Author: yudhikayumyum

About yudhikayumyum

About Yudhika Sujanani Gorgeous celebrity chef, author and personality Yudhika is best-known for her designer heels and signature curry dishes but this “Curry Queen of Bling” is not exclusively focused on Indian cuisine. She uses her extensive knowledge and experience to masterfully create innovative flavours and food combinations. With a passion for food and zest for life, Yudhika believes food and cooking not only nourishes the also nourishes the spirit. Simple foods prepared in a flash are her key focus. With an incredibly busy schedule she insists on home cooked meals so the meals have to be spicy but not hot, fresh, zingy and packed with loads of flavour and fresh, seasonal ingredients. Experimenting with food is her creative outlet, guaranteed to cheer her up. Her mother was a professional chef and Yudhika could be found in hotel kitchens from her early teens. In grade seven she got her first job as an assistant in the Chantecler Hotel kitchen in Durban, but was happy to do anything, so long as she could be around good food and learn the ropes of the industry. After fulfilling her dream of owning her own restaurant, which was a runaway success, she turned her attention to more innovative ways of sharing and selling food. She started the highly acclaimed Curry Club, an idea born out of her love of entertaining that raised money for the Starfish Foundation at the same time. Yudhika has authored two recipe books, ‘Curry Me Home’ and ‘Curry Me Home again’, and will be releasing a third book mid-2012. Her ‘Curry Me Home’ complementary range of spices, available in a number of SPAR retailers country-wide, provide the foundation for many of her dishes (Red Chilli Powder, Ground Cumin, Ground Coriander, Garam Masala) and are roasted and blended according to her own recipes (Magic Masala, Nan’s Lazy Day Masala, Balti Blast, Balti Sprinkle). To add to her list of achievements, she was also honoured as an AMC Cookware ambassador in 2012. She lives in Fourways, Johannesburg with her fiance, Rob L'Etang, her three children and two Afghan hounds.

Asian Beef Short Rib…Sugar & Spice recipes

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika - Asian Beef Short Rib served with Coconut Rice

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika – Asian Beef Short Rib served with Coconut Rice

I have a big heart for South East Asian flavors….lemongrass, coriander, coconut and chilli. On Sugar & Spice last week, I showcased these flavors dedicating an entire episode to highlight the delicious cuisine.

On the menu, a slow cooked Asian Beef Short Rib with a fragrant home-made paste, slowly simmered in coconut milk and to go with that a lightly scented coconut rice, dotted with peas. If you are short on time, the beef rib can be prepared in an AMC Speedcooker but remember to reduce the liquid to prevent the sauce turning into a soup….during the show, I used a normal pot…when I say normal I mean I use a fabulous AMC pot for this and not a pressure cooker.

Don’t forget to catch the show on Dstv’s Home Channel 176 or you can tune into Mela on Sundays on SABC 2 for a weekly dose of delicious too!

Asian Style Beef Short Rib by Yudhika Sujanani  cooked with lemongrass, chilli, garlic and coconut milk

Asian Style Beef Short Rib by Yudhika Sujanani cooked with lemongrass, chilli, garlic and coconut milk

Asian Beef Short Rib


1kg beef short rib

For the paste:
2 inch piece of ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped (white parts only)
4 – 6 green chillies, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
5 cloves
45ml sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped

50ml sunflower oil
1 – 2 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
30ml red chilli powder
2,5ml turmeric
10ml coarse salt

8 lime leaves

500 – 600ml coconut milk
Coriander, to garnish

Place the cloves, chillies, onion, garlic, and ginger into a blender.
Process until smooth.

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC Pan.
Add the cinnamon sticks and bay leaf.
Once the whole spices are fragrant, add the fragrant paste.
Saute until the moisture evaporates.
Add the red chilli powder and turmeric.
Stir for 3 – 5 seconds, then add the beef short rib.
Coat the rib with the fried paste, scraping the pan to prevent burning.
Add the salt and stir well.
Pour in the coconut milk, add the lime leaves and loosen the spices that are stuck to the base of the pan.
Lower the heat and simmer until the beef is tender.
Once the beef is cooked through, simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens.
Place on a serving platter and garnish with fresh coriander.

Pea and Coconut Rice by Yudhika Sujanani

Pea and Coconut Rice by Yudhika Sujanani

Pea and Coconut Rice


50ml sunflower oil
45ml desiccated coconut
375ml basmati rice
600ml water
150ml coconut milk
Salt to season
250ml frozen peas
Coriander, to garnish

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC pot until warm (not hot).
Add the desiccated coconut and stir to heat.
Add the curry leaves and stir for a few seconds.
Stir the basmati rice into the fried coconut.
Add the water, coconut milk and salt.
Reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid.
Once the rice has steamed through, add the frozen peas and cover with a tight fitting lid.
Check the rice, ensuring it does not stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
Leave to stand for 2 – 3 minutes until heated through.
Garnish with fresh coriander.

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika: Almond Crusted Paneer

Yudhika prepares Almond Crusted Paneer on the Home Channel's  Sugar & Spice

Yudhika prepares Almond Crusted Paneer on the Home Channel’s Sugar & Spice

Caught up in the whirlwind of cooking classes, tv shoots and just amazing times, blogging sometimes takes a bit of a beating! I am back on track and please stay tuned to the blog, social media and the Home Channel to catch up on the latest episodes of Sugar & Spice on DSTV’s 176.

Here is a recipe from last week’s show, focusing on vegetarian meals! I marinated paneer in a tandoori style paste and patted on a handful of flaked almonds to form a crust…bake in a hot oven and serve with mint chutney! You have the perfect and quite unusual oven baked paneer.

Marinated Paneer crusted with flaked almonds ready for the oven....Sugar & Spice with Yudhika on the Home Channel

Marinated Paneer crusted with flaked almonds ready for the oven….Sugar & Spice with Yudhika on the Home Channel

Almond Crusted Paneer


4 litres full Cream Milk, preferably Clover
180ml white vinegar

Boil milk in a thick bottomed pot and stir continuously to prevent the milk from sticking.
Once the milk comes up to the boil, remove from the heat.
Pour the white vinegar around the pot and gently move the milk – do not stir.
If the mixture still looks milky, add a little more vinegar.
Leave aside for 30 minutes.
The curd should float to the top and form a thick layer.
Place the curd in a strainer and use the back of a spoon to press out the excess whey.
Tip the curd into a muslin cloth and mould it into a ‘cake’.
Place the paneer on a chopping board and place a large pot filled with water on top.
This will help the excess moisture drain away.
Leave to drain for 2 hours.
Place the paneer in a zip seal bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Yudhika’s tips:
Always use full cream milk when making paneer.
Leave the paneer on the draining board while it is being pressed – the whey can cause a mess.
If the paneer is too soft, leave it unwrapped in the refrigerator to firm up.

For the marinade

60ml chickpea flour
10ml Curry me Home Magic Masala or Indian Rub
20ml red chilli powder
2,5ml turmeric
5ml ajwain seeds (carom or lovage)
10ml garam masala
5ml ground black pepper
60ml fresh cream
50ml yoghurt

50g flaked almonds
Salt, to season
Sunflower oil, to drizzle

Place the spices, chickpea flour, yoghurt and cream into a bowl.
Stir well until the marinade is smooth.

Place a piece of baking paper onto a roasting pan or baking tray.
Drizzle with a little sunflower oil and spread two tablespoons of the marinade over the paper.
Place the paneer on top and coat in the remaining marinade.
Season with salt and gently press the flaked almonds over the marinade.
Drizzle with sunflower oil.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius for 12 minutes or until the paneer is golden brown.
Serve with mint chutney.

Spicing it up on Sugar & Spice…Saffron Apple Cake

Yudhika Sujanani's Portuguese episode on Sugar & Spice - DSTv 176

Yudhika Sujanani’s Portuguese episode on Sugar & Spice – DSTv 176

We are on the 5th episode of Sugar & Spice on DSTv’s Home Channel. I have been completely overwhelmed by the response and the emails and messages have been heart warming. Thanks to all of you for following the show and including some of my recipes in your cooking repertoire.

I do cook a fair bit of Indian dishes everyday, whether at Holi Cow or for my family…we love traditional Indian food but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the only cuisine that I prepare. Italian, Middle Eastern and Moroccan recipes are some of my favourites but also Portuguese cuisine! Portuguese food and I don’t mean the Nando’s type peri peri chicken, is popular and the Lusitoland festival shows just how popular it is.

On this season of Sugar & Spice, I have been stepping out of my curry zone and doing some of my other favourites with you…I challenged myself only allowing two Indian themed episodes. The team decided on Italian, Moroccan, Chocolate, Mediterranean, South East Asian and a whole episode dedicated to the love of chocolate!

This week features a Portuguese influenced Brazilian Pork and Bean stew with orange and cocoa….yes, it does sound a bit like a dessert and not a common combination for the South African palate but believe me, it does work like a charm. The Mozambican Style Prawns cooked in a buttery juice with onions, garlic and stock….and a Saffron Apple Cake with home-made custard!

We have the Portuguese to thank for making spices a part of global cuisine….and we also have them to thank for the Goan Indian Vindaloo….more about the Lamb Vindaloo later!

No matter what the theme is, the Home Channel together with Spar and AMC Cookware have given me an opportunity to share my love of all things spicy with you….it has been an amazing adventure so far and looking forward to the next season!

Yudhika's Saffron Apple Cake on The Home Channel

Yudhika’s Saffron Apple Cake on The Home Channel

Here is the recipe for the Saffron Apple Cake…this is a beautiful fruity cake and the appearance makes it impressive. You can use mixed spice, cloves, and cardamom to flavour the batter but I stuck to the classic cinnamon. For more recipes from Sugar & Spice, log onto and click on the food show tab.

Ready to serve...Yudhika's Saffron Apple Cake drizzled with home-made custard!

Ready to serve…Yudhika’s Saffron Apple Cake drizzled with home-made custard!

Saffron Apple Cake


Few strands of saffron
6 large Granny Smith Apples
15ml lemon juice
5 eggs, separated
225g butter
225g sugar
30ml ground almonds or coconut flour
370g cake flour
185ml full cream milk, room temperature
15ml baking powder
5ml vanilla paste or essence
5ml cinnamon
Pinch of salt

30ml sugar
Icing sugar, to dust cake

Pre-heat oven to 170 degree celsius.
Grease and line a 10 inch loose bottomed cake tin.

Heat the saffron strands in a dry pan for 30 seconds or microwave for 10 seconds.
Leave the saffron to cool and then crush lightly with your fingertips.
Peel and core the apples.
Cut the apples in half and slice thinly.
Lightly toss in the lemon juice to prevent the apples from discolouration.

Beat the egg whites until foamy and gradually add 15ml of from the 225g of weighed sugar until stiff.

Cream the butter until light in colour and gradually add the sugar.
Continue beating until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks with a teaspoon of flour and beat for a few seconds
Add the almond or coconut flour.
Gradually add the flour alternating with milk.
Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, crushed saffron and salt.
Beat well until the batter is smooth.
Lastly fold in half the stiffly beaten egg whites to ‘loosen’ the batter.
Fold in the remaining egg whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth with a spatula.
Arrange the apples starting out at the centre and angling each piece working in an outward concentric pattern so its starts to look like a flower.
Use the smaller pieces to fill in the gaps – do not press the apple slices deep into the pastry. The should have a raised appearance.
Sprinkle 30ml sugar over the apples and bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and shrinks away from the side of the tin.
Leave to cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Serve with home made custard.

French Style Custard

250ml fresh cream
5ml vanilla paste
2 egg yolks
70ml sugar

Heat the cream with vanilla paste, stirring continuously to prevent it from scorching.
Once the cream comes to the boil, place the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar into a paste and pour the hot cream over – this is an important step, do not add the eggs into the hot cream as this will cause the eggs to scramble.
Whisk the mixture and pour back into the pot.
Place the pot back on low heat and whisk continuously until the custard thickens.
Remove from the heat.
Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
Serve drizzled over the sliced saffron apple cake.

My first article for UN Empower Women….

Firing up entrepreneurial spirit....

Firing up entrepreneurial spirit….

I wrote my first article for the United Nations Empower Women organisation. Life takes us on some extraordinary journeys and I was on one of my adventures when I met Anna Falth from the New York office. I am still pinching myself to be given the chance and amazing opportunities to contribute and share my journey, which hopefully can inspire, encourage and motivate.

Here is the link to my first piece, my contribution, my story…hope you enjoy the read.

Feast, Pray, Love…#1 Persian Pleasures in Kensington

Yudhika's Feast Pray Love in Kensington at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Yudhika’s Feast Pray Love in Kensington at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Feast, Pray, Love are three words that best describe what my life is all about…I celebrate through feasting and when I pray, it isn’t with a long list of things I need or want, it’s to be thankful…taking time to count every one of my blessings which makes me love life more everyday. Love…the most beautiful gift of all, what would life be without those we love and treasure!

Whether I am working, doing a show, or just being with my family…I feast, I pray and I love fiercely! The idea of putting together the ‘FPL’ section to my blog has been on my mind for ages, like coffee…my ideas keep percolating! Through my journey, highs and lows….I am learning to be kind to myself and forgiving too.

I love to travel, see new places and experience different cultures…on the 15th May this year, just a stroke past midnight, I was tapped lightly on my shoulder by an air hostess on SAA, waking me up to my birthday and a bottle of Taittinger Rose…it was a toast to new beginnings and what better way to kick off a new year with an adventure in London…with an exciting new project on the cards, the city was my oyster. I threw back my champagne and fell into the most delicious sleep.

The Iranian/Persian influenced stores on Kensington's High Street with Yudhika Sujanani

The Iranian/Persian influenced stores on Kensington’s High Street with Yudhika Sujanani

I had a bit of free time and took a walk down Kensington’s High Street which led me to a little pocket of Iranian supermarkets, green grocers and restaurants. I love Iranian food and Jozi seems to have lost Apadana, the only place I knew that made a good Fesenjun…which is chicken cooked in pomegranate molasses and walnuts. There is also an Apadana restaurant in Kensington. I popped into Zaman, the Iranian Supermarket…the store is crammed with everything from fresh and dried fruit, Persian sweets like cashew nut baklava, macaroons and something that looks like Indian jalebi to Iranian caviar…and spices. The Iranian community are pedantic about the quality of dried fruit, nuts and the saffron is fabulous.

Pomegranates...a persian must have ingredient

Pomegranates…a persian must have ingredient

Brightly coloured, juicy pomegranate rubies...the perfect walkabout snack on High Street #yudhikayumyum

Brightly coloured, juicy pomegranate rubies…the perfect walkabout snack on High Street #yudhikayumyum

Persian Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Persian peaches….at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Iranian Caviar...sights and sounds on High Street, Kensington with Yudhika Sujanani

Iranian Caviar…sights and sounds on High Street, Kensington with Yudhika Sujanani

The Iranian stores seem to be more like old-fashioned family run businesses. The fresh fruit display outside the store is inviting, colourful and very old school….bright pomegranate rubies are sold in little cups which make the perfect walkabout snack. There are also persian peaches, glossy deep coloured cherries, fresh herbs and veggies. For a Persian experience outside Iran, I recommend taking a stroll through this part of Kensington, it’s not only a feast for food explorers but for the eyes too!

The end of a High Street adventure...Yudhika Sujanani - May 2015

The end of a High Street adventure…Yudhika Sujanani – May 2015

I have been working on recipes for the Post Newspaper’s with Ramadan in mind and it’s the perfect opportunity to splash out with my saffron…here is my version of a Persian dish called Koresht-e-Mast which is chicken cooked with yoghurt and saffron. How can I best describe this dish…it’s almost a curry and also described as a Persian stew…a stew??? This is way too exotic and fragrant to be compared to stew…cumin, coriander, red chilli, teamed with fresh orange juice and finished with yoghurt. The dish is lightly spiced, aromatic and creamy. I used the Spar branded double thick yoghurt for this recipe as I find this one doesn’t split or curdle.

Yudhika's version of Persian style Koresht-e-Mast

Yudhika’s version of Persian style Koresht-e-Mast

Persian style Chicken – Koresht-e Mast

Serves 6 – 8


2,5ml saffron strands
50ml boiled water
1,6kg chicken thighs and drumsticks
45ml sunflower oil
1 bay leaf
2 onions, finely sliced
2,5ml salt
3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
10ml crushed ginger
10ml crushed garlic
10ml red chilli powder
10ml ground cumin
10ml ground coriander
2,5ml ground cardamom
500ml boiled water
2 stock cubes
Juice of 1 orange
6 sprigs fresh thyme
200ml Spar Double Thick Greek yoghurt
1 egg
30ml cold water
20ml Magic Masala, if you have…this is from my Curry Me Home range of spice

Sunflower oil, to brown chicken
Black pepper, to season
Fresh thyme to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the saffron strands in a dry pan or microwave for a few seconds.
Crush the saffron using your fingertips and place in a little bowl.
Pour the boiled water over the saffron and leave aside to infuse.
Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC Gourmet Roaster.
Add the bay leaf and fry until fragrant.
Add the sliced onions with the salt and saute until pale golden in colour.
Stir the celery sticks into the fried onion and saute until they soften.
Add the crushed ginger and garlic.
Place the chicken into the fried onion and stir well to coat.
Sprinkle the red chilli, ground cumin, coriander and cardamom over the chicken pieces.
Stir well to coat, pour in the boiled water and crumble the stock cubes into the pot.
Pour in the orange juice, add the fresh sprigs of thyme and saffron liquid.
Lower the heat and simmer until the chicken is tender.
Remove the chicken from the pan.
Heat an AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan and grease with non stick spray.
Place the cooked chicken in the pan with the skin side down, turning them often to ensure they brown evenly.
Remove from the pan once they are golden brown.

Whisk the yoghurt with egg and water.
Important step: Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the yoghurt mixture while whisking the sauce continuously – this prevents the sauce from splitting.
Add the Magic Masala – if you have some!
Simmer on low until the sauce thickens and then return the brown chicken to the pot.
Once the chicken heats through, season with black pepper and garnish with fresh thyme.
Serve with steamed basmati or pilau rice.

Sugar, spice and all things nice….Date Chocolate and Pecan Pie

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika Sujanani on DSTV's Home Channel 176

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika Sujanani on DSTV’s Home Channel 176

It’s been an eventful week with the first episode of a whole new season of Sugar ‘n Spice airing on The Home Channel. It’s pretty special because up until now, I have been doing short food inserts on Saffron TV, Great Expectations on Etv and appearing on SABC 2’s MELA! When the Home Channel approached me earlier this year, I was gobsmacked at their offer and thrilled to have my first very own show!

Taking it up a few notches from a food insert, it’s taken us 4 months to complete the series and it’s been a roller coaster ride with my family, team and the crew! I have once again been incredibly lucky to work with such amazing people from the Channel….big thanks to Michael Porter and Simphiwe Gamede, the crew…Africa Vezi and Sipho, who tolerated many crazy out take moments, takes and re-takes, and the awesome team at Holi Cow….for the early mornings, long nights, and my long prep sheets! And then, there are those special people who always find a moment in their day to send me a beautiful message of love and encouragement…thanks to my the people out there on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the food love and sharing my posts and links…thanks and thanks again! And my family, who I am most thankful for….what you see on telly isn’t just me, you see the team effort with me being the ‘front lady’ and that also includes the crazy make up artist/stylist…Stavroula Georgakis! Spar has once again sponsored our ingredients and AMC Cookware just keep me cooking in their fabulous pots! I just realized how big this team really is…it’s huge!

Episode one...Pecan pie with dates and chocolate by Yudhika Sujanani

Episode one…Pecan pie with dates and chocolate by Yudhika Sujanani

In the first episode, we spiced up old favourites…leftover butternut was recycled into a delicious salad with hazelnut dukkah and prawns, a french chicken casserole got a spicy makeover with saffron, chilli, cumin and coriander…and the classic pecan pie was turned into a chocolately one with dates too!

For more information and recipes from the show, check out The Home Channel’s website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter,

Yudhika's Sugar & Spice...check out the show times on DSTV's Channel 176

Yudhika’s Sugar & Spice…check out the show times on DSTV’s Channel 176

I first made this recipe for Eid last year. It’s fruity, crunchy, buttery and purely decadent! Here is the recipe for pecan pie with dates and dark chocolate.

A slice of gooey pecan nut pie with dates and Yudhika Sujanani for Sugar & Spice

A slice of gooey pecan nut pie with dates and chocolate…by Yudhika Sujanani for Sugar & Spice

Chocolate Date and Pecan Pie


120g butter
200g cake flour
65g sugar
1 egg

Rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the sugar and mix. Lightly beat the egg and knead gently into a soft dough.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Roll the pastry on a lightly dusted work surface until it is about 5mm thick and is large enough to line the bottom and sides of a 23cm loose bottomed pie tin.
Line the tin with the pastry and press down into the base and about 3,5cm up the sides.
Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Place a piece of baking paper over the paper, cover with dried beans and bake blind for 10 minutes.
Remove the beans and the paper and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Leave the pasty case to cool completely.

For the filling:

125g butter
175g brown sugar
75ml golden syrup
3 large eggs
1 cinnamon stick
200g pecan nuts
90g chopped dark chocolate, chopped
75g chopped dates, chopped

Whipped cream, to serve

Place the butter in a 28cm AMC Chef’s Pan, and melt on low heat.
Add the brown sugar and golden syrup.
Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Leave the mixture to cool till slightly warm.
Remove the cinnamon stick.
Lightly whisk the eggs, then add the melted ingredients.
Scatter the pecan nuts, chocolate and dates over the bake pie crust, then pour over the egg mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes at 150 degrees celsius, then reduce to 140 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.
Leave the pie to stand for a minute and then remove from the tin.
Serve slices of the pie warm with whipped cream.

To knead or not to need?… Durban style naan bread!

Need this??? Yudhika's delicous Naan Bread!

Need this??? Yudhika’s delicous Naan Bread!

Knead reminds me of ‘need’ and being caught in the negative ‘need’ cycle. Wherever we are in life, no matter what we accomplish, we are bombarded by society that ‘needs this’ or ‘needs that’. We are also bombarded by clever marketing convincing us that our wants are needs, and this creates much confusion. Telling the two apart is sometimes impossible.

I can’t speak for others but I have always needed to prove that I could and would rise above adversity. In my mind I made up a black list, remembering every nasty comment and dig…thinking, ‘ONE DAY, ONE DAY…! As the years passed, the list grew longer…and I know that this is an unique situation. Most of us have been in this place at some point in our lives. And my ‘ONE DAY’ has come and gone several times…but there is always a new villain on the list or am I that villain that keeps pushing myself harder?

The negative side was the need to prove myself led to me being a workaholic and becoming a bit of a magpie, collecting trinkets and material possessions along my journey. The positive side, I turned my frustration into something constructive, working toward a career that has given me enormous joy and fulfillment. I had the fancy homes and the bad marriages that came with it, unbreakable credit cards, a wardrobe to die for and the shoes….let’s not go there!

I have worked through a particularly difficult phase in my life, thinking I was going mad at times, doubting my own intuition and recovering from years of feeling like I still needed to try harder to prove myself. Sometimes it was about feeding my ego. I couldn’t let the past go or the constant nagging that came from a partner who clearly had his own axe to grind…for my own selfish reasons but also because I was put under pressure by being told that I wasn’t good enough…make more money, be thinner, eat less, try harder, be more funny, perform and complaints that I wasn’t subservient like Indian women were supposed to be. When did I stop being a woman and at what point did I become the circus horse??

Stupidly believing that I was being ‘encouraged’ for my ‘own good’ only to realize that the more I performed, I become easier to validate as my partner’s choice. Who knows what his issues were? But he pushed me hard into being a trophy to save himself from looking the fool. The worst is that this sort of treatment comes from the people closest to us which makes it even harder to deal with and it leads to un-natural desires and needs, creating stress and frustration. This is not a whine session, but thoughts shared which create awareness and different thought processes. I was a victim once, but that was a long time ago…I am not feeling sorry for myself, or an emotional refugee either…I am a just a person who was lucky enough to work it out.

I have reached a beautiful place in my life and here are my thoughts…after having experienced soul-destroying unhappiness, nothing material can ever be more valuable than feeling a true sense of joy. I have reached a beautiful place that is free from want….I am free from chasing unrealistic goals, pressure and ego. Materially, I want for nothing…not the latest car upgrade or fancy house, shopping sprees and five-star meals! This doesn’t mean that I have lost my drive and positivity…I love my work, family and have a life that is brimming with the most amazing opportunities. I have everything that is important and the rest will sort itself out. I have probably never felt better, more relaxed or happier.

I confused my needs with my wants, venturing down a damaging path to prove to others that I was worthy and capable. I had proven myself worthy repeatedly without realizing it. Take a look at life and ask yourself who you are doing it for…do it for the right reasons. Work hard, play hard, feast and be merry…live, love and rejoice! The lesson is to learn to draw a line between when adversity becomes a positive driver and when it becomes an obsession.

To the people who have been nasty, I can’t thank you enough for the role you played in me being who I am today. What was said and done to break my spirit became that which makes me unbreakable. The process did not come without hitches. I worked through them, and have come through it bigger (and curvier), better and stronger. I am thankful for the adversity that has built character and resilience, and it plays a lead role in my script.

Here is my recipe for that delicious Durban Naan bread we used to get it at local supermarkets and bakeries over the weekend. There isn’t much kneading involved and you can pop the ingredients into a free-standing mixer and get a batch of dough done in a couple of minutes. I use milk powder and evaporated milk to give this dough a richer and ever so slight sweetness. This is recipe from the Eid episode of SABC 2’s Mela last year, click here to watch the insert –

Naan bread...Ready for the oven!

Naan bread…Ready for the oven!


Makes 4 rounds

1250ml cake flour
10ml salt
40ml sugar
150ml milk powder
10g dried yeast
75g melted butter
1 x 400g tin evaporated milk
250ml warm water
10ml fennel seeds
Poppy seeds
60ml melted butter, for brushing naan breads

Here’s how…

Combine the cake flour, salt, sugar, milk powder and dried yeast in a mixing bowl of a free-standing mixer.
Add the evaporated milk, warm water and fennel seeds.
Mix the dough with the hook attachment until smooth.
Add the melted butter and work into a smooth dough – add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.
Place the dough in a large bowl that has been greased with non stick spray.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise – this should take about an hour and the dough should double in size.
Knead the dough and divide into four portions.
Place two rounds on a baking tray that has been greased, cover with plastic wrap and leave again to rise again. Repeat with the second two rounds on a separate baking tray. This takes about 30 minutes – the dough should once again double.
Brush the proved naan rounds with warm water and sprinkle poppy seeds over the bread.
Bake for 25 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius.
Remove the naan from the oven and brush with melted butter.

Going nuts….Coconut Tart meets Malva Pudding!

Going nuts....coconut tart meets Malva Yudhika Sujanani

Going nuts….coconut tart meets Malva Pudding….by Yudhika Sujanani

I have been going nuts over Malva pudding…it’s never happened to me before but lately it’s been malva this and malva that! And lashings of home-made, old-fashioned creme anglaise too! It is too hard to resist and one of the few things to look forward to when the Jozi chill sets in.

I hosted a dinner party a few weeks ago and then made a classic Malva pudding, a few days later on the Italian inspired episode of Sugar ‘n Spice, I threw in a few generous glugs of Frangelico while making a chocolate version. Sugar ‘n Spice goes live on The Home Channel in just a few days….We kick off on Monday at 2pm on DSTv’s Channel 176…so set the PVR and be sure to catch the first episode!

I was working on Ramadan sweet treats and in a complete moment of madness it was a ‘coconutty’ Malva sauce over a classic Greek tart! It is just pure decadence and dead easy to make. It can be served warm, room temperature or zapped in the microwave for a few seconds. It may be served with ice cream or custard but I had two diamonds and retreated to bed for the rest of the arvie, declaring I was in a food coma! It wasn’t just the tart, you see…it was also the other tastings that were going on this past Sunday…Persian Style Koresht with Chicken, Saffron Kebabs and and and….you can find these recipes in the Post Newspaper which is out today!

This recipe will have coconut lovers in heaven…the coconut milk in the malva sauce leaves the tart super moist and utterly decadent! I kept the batter quite simple, opting let the tart ooze with coconutty aromas but you can spice it up with lemon zest, cinnamon or ground cardamom. I used Mae Ploy Coconut milk for this recipe but you may also use a good substitute like Spar Branded Coconut Cream…it has a yellow label and costs around R24. If you love the recipes, please leave a comment and do click ‘follow’ to ensure the latest recipes are sent through to you via email…it’s lovely to hear from you, your food stories and hints and tips…it also keeps me in the writing in the right direction!

A few slices of coconut malva tart down...a few more to go!

A few slices of coconut malva tart down…a few more to go!

Greek Inspired Coconut Malva Tart


185g soft butter
250ml sugar
5ml vanilla essence
3 large eggs
250ml cake flour
15ml baking powder
500ml desiccated coconut
250 full cream milk, room temperature
Optional flavours: Lemon zest, 5ml cinnamon or 5ml ground cardamom can be added to the batter.

Coconut Sauce
250ml sugar
250ml water
250ml coconut milk
2,5ml vanilla essence
60g butter
Pistachio nuts, to garnish

Here’s how:
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Grease and line a 10 inch loose bottom pie tin with butter.
Using a hand held electric or free standing mixer, cream the butter until light and gradually add in the sugar.
Add the vanilla essence and continue beating until the creamed mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl regularly.
When the sugar granules should dissolve slightly, add the eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of cake flour. Beat well after each egg.
Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in the coconut.
Add the dry ingredients and milk to the creamed butter, alternating to prevent the mixture from becoming to thick.
Scoop the batter into a prepared tin and bake for 55 – 60 minutes.
The tart should be deep golden in colour and a skewer should come out clean when tested. Leave the tart in the tin to cool slightly and slice into diamonds.

Prepare the sauce: Dissolve the water and sugar in an AMC pan. Add the coconut milk, vanilla essence and butter. Bring to the boil until a thin syrup forms and lightly coats the back of a spoon. Pour the hot sauce over the warm tart while it is still in the tin.

Leave to soak and place a pistachio in the centre of each diamond.

This is how I roll…Rocking the Roti!

Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Every culture, every society, every country has superstitions. Whether we believe them or not, they play some part in our everyday lives. Some of them are based on religion, some based on folk legends but if you are Indian, there are more than a few superstitions about roti and most of them are about finding a husband or keeping your mother in law happy.

Here are some of the roti superstitions I grew up with…

1.The roti dough always needs to be made by hand and not a mixer – shows your mother in law that you are capable and if you do use an electric mixer, you will always have hard roti, not to mention the embarrassment and shame your mother will have to live with.

2. I used to cut out my roti using an AMC pot lid to save my mother the social embarrassment of having rather odd-shaped roti served at the table. I was told that this would also make the roti hard and biscuity…how??? Is there a scientific reason? Mrs Anne Bramdeo, who is just so dear to me convinced me that I needed to break my pot lid habit and gave me some lessons. The pot lid is now used for the rightful purpose.

3. It is bad luck to take the ‘roti pan’ off the heat while you are cooking them…you should cook off the roti without commercial breaks…in today’s world that means you don’t have time for selfies!

4. The first roti should never be eaten…it is for the birds! I say it is for the Mother in Law! The first roti is much like the first pancake, it never turns out right.

5. ‘Save the last roti’…I always got busted for this. Apparently, the last roti was saved to ‘save the family’ from starving but also in case God visited. Why waste a perfectly good roti? In the shloks or religious verses, it states ‘Treat your guests as God’ and if there was an unexpected guest, they should have at least one roti. I would happily cook up a batch at anytime, a fresh roti is a delicious treat.

6. If the roti puffs up, your mother in law is going to love you…I can safely say that this one is just a con to get women trying harder at roti…mine puff beautifully and I can swear there isn’t a loving mother in law in sight! I have had two, the first was never the loving type but the second….tjo tjo tjo! We all have those stories, don’t we?

7. If you don’t make good roti, you won’t find a husband…I know women who have no desire to make two minute noodles, but have found amazing husbands, women who laugh about their flying saucer style roti, wonky rotis, dry ones and maps of Africa.

I am going to be bold and brave, declaring that none of these superstitions ring true in my case, that is….I make a pretty mean roti, haven’t found lasting love, a loving mother in law or an amazing husband but I am having the time of my life! Roti superstitions were craftily conjured to keep women in the kitchen and trying harder! If you have any roti superstitions, please share them in the comments section…I am sure I missed a few!  While you are visiting this blog site, click follow to get the recipes sent to you via email.

The first attempt can always be a bit of a disaster…remember it only gets better each time you try. Every batch becomes less messy and your ‘roti lap time’ improves!

Ready to Roll...

Ready to Roll…

Here is my simple recipe, but before you get started here are 3 tips to remember!

Make sure the boiled water is not recently boiled or left to cool slightly, it needs to be bubbling when poured into the flour.

I use sunflower oil instead of butter, as this keeps the roti softer for longer. Butter gives the roti a more shortcrust like texture.

Work quickly with bringing the dough together, this makes it much easier.

Roti squiggles by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti squiggles by Yudhika Sujanani


Makes 12


750ml cake flour

5ml fine salt

375ml boiled water…I mean hot hot hot

90ml sunflower oil

Melted butter, to cook roti

Here’s how:

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Pour the boiled water over the dry ingredients.

Mix the water into the flour.

Add the sunflower oil and knead the dough until smooth.

Roll the dough into a ‘log’ and slice into 12 pieces.

Roll each piece into a length and curl up half .

Curl up the other half in the opposite direction.

Ready to Roll...part 2

Ready to Roll…part 2

Fold one curled section over the other and flatten the dough slightly.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth.

Roll each piece into a round ensuring that the work surface is dusted with flour.

Repeat until all the dough has been rolled out.

Place the roti on a hot pan, when small bubbles appear, flip the roti over.

Drizzle with melted butter, then flip the roti again, drizzle again and then flip the roti.

Brown the roti, and remove from the pan.

Yudhika’s Tips:

Pile the rotis and leave to cool before storing them away.

Store rotis in a cake tin lined with wax paper.

Reheat in a microwave for 10 – 20 seconds.

Flavor the dough with 2,5ml cumin seeds.

The sardine run….

The sardine run...Spicy Sardines by Yudhika Sujanani

The sardine run…Spicy Sardines by Yudhika Sujanani

I haven’t eaten a sardine in about thirty years. The sardine run was always a much awaited event on the Durban calendar. Somewhere in the 80’s there were huge shoals of fish that washed up on the shores in Durban and there were people actually scooping them up in buckets.

Firstly, it was quite a sight…I was amazed by the piles of fish heaped on the shore and the locals seemed to be in a trance as they went about collecting their sardine stash. A few days later, I was sure that I overdosed on freshly fried spicy sardines! There were sardines everywhere and every home that visited also served sardines…I do see them on the menu at Portuguese restaurants but haven’t eaten one since!

There have been a few Facebook posts about the sardines in Durban and here is one of my Spicy Sardine recipes….I serve them with a spicy tomato chutney that coats the sardines keeping them moist and delicious!

I’m ready to give sardines a bash again…if only I could find one in Jozi and have it prepared the old fashioned Durban way! I really do miss Durban and all it’s beautiful people and treats!

Sardines in a Spicy Sauce

Serves 4


12 sardines
10ml red chilli powder
2,5ml turmeric
5ml salt
Sunflower oil to shallow fry

For the Spicy Tomato Sauce

30ml sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs of curry leaves
15ml red chilli powder
6 tomatoes
5ml coarse salt
10ml roasted coriander powder (dhania powder)
5ml roasted cumin powder (jeera powder)
2,5ml turmeric
Handful of fresh coriander

Here’s how:

Slice a cross into the base of each tomato and place them in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and leave aside for 3 minutes. Remove the skins and chop the tomatoes.
Sprinkle turmeric, salt and red chilli powder over the sardines and gently rub the spices over. Place the sardines in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat the sunflower oil in a pot. Fry the finely chopped onion until light golden brown. Add the crushed
garlic and curry leaves. Stir for a few seconds and then add the red chili powder.
Stir the red chilli powder for 5 seconds and then add the chopped tomatoes.
Season with salt and keep stirring until the tomatoes soften slightly.
Add the roasted ground cumin, coriander and the turmeric. Lower the heat and continue stirring until the tomatoes dissolve and form a thick sauce.
Heat the sunflower oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the sardines in batches until crispy.
Remove from the heat and gently dab the sardines with paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat this process until all the sardines are fried.
Spoon some of the tomato sauce over the base of a casserole dish and then spoon the remaining sauce over the sardines and sprinkle the chopped coriander over. Garnish with a few curry leaves.

Yudhika’s Tips

To clean the sardines: Scale sardines and make a cut along the bottom of the fish. Remove the intestines and entrails. Rinse the fish under cold running water and pat dry using absorbent paper towels.
Handle the sardines gently as they do tend to break up when handled roughly.