have been well.
Who wouldn’t love this dish? 🙂 Me doing great, thanks, sweetheart 🙂 Hope things are good with you as well.
Very beautiful pictures Nusrat; beautiful serve-ware and beautiful food, every thing is so good.
Hello and welcome, dear Zaina. Thanks a bunch for stopping by and leaving such a heart-warming comment. God bless.
You are such a talented photographer and I was so excited to see the first image again. I noticed you’d entered the International Food Photography Day competition, such fun!
Thank you for making my day with your kind compliment, sweetheart! Welcome to my humble platform where I do whatever the hell I wanna do 🙂
Thank you, doll-face 🙂
another Great post with awesome photographs. Thanks for share
Thank you for stopping by, Rohan 🙂
I always admire your photos. All these shots are just amazing. Everyone says – “Look at me”. Hope you are doing well my dear.
How may I thank you, dearie, for such kind words? Many thanks for stopping by. Hugs.
You are a poetess! All those gorgeous images reveals how skilled you are as a food stylist and photographer. What you do is art all the way… It is breathtaking!
I am thankful for your great work and for you share all with us. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m touched and flattered! Only a beautiful soul can compliment in such a beautiful way. Thank you, my beautiful darling, for stopping by and making my day. Hugs.
Simply awesome.. Just outstanding..
Thanks a ton, Zubair 🙂
Amazing photography ❤
Thank you, Jaan 🙂
As always, beautiful as a dream. You have an excellent sense of colour and light.
Thank you, doll-face 🙂
😍😍😍😍😍 out of the world
Mouth-watering photos blended into a fictitious story of a clan of tribal people. Great work indeed! You’re a hell of a writer plus food photographer. I bet you’re a helluva cook too.
Are you planning to kill me with your kindness, Shamim? 🙂
Once again, you hit the trifecta: Superb pictures, outstanding writing, terrific recipe. Thanks so much for this!
Thanks a ton! HUGE compliment indeed! Loved to have you come by, dear John 🙂
I don’t know what to write, how to compliment the artist in you. It won’t be enough. There’s a great dreamer in you and you really know how to make others follow your dreams. Keep inspiring. Lots of love. God bless you dear.
God bless you more! And I’m so blessed to be in the circle of an incredible photographer like yourself. Your images are full of positive energies. YOU are an inspiration. Stay exactly the way you are. Love.
wow very beautiful ❤️
Thanks, Rimi darl 🙂
Fresh and colorful view …. and I am sure that it was tasty too
Tasty as a shrimp dish can be 🙂 Do try it and see for yourself. Thanks for the comment.
Excellent article!!! Very beautiful pictures!!!
Thank you so very much! God bless.
Nusrat, These photos are amazing (as always). Meaningful narrative and superb/decadent recipe. 🙂 Fae.
Thanks a ton for takin time in reading. Love and hugs.
I love the moodiness of some of the shots as well as the beautiful clarity of others too! 😀
Thank you kindly 🙂 Hugs.
Gorgeous food styling, I am super impressed with your Pomegranate-pearl studded Apple salad photo. Shrimp dish is simple yet loaded with lots of favor.
Glad you like what I did here 🙂 Your compliment means a lot, dear Norma. Take care of your precious self.
when I visit your web I feel like I’m dreaming ❤
How sweet ❤ Thanks for stopping by, sweety 🙂
Loved the dish! You are so talented! It is always a pleasure to read your read your cooking blog, especially the stories that you have to go with the dishes:)
Thank you for your kind words, dear friend. I’m touched. God bless.
your photography is absolutely wonderful as is your writing it is a pleasure finding your site
Hello and Welcome to my world. Thanks for giving me such a lovely compliment. Please stay in touch.
As usual, a beautiful post! The photos look gorgeous 😀
Thank you, sweetheart, for coming by 🙂
Dreams, soul food are the living pleasure.. how can you capture these in your frame?? are you an angel or something? ❤ ❤ ❤ Beautiful post!!
I’m just an ordinary human full of horrible imperfections 🙂 Thank you, little darling, for always being there for me. Your words always melt my heart. Kisses.
আমার আদরের রাজকন্যা, তোমার অপূর্ব লোভনীয় খাবারের ছবি দেখে মন্তব্য করার ভাষা হারিয়ে ফেলেছি। কি করে পারো তুমি? এমন রান্না, এমন লেখা, এমন ছবি তোলা? সত্যি! সেটা তুমি বলেই সম্ভব। অনেক অনেক শুভকামনা ও আদর!
I’m everything I am because of fabulous friends like YOU! Thanks for all your love, warmth, support and friendship. I’m blessed to have you in my circle.
What beautiful photographs, Nusrat. I wish I could do half as well as you do with the camera. We’d love this shrimp curry at our place.
I’m honored to have you here, Your Excellency 🙂 You just made my day. I find your photography honest, sponteneous and well-presented. In fact, I was inspired to do food photography after seeing yours. Thank you for being my inspiration ❤ May God bless you every single time you breathe ❤
just love this….
Thanks a bunch 🙂
awesome. wanna have more recipe from you
Sure thing! Hugs 🙂
I would die to create the lighting of the Purple bean photo. 🙂 How long did it take you to create the perfect light?
The apple salad idea is simply magnificent! I would not want to eat from it though. It should remain unadulterated on the dinning table, like a towered symphony of temptation.
The recipe itself is very unique. I have yet to try shrimp with orange. But the amazingly bright colored curry would make anyone wonder, how heavenly it would taste!
I know it has been some time since I visited your blog. But I can see you haven’t slacked a single bit in mesmerizing the world with your creative lineament. To me, creative conceptions are a better way of appreciating nature, than the traditional methods like praying. Because one has to employ the gift one received to observe and acknowledge, and then share the beauty with those who are not so lucky, to enable them to recognize the wonder as well. I feel, you are doing this in an impressively beautiful manner. Thank you. 🙂
Thank YOU, Kowshik, for the wonderful, superb words! How happy I am to see you here again! Please stay in touch and keep inspiring me to do better what I love doing: food photography. Love ❤
Everything looks divine as always. You never disappoint.
Thank you, dear Cathy! I’m grateful for all your support and inspiration ❤
Gorgeous pictures, especially the one of the persimmons and the curry.
A tasty dish! Perfect.
Thank you! Those words mean a lot coming from an astonishingly talented photographer! ❤
So many stunning images. I love the thinly sliced apples all stacked up into a tower. And what a gorgeous recipe xx
Thanks Charlie ! Happy to hear from you. Hugs ❤
oh wow nusrat! Why have I only discovered your blog now?!
I was inspired by your post and you transported and lured me into another charming and mysterious world.
I am longing for shrimp curry now.
Any chance you would be visiting Dallas anytime soon, hon? I would cook you orange-shrimp with love and pleasure 🙂 …. Many thanks for those kind words ❤
Just can’t move my eyes away from this beautiful and stunning place of yours..
Welcome my lovely! Thanks a ton for stopping by. Let’s stay in touch 🙂
Was going through al other posts of yours and I am amused that you have replied to each and every comments that you have got.. even 100s of them..hats of to you.
Thank you, sweetheart, for spending so much of your precious time on my posts 🙂
My friends take time to browse my posts, they inspire me, they send me love and support on a regular basis. And I’m grateful to each of them. Replying to their comments doesn’t have any side effect; what’s the worst that could happen if I send them back some love and ‘thank you’? 🙂
তোমার এত ভাল ছবি দেইখ্যা
কয়দিন আগে ফেসবুক কমেন্টে তোমারে
কেউ হুমকি দিছিল – গুলি করবে কইরা;
আমায় ও দেখি
একখান বন্দুক কেনা লাগে 😀
Sure thing! Why not? 😀
hehehe – stay alive with your beautiful photography
Asslamoalaikum Nusrat Darling!!
What a brilliant post it is!
Mind blown. ❤
Recipe is so damn easy and shrimp curry- tantalising!!
may Allah swt bless you with the best , always- ameen! 🙂
Walaikum Assalam! Thank you, my love, for all those beautiful words. Stay blessed ❤
I’ve said this many times and I will say this again, your writing just transforms me to another beautiful world. You create magic with words and photography, which by the way is dreamy.
Now, this recipes is very delicious sounding. yummy curry with orange juice, wow. I am going to try this one and it looks so easy. I can’t look past your stunning pictures Nusrat.
It’s my pleasure to be your friend and an honor to read the beautiful writing. hugs.
Such kind words! Only a BEAUTIFUL human inside-out can deliver such warmth and kindness. Thanks, my love, for stopping by. Kisses.
Breathtaking… simply breathtaking. Thank you for sharing this satisfying visual/verbal journey, and for the recipe, too! xo
Me enchanted seeing you here, dear Poetess! Love you tons 🙂
I made your orange shrimp for dinner one night and it transported me to your story and stunning photos. (Didn’t have a camera yet, or I would’ve shared a photo of mine.) It was absolutely fabulous! (The food, not the would-be photo, lol!) Thank you, Nusrat.
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Glad you liked it and thanks for giving it a try. Why do you always have to kill me with your kind compliments over my photos?! I’m just an ordinary human who happens to own a decent camera and a pair of curious eyes 🙂
Your curious eyes (and the result of looking through them, truly “seeing,” and aiming your camera accurately to depict what you “see” to the world) make me smile. Can’t help it! 😉
Awesome is the only word! What a beautiful photography – writing! 🙂
Thanks, darl. Welcome to my blog. Hugs and love.
it’s mouthwatering and again my disappointment due to my love with cholesterol. however, visual satisfaction causes no harm and would love to see more. thanks a lot for such a nice blog, keep it up!
Thank you kindly! 🙂
Your photos are so beautiful. I’m going to try to learn from you… wow!
Thanks, love ❤ Took a stroll at your blog. And I will…again…its full of salad recipes. girl you're amazing!
you’re too kind!