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.

To crush a bunny chow….

 

Ready to bunny....Yudhika Sujanani on Mela

Ready to bunny….Yudhika Sujanani on Mela – Wardrobe: Sun Goddess

 

For heaven’s sake, we are not cooking up a bunny rabbit! It’s a  Bunny Chows and almost like traveling back in time…you have to take a trip down memory lane….so how do you describe eating a bunny….is it to eat a bunny?  No!  Everyone has their own terminology…to kill a bunny….to crush a bunny or to slay a bunny but there is never any cutlery!

 

Indian fast foods have a story behind them….and bunny chow was a way of serving curry in hollowed out bread that didn’t need a plate or cutlery…it was borne in times of hardship, racism and apartheid.  The best ‘Durban fast food’ was the result of those difficult times so yes, while we now live in a generation of born free’s, the bunny chow movement is still going strong!

 

When I think bunny chow, I think Island Hotel in Isipingo Beach!  My Nan’s sister, Phyllis owned the Island Hotel…well, it was owned by the ‘B V Naidoo’ clan that owned the hotel.  Strangely enough, the Andhrite community still speak of clans!  I do find it quite amusing…what if you just don’t have a clan or fit into one either?  I was never a fan of the chicken bunny….give me a good old bean bunny  or my other bestie, the famous lamb bunny.

 

We loved visiting Granny Phill!  She was always feed us…making sure that we were over fed and cheerful when we left….and definitely in need of an arvie nap!  She would cook up large batches of curries in massive pots…the cooking gene runs deep in our family!

 

Granny Phyllis passed away a few years ago…but she has left some beautiful food memories behind….we would smell the curry in the car park of the hotel and we knew that she was around!  She cooked with love and hearty…a larger than life personal with a sense of humor that just made us giggle!

 

Today, on SABC 2′s Mela, we are celebrating our ‘South African’ess’ on the show!  An iconic South African dish…should we call it a dish?  Dish or not…it’s really a feast!  This is a basic recipe….you can play around with it….for me personally, a Bunny Chow should have some of my favourite Durban flaves…..hot, spicy and it screams out for pickle!  I always have bits of pickle masala left in bottles in the refrigerator….and it’s just too delicious to throw out so we live with the irritation of the oily rings they leave in cupboards, shelves and counter tops!  If you missed today’s food Mela episode, click here to take a look: http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-bunny-chow/

 

There is just something about pickle…it has a magical ability to get out of the bottle! Maybe, it’s just too delicious to stay in a bottle!  So, here is a great way to use of those delicious bits of pickle masala….just pop a few scoops into your curries…it works well with paneer, chicken, seafood and lamb….my favourite is the lamb curry!  I also add some ‘home made fat chips’ to my bunny.  I squish the chips on top of the curry and then spoon more of that pickle masala sauce on top just to make it a super treat!

 

It’s also one of my favourite fix it ingredients….if the curry just needs a bit of ooooommph, add a scoop and it will remedy a bland curry transforming it into a magical one!

And the ingredients are....

I use lamb shanks or knuckles for this curry…I don’t enjoy the texture or flavour…maybe, I should say lack of flavour in leg of lamb so although it is boneless, it falls short on flavour!  I pop up to our local….the Broadacres Superspar and get Mr Pat to prepare the lamb cuts for me!  He is brilliant and one of those old school ‘blockman’ or butchers!  On his recommendation, I have tried a combination of knuckles and shoulder which I must say resulted in the tastiest curry ever!  Shoulder would be just a little too bony for a bunny.

 

If a bone finds its way into your bunny chow….just keep going!  Your fingers are going to get messy anyway so it’s not a train smash!

 

Rules for eating a bunny…just a quick lesson on bunny chow etiquette:

 

1. No cutlery

2. Only share a bunny with someone you know….it would just be weird to eat a bunny with someone you didn’t!

3. No bunny chows on first dates – save that for maybe the second!

4. Soft drinks work best with a bunny…I mean really, who ever drank red wine or champagne with a bunny…and fruit juice is just as bad!

5. If you love someone, let them have the soft bread on top!  You can also let them have the only potato or the last one!  That’s really saying, ‘I love you…big time!’

6. Need to rinse your fingers after an ‘outdoor’ bunny feast….use the windscreen washer….works perfectly every time!

The Bunny Chow....by Yudhika SujananiLamb Bunny Chow

 

Makes 4 quarter bunnies!

 

4 lamb shanks, each weighing around 350 – 400g

60ml sunflower oil

2 cinnamon sticks

2 bay leaves

1 onion, finely chopped

7,5ml coarse salt

60ml crushed ginger and garlic

45ml red chilli powder

10ml ground coriander

5ml ground cumin

5ml garam masala

2ml turmeric

2 tomatoes, blanched and chopped

30ml pickle masala, optional

 

Home-made potato chips, to serve

 

 

Heat the oil in a large AMC pot. Fry the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.

Add the onion, sprinkle in the salt and sauté until the onion is light golden brown.

Add the ginger and garlic, stir for a few seconds, then add the red chilli powder.

Place the lamb shanks into the pot and coat in the spice mix.

Pour 500ml boiled water into the pan, then add coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric.

Simmer until the meat is tender and starts to leave the bone – you may need to add more water if necessary.

Remove the shanks from the pan, and place on a chopping board. Leave to cool slightly, and debone the shanks. Discard the bones.

Add the tomatoes to the sauce and once they soften, add the deboned lamb. Stir the pickle masala into the lamb and simmer for a few minutes.

Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

 

To serve:

 

Slice a loaf of bread in half and hollow out the soft inner, leaving the crust intact.

Spoon the lamb into the bread and then top with coriander and freshly made potato chips. Spoon more sauce over the chips and serve.

 

 

 

 

Shah Rukh in the bag….

 

Behind the scenes on SABC 2's Mela

Behind the scenes on SABC 2′s Mela

I got to see Shah Rukh Khan up close and personal about  15 years ago when he first performed in South Africa….he was a great performer then but didn’t really catch my eye….well, now he is sporting an eight pack and has definitely got my attention!  He has clearly earned his title as the ‘Badshah of Bollywood’!

 

Shah Rukh’s favourite meal is Tandoori Chicken and I prepared this with my very own spin for Mela!   I love tandoori anything, the only problem is that it does tend to dry out….so I worked my way around this to prepare an all in one Tandoori Chicken Traybake that is deliciously moist and tender!

 

It’s a simple recipe…all you need to do is introduce the ingredients, leave to marinate and they spices do the rest!  It’s also one of those dishes that is a complete crowd pleaser so if you are looking for a spicy chicken meal without the fuss, this one is for you!  If you missed the episode, click here…http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-shah-rukhs-tandoori-chicken/

 

It's in the bag.....marinated chicken for the tandoori tray bakeI pop the chicken into a Glad bag and pour the marinade ingredients in to make it as mess free as possible.  This works really well, saves on the washing up and also the bag goes straight into the refrigerator to marinate.  I have added magic masala to this recipe which is a spice from my own brand.  You can leave it out or use an unsalted chicken spice to replace it.  The marinade can be done a day in advance but always bring the chicken to room temperature before roasting.

 

A big thank you to the Mrs Pat Tarr and her team at the Broadacres Superspar with all the behind the scenes help in getting the ingredients sourced and delivered!

Tandoori Chicken Traybake by Yudhika SujananiTandoori Chicken Traybake

 

Ingredients

 

2 whole chickens

8 cloves garlic, crushed

30ml crushed ginger

25ml red chilli powder

15ml ground coriander

10ml ground cumin

10ml garam masala

15ml Magic Masala

Pinch of turmeric

125ml double thick yoghurt

Juice of 1 lemon

125ml water

5ml coarse salt

2 stock cubes, crumbled

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 large onions, sliced into wedges

50ml fresh cream

Fresh coriander, to garnish

 

Here’s how:

 

To flattie the chicken, lay the chicken on a chopping board with the breast side facing up. Press down hard on the breastbone twice. Turn the chicken over and use poultry shears to cut alongside the backbone of the chicken. Repeat on the other side and discard the backbone.

 

Remove the tip of the wing, excess fat and skin. Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat dry with absorbent paper towel.

 

Place all the remaining ingredients except the tinned tomatoes and sliced onion into a non-reactive mixing bowl. Whisk until the marinade is smooth.

 

Smear the marinade over the chicken flatties and leave to marinate for a few hours.

 

Place the chickens in a deep roasting pan with the skin side facing up. Roast the chicken in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 45 – 50 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.

 

Stir the chopped tomatoes and onion wedges into the pan juices and return the chicken to the oven for 15 minutes. The juices should run clear when the chicken is tested with a skewer.

 

Pour the cream into the roasting pan and stir into the sauce. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog down….

Yudhika on SABC 2's Mela....preparing a Gandhi inspired Thali

Yudhika on SABC 2′s Mela….preparing a Gandhi inspired Thali

 

 

 

I have been blogging my heart out and then things have quieted down and so did the blog…I needed a little time to catch my breath and fix a few techno glitches.  To end this crazy busy spell, I have just completed a whole new series of ‘Food Mela’ – I was absolutely delighted to be cooking on the show!

 

 

I haven’t blogged for a while and was quite surprised after receiving messages from my blog friends requesting my return to the blogosphere!  Heartwarming is the best word to describe it!

 

Okra on the menu....

On last weeks food insert, I featured a Gandhi inspired thali concentrating on frugal food. A thali is a metal plate that has a few different dishes served in little bowls or Katoris on it…this is the best way to enjoy Indian food and you can try a selection of different dishes in smaller quantities.  I have grown up loving frugal food like a simple potato curry, dhal and okra!  Gandhi’s food philosophy was around not just filling your tummy, it was about nourishing the soul too! If you missed the step by step food Mela video, click here…http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-gandhi-inspired-thali/

 

 

On the Mela menu, was Potato Curry with Methi and Tempered Okra  - Gandhi’s favourites!  Potato Curry is one of those stock standard favourites in any Indian home and I love a little leftover potato smushed into fresh bread almost like a potato buttie!  Paired with a cup of good coffee, it’s the best hangover treatment…not that I get hangovers!

 

 

The potato is simple enough to make – just remember to use Up to date potatoes for this recipe….they are available in Fruit and Veg City and in Indian Green Grocers!  These potatoes have a floury texture like the English Maris Piper and King Edwards – they work like a charm! Here are a few tips to getting the okra right!  Firstly, always slice the okra and leave it to dry out for a while to get rid of the sticky gooey liquid.  Add salt after the okra is cooked…salt draws out the moisture from the okra and will turn your dish into a sticky mess…if you are cooking up a large amount of okra, fry them off in batches to prevent them from stewing….and for heaven’s sake, use a really good pan or skillet like the AMC 28cm Chef’s pan to fry off the okra….if you have a ‘crack pot’, the okra will stew!  With an AMC pan, the solid base heats up evenly and retains the temperature!  Now, on with the recipe!

 

Potato and Methi by Yudhika SujananiPotato and Methi

Ingredients
50ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml salt
10ml red chilli powder
3 medium sized potatoes, cubed
Pinch of turmeric
200g fresh methi, washed and chopped
Here’s how:
Heat oil in a 30cm AMC pot and add the mustard seeds.
When they begin to splutter, add the cumin seeds.
Fry until the cumin seeds turn a shade darker.
Add the red chilli powder and stir for a few seconds.
Add the cubed potatoes, then pour in boiled water.
Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
Sprinkle the fresh methi over and simmer for a minute or two until the methi wilts.
 Tempered Okra by Yudhika Sujanani
Tempered Okra
500g okra
60ml sunflower oil
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, sliced
1 green chilli, finely chopped
Salt to season
Fresh coriander, chopped
Lightly rinse the okra and wipe dry with absorbent paper towel.
Slice the okra into rings and leave to dry for an hour.
Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC Chef’s skillet.
Add the okra and fry until light golden brown.
Remove the okra from the pan and reheat the oil.
Add the onion and fry until light golden brown.
Add the okra and green chilli.
Toss the okra lightly and add salt.
Add the chopped coriander and stir lightly.

The bold and the breyani….Coming up on Mela!

Parda Veg Breyani baked in AMC Gourmet Cookware by Yudhika Sujanani

Parda Veg Breyani baked in AMC Gourmet Cookware by Yudhika Sujanani

The breyani police will be out in full force on Diwali.  The breyani police could be anyone…difficult kids to your dragon in-laws or especially a battle-axe mother in law…for some homes there will be a vegetarian breyani but I am sure that by now you know that I will be enjoying a non vegetarian feast!  My mother in law doesn’t visit or eat curry!  I am not sure if this is a good thing….perhaps it is just one of ‘those things’!

 

I do enjoy a spicy vegetarian breyani served almost ‘drowning’ in delicious yellow dhal!  A bit of grated carrot with finely sliced red onions and maybe 2 pickled chillies would make it a memorable meal.  Oh, and soji as dessert – what could be more traditional or delicious!  For the soji recipe, click here… http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/30/soji-i-remember-i-remember/

 

If you are looking for a festive lamb breyani, try out this recipe from my show, Feast of Eid on Saffron/Home Channel last year, http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/07/26/ready-set-spice-feast-of-eid/ and if you’re feeling a little nervous, take a look at the video clip before getting started here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXuhIfzGiR0…leave a comment….It would be great to hear from you!

Yudhika on the Mela set preparing the parda veg breyani

Yudhika on the Mela set preparing the parda veg breyani

 

Back to the veggie breyani….this week on Mela, I will be featuring a Parda Veg Breyani…this breyani is also called ‘Dum Breyani’ which means its cooked in a pot sealed with dough so that all the flavours are ‘trapped’.  I always post Mela recipes on Sunday, but since SABC 2 are running a week behind schedule, I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to share this amazing recipe with you right now!

 

It makes a change from the stove top breyani….for this recipe….get your AMC pot and mojo on!  Haul out an AMC gourmet roaster….it goes from hob to oven to table…really, who needs extra washing up on Diwali!  If you are hankering after an AMC gourmet pan, click here to enter the competition on my blog, http://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/.  AMC cookware are also giving away one of their awesome pans on Mela’s twitter page so do take a look!

 

Potatoes make a breyani so get down to your local veg store and ask for ‘Up to Date’ potatoes….no kidding ….it’s really called Up to Date!  These potatoes are often the most expensive and are almost a floury variety that soak up the delicious flavours.  Soft mushy potatoes are a must!  Waxy potatoes won’t do for this recipe or any breyani recipe!

 

 

The Feast...a bold and breyani special by Yudhika

The Feast…a bold and breyani special by Yudhika

Vegetable Breyani

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes, sliced into rounds and par cooked

3 carrots, sliced

250g green beans

250ml frozen peas

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained

45ml sunflower oil

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

5ml cumin seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

7,5ml salt

15ml crushed ginger and garlic

15ml red chilli powder

10ml ground coriander

5ml ground cumin

5ml garam masala

2ml turmeric

60ml fresh cream

4 level cups par cooked basmati rice

250ml cooked brown lentils

30ml butter

Egg yellow food colouring , to tint rice

125ml crispy fried brown onion

250ml boiling water

Coriander and curry leaves, to garnish

 

For the dough:

200g cake flour

50g butter

5ml sugar

75ml cold water

 

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil in a AMC gourmet pot (with metal handles), add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Fry until the spices turn a shade darker, then add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds begin to splutter, stir the chopped onion into the oil and add salt.

Saute until the onion is light golden brown then add the ginger and garlic.

Add the red chilli powder and stir for a few seconds. Add the veggies, the remaining spices, and fresh cream. Stir well to coat the veggies in the creamy spice marinade.

Layer half the brown lentils over the veggies, top with the par cooked rice, then scatter the remaining lentils on top of the rice. Slice the butter into little blocks and place them on top of the rice.

Sprinkle the brown onion slices over the rice and the drizzle in the food colouring.

Pour the water over the rice and set aside.

 

Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the sugar and water. Use a mixer with a dough hook attachment and work the dough until smooth – I used the KitchenAid Mixer for this!

Roll the dough into a round large enough to cover the pot. Dab the edges of the round with water. Place the round over the pot and press the moistened edges firmly over the sides.

Brush the dough with milk. Place the breyani in a preheated oven at 180°C and bake for 45 -60 minutes. The pastry should be golden brown and should sound hollow when tapped.

Use a bread knife and cut through the dough to let out the steam - the steam can leave you with a nasty burn so take care when you are removing the dough.

Gently toss the breyani and garnish with fresh coriander and curry leaves.

 

Loving my chops…

A good chop loving....by Yudhika Sujanani

A good chop loving….by Yudhika Sujanani

I am a ‘Lamb Chop’ sort of girl and feeling a little curried out!  I have just prepared this for lunch and they are delicious!  They are marinated twice…and that Serve with a side salad and some crispy bread, it is an absolute winner!

Skinny chops are just not fun…they should be thick cut and chunky with a good piece of creamy fat attached….it is the fat that keeps the chops tender!  Ask your butcher to get some done for you….I know that our fabulous Broadacres Spar always does the loin chops beautifully….think Moto Moto….I do like them big and chunky!

You can roast these chops in an oven or cook them over hot coals….the oven for me is a better option!  There is lots of ginger in this recipe….I know, it reads 45ml ginger…that’s 3 tablespoons!  Ginger is added to marinades to tenderize the meat…but it also adds flavour too!  I make up a special spice blend called Magic Masala for my Curry Me Home spice range – it is a mix of my favourite flavours….chilli flakes, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon!  The Magic Masala is available at Holi Cow and select Spars around Gauteng.

For the banting bunnies….Make this a banting friendly recipe by adding coconut oil instead of sunflower oil!  I think this recipe would make Tim Noakes a happy professor!

Marinated Lamb Chops….

Ingredients

12 lamb loin chops
45ml ginger paste
15ml garlic paste
2ml black pepper
Salt to season

Marinade:
50ml fresh cream
15ml ground cumin
15ml red chilli powder
10ml garam masala
5ml ground coriander

15ml Magic Masala

50ml lemon juice

Sunflower oil, to baste
Lemon wedges, to serve

Here’s how:
Trim the lamb chops and place them in a mixing bowl.
Add the ginger, garlic, black pepper and season with salt.
Refrigerate the lamb chops for an hour.
Add the marinade ingredients to the lamb chops and mix well.
Place the chops in a Zip seal bag and refrigerate for four hours or preferably overnight.
Cook the lamb chops over hot coals or cook in an oven preheated to 180 degrees celsius for 10 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat – Place a wire rack on a baking tray, then place the chops on top.  This prevents the chops from ‘stewing’ in the marinade.

Baste with sunflower oil every 5 minutes.

Yudhika’s tips:
The ginger and garlic paste must be smooth.  Liquidise the paste if necessary.
Yoghurt can be used instead of fresh cream.

Tickled Pink…Rose and Pistachio Halwa

Rose and Pistachio Halwa by Yudhika Sujanani

Rose and Pistachio Halwa by Yudhika Sujanani

I almost forget about this recipe that I prepared for the Spar Diwali booklet in 2012!  I was going through some of my ‘old’ recipes and I prepared a batch of this Halwa….in the old days, it was a bright red in colour…I have opted for the more subtle flavour of rose and delicately tinted pink!

 

Sometimes a Diwali parcel would arrive with green halwa and I would stare at it in horror….it was just not appetizing to look at but really delicious!  All good sweetmeats and mithais take time to make….so please set aside about an hour and thirty minutes for this one!  As with some sweetmeats, this recipe is great for toning the arms!  So no gym necessary.

 

You can play around with the flavours…I sometimes use saffron as and cardamom instead of the rose flavour!  Brightly tinted almonds can be used instead of pistachios if you prefer!

 

 

Happy stirring ….here is the recipe!

 

Rose and Pistachio Halwa

Ingredients:

400ml cornflour

1000ml Spar white sugar

1750ml cold water

20ml lemon juice

5 cardamom pods, finely crushed

250g Spar butter

20ml rose extract

Few drops red food colouring

125ml chopped roasted pistachios

Grease a 30cm x 30cm square pan with butter or non stick spray.

Line the bottom and sides of the pan with plastic wrap.

Grease the surface of the plastic wrap with butter or non stick spray.

Place the cornflour, sugar and cold water into a 30cm AMC pot.

Whisk the mixture until the cornflour is dissolved.

Pour the lemon juice into the pot and add the crushed cardamom.

Cook the mixture on a low to medium heat – make sure the mixture does not stick and burn.

Continue whisking the mixture until it starts to thicken and resembles a clear gel.

Add the butter and continue whisking the mixture for an hour.

When the mixture leaves the sides of the pan, add the rose extract.

Whisk until the halwa mixture almost lifts from the pot.

Pour the mixture into the greased pan and leave to cool.

Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the halwa.

Refrigerate the halwa once it has reached room temperature.

Remove the halwa from the pan by lifting the plastic wrap.

Place the halwa on a large cutting board and slice into diamonds or triangles.

Yudhika’s tips:

Halwa does take time to prepare – it can be kept in the refrigerator for a month.

Roasted almonds can be used instead of pistachios.

Mela’s Diwali Episode…..

 

Behind the scenes....Yudhika Sujanani on Mela SABC 2

Behind the scenes….Yudhika Sujanani on Mela SABC 2

Eggless baking can be quite stressful…some of my attempts have led to my worst cooking disasters…so embarrassing that I could not bear to share the pics…red velvet cakes that look like melted plastic, cakes that look like biscuits and horrid tasting ‘bicarby’ ones too.

This recipe is one of my best…..quick, easy and simple to prepare…it will have you baking like a star!

I added this recipe to my Diwali episode on Mela….play around with it….spice it up with cinnamon or nutmeg…or add a little leftover burfee crumbs to zhoosh it up!

 

Just a thought….I do get quite a few questions about my big red dot….well, I just got tired of those fancy ones and thought I would go back to the dots or ‘botus’ that my gran used to wear…I love them and yes, they are traditional and some say ‘old fashioned’!  Some say it is a brave choice of dot…well, I like them and will keep wearing them!

 

Mela lights up my Sunday….don’t forget to tune in next week and in the meanwhile enter the KitchenAid competition here….http://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/ to win a KitchenAid stand mixer worth R6990 and then click here if you love love love AMC cookware as much as I do to win a 24cm Gourmet roaster worth over R3000, http://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/…..

 

While we were working on the chana magaj shoot, our pan with the cooked chickpea flour vanished…turns out the lovely Mark Corlett left the pan in the prep kitchen and the cleaner ‘chucked’ out the mixture…so it was back to square one for us on the prep….it was quite a giggle!  There are always fun times with the Mela team….if you missed the Diwali episode, click here….http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-diwali-chana-magaj-and-eggless-cake/ - as you can see from my little clips…I love AMC cookware and for a recipe like magaj a good pot is a must!

 

 

For the Chana Magaj recipe, click here… http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/11/01/pecan-chana-magaj/

 

 

 

The Eggless Coconut Cake....by Yudhika

 

Eggless Coconut Cake

Ingredients

125g butter, at room temperature…please!

125g sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

125ml desiccated coconut

60ml Double Thick Greek Yoghurt

250ml full cream milk, at room temperature

375ml cake flour

10ml baking powder

5ml bicarbonate of soda

5ml vanilla paste

For the Lemon Frosting:

125g butter – at room temperature

375ml icing Sugar

45ml fresh cream

30ml fresh lemon juice

Strawberry jam, to sandwich cakes

Strawberries, to garnish

 

Some KitchenAid love....with Yudhika Sujanani

 

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees celsius.

Grease and line a 2 x tins with paper cases.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Scrape down the bowl often and then add the lemon zest.

Add the coconut and beat for a few seconds.

Combine the yoghurt, full cream milk and vanilla paste in a jug.

Sift the dry ingredients and add them to the creamed butter.

Pour in half the milk and yoghurt and beat on low, gradually adding the remaining liquid.

Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula and continue beating until the ingredients are well combined.

Divide the batter into the 2 prepared tins.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when the cakes are tested.

Leave to cool slightly before placing the cakes on a wire rack.

Prepare the frosting:

Cream the butter and add the icing sugar gradually.

When the butter is very light in colour, add the fresh cream.

Continue beating for a few seconds, then add the fresh lemon juice.

Beat until the frosting is fluffy.

Sandwich the cakes with jam and then frost the top and sides using a palette knife.

Garnish with strawberries and coconut shaving

The big Diwali Bake off…..

 

Yudhika Diwali 2014...made beautiful by Lyn Kennedy and Photographed by Vanessa Lewis

Yudhika Diwali 2014…made beautiful by Lyn Kennedy and Photographed by Vanessa Lewis

While the controversy over the date  Diwali will be celebrated rages and the confusion grows, it is time to start planning the feast!

 

It’s a time of year for family, friends and feasting but also a time to pull out all the stops….I have been asked about recipes flat out and it is phenomenal that with the world changing so much, there are still people out there hosting traditional Diwali parties!

 

 

So today, I have decided to put together a quick reference list….so scroll down the list to find your favourite recipes….Praise God for my AMC cookware and KitchenAid mixer…my pots and pans have been working overtime just trying to keep up with the recipe requests!!!

 

Diwali would not be complete without a slice of Pecan Chana Magaj: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/11/01/pecan-chana-magaj/ - you could also use flaked almonds on the top if you prefer…the great thing is that this one can be made in advance and it stores beautifully in the refrigerator!  Always serve this at room temperature!

 

Idiot's Burfee.....

I have to constantly think up new burfee ideas and here are some of them!  I love coconut and it adds an extra special flavour to this Coconut Burfee: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/07/24/the-eid-burfee-challenge/ .  For something a little more subtle and exotic, try this recipe…Rose and Pistachio Burfee: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/29/rose-and-pistachio-burfee/ - Just remember to go easy on the food colouring – it should be very lightly coloured!  Now, for a bit of a higher grade burfee recipe try this one…..Fresh Cream Burfee: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/07/29/sugar-n-spice-recipes-fresh-cream-almond-burfee-by-yudhika/ - this is a very very soft burfee…take care when simmering the liquid to prevent scorching but it should resemble thick custard when added to the milk powder….or the burfee will be too soft….if the burfee does turn out too soft, try popping them into the freezer as this dries out the excess moisture.  Watch the how to video from my stint on Sugar ‘n Spice here….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWFDoAJuQXI

 

For me…this is my best flop proof burfee….it doesn’t have a long list of ingredients but it works beautifully every time….I refer to it as the Idiot Proof Burfee….because it is so so quick and  easy! http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/31/idiot-proof-burfee/ but if it is something a little out of the ordinary that you are looking for try this one….it is an adaptation of the Idiot Burfee but I love the hint of citrus and the colour of course…..Orange Cardamom and Pistachio Burfee: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/10/13/burfee/

 

I love Gulab jamuns and I always get my kids to set up an assembly line to prepare these…it’s a great way to get kids to work with you in the kitchen…they also help with the sampling….Gulab Jamun: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/11/08/troubled-by-diwali-gluttony/ or you could try this Indian Gulab Jamun recipe….please use Nespray for this one…Klim just doesn’t work…click here to watch the video from Sugar n Spice…there is a little trick in making these, so dont forget to watch this….http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/31/gulab-jamun-sugar-n-spice/

 

Biscuits are popular around Diwali and a biscuit with a nut is a memorable biscuit….try this….Eggless pecan biscuits: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/29/eggless-faker-pecan-shortbread/ or the Naan Khatay – I don’t feel territorial about these….whether they originated from India or Pakistan…they are delicious…what bothers me the most is that I got a few hidings for stealing the nuts of the top!  It always embarrasses my mom terribly when I remind her about this!  Watch the video from Season Two of Sugar n Spice….it’s around the second half of the clip…http://yudhikayumyum.com/new-videos/sugar-n-spice-season-2-videos/

Home made hot jalebis are an absolute treat….give this instant jalebi a bash….Jalebi: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/11/08/jackie-jalebi-out-on-parole-for-diwali and here is a quick and easy Laddoo recipe: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/11/12/laddoooooommmmaaaa-scoring-a-diwali-goal/

 

For a higher grade day when you have lots of energy…try this Banana Puri: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/23/banana-less-banana-puri/ - this takes time…rest the dough..its the secret to making great banana puri!  I still wonder why they call it banana puri!

 

For the classic buttery Soji, click here for the recipe, http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/30/soji-i-remember-i-remember/ …this will take you back decades….it’s rich, buttery and delicious…this is not for the calorie counters and faint hearted…and yes the recipe is correct….it is 400g butter and 375g semolina…not like someone suggested that its 500g semolina! Stick to the recipe…..this makes about 1,6kg soji…you could halve the recipe if you like!

 

Now, there are many great giveaways on this blog and also in the Post Newspaper….you have to enter it to win it…so get entering….check out the AMC competition details in the Post or you could click here to find out how you can win a KitchenAid….http://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/ - you must be a follower on the blog and on twitter to win and don’t forget to leave your comment about the Mela food segment, you can watch here…http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/  - this is a fab prize and a must have for any ardent baker!  Worth R6990, it is a Rolls Royce Kitchen Stand Mixer!

 

For the AMC competition….I don’t have to tell you again how important it is to have  great cookware….and for me, AMC is the best….you can win a 24cm Gourmet Roaster worth R3350 by entering on this link…..http://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/ ….this is one of the units that I use the most….and it has gourmet handles that means you can pop the pot into the oven…on this Sundays episode of Mela, I will be preparing a breyani that is oven baked in an AMC pot….don’t forget to tune in!  AMC aren’t kidding when they say, ‘AMC for life’!

 

Phew….this has felt like a marathon post….I think I may need to put together a list of recipes for the Diwali Cook Off….I need a coffee and cake right now….maybe you should check back later for the list!

The goddess within……

Yudhika Sujanani - photographed by Vanessa Lewis

Yudhika Sujanani – photographed by Vanessa Lewis

I asked Vanessa Lewis to shoot my Diwali 2014 pictures for the Post Newspaper….and while we were on shoot, she came up with the idea of doing a pic that reflected what life was like for me. With the help of make up artist extraordinaire, Lyn Kennedy, they had me looking like Jansi ki Rani much to my amazement. For those of you who don’t know…Jansi ki Rani was the warrior Queen of an Indian city called Jansi in the 1800′s!

There is just so much on the go and at times it feels like I am juggling 100 things…I am a mom, wife, recipe book author, recipe columnist, recipe developer, owner of a food brand and entrepreneur! I admit that I am not perfect at any of them…but the race isn’t over yet!

This post is not about religion – let’s get that straight…so for those people who read these blog and get into a huff, you clearly haven’t understood it! The lamps represent keeping the fires burning, the heap of spice represents the effort that goes into my spice brand, Curry Me Home. And the sweetmeats….that represents the abundance that life has to offer and the love I share through the food I create.

With religion out the way….this is about embracing your strengths and understanding them! So before everyone goes crazy thinking that I claim to be a religious goddess, I declare that I am not. We often come across buzz phrases like ‘awaken the goddess’ or ‘be your own goddess’ or even Nigella’s ‘domestic goddess’ but what does that really mean? I think a domestic goddess would wake up every morning and make up her own bed, I confess that I don’t!

For me, it means quietly getting on with your stuff…it means not complaining because however much you complain, you know the job will be done…it means, hauling out your big girl knickers and lacing up your boots because life is full of twists and turns! From my personal experiences, I can say entrepreneurship isn’t for sissies but neither is love or parenting!

I was given the name ‘Yudhika’ – it’s a Sanskrit name meaning Jasmine but there is another meaning….In Gurmukhi, Punjabi, and Hindi ‘Yudh’ means war! Naming an Indian child is an auspicious event and I think that someone forget to mention this to my gran (she was in charge of names)! A hindu priest once visited our home and said that the name is one of the Goddess Durga…she took on the form of a warring Goddess, Yudhika! It’s a strong name and most conservative Indians are surprised by it because it is also believed that your name determines your character and personality! A ‘Yudhika’ would be the rebellious sort!

I lived up to the meaning of my name…I am a fighter, a rebel and never the sort that would make a subservient wife or daughter in law! We are all born with a divine uniqueness….it’s just that we have to find out what it is…and it is only then that we can perhaps crack life’s secret code!

I take on a lot, do a lot, work fiercely, fight hard and love passionately…I am constantly asked how I do it and my response is that, ‘If you love what you do, you never work a day! And yes, there are always things that do get neglected….

So, leave you with these thoughts….we pray for health, happiness and success but we play a large part in achieving what we desire! We have to take up the challenge to creating that happy space….I do believe in a supreme being but not so much in the religions around it!

Here are some tips for finding that goddess….

- Try traveling back in time to when you were a kid, and remember the things you said you would do….that was when you were free from most fears….I said to my mom that I was going to be famous! She still talks about it!

- Put yourself on a pedestal…because no one can do that for you!

- Love what you do….we spend most of our lives at work….so, try to make it a happy space…if you don’t love it, then start out by trying to like what you do!

- Learn to be your own best friend….be selfish…put yourself first, because without you there can be nothing else! Try this….’Me first, everything else later’

- Share whatever you can share…share with friends and family…..and share with strangers…this is the best sharing because let’s face it…our friends and family can piss us off sometime!

- Share a kind thought…ask someone how they really are without expecting the ‘I’m fine and you’ response….and listen to them….make an effort to connect!

- Say what you will do, when you say you will do it! We lose credibility by not doing this and making excuses for it! I am borrowing this one from Graeme Butchart, author and creator of ‘The Genius Programme’ http://www.graemebutchart.com

- And if none of these strike a cord, enter the AMC cookware competition on the blog here, http://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/ or the KitchenAid competition here, http://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/

Fancy a chicken vindaloo for Diwali

Chicken Vindaloo by Yudhika Sujanani

Chicken Vindaloo by Yudhika Sujanani

After an emotional start to my day, I am officially back on track…one more sleep till my recipe feature in the Post Newspaper is out….yay! There are veggie recipes, lamb, chicken, seafood and sweetmeats too! Something for everyone, so whether you are observing a veg fast or not…don’t miss the bumper edition!

Another teaser from the recipe feature is this vindaloo recipe….you can use lamb or chicken….I go through phases and for now, I am loving this chicken on the bone version….skin the chicken, as it could make this dish quite oily! This recipe is not the pasty sort of bright red vindaloo you find in restaurants…vindaloo is all about spices, and not colour! Traditionally malt vinegar is used, but I prefer the more subtle flavour using white vinegar. This dish originates in Goa and has a distinct Portuguese flavour!

This is my version of a vindaloo and is not an authentic one….I have taken the flavours that I love and hate about vindaloo and come up with this recipe….there are traditional vindaloo recipes that don’t use tomatoes….I love this saucy version! Also some recipes or the cheat’s versions use a splash of vinegar to an ordinary curry but that would just be a bit too plain! The vindaloo paste can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. It’s quick and easy too…you could also increase the chilli for a spicier version….I have toned this down.

I hope you add this recipe to your collection…

Chicken Vindaloo

Serves 4

Ingredients

1,2 – 1,4kg chicken portions

60ml sunflower oil

1 onion, finely chopped

7,5ml salt

20ml red chilli powder

5ml garam masala

200g tinned chopped tomatoes

3 large potatoes, quartered and fried

4 – 6 pickled onions

Fresh coriander to garnish

For the vindaloo paste:

75ml vinegar

2 dried red chillies

4 cardamom pods

2 cloves

3 green chillies

1 cinnamon stick

5ml black pepper

5ml cumin seeds

15ml coriander seeds

2ml turmeric

15ml crushed garlic

45ml crushed ginger

Here’s how:

For the vindaloo paste: Place the ingredients in a liquidizer and process until smooth. Remove the paste from the liquidizer and place in a non reactive bowl until needed.
Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC pot on medium. Add the onion and salt, then sauté until light golden brown.
Add the vindaloo paste and sauté until fragrant, then add the red chilli powder. Stir for 3 – 5 seconds. Add the chicken and sauté in the paste until the pieces are sealed. Add the garam masala.
Continue stirring until the spices start to stick to the pot.
Add the tomatoes and simmer until the sauce thickens and the tomatoes soften. Add the potatoes and pickled onions, then simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
Garnish with fresh coriander.