Author Archives: 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 body....it 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.

The Daily Moos – A Holi Cow Update…

Standard

I have spent all day working on the Holi Cow newsletter….here is an update on the Indian High Tea and the ‘Hands On’ Cooking Classes….looking forward to seeing you at the Holi Cow! Click on the page below for the full newsletter….

The moos....

The moos….

Hands on at Holi Cow….

Standard
Fruits of the Curry 101 class....

Fruits of the Curry 101 class….

It has certainly been a crazy week! I hosted the first hands on cooking class at the Holi Cow and it was lots of fun with an enthusiastic group. The Curry 101 class covered Lamb Rogan Josh, Coconut Prawns, Chickpea and Mushroom Curry, Creamy Coriander Chicken, Rotis and my famous Dreamy Chocolate Cake.

Here are some pics….

Graeme and Sara Butchart - The prawn curry pros....

Graeme and Sara Butchart – The prawn curry pros….

The Curry Queens…

The Curry Queens prepared the Creamy Coriander Chicken.....

The Curry Queens prepared the Creamy Coriander Chicken…..

Bad Boys at the Curry 101 class...

Bad Boys at the Curry 101 class…

The lovely Dee Ann…steals the spotlight!

Dee Ann - strikes are pose....

Dee Ann – strikes are pose….

Yudhika - the roti lady....

Yudhika – the roti lady….

Holi Cow cooking classes….

Standard

Holi Cow wordpress

I have been sending out invitations to the next cooking class which will be held this Saturday at the Holi Cow….I am tempted to call these posts ‘The Daily Moos’!

There are so many spices that are used in Indian Cuisine and most enthusiastic cooks do find this pretty intimidating. Ground spices are not only for Indian cuisine…ground cumin and coriander is used in mediterranean cuisine as well as Moroccan, Sri Lankan, Turkish as well as Persian cuisine. And the same goes for garam masala, turmeric and red chilli…I love cooking with a pinch of this and a handful of that…the mornings feel crisp and its time to spice things up as Winter approaches….

The Curry 101 class takes you through the basics…from which pots to use…how to get started and then I will take you through the ‘Birds and the Bees’ of Indian Cooking.

The class will be held on Saturday, 29th March 2014 at the Holi Cow cooking school, 38 Kingfisher Drive Fourways. I do request that guests book and arrive at 10 so we can get cooking by 10.30am..lunch is included and will be served at 12.30. This is a hands on interactive class and you will be cooking in my collection of AMC cookware!

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday. Please do ring us on 011 467 2661 to book.

Yudhika x

Holi Cow…It’s our first high tea!

Standard
The Holi Cow High Tea hosted by Yudhika Sujanani

The Holi Cow High Tea hosted by Yudhika Sujanani

I am one of those people who can always add one more project to my stressful life. I was on my way to collect pictures from Vanessa Lewis, my photographer friend, when I drove past a “Remax For Sale’ sign…I called Jenny Ramsay, the agent, who was on holiday and climbing Table mountain. I viewed the property a few days later, and arranged for my better half to see it, and much to my surprise, he suggested that we put in an offer….this was the beginning Holi Cow!

The beginning....

The beginning….

The property was really old, a face brick one…inside and out…and needed lots of work. Here are some of the before pics…

The house...complete with swimming pool

The house…complete with swimming pool

The bar and living room

The bar and living room

Living room, bar leading into dining room....

Living room, bar leading into dining room….

The dining room....

The dining room….

It was time for some major renovations and so the drama began. I have never really had much luck with a ‘good builder’ but ours proved to be good but slow…it didn’t help that some things, I mean lots of things changed along the way. Walls moved, finishings changed, more demolition work not to mention electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. We resorted to drinking lots of Gin and I self medicated occasionally to cope with what seemed like a never-ending renovation.

I am not sure what was worse…the pics before renovations or during renovations….take a look at these pics and decide…

Gin and Jackhammers to remove the swimming pool

Gin and Jackhammers to remove the swimming pool

The entrance...

The entrance…

The entrance...

The entrance…

After 5 months...this is what we were looking at!

After 5 months…this is what we were looking at!

I began to lose heart – and just when I did, it seemed to come together. The Eastern Mosaic show on SABC 2 played a big part in getting the renovations done. I had a deadline and passed it on to the team…everyone had to be out by the 10 February. It worked….it was still not 100 percent complete but I had the place to myself for the first time….

Yudhika Sujanani - hosting the Holi Cow Tea Party

Yudhika Sujanani – hosting the Holi Cow Tea Party

Here are some pics from the Holi Cow High Tea…

The Eastern Mosaic with Yudhika Sujanani and Mo Nassuirio

The Eastern Mosaic with Yudhika Sujanani and Mo Nassuirio

Holi Cow Treats by Yudhika!

Holi Cow Treats by Yudhika!

The guest list…

Brenda Barton, Deputy Director of United Nations World Food Programme and Nokwazi Mzobe

Brenda Barton, Deputy Director of United Nations World Food Programme and Nokwazi Mzobe

The Gibs/Goldman Sachs Girls....Meagan Deventer, Zaakira Mohammed, Yudhika Sujanani and Orly Shapiro

The Gibs/Goldman Sachs Girls….Meagan Deventer, Zaakira Mohammed, Yudhika Sujanani and Orly Shapiro

Lyn Woodward...food genius with Yudhika at Holi Cow

Lyn Woodward…food genius with Yudhika at Holi Cow

The Holi Cow, Cooking School and Deli Details – 38 Kingfisher Drive, Fourways, 2191
Contact Number: 011 467 2661

Rainy Day Recipes – Curried Fish

Standard
Curried Salmon

Curried Salmon

I have had loads of requests and queries about fish curries recently…with Lent and Easter coming up not to mention this crazy rainy spell, fish curry is just what the doctor ordered.

The weather has been pretty awful – in the curry world this means that fresh tomatoes are not at their best. I would recommend using tinned tomatoes for this recipe if like me, are in Jozi where we haven’t seen the sun in a while.

I grew up in Durban and most of us refer to the AMC pot of choice as the ‘flat fish pot’ since the fish is cooked in a single layer. Haul out your AMC flat pot and give this rainy day recipe a bash….

Curried Salmon

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the fish:
900g salmon fillet
2,5ml salt
5ml red chilli powder
2,5ml turmeric

For the Curry:
60ml sunflower oil
10ml mustard seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
4 cloves garlic, crushed
10 – 15ml red chilli powder
6 tomatoes, blanched, skinned and grated
5ml ground roasted cumin
5ml ground roasted coriander
Pinch of turmeric
3 sprigs curry leaves
250ml boiling water
10ml Magic Masala

Here’s how:
Slice the salmon into pieces and season with salt.
Dust the salmon with red chilli powder an turmeric.
Rub the spices into the fish fillets.
Leave aside in a refrigerator.

For the Curry Sauce:
Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan.
When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the chopped onion and coarse salt.
Saute until light the onions are a light golden brown.
Add the garlic and saute for a few seconds.
Stir in the red chilli powder.
Stir for 3 – 5 seconds taking care not to burn the spice.
Add the grated tomatoes and simmer for a minute.
Add the roasted cumin, coriander, turmeric and curry leaves.
Simmer until the tomatoes soften and then add the boiling water.
Reduce the heat until simmer until the tomatoes dissolve completely.
Place the fish into the sauce in a single layer.
Sprinkle the magic masala over the fish.
Simmer on a low heat for a few minutes and spoon the sauce over the fish.
Cook for 4 – 6 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Yudhika’s Tips:
The fish must be cooked in a single layer.
Any firm fish fillets can be used in this recipe.
Add green chillies for a spicier dish.
The sauce can be made in advance and the fish added just before serving.

Hitting the Jack Pot….

Standard
Yudhika Sujanani photographed by Ben Skinner, Make Up by Arwen Swan, Dress by Arwen Garmentry

Yudhika Sujanani photographed by Ben Skinner, Make Up by Arwen Swan, Dress by Arwen Garmentry

Yasantha Naidoo from the Sunday Times asked if I would write a column about a childhood memory….it’s no secret, I have not lived a charmed life…well not always anyway. Memories of those years came flooding back. It was a tough article to write but it was necessary. This is not by any means a name and shame blog…it’s about me, my hurt, my experiences and how all of this has shaped me. While discussing this column over the phone (she is based in Durban, you see), I shared this story with her and now, I will share it with you….

The Summer of 1986…Cindi Lauper’s ‘True Colours’ was blasting on the radio, and even when it wasn’t the song stuck in my head like an ear worm. I arrived home from school to find our possessions tossed carelessly on the driveway. The rent had not been paid again. Armed with black rubbish bags and cardboard boxes, we began to pack up our possessions. Neighbours and family arrived, not to help but to stare at our misfortune which was placed under the community microscope.

The Driveway....the spot where my family broke forever - Yudhika 9 years old

The Driveway….the spot where my family broke forever – Yudhika 9 years old

As the sun began to fade, the dread set in, the beady eyed scavengers appeared, looking greedily for the spoils of eviction. We spent the night at my aunt’s house and returned the next day to find people ‘shopping’ though our possessions. Cutlery, crockery, appliances, and even clothing. But there was something that was taken from my mom that tormented me for years….Her Breyani Pot! She bought it at a party and got a tongue lashing for doing so. After a lengthy period of scrimping and saving to pay for the pot, it arrived one day in a box so large that it was surely going to start-up another wave of grumbling and tirades. My dad insisted that the pot would be used to prepare a celebratory meal at this funeral.

The Breyani pot found a new home – it was hijacked by an aunt and it stood proudly in her kitchen. It was never spoken off and became the invisible cookware unit. Whenever her friends commented on it, I would feel my blood pressure rising. The pot stood on her counter. It mocked and taunted me to say something and every time I saw it, memories of the day we lost our home and my family broke flooded back. In those days, you were allowed to cry if you were bleeding. You were allowed to cry if your parents were around to protect you….I was without both so I cried on the inside. I cried silently for my mom, my family, my home and the protection that a united family had to offer. The aunt would also dish out a few ‘klaps’ (she didn’t do it with my other cousins, it was just me and sometimes my brother) and it made me feel ashamed of having a broken home. For the record, the aunt’s Breyani never tasted good and it probably never will! For my really fabulous lamb breyani recipe, click here: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/07/26/ready-set-spice-feast-of-eid/

Everyone in our community knew about the eviction, it was not the first time it happened. My brother and I were the black sheep of the family. We were often ridiculed and mocked – family members were the harshest and I often wondered why. It made no sense to me then and it still doesn’t. I don’t regret it, not in the least – it was the constant driver in my life and pushed me to achieve the goals I had set.

I got married in 1999 (round number one) and expected my aunt to arrive with the pot. She arrived with a set of cheapies she purchased at Hyperama for R300. It finally hit home, the pot would never be returned and it would never be returned. It was no longer our family heirloom…it would be a part of someone else’s legacy and not mine. My mom’s most extravagant purchase, the highlight of her shopping career was lost forever. It symbolized so much – my mom, her journey in life, the hand she was dealt and the struggle she faced.

My AMC Breyani Pot - bigger and better

My AMC Breyani Pot – bigger and better

After years of mourning my emotional losses and material ones, I hit the ‘jackpot’ (no pun intended) in 2011 when I was appointed the AMC brand ambassador. I work with a great team or should I call it a family? Chris Koekemoer (the boss), Kaye Cox and Nariman Arnold (my other bosses) have been a delight to work with. I was gifted with every cookware unit I could wish for – big, small, short, tall, electric and even custom ones made especially for me. It’s really remarkable, that a beautiful team working together at a company in Cape Town, have healed my childhood aches by sharing more love and good cheer than I could have wished for.

Win this AMC Paella Pot by posting a comment and sharing your thoughts on this blog!

Win this AMC Paella Pot by posting a comment and sharing your thoughts on this blog!

I would love to share my AMC love with you. One lucky reader will win this AMC paella pan worth over R3000. You too could win the AMC jackpot like I did….post a comment on this blog and give me some feedback. Maybe it will make a difference to you or someone you know….maybe it will give someone a little hope to keep fighting the fight. Most importantly, let’s talk about it, let’s talk about you!!!!

My mom and I still chat about it but no longer with a heavy heart. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry but we will never forget the 14th February 1986. I grew up a fighter, promising myself that I would make it and I did just that!

I will continue on my cooking adventures with this motto tattooed on my heart, AMC – ‘Cookware for Life’. Thanks to the AMC team for taking away my childhood heartache!

*Competition closes: 15 December 2013
South African entries only. Please supply your email address to ensure that the winner can be notified. If the prize is not claimed within 14 days, a new winner will be drawn.

Tanvi’s Birthday Blues….

Standard
The cast of the Tanvi's Diwali Birthday Show!

The cast of the Tanvi’s Diwali Birthday Show!

My daughter Tanvi was born on Diwali. It was such a surprise….I had lots of visitors and while Hetal, my first princess, received baby blankets and bibs…Tanvi hit the jackpot! Most Indians believe that the Goddess of Wealth visits on Diwali and Tanvi became the ‘auspicious baby’. She received coins, earrings, pendants and necklaces in gold! I am sure that Hetal will at some stage need some therapy sessions…all thanks to our Indian community!

Tanvi and I...beautiful times....

Tanvi and I…beautiful times….

I was just delighted that she was a happy, healthy and perfect. Like most things in life, there is always trouble brewing in paradise. Most of the people know by now, that I am divorced and re-married to a man who is not just a husband….he has been amazingly supportive of everything I do. Sometimes I do forget this…Sorry ROB! He is the ‘wind beneath my wings’ so to speak! My divorce was ugly…it took forever and the nastiness will remain with all of us forever and trust me ‘Forever is a very long time!’ With all the ugliness, my kids still remained close to their dad…they loved him without reservations…like the marriage this did not last!

Bruno joining in on the fun.....

Bruno joining in on the fun…..

Tanvi is the easiest, most loving kid out of my lot. She has been her dad’s greatest supporter/defender and it’s caused her lots of heartache. My ex husband got married, way before I did, and like most second marriages (mine included), his relationship with the kids changed. Last year, a few days before her birthday, Tanvi plucked up the courage to say that she would like to see her dad but requested that he visit her and take her out to movies….she was just not comfortable visiting him in his home….the result was that her dad never contacted her again. She waited for his call on her birthday but there was nothing….she will always be heartbroken!

The pirates...

The pirates…

The reason for this sad, and long story is that there are always new beginnings! We have built a new family with Rob as the captain…kids have become the swashbuckling pirates. It’s made Rob and I more committed to rebuilding what has turned into a mad, crazy home filled with love and laughter…giggles actually!

On Tanvi’s birthday, we have started a new tradition….which is not only a celebration of her birthday, its a celebration of our family…there are added extras like Michael and Julia (Rob’s kids) and my mom….the more the merrier…its become the perfectly rowdy home and we, the Sujanani’s and L’Etangs have built it! Tanvi did not get a call on her birthday…but with all the festivities and new birthday traditions, she is getting better at dealing with it all the time. We decided to have a formal sit down dinner, and even got dressed up….a big thank you to Arwen Swan and Ben Skinner for sorting out my brand new wardrobe…dressed by these incredibly talented people makes me feel like royalty (who wouldn’t in a beautiful animal print pussy bow dress?). I know that the clothes are going to fit perfectly….my curves are becoming a delicious issue! Contact Arwen on 011 447 0247 0 she is based in Parkhurst.

The Birthday Girl....

The Birthday Girl….

I made a six layered cake…one for every person in our home that has been a special part of her life and loved her happy again. It’s one for Rob, my mom who she calls Amma, Rushil, Tanvi, Hetal, one for her loving herself and one for me!!! Each layer was a different colour to represent what they bring into her life!

The three musketeers...Rushil, Tanvi and Hetal

The three musketeers…Rushil, Tanvi and Hetal

This cake is a whopper…six layers, cream cheese frosting, and macaron sprinkles. Do not prepare the macaron filling just the plain ones will do.
For the macaron recipe click here: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/31/wanted-yudhika-sujanani-fed-or-alive/

Here is the recipe for Tanvi’s Celebration Cake….

6 shades of cake....

6 shades of cake….

Makes 6 layers…make it in two batches

Ingredients for the six layers:

12 eggs
450ml sugar
750ml cake flour
30ml baking powder
180ml cold water
10ml vanilla essence
350ml oil

6 different gel food colors

1 batch of plain macarons – not sandwiched

Beat 6 eggs in a large metallic mixing bowl until foamy.
Gradually add 225ml sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light in color and tripled in volume.

Perfectly whisked eggs....

Perfectly whisked eggs….

Sift 375ml cake flour and 15ml baking powder into the mixing bowl.
Light fold the ingredients together and ensure there are no floury ‘pockets’ in the batter.
Pour the cold water, vanilla essence and oil into the mixture and continue folding.
The oil sinks to the bottom of the mixing bowl so lift the mixture and scrape the bottom of the bowl when folding to combine.
Divide the mixture into 3 x 20cm greased and lined cake tins.
IMG_7950

Drizzle a little gel food coloring into the cake tins and swirl the mixture through with a fork…lift the mixture from the bottom of the tin.
Bake for 12 – 15 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius.
You will know when the cake is done…when you can smell cake!
The cake should be light golden brown and shrink away from the sides of the tin.
Remove the cakes from the oven, leave to stand for 5 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
Refrigerate the cakes for an hour or two to firm them up….makes frosting them much easier.

For the cream cheese frosting…

350g soft butter
500g icing sugar
2 tubs Spar Cream Cheese (this is the one in the box and not the tub!!!)
50ml fresh cream
2ml vanilla paste

I beat the butter in my trusted Kenwood on medium speed.
Then reduce the speed and add icing sugar….please reduce the speed to prevent clouds of icing sugar rising from the mixing bowl.
Once the mixture is light and fluffy, add the Spar cream cheese.
On a low-speed continue beating until the butter and cream cheese are combined.
Scrape down the sides of the Kenwood mixing bowl.
Add the fresh cream and vanilla essence.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and beat for 30 seconds.
Leave the frosting in the refrigerator until the cakes have cooled…please cover the bowl with plastic wrap so it does not absorb ‘fridge odours’.

To assemble the cake…

Frost and sandwich the cakes together – I scoop a bit of frosting on each cake to ensure that I do not run out.
Frost the sides of the cake.
Crush the macarons by putting them in a plastic bag and working out some anger by bashing them with a rolling-pin.
Sprinkle the macarons on the side of the cake.
Finish the cake with fresh roses on top – you could also use berries.

Paneer Makhani

Standard
Yudhika's Paneer Makhani...

Yudhika’s Paneer Makhani…

I am almost certain that by now, you have realized that Diwali is not a ‘Diet Friendly’ time of year. And this recipe is no different to any of the other Diwali favourites…a double whammy dish with cream and butter.

For a more sensible option try the ‘Seyal Paneer’ recipe: http://yudhikayumyum.com/sugar-n-spice-on-saffron-tv/saffron-tv-seyal-paneer/

I also use paneer as a pie filling in this Paneer Pasties recipe: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/24/paneer-and-mushroom-pasties/

This Paneer Makhani recipe will get you a gold star for Diwali!

Paneer Makhani

Ingredients

600g paneer, sliced
60ml cashew nuts
125ml boiling water
60ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
7,5ml coarse salt
15ml crushed ginger and garlic
2 green chillies, chopped
20ml red chilli powder
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
15ml ground coriander
10ml ground cumin
5ml garam masala
Pinch ground cardamom
2ml turmeric
60g cold butter, diced
30ml fresh cream
Coriander to garnish
Gold leaf to decorate

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

Slice the paneer into pieces.

Soak the cashew nuts in boiling water for 10 minutes and liquidize until smooth.
Pound the ginger, garlic and green chilli together.
Fry the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cumin seeds in oil until fragrant.
Add onions and salt, saute until light golden brown.
Add crushed ginger, garlic and green chilli, then add the red chilli powder.
Stir the chopped tomatoes into the spices.
Sprinkle in the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala, ground cardamom and turmeric.
Simmer until the tomatoes soften completely.
Use a potato masher to break down any lumps.
Add the cashew paste and 250ml boiling water.
Simmer until the sauce thickens.
Whisk the cold butter into the sauce, then pour in the fresh cream.
Gently place the paneer into the cooked sauce and heat through.
Garnish with fresh coriander and edible gold leaf.

How to make Paneer….

Standard
Yudhika Paneer recipe...

Yudhika Paneer recipe…

Paneer is an Indian Cottage cheese…it resembles feta but does not contain salt. For vegetarians, this is the equivalent of a ‘lamb curry with mushy potatoes’ (my favourite). I use paneer in pastries, breyanis and even in starters!

Please please please, do not use low fat milk – so far, Full Cream Clover milk works best for this recipe. I do experiment a fair bit and this blog is not sponsored by Clover! Use a good pot, (I use AMC cookware) so that the milk does not scorch and burn on the bottom which will ruin the paneer.

I am just about to post the Paneer Makhani recipe…I anticipate that there will be recipe requests for the Paneer…

Paneer

Ingredients

4 litres CLOVER Full Cream Milk
250 – 300ml Spar white vinegar

Boil milk in a large 30cm AMC cookware unit 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.

Pecan Chana Magaj….

Standard
Yudhika Sujanani's Chana Magaj...

Yudhika Sujanani’s Chana Magaj…

The food world is changing at an alarming rate…new trends are constantly being introduced and with so much emphasis being placed on ‘painting a picture’ on a plate, we lose the plot. I have a different approach to food and opt to keep it traditional especially with recipes like this Chana Magaj…’Why change it?’ It’s delicious, flop proof and a hit with my friends and family!

I remember paying an absolute bomb for a tray of ‘Chana Magaj’ many moons ago…much to my horror, when I sliced it, it simply crumbled. I was completely dismayed and cross (I will use a more acceptable word). I looked at the crumbled mess and tried to massage it back into a block! I eventually melted a large chunk of butter and mixed it into the chana crumble….it worked like a charm. The moral of the story is don’t scrimp on the butter!!!!

The ‘Devil is in the Detail’…As with most traditional recipes, patience is the secret ingredient. Put on some music and pour yourself a glass of wine while you are stirring the chickpea flour….taking your time makes all the difference. Use a 30cm AMC pot for cooking the chickpea flour…I know I do go on about it but ‘like seriously’…you can’t use a flimsy thin based pot for this! I get my daughters, Hetal and Tanvi, to take turns with cooking the chickpea flour. Every now and then, they bill me for their work and they do a fabulous job!

Chana Magaj keeps for ages in the refrigerator…so keep a few blocks away for ‘emergencies’. I confess, I have lots of ‘emergencies’ especially when I know these treats are resting in my refrigerator.

Pecan Chana Magaj

Ingredients:

500g chickpea flour
100ml milk, boiled
500g butter ghee
5ml ground cardamom
375g icing Sugar, sifted
100g Klim
100g pecan nuts

Place the chickpea flour and hot milk in a mixing bowl.
Rub the milk into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Leave the mixture to dry for an hour and then break down the large lumps using your fingertips.
Melt the butter ghee in an AMC pot on a low heat and then add the chickpea flour.
Continue stirring until the chickpea flour turns deep golden brown in colour – about an hour.
Leave aside to cool.
Grease a 25 x 25cm baking tray and line with plastic wrap.
Fold the wrap over the sides of the tray.
Stir in the ground cardamom, sifted icing sugar and full cream milk powder into the cooked mixture.
Work the icing sugar and milk powder into the chickpea flour using your fingertips.
Press the mixture into the baking tray – if the mixture is too dry, add a little melted butter.
Garnish with pecan nuts and leave aside to set.
Slice into blocks and lift the plastic wrap to loosen from the tray.