Yep. It's the lighting. Photos taken during daylight hours turn out much better than photos like the one above, taken after dark.
(Note to self: future cooking show to be named Blue's Cooking... After Dark.)
Also not the best choice to serve peas on a pea-green plate.
But look at those idlis! Let it NEVER be said that I cannot steam an idli. Ignore the fact that they're a little larger than traditional idlis and focus on the fact that I jury-rigged my own idli steamer using tea saucers.