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 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.

Bankers and Mash….choose your bankers and bangers wisely!

Yudhika's blinging up the bangers with this Meatball Macaroni

Yudhika’s blinging up the bangers with this Meatball Macaroni

There has been a lot on my mind recently. And for those of you that follow me on Facebook and Twitter, I am sure that you know that I have been asking Investec some questions. The purpose of my blog is to share not only recipes but information and experiences too. This is the common thread amongst all bloggers…we share! I have shared some of my most intimate memories on my blog…some of those memories have made me feel wretched and others have been ones that uplift the spirit. This is one that should raise a few questions around your financial security with banks.

The story with Investec began with me blocking a user’s access to my business account last year. Whether its a main account or an additional account – the user was blocked! I also moved some of my funds into an First National Bank account. P.S – I am loving FNB…banking with them has been an awesome experience! Somehow, and this part really boggles my brain, is the blocked user gained access to the Investec account and transacted through their call centre facility. Things get slightly more complicated when the blocked user is an employee at Investec and has been at the bank for decades, holding a senior position too. Surely after 30 years you are well versed in banking regulations? Is the senior management team of Investec miraculously not asking the same questions and opting to soft soap the person in question? An age before integrity stance, perhaps? Is this what is known as Banksterism?

For the record, it hasn’t actually created the business and personal hurdles intended but it has blown the lid on what seems more than just a random banking mistake! Questions around favors and privacy have been posed to the bank! The can of worms is open….and I intend on getting answers from Investec. The Ombudsman for Banking Service has also been hugely helpful in understanding procedure and the irregularities in this matter.

I would have thought that the bank would have called a meeting as a starting point to understand the issues with their employee and although there are many questions being raised, they still haven’t and prefer to claim to have exhausted all avenues in answering. My response to this was ‘the lack of a response has not gone unnoticed’. I did receive further communication with mentioned a mistake and an apology but I read through it and was left thoroughly confused. The next question posed was, ‘Exactly what are you apologizing for and what exactly is the mistake?’ There has been no response to my questions except a claim that my statements are factually incorrect and that Investec’s rights as a bank remain reserved if I make any factually inaccurate or defamatory statements. A veiled threat or is that just more generic letter writing? And why would they apologize if my statements were incorrect – surely, I should then be apologizing! Amazing how Investec never tells you what your rights are and that they also remain reserved at all times, of course! The bank now claim that they will not respond directly to me – and I should approach them through a mediator or the Ombudsman. Is it a stalling tactic and the bank assuming that I will be deterred by the admin intensive process? I have addressed this issue on social media and spoken to consumer journalists, – if it wasn’t for social media, there would actually be no response at all! Does this institution allow bankers to become banksters?

We all have bank accounts…here is some food for thought!

Do you actually think about the bank employees that access your personal account details and for what purpose? What stops somebody from asking a pal at the bank to check out his competitors account…if you find out where the payments come from, surely you find out who the clients are? How should a client feel about not being allowed access to what they call employee records? If an employee record logs queries on your account, surely the bank and the client should have access? Is this to cover up employees that actually have nothing better to do that play banking Peek-A-Boo?

Do you hold an account where your spouse is employed and have you considered what would happen if the relationship turned sour? Maybe you should consider what happens to your business and how this would affect your personal circumstances?

What regulations are in place to prevent cronyism? The ‘do me a favour and check on this account’ phenomenon? Should an employee use privileges at the bank to wage their personal wars especially in a divorce?

How do you feel about being tracked via credit card transactions? I may be completely wrong but is the moral of the story that you are not safe at a bank that employs your spouse or is it just that you’re not safe at Investec?

I requested information from Investec – a report on who accessed the account and would like to compare it to the dates of legitimate queries I have made. I want to know how many additional queries were made and if cronyism comes into play. They have refused to supply this information which in my book says plenty. Investec are aware that the reason these questions are raised is to find out if there has been an abuse of power but also, ‘What’s with the fiddling?’. If there wasn’t an issue, I wouldn’t be asking. Or am I not allowed to ask? Does Investec question the mental state of the employee and the desperate bid to fraudulently transact? And how could this employee be adding any value when they have clearly embarrassed himself and the bank by obviously focusing on his personal agenda and not his work? A case of setting the cat amongst the pigeons?

If you are an Investec ‘citizen’ as they call it and happen to be reading this, I hope that you have not indulged a staff member access and information to something he was blocked from in the first place. This applies to anyone who has worked at a bank really and after a few discussions with senior stuff at other banks, one thing is really clear – insider information and meddling is a dismissible offense and so is taking a chance and transacting after an employee has been blocked from an account. It does not only bring the ‘blocked user or Investec employee’ into question, it questions the integrity of the entire Investec team and makes them accomplices too. My queries to the call centre have been discussed with the blocked user – what does ‘blocked user’ mean at a bank or is it not possible for an employee to be blocked? Shouldn’t this be made clear if it was not possible?

Who actually cares about the bank’s status or positioning and what is exclusivity without integrity to back it up? When I made queries about opening another bank account with Investec, I was given the whole nine yards with their rules, requirements and for not much in return! It got me thinking where are the rules when the back of house staff break the rules! Another instance where the rules are for the clients and but what about the citizens of Investec? Let’s get one thing straight, a bank is not doing you a favor by opening your account! And to treat a client like they are privileged is foolish and arrogant. Based on my account and previous history with FNB, I actually got a whole lot more than I was looking for! Shop around – and find a bank that will work with you and not against you! We all have our experiences…good and bad…but if you have a bad one, just move on to find the one that’s right for you! I certainly have and enjoying my banking pleasures at First National Bank.

If you are in the banking world, I would love to hear from you….and for those of you who have had similar experiences, please feel free to share them in the comments section!

I looked at a pack of bangers and it made me think of dodgy bankers…plump and arrogant…It’s no secret and not my original thought that bankers don’t have great reputations but they have much in common with a banger, chose the wrong banger and its also a whole lot of bad ingredients minced together and disguised as a tempting treat. I won’t prepare them in the same old way, grilled with a heap of buttery mashed potato. Not in the mood to flatter a banger, I chose to grab the bangers and squeeze out the sausage meat and turn them into something extraordinarily delicious…sometimes you need to squeeze the bankers, but let’s get on with a recipe that squeezes the bangers! The banger squeezing was most therapeutic!

Meatballs can be quite tasteless not unlike a bad banking experience. A combination of sausage meat and beef mince works really well and I have used some chilli flakes to spice things up. Fresh herbs also add lots of flavour and aroma to these meatballs. If you want the short version…just cook up the meatballs and serve with spaghetti! My kids love meatballs and my son, Rushil, said he could pretty much handle the meatball making on his own! Rushil has obviously been paying too much attention during my tv shoots – love the way he talks about wine and AMC Cookware! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq9YRwG8Qd8&list=UU-twiG9NWyVR9OH9F7gSbMg

Good enough to eat with spaghetti and cooked in the best AMC Cookware!

Good enough to eat with spaghetti and cooked in the best AMC Cookware!

Meatball Macaroni with Squeezed Bangers

Ingredients

700g beef mince
700g bangers, I used deli bangers from Broadacres Superspar
1 onion, chopped
Sunflower oil to fry onion
1 egg yolk
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Handful chopped coriander
Handful chopped parsley
6 sprigs fresh thyme
10ml chilli flakes, optional
Salt and black pepper to season
250ml red wine

For the meatball sauce:
50ml sunflower oil or cooking olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse
3 x 400g tins chopped Italian tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to season

For the sauce:
75g butter
75g flour
900ml milk
150g cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to season

500g macaroni, cooked as per packaging directions

Here’s how:

Heat a little sunflower oil in an AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan. Saute the chopped onion until translucent. Remove the onion from the pan and place it into a mixing bowl.
Place the beef mince into the mixing bowl with the onions. Squeeze the sausage meat out and discard the skins. Add this to the beef mince and then add the garlic, chopped herbs and thyme leaves, egg yolk and chilli flakes. Lightly season with salt and add black pepper.
Mix the ingredients together and then mould into meatballs.
Reheat the 28cm AMC Chef’s Pan and add a little oil.
Fry the meatballs in two batches until they are browned.
Remove from the pan and then pour in the red wine to deglaze. Stir the wine around and scrape the base of the pan.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the red wine is reduced by half.

In an AMC Paella pan, heat the sunflower oil and add the bay leaf.
Add the chopped onion, salt and saute until light golden brown.
Stir the chopped tomatoes into the sauce and add the reduce red wine.
Simmer until the tomatoes dissolve, using the back of a wooden spoon to break down the lumps.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the meatballs and reduce the heat.
Simmer until the sauce thickens.

Prepare the sauce:

Heat the butter in a 24cm AMC pot.
Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
Cook the flour for 2 minutes and keep stirring with a wooden spoon.
Gradually pour in the milk and keep whisking to prevent lumps from forming.
Once the all the milk has been added, continue whisking with the meat on medium.
Add half the cheese and reserve the rest for the topping.
Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat.

To assemble,

Place the cooked macaroni in a casserole dish.
Top with the meatballs and sauce and ensure the meatballs are evenly placed.
Pour the cheesy sauce over the meatballs.
Top with the reserved grated cheese – you can add more cheese if you like.

Bake in a hot oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown – the sauce should bubble around the edges of the casserole dish.

Keep your eye on the doughnut….

Yudhika Sujanani's Cinnamon Doughnuts with AMC Cookware

Yudhika Sujanani’s Cinnamon Doughnuts with AMC Cookware

I love spending time with the kids and we always end up in the kitchen whipping up a batch of something special. The Easter weekend was no different and over the last few days, it’s been choc pudding, snowballs and doughnuts too! While making these doughnuts, I remembered the old saying….Keep your eye on the doughnut and not upon the hole! It just makes sense, doesn’t it? We just can’t stop fixating on the hole to see the luscious doughnut sometimes! It reminded me that through all the admin around the ‘hole’ in my life, there is still a doughnut!

The other saying that also came to mind was…The optimist sees the doughnut, the pessimist the hole! How often in life we spend our time with people who only see that hole and don’t have a word of encouragement to share? I am guilty of just that, and recognizing now that some of the best years of my life were spent with an aging playboy who was definitely the hole in my world! When you are compared to past lovers, accused of not bringing home enough bacon and never good enough for anything…when you are ridiculed and humiliated amongst friends and family, life begins to feel like the hole in the doughnut! Feeling unloved and tormented, the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can dominate your existence. These negative experiences can turn any relationship into a black hole!

A hole can abuse the human spirit. Holes sometimes carelessly define themselves by what they did twenty years ago….the wild parties, the corporate one night stands and how stupid their spouse was to not catch them cheating or maybe it was put in a slightly different way…I was so smart that I never got caught! I cannot understand how ego replaces good judgement and leads to emotional casualties. While most choose to add meaning to their lives by building careers and family relationships, a hole chooses to revel in frivolity. Casual flings, corporate incest…this is what I describe as those people that often become the ‘office bicycle’, and heavy boozing….it’s a tale not meant for the faint hearted but of a hole. The moral is a hole never grows up!

Some people thank me for the honesty and for sharing my thoughts, other so called public figures (not friends I might add, just opinionated fools) say that thoughts on politics, people and relationships should be zipped but in my opinion that is what only a coward would do! We all have our story and I share snippets of mine with you, hoping that it takes you out of your comfort zone, making you ask different questions. I have had to say my goodbyes, turning my back on things that were clearly toxic and damaging. The war still rages and unnecessarily so.

Just Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Just Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Such intense thoughts while making up a batch of doughnuts…I always say that cooking and baking is therapeutic and while you bang out a batch of these…keep your eye on the doughnut but find the hole that troubles your soul and keeps you up at night! Once you identify the hole, life starts to change and it can only be positive!

My last thought is that life is much like a doughnut, it can be plain and simple…just dusted with sugar, embellished with decadent toppings or filled with lashings of cream…the basic dough recipe however, remains the same! You can choose the toppings and sides like you did at ‘Just Doughnuts’ back in the old days. If your timing is off and you procrastinate, the doughnut turns stale! Seize the moment and enjoy. Celebrate the doughnut and mourn not a hole!

Cinnamon Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Cinnamon Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Cinnamon Doughnuts

Ingredients

500g cake flour
50g castor sugar
15ml dried yeast
5ml salt
300ml warm milk
3 egg yolks
100g butter, melted
Sunflower oil, to deep fry

200ml sugar
10ml ground cinnamon

Here’s how

Place the cake flour, castor sugar, dried yeast and salt into a mixing bowl.
Using a KitchenAid with a dough attachment, mix the dry ingredients on a low speed to evenly distribute the yeast.
Add the warm milk and eggs yolks.
Once the dough starts to come together, pour in the melted butter and continue mixing for 5 minutes.
If you are kneading the dough by hand, this should take about ten minutes.
Grease the mixing bowl with non stick spray.
Place the dough into a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Leave aside to rest and prove for 90 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and deflate, kneading the dough for 2 – 3 minutes.
Work the dough into a smooth ball and roll out until it is 1,5cm thick.
Use a round cutter and cut out the doughnuts and a smaller cutter for the hole in the centre. Use as little flour as possible or only if necessary when doing this to prevent the dough from becoming dry.
Place the doughnuts on a greased baking tray and cover with plastic wrapped that has also been greased with non-stick spray.
Gather the dough offcuts and once again roll into a smooth ball and repeat the process.
Leave the doughnuts to rise for 15 minutes.
Combine the cinnamon and the sugar in a mixing bowl and stir well.
Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an AMC Paella Pan – this pan has a smaller base and is wider at the top so it uses less oil than a normal pot.
Once the oil is hot, test using a tiny piece of dough – the dough should hit the oil, bubble and come up to the surface.

Frying the doughnuts in an AMC paella Frying the doughnuts in an AMC paella[/caption

Fry the doughnuts in batches until golden brown.
Remove them from the oil and dab slightly.
Toss the doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar and serve.

A snowballs chance in hell…..

Yudhika Sujanani prepares Snowballs - another trip down memory lane!

Yudhika Sujanani prepares Snowballs – another trip down memory lane!

When I chat to people from my hometown, we inevitably end up time travelling through reminiscing about our childhood treats. The were wealthy families and poor ones too, but the one thing that they had in common was a love for all things delicious. Some of us look back and for sure, we feel like we were deprived of so much but we also take note of the things we had then that our kids will never experience…and childhood friendships are the first thing that come to mind. I don’t feel so bad about having so much less than most people did…it was just my perception at the time and without my so-called hand, my life could have turned out differently….but thinking back on those days, there was an unspoken reality that most of us from Isipingo faced…so many talented people thinking….I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell!

Without money, a troubled secondary education or a chance at tertiary education, there was a sense of hopelessness that hung over the town like an unspoken destiny. It was only much later that I realized that we never actually needed to leave to make it…growing up in Isipingo taught us the lessons we needed to succeed. It frustrated some to the point that they became the most driven people who have succeeded not only in South Africa but abroad too….a few names that pop into my mind…Nanda Soobben, the political cartoonist, and a missile aerodynamicist who’s name I care not to mention! That’s a story for another day….but the children of Isipingo made it to the big time….Doctor’s lawyers and accountants…not to mention entrepreneurs…the common thread amongst us was that we learnt to hustle! We did after all have a chance in hell, we just didn’t know it at the time!

People who left South Africa to holiday were celebrities and those who left to study abroad had super stardom status….hardly anyone ever got out so it was really newsworthy! We grew up in a time when we went to the Old Louis Botha airport to bid farewell to a person going on holiday. I can still remember my uncle leaving to London and my mom wearing her best silk sari to the airport. She pulled out an old leather suitcase from under the bed and in it was a treasure trove of saris…they smelled almost religious to me, with a faint hint of incense…also they were old which reminded me of how little she had and how much she treasured her little stash of silks. I remember burying my face in the pleats and pissing her off, but she had no idea then that the scent of her would live in my memory forever! She had incredibly long hair and she pulled it into a ponytail and in seconds almost like a magic trick, she coiled it into a fashionable bun…it was my job to pass her the hairpins and she got really irritated when I was a bit slow from day dreaming. How many of you remember this ritual….the sari, the makeup, the bun and lastly….the hairspray that made us choke….and then of course, she would cover her hair with a handkerchief to control the fine, wispy strays!

These were the days before new age cakes and baking…no red velvet cakes and croissants or chocolate ganache anything! Wareings Bakery was a name that every kid knew…they made pies, mock cream doughnuts and the amazing snowball too. On a school sports day, each kid got a doughnut or sometimes a snowball with a Coo-ee to go with it…it was tradition and something our kids will never experience! Snowballs and doughnuts from the corner shops around Isipingo were incredibly popular…Uncle Goolam from the Curry Tray, or Colleen’s Tearoom across the road from the Isipingo Beach Library or Jeena’s in Isipingo Hills…or the Busy Bee on Old Main Road…they displayed the doughnuts and snowballs on the counter, sometimes behind glass, but always on newsprint! They were fresh and delicious and we never tired of them! Anyone knows what happened to Wareings? I haven’t spotted their stuff in years and why is it so hard to find a good snowball???

After numerous requests, I finally got around to making up a batch…there is always some hesitation around a recipe that isn’t just a recipe…it’s so much more than that! It’s a memory of a time that life was a lot simpler, friendships were real, and no one real cared if you got the snowball coconut all over the back seat of the car! For some that don’t know what a snowball is, I can best describe it as a delicious whoopie pie, sandwiched together with an icing paste, dunked in a syrup and then rolled in tinted coconut! Keep them in an airtight biscuit tin for a day or so….if they last that long! I got the kids to help with weighing, measuring and coconut tinting, snowball syrup dunking too so click here to watch the clips…https://youtu.be/GgCqH2GL35s and here for how my kitchen helpers, Rushil and Tanvi, finished up their task so watch for their theatrical ending in this clip, https://youtu.be/vn8KBCAiGmQ

Lastly, I dedicate this recipe to all those ‘Snowballs’ from Isipingo!

Snowballs

Makes 10 – 12

Ingredients

400ml desiccated coconut
Few drops pink colouring

140g butter
125ml sugar
2 large eggs
5ml vanilla essence
375ml self-raising flour
Pinch of salt

For sandwiching the cakes…
200ml icing sugar
20ml boiled water

For the syrup…
120ml sugar
120ml water
150ml smooth apricot
7ml red food colouring

Place the desiccated coconut in a mixing and add few drops of pink food colouring. Rub the colouring into the coconut to tint the coconut until evenly coloured.

Kitchen assistant on coconut duty...Tanvi Sujanani on the job!

Kitchen assistant on coconut duty…Tanvi Sujanani on the job!

Cream the butter until light and fluffy, then gradually add the sugar.
Continue creaming until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Whisk the eggs lightly then gradually add this to the creamed butter, add a 2 teaspoons flour with the eggs to prevent curdling.
Add the salt and vanilla essence.
Add the flour and work the mixture into a soft dough.
Divide the dough into portions – I weighed them into 25g balls.

Snowballs...ready for the oven!

Snowballs…ready for the oven!

Roll each one until smooth and place on a baking tray lined with greased paper.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C for 12 – 15 minutes. They should be pale in colour with the bases turning light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Just out the oven....

Just out the oven….

Make the syrup – heat the sugar and water in a 24cm AMC pot. Bring the syrup to the boil once the sugar has dissolved. Add the apricot jam and simmer until the syrup is slightly thick – not too thick as it will prevent the syrup from penetrating the snowball. Tint the syrup with red food colouring.

Snowball syrup made with sugar, water and apricot jam...in an AMC Cookware unit!

Snowball syrup made with sugar, water and apricot jam…in an AMC Cookware unit!

Once the snowballs are cool, mix the icing sugar and boiled water into a thick, smooth paste, then sandwich the snowballs together.

Glueing the snowballs together!

Glueing the snowballs together!

Sandwiching the snowballs....

Sandwiching the snowballs….

Leave to harden slightly – this takes a minute or two, then dip the snowballs into the hot syrup and toss them a few times to make sure they are coated. I used tongs for this as the syrup was quite warm.

Place them into the coconut and toss to coat evenly.

Pretty in pink...the snowball  done and dusted!

Pretty in pink…the snowball done and dusted!

Dust off the excess coconut and place on baking paper.

These are delicious eaten fresh but may be stored for up to two days.

To all the chops I’ve loved before….spicy lamb chops!

Yudhika on SABC 2's Mela..for all the chops I have loved before!

Yudhika on SABC 2’s Mela..for all the chops I have loved before!

I have a strange sense of humour and drive my kids and my mom crazy with the songs I sing! One of my favourite singers was Julio Iglesias and his song, ‘To all the girls I’ve loved before’….what sounded romantic to me as a child, just sounds completely ironic now.

My version of the song, is ‘To all the chops I’ve loved before’…

To all the chops I’ve loved before,
Who marinated in and out my store,
I’m glad they came along…
I dedicate this blog….
To all the the chops I’ve loved before!

I am not shy to say…but boy, have I loved a few chops in my time! I am kind to myself and know that it’s a part of growing up and sometimes a part of growing old! I should write my memoirs and share some of my giggles but that would be telling, wouldn’t it?!

So, I like most of you have had my share of ‘boy trouble’ and the problem with boys is that they grow into bullies which is most unattractive and unacceptable! So from the cheats, to possessive freaks to older men and aging playboys…I have seen and experienced my fair share!

Has it made me bitter…absolutely not…I have learnt to laugh about it. And once you laugh, the tears never fall. Life is beautiful so why should we define it by dodgy relationships!

I do love lamb chops and marinated ones are my favourite. I prepared these on Mela a while ago and thought that if you have a love of chops, like me, then this recipe will not disappoint like some other chops do!

A message to all the chops I have loved before, your time has passed, I have grown from my experience and thank you for the education, the lessons learned and experience. I won’t look back and haven’t…there are no second chances or third ones and sorry won’t do! I guess if some of those chops walk past my work in a book store, they must be surprised and possibly kicking themselves for judging me by everything I did not have… where I come from, girls from wealthy families were taken seriously and money talked, while the rest walked! I don’t have regrets for it has shown me that some people lack character! For those of you who have had your heart broken, smile for you are free from what could have caused you a lifetime of pain! There is a reason why people don’t make a book and just have a chapter in your life! Love yourself and be kind during the hard times and heartbreak! And I wish you much happiness and love on your adventure!

If you missed the episode on Mela, click here, http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-spicy-lamb-chops-and-pavlova/

To all the chops I've loved before....marinated lamb chops by Yudhika Sujanani

To all the chops I’ve loved before….marinated lamb chops by Yudhika Sujanani

Masala Lamb Chops

12 lamb chops

Salt, to season

Marinade:

45ml crushed ginger

15ml crushed garlic

2ml black pepper

25ml fresh cream

25ml greek yoghurt

10ml ground cumin

15ml red chilli powder

10ml garam masala

50ml lemon juice

Sunflower oil, to baste

Lemon wedges, to serve

Here’s how:

Season the lamb chops with salt.

Mix the marinade ingredients together until smooth.

Rub the marinade over the chops and leave to rest in a refrigerator for a few hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place a wire rack over a baking tray.

Arrange the chops on the wire rack and drizzle with a little sunflower oil

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Easter ideas….Spinach and Prawn Pilau

Yudhika's Spinach and Prawn Pilau with AMC Cookware...

Yudhika’s Spinach and Prawn Pilau with AMC Cookware…

The first part of 2015 has flown by and I can’t believe it’s Easter weekend already! I worked on an Easter recipe supplement for the Post Newspaper with Yogas Nair and her team which is always a delight! And this time, I was also lucky enough to work with my favourite company as the sponsor, AMC Cookware!

So while the Post Newspaper and AMC cookware keep me really busy, I have not blogged much but hopefully this recipe makes an appearance on your Easter table! And for those of you who love a hot cross bun, here is my recipe for Lindt Chocolate Hot Cross Bun, http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/03/18/lindt-choc-chip-hot-cross-buns/

Spinach and Prawn Pilau

Serves 4

Ingredients

1kg prawns, shelled and de-veined
40ml sunflower oil, to fry prawns
Salt, to season

50ml sunflower oil
1 small cinnamon stick
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
4 garlic cloves, crushed
10ml red chilli powder
400g tomatoes, skinned and chopped or tinned
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
1ml turmeric
300g cooked brown lentils or 1 x 400g tin lentils drained
400g baby spinach chopped
750ml cooked basmati rice, cooled
125ml boiled water

Handful of crispy brown onions, to garnish
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how

Heat the sunflower oil in a 24cm AMC gourmet pan.
Add the cinnamon stick and fry until fragrant.
Add the mustard and when the seeds pop, add the cumin and fry for a few seconds.
Stir the onion and salt into the oil.
Saute until the onion turns light golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic cloves and saute until fragrant.
Stir the red chilli into the oil and heat for a few seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Simmer until the oil separates from the sauce.
Layer half the brown lentils and spinach over the cooked tomatoes.
Layer the rice over and then layer the remaining lentils and spinach.
Pour the boiled water over the rice.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice heats through and the spinach wilts.
Heat a 28cm Chef’s Pan.
Add the 40ml sunflower oil when the pan is hot.
Saute the prawn in the oil until they turn pink and the tails curl.
Place the prawns over the hot spinach pilau and garnish with crispy brown onion.

Old is gold….

Yudhika's Durban inspired menu....inspired by the old days!

Yudhika’s Durban inspired menu….inspired by the old days!

A trip down memory lane is what inspired my last Mela menu! It all started when I came across a rather vintage set of AMC pots that were from the 70’s. My mom also had a set but this set was a little older. These pots are always part of my kitchen memories. They were so flash in their day that serving dishes were hardly ever used in my home and it is still the same for me today!

BEFORE:

The vintage AMC lids and knobs

The vintage AMC lids and knobs

A very vintage set of AMC cookware...ready to be sent of for a 'spit and polish'

A very vintage set of AMC cookware…ready to be sent of for a ‘spit and polish’

AFTER:

The AMC lid after repolishing...

The AMC lid after repolishing…

As good as new or even better!  The AMC set after re-polishing!

As good as new or even better! The AMC set after re-polishing!

The various sized cookware were re-named in an Indian household and I am sure that some of my Indian followers will relate to the ‘rice pot’, ‘breyani pot’ and ‘fish curry pot’ – all names to describe the pots in the AMC range…and there was also a ‘dhall pot’. Kaye and Tamsyn from AMC Cookware looked quite puzzled when I mentioned these names during a meeting! And I am slowly learning to call them by their ‘good names’ like 30cm gourmet roaster, 24cm high, etc.

I was first tempted to leave the vintage set of AMC as is but asked Kaye and the AMC team to do an AMC overhaul! The pots arrived and I couldn’t believe that they looked brand spanking new…after over forty years of service! Looking at the old style handles and knobs on the lids, is like tripping all over food memory lane! I mentioned the names that the cookware is given in an Indian home…and to celebrate old fashioned food, I did a Mela menu inspired by my childhood.

Yudhika cooking up a storm on Mela!

Yudhika cooking up a storm on Mela!

We lived in Isipingo and for a while we lived in Isipingo Beach. My grandfather was a keen fisherman and loved to take my cousins and I on fishing trips! I even had my own fishing rod! My gran would pack a picnic basket and we would be off for the day. The best part of the fishing trip would be to get home and my mom would season the catch of the day with red chilli, salt and a light sprinkling of turmeric. This was the best fried fish ever! Sometimes she would also prepare a devilishly hot fish curry cooked with tamarind and tomatoes.

On the Mela menu for the week….Durban Fish Curry cooked in my AMC fish pot and Soji Balls! Soji Balls are ones of my favourite childhood treats and when I spotted a tray of them at a prayer, I swear I would pray would one eye open! They were hard to resist and every time us kids attended a prayer, we couldn’t help thinking of the treats that would come our way!

North or South Indian, it didn’t matter….almost every fish curry in Durban is cooked the same way! Some recipes remain untouched by language, caste and religion. The secret to a good fish curry is fresh fish, an AMC pot that cooks the fish in one layer and the most ripe tomatoes…in summer I use fresh ‘jam’ tomatoes that are over-ripe and in Winter I opt for tinned tomatoes that gives you super ripe juicy tomatoes all year round! I must admit that I sometimes use them in Summer too! I love a few shortcuts! If you missed Mela over the weekend and would like to take a look at my step by step video, click here to watch http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-durban-fish-curry-and-soji-balls/

Here’s the fish curry recipe just how I remember it….

Durban Fish Curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Durban Fish Curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Durban Fish Curry

Serves 4

750g firm fish steaks
60ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
6 cloves garlic, crushed
5ml crushed ginger
30ml red chilli powder
800g tomatoes, blanched and chopped – I use tinned tomatoes sometimes
10ml ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
2ml turmeric
30ml tamarind
125ml boiled water
Pinch of sugar
Curry leaves and coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC pot.
Add the mustard seeds and once the begin to pop.
Add the cumin seeds and fry until the sizzle and turn a shade darker.
Stir the onion and salt into the oil.
Saute the onions until they turn golden brown – I also add a few curry leaves to get the aromas going!
Add the crushed garlic and ginger and fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
Stir the red chilli powder into the oil and fry for 3 – 5 seconds, then add the tomatoes.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric and simmer the sauce until the tomatoes form a smooth paste – use the back of a wooden spoon to break down the lumps.
While the tomatoes are simmering, dissolve the tamarind in boiling water – if you are using tamarind with seeds, you will have to strain the liquid to remove the fibres and seeds.
When the tomatoes have cooked down and are completely soft, add the tamarind and then place the fish steaks into the sauce.
Poach the steaks in the sauce and simmer on a very low heat until the sauce has thickened – the cooking time depends on the thickness of the fish steaks.
Sprinkle in a little sugar to balance the sharpness and acidity of the tomatoes.
Garnish with fresh curry leaves and coriander.
Serve with rice or roti.

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat…Where have you been?

Yudhika's Harrods Inspired Chocolate Fig Cupcakes

Yudhika’s Harrods Inspired Fig and Chocolate Cupcakes

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat,

Where have you been?

I have been to London,

Not to visit the Queen!

My days have been full, my evenings fuller and life has just been crazy! I must apologize for not blogging in a while!  And from here on, ‘I solemnly swear to blog’!  Thanks and thanks again for the lovely messages and posts – and to those of you who said you missed the recipes, its just the inspiration needed to publish a new recipe!

So, the question everyone asks is, ‘Where have you been?’

Well here, there and everywhere!  But my latest highlight was an invitation to London!  I have been hankering after a break for ages.  I will be blogging some of the highlights of my trip as well as the recipes and dishes that made a memorable one!

Yudhika's adventure at Harrods

Yudhika’s adventure at Harrods

A trip to London would not be complete without a trip to Harrods.  I should write a story titled, ‘Lost in Harrods’…it is the most amazing shopping experience ever! And the entire 5th floor is dedicated to shoes…only shoes!  For those of you who know me, I have an ongoing love affair with shoes! I spent hours admiring the displays and feasting my eyes on the exquisite collection.

The chocolate truffle display at Harrods - how beautiful!

The chocolate truffle display at Harrods – how beautiful!

The Harrods Food Hall has the most amazing selection of food creations that I have experienced.  From designer cupcakes that cost around 6 pounds to triple layer cakes that cost more than a pretty penny. The best way to survive London is to never think about the exchange rate.  I did a quick little clip, take a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQxDaJXAKmM&list=UU-twiG9NWyVR9OH9F7gSbMg and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHpKF5YgmaY&list=UU-twiG9NWyVR9OH9F7gSbMg

Yudhika visits Harrods: 75 pounds for a cake at Harrods!!!  WOW!

Yudhika visits Harrods: 75 pounds for a cake at Harrods!!! WOW!

I got home feeling inspired and whipped up a batch of these delicious cupcakes.  They are rather ‘Harrods Looking’ even if I say so myself.  I did pick up a foodie keepsake from the store, an Irish wood board which I am sure I will treasure for years.

I got back to Jozi feeling inspired and made up a batch of these to impress my kids!  They are delicious and more importantly come without a Harrods price tag!  This recipe is going to be featured in the Post Newspaper’s Easter Supplement that comes out on Wednesday this week so don’t forget to pick up your copy!

On to the recipe….here is my Harrod’s Inspired Fig and Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

Ingredients

Makes 12

100g cake flour

7,5ml baking powder

25g cocoa powder

120g sugar

50g butter, room temperature

120ml full cream milk

1 egg

5ml vanilla essence

The Frosting Ingredients

100g butter

200g sifted icing sugar

45g cocoa powder

230g cream cheese
 – I used Spar Cream Cheese

30ml full cream milk, optional

Fresh figs, to garnish

Fresh mint, to garnish

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.

Place the cake flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar into a mixing bowl.

Add the butter and beat until the ingredients are combined – the mixture should look quite gritty.

Gradually add the milk and vanilla essence while beating continuously.

Add the lightly beaten eggs and beat again until the batter is smooth.

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cakes are tested.

Remove the cakes from the tin and then leave on a wire rack to cook completely.

For the frosting:

Beat together icing sugar and butter until well combined.

Sift in the cocoa powder and continue beating.

Add the cream cheese and continue beating the ingredients until smooth and fluffy.

This should take 2 – 3 minutes – take care not to over work the frosting.

Add full cream milk if the frosting is too thick.

To finish:

Pipe the frosting over the cupcakes and top with a fresh fig.

Garnish with a mint sprig.

Drop dead delicious!

Yudhika Sujanani's Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Yudhika Sujanani’s Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Is it just me or is a self saucing pud just the sexiest thing?  It’s rich, moist and oozes with luscious chocolatey goodness!  It’s wicked, it’s sexy and it is drop dead delicious!  With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I have been dreaming up recipes that would be perfect for this special day and if you are the ‘dessert at my place’ kinda person, then this recipe is especially should tickle your fancy!

This is a rather off-beat recipe but then again, I am an off-beat sort of cook…the sauce is mixed together and then poured over the cake batter which is certainly odd, but it works…trust me on this! I used Belgian cocoa powder in this recipe but you can also try Bournville Cocoa…it will give you a dark chocolatey richness and a silken warm lava like sauce!

Serve with a dollop of fresh cream or ice cream, the choice is yours but this recipe will definitely have your Valentine asking for more! If Creme Brulee is more your kind of dessert, click here to watch the step by step guide from my cooking slot on Mela, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et3a12fBNzI
and don’t forget to catch the show this Sunday on SABC 2 at 13h30! On the menu is a Valentine inspired menu with marinated lamb chops and a dreamy berry pavlova!

Did I mention how easy this recipe is? Give it a go and don’t over bake it or the sauce will disappear!

Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

For the sauce:
250ml milk
90g light brown sugar
35g cocoa powder

125g soft butter
125g light brown sugar
5ml vanilla essence
2 large eggs
100g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

Cream or ice cream, to serve

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Gently heat the milk in a 16cm AMC pot until lukewarm and remove from the heat.
Add the brown sugar and cocoa powder.
Stir until the lumps have dissolved and the sauce is smooth.
Leave to cool.

Cream the butter and gradually add the sugar. Scrape down the mixing bowl.
Continue beating until fluffy and add the vanilla essence.
Add the eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of flour, beating well after each one.
Sift the dry ingredients and fold into the cream butter.
Grease a 1,5 litre greaseproof dish with butter. The dish should be about 5cm deep.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish.
Pour the cooled sauce mixture over the unbaked mixture.
Bake the for 30 – 35 minutes.
Serve hot with cream or ice cream.

Mela….Paratha Party

Yudhika Sujanani on SABC 2's Mela - Paratha's on the menu!

Yudhika Sujanani on SABC 2’s Mela – Paratha’s on the menu!

‘Dear Lord…please make them puff!’ Parathas were on the menu on Mela and during the shoot, I prayed and prayed…and prayed.  Every now and then a recipe flops and it’s disastrous but flopping on camera would be a catastrophe!  I bang out batches of paratha especially for Sunday brunch and they do puff up beautifully…but as Murphy would have it, I thought that they wouldn’t with a camera in front of me!

 

Yudhika on set at Holi Cow with SABC 2's Mela

Yudhika on set at Holi Cow with SABC 2’s Mela

 

The Mela season two shoot kicked off with the paratha episode and much to my relief…they did puff up!  Phew…I was so delighted…I mean overjoyed and having a whoop whoop moment.  I even dropped a comment about an Indian superstition – your mother in law will love you lots if your roti and paratha puff up into golden orbs!  Well, it’s just a superstition and I can tell you that it’s not true…maybe it’s because my mother in law doesn’t eat paratha???

 

Sweet Parathas or Sugar Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Sweet Parathas or Sugar Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

 

 

 

I also featured a childhood treat in this  food episode.  Indian moms could turn just about anything into a treat and a little leftover dough was made into a sugar roti or sweet paratha.  The dough was stuff with sugar and gathered into a ‘moneybag’, rolled and cooked on a thava or griddle pan.  One bite into it and the hot sugar syrup would ooze out deliciously.  If you missed the episode, click here…http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-parathas/

 

To the old fashioned recipe, I added a light drizzle of condensed milk and a generous sprinkling of fresh grated coconut.  This is something I picked up in Thailand – the locals prepare a pancake with banana, condensed milk and coconut – takes me back to being so so lucky to travel with the Thai Embassy and Amazing Thailand.

 

Yudhika's Paratha on SABC 2's Mela

Yudhika’s Paratha on SABC 2’s Mela

 

 

Aloo Parathas and Paneer Parathas and Sweet Parathas

 

 

Paratha Dough:

 

1000ml cake flour

7,5ml fine salt

475ml boiling water

120ml sunflower oil

90ml butter, melted

 

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Pour in the boiling water and mix with a wooden spoon.

Pour the sunflower oil in and mix well to combine.

Knead the dough while it is still hot until smooth.

Roll the dough into a ball until the cracks are no longer visible.

Slice the dough into eight pieces and roll into a smooth ball.

Leave the pieces in a mixing bowl and cover with a damp cloth.

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling for the parathas.

.

 

 

 

 

Aloo Paratha Filling

 

3 medium potatoes, boiled in the skin

15ml finely crushed fresh ginger

4 green chillies, finely chopped

45ml finely chopped coriander

5ml red chilli powder

Salt to season

 

 

Peel the skin off the potatoes and place them in a mixing bowl.

Mash the potatoes while they are still warm and leave to cool.

Pound the ginger and green chilli in a mortar.

Add the pounded mixture to the mashed potato.

Add the chopped coriander and red chilli powder.

Season with salt.

 

 

Paneer Paratha Filling:

 

100g grated paneer

1 large potatoe, grated

2ml ground cumin

5ml crushed ginger

5ml crushed garlic

Chopped coriander

5ml red chilli powder

5ml ground coriander

 

 

 

 

To assemble the parathas:

Flatten each piece of dough and scoop the filling into the centre.

Gather the edges of the dough to the centre to enclose the filling.

Twist the centre and pinch of the excess dough.

Gently flatten the dough with a rolling pin on a well floured work surface.

Roll the dough out into 15 – 17cm rounds.

Place the paratha on a heated tawa (indian griddle pan) and cook until freckles appear.

Turn the paratha over and drizzle a little melted butter over.

Turn again and drizzle a little butter over.

Remove from the pan when there are deep golden brown freckles on the parathas.

Serve hot with a dipping sauce of your choice.

 

Yudhika’s tips:

Smaller parathas are easier to handle especially if you are a beginner.

Adjust the green chilli if you would like a milder paratha.

Parathas can also be served with Mint Raita.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something fishy…

Old fashioned Durban fish cakes by Yudhika Sujanani

Old fashioned Durban fish cakes by Yudhika Sujanani

Food is like time travel – I always say that and a recipe like this does transport me to my childhood in Durban.  Aromas would waft out the kitchen and I would soak up warm scented air.  My gran would make up a batch of these and it would be served at special occasions.  She never measured anything…and never missed a beat with her cooking.  She was like a magician, just adding a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that and miraculously she would turn out the most delicious meals.

 

During my childhood I noticed that men and women didn’t hang out together at functions.  The women congregated in the kitchen and the men would sit outside.  The men would make frequent trips to the ‘car boot’ which was where the booze was stashed.  Nobody ever real boozed openly – Boozing was man business and they left the cooking  and child minding up to the women folk!  Makes you think about how much things have changed!

 

For this recipe, I used tinned middle cut mackerel.  Tinned fish was never popular in our home and only acceptable in fish cake format.  I like these fish cakes super spicy, but reduce the green chilli for a milder version.  Do you remember these from your childhood.

 

I cooked these in an AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan.  If you are a little nervous about the cakes falling apart and sticking to the pan, start out by lightly greasing the skillet with a slick on non stick spray.  Then heat up the sunflower oil, and fry the cakes until golden brown.  The non stick spray is just a little ‘insurance policy’! I did a more summery fish cake recipe on Mela just recently using steamed hake and then baked them instead of frying.  Check out the video here, http://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/01/26/mela-summer-sizzler-fish-cakes/ – you can also head over to the Mela facebook page for the latest recipes.

 

 

I featured this recipe a few weeks ago in the Post Newspaper, don’t forget to pick up your copy and enter the AMC competition!

 

Fish Cakes

Makes 16

 

Ingredients

 

2 x 410g tins middle cut Mackerel

500g potatoes, boiled in skin

1 onion, finely chopped

10ml crushed garlic

60g coriander, chopped

8 green chillies, finely chopped

10ml ground cumin

10ml ground coriander

5ml salt

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

 

 

1 egg, lightly beaten

Bread crumbs, to coat

 

Sunflower oil, to shallow fry cakes

 

Lemon wedges, to serve

 

Here’s how:

 

Drain off the liquid from the tinned Mackerel.

Place the pieces in a mixing bowl.

Scrape the fish to remove the dark meat of the mackerel and the bones as well.

Rinse lightly under a slow trickle of running water to wash away little bones.

Flake the fish into a mixing bowl.

Skin the potatoes and grate them into the bowl.

Add the garlic, fresh coriander and green chillies.

Sprinkle the powdered spices into the mixture.

Season with salt, add the egg and the egg yolk.

Mix well to combine.

Mould the mixture into little patties and place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Refrigerate the fish cakes until firm – this takes about an hour.

Dip the cakes into the beaten egg and toss them in bread crumbs to coat.

Heat an AMC 28cm Chefs Pan and once hot, spray over a thin layer of non stick spray, then pour in sunflower oil.

Fry the cakes in batches until they are golden brown.

Serve hot with lemon wedges and dipping sauces.