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.

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.

 

 

Mela: Summer Sizzler Fish Cakes

Yudhika on Mela's Summer episode on SABC 2

Yudhika on Mela’s Summer episode on SABC 2

 

Shooting with the Mela team is always a delight and I would be the first to say that all the bright ideas are not mine!  I have our lovely Mela producer who loves light summery meals and this is one of her favourites.  I am a curry and rice kind of girl so salads are not always top of mind!

 

Yudhika Sujanani - waiting for the tree fellers to leave!

Yudhika Sujanani – waiting for the tree fellers to leave!

We shot the second season of Mela in November last year.  When I watch the show, I burst into fits of giggles because shoot days can be quite stressful…Eskom’s load shedding meant that I was having my make up done at 3.30am!  And this is when our neighbor chooses to have his trees felled!  So, we sometimes just have to wait it out!  So, I play around in the Holi Cow garden while taking a break…it’s beautiful!  Here is the clip from Mela if you missed the show, 

 

On the menu for the Summer Mela Menu….spicy fish cakes, watermelon salad and a mango fool to use up those slightly over ripe luscious mangoes!

 

Spicy fish cakes

 

Ingredients

400g potatoes, boiled and mashed

2,5ml ajwain or carom seeds

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 green chilli, finely chopped

1 egg yolk

400g lightly steamed hake

Salt and black pepper, to season

Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

 

Plain flour to coat

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Bread crumbs, to coat

 

 

Here’s how:

 

Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl and season with ajwain.

Add the spring onion, green chilli and the egg yolk.

Flake the fish fillets and add to the mixing bowl.

Season with salt and black pepper.

Lastly add the fresh coriander.

Mix the ingredients until well combined.

Mould the mixture into patties and dust with plain flour.

Leave the cakes on a sheet lined with baking paper.

Refrigerate until firm.

Remove the cakes from the refrigerator and gently coat in the beaten egg.

Coat with bread crumbs and then place on a well greased baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and bake the cakes for 20 – 25 minutes depending on the size. (I made 6 large cakes on Mela which took about 20 minutes to cook).

Serve with a chutney of your choice or raita.

 

 

 

Watermelon Salad

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

 

20ml olive oil

15ml lemon juice

Pinch of salt

600g watermelon chunks

1 onion, finely chopped – optional

100g feta cheese

100g flaked almonds

Chopped mint, to garnish

 

 

 

Here’s how

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and salt.

Place the watermelon chunks on a platter and sprinkle the onion, feta cheese and flaked almonds over the top.

Drizzle the dressing over the watermelon salad and garnish with sprigs of mint.

 

 

Mango Fool

 

500g mango pieces, pureed

25ml sugar

15ml lemon juice

250ml double thick cream

100g double thick Greek yoghurt

100g whipped cream, to garnish

Mint leaves, to garnish

 

Here’s how:

Place the mango pieces into a blender with the sugar and lemon juice.

Blitz until the mangoes are pureed – if you are using stringy mangoes, pass the puree through a sieve to remove the fibres.

Pour the mango puree into a mixing bowl and fold in the double thick cream.

Spoon the yoghurt into serving bowls and top with the mango puree.

Top with whipped cream and garnish with a mint sprig.

Refrigerate until chilled and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meat Free Monday’s Mushroom Macaroni

Yudhika's Meat Free Monday Mushroom Macaroni

Yudhika’s Meat Free Monday Mushroom Macaroni

I am a carnivore!  I love all things good and meaty.  With food inserts being filmed and the Post recipe page, I have to put my food wishes aside and put together a balanced recipe offering.

 

My daughter, Hetal almost 15 now…and going on 55 surprises me Sometimes they are pleasant, sometimes they are shocking!  But she has suddenly developed a love for vegetarian food.  How did she get through 14 years without me knowing that she loves paneer?

 

Sundays are busy days with the Mela food insert – you can find recipes after the show on the Mela Facebook page or get onto their twitter page too. I got into the kitchen quite early so I could clear my arvie for the Sunday dose of the show!  If you missed the food mela, click here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7d-b10Pu_s

 

I took a time capsule back to Std 6 Home Economics and decided to re-create the old Macaroni and Cheese by turning it into a gratin for Hetal yesterday.  Do you remember Home Economics from the good old days?  I almost expected her to say that she would prefer chicken…another surprise…she polished off the macaroni and went back for seconds.

 

I tasted some and although I am not a huge fan of vegetarian food, it was delicious…slightly creamy with fresh thyme to delicately flavour the sauce….then topped with a layer of golden melted cheese!  Just a word on the sauce, I added egg yolks to the sauce to add a little richness.  If you are strictly vegetarian, omit the eggs from the recipe.

Mushrooms in the AMC 28cm Chef's Pan

Mushrooms in the AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan

There are four easy steps to making up this dish, first the pasta and while that is on, I get going with the basic sauce and while that is cooling slightly, I saute the mushrooms.  Assemble and bake!  The ‘Big Mac’ just got a makeover!

 

For more pasta recipes, don’t forget to check out the Post Newspaper this week and you can also enter the AMC cookware competition!

 

All baked and ready for lunch...

All baked and ready for lunch…

Mushroom Macaroni Gratin

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

350g macaroni

Butter, to grease baking dish

45ml sunflower oil

400g button mushrooms, sliced

4 sprigs fresh thyme

5ml crushed garlic

Salt, to season

10ml Curry me Home Magic Masala or crushed chilli flakes

Black pepper, to season

100g cheddar, grated

 

 

For the sauce:

 

75g butter

50g cake flour

750ml full cream milk

1 bay leaf

100ml fresh cream

2 egg yolks, optional

50g cheddar, grated

Salt to season

 

Here’s how:

Cook the macaroni with salt and a little oil in a large AMC pot with boiling water. Check the packaging for the cooking time.

Grease the baking dish with butter.

Heat the sunflower oil in a 28cm AMC chef’s pan and add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms on high and add the fresh thyme.

Once the mushrooms are golden brown, add the crushed garlic and chilli flakes or Magic Masala.

Toss the mushrooms and season with salt – leave aside.

 

Heat the butter in an AMC saucepan on medium. Once the butter melts, stir in the cake flour and use a wooden spoon to mix until smooth.

Add the milk gradually and whisk well between each addition, making sure the sauce is smooth. Add the bay leaf and simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Stir the cheese into the sauce and whisk until smooth. Add the fresh cream and leave the sauce to cool slightly.

Beat the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Pour the sauce into the beaten eggs and whisk until combined.

Stir the cooked mushrooms into the macaroni, add half the sauce and mix gently to combine. Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared oven dish and pour the remaining sauce over the macaroni. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220°C for 25 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

 

 

Perfect Payasam

Yudhika prepping for the Pongal shoot on SABC 2's Mela

Yudhika prepping for the Pongal shoot on SABC 2’s Mela

Working on the Mela food inserts gives me a chance to re-visit my childhood and share my favourite food memories.  I grew up in Durban as most of you would know by now and the weekends were reserved for the local pastime, ‘visiting’.  So, some weekends we would be out and about visiting and on others, we would be at home expecting visitors.  It was an awesome tradition and there were no phone calls made to confirm or make arrangements…you just popped in.  Imagine doing that in this day and age?

 

Payasam or vermicelli as we know it was made over the weekend to serve to guests around tea time.  Sometimes we were served cake, biscuits or samosas but we always hoovered up the payasam.  Do you remember the visiting days?

 

Pongal was celebrated by the Tamil community last week and Mela featured some recipes that would be perfect for Pongal…a spicy brinjal curry, lentil pilau, coconut chutney and to follow, a deliciously creamy payasam.  I served the payasam with fried poppadoms.  If you missed the episode and want a quick course on payasam, click here for the step by step guide from Mela, http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-pongal-recipes/

 

Perfect for Pongal or anytime of year....Yudhika prepares payasam on Mela

Perfect for Pongal or anytime of year….Yudhika prepares payasam on Mela

 

Payasam

 

Ingredients

 

1 cinnamon stick

4 cardamom pods

125ml vermicelli, broken

60g butter

30ml desiccated coconut

350ml boiled water

1 litre full cream milk

80ml sago, washed

75 – 85g sugar

100g flaked almonds, toasted

 

Place the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods into an AMC pot.

Heat the spices until fragrant.

Add the vermicelli and stir until light golden brown.

Add the butter and stir for a minute, then add the desiccated coconut.

Fry for a minute.

Add the boiled water and full cream milk.

Add the sago and simmer on a low heat until the vermicelli softens and the sago is translucent.

Once the payasum thickens, add the sugar and then flaked almonds, reserving some for garnishing.

 

Crash Test Curry…new cooking class!

Holi Cow, Kingfisher Drive, Fourways  Tel: 011 467 2661

Holi Cow, Kingfisher Drive, Fourways
Tel: 011 467 2661

The first open cooking class at Holi Cow in 2015…’The Crash Test Curry’ Course…I have been thinking of hosting this class for a while and I have finally put it together.

Madras, Jalfrezie, and Vindaloo…don’t be intimidated by the fancy names! This course will take you through the technique of curry making and how to use the various spices used in everyday flop proof curry making. I have designed this course for home cooks that love spice but don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen.

 

The ‘Crash Test Curry’ course covers Lamb Vindaloo, Chicken Madras, Fish Jalfrezie, and a delicious Aloo Mattar Gobi – a vegetarian curry with potato, cauliflower and peas. I will also demonstrate how to make Indian flatbreads or roti and a flop proof crème brulee.

 

A sit down meal is served after the class where guests enjoy the spoils of the cooking class. Call us at the Holi Cow on 011 – 467 2661 to make a reservation.  Please take note that Holi Cow is not a licensed venue, so please feel free to pack some wine for your cooking adventure! 

Date: Thursday, 29th January 2015
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Address: Holi Cow, 38 Kingfisher Drive, Fourways
Cost: R425.00 per head

 

Post Christmas Blues….

Yudhika prepares a Christmas Strudel...

Yudhika prepares a Christmas Strudel…

I worked at the Broadacres Superspar over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day too….it has to be the most frantic days to be in store and it’s all hands on deck for the rush.  Turkey in every form imaginable….roulades, stuffed, deboned, unstuffed, turduckens and carved….you name it….and it was in store….not to mention gammon…gammon everywhere!

I have been posting post-Christmas recipes mainly using turkey….today I have a recipe that uses the last remaining slices of Christmas cake.  Don’t be too quick to write off this recipe…it is decadent and delicious!

 

Turfing out Christmas cake makes me sad….and it hurts the pocket too…all those good nuts and spices…not to mention the butter and brandy too!

 

This post-Christmas dessert will have you shining like a star!  I added more nuts, spices and Lindt chocolate to the filling and wrapped this in phyllo!  Use a bread knife to slice through the pastry…works like a charm and don’t be intimidated by this!  What I love about this recipe is also those delicious aromas that travel through the kitchen while it is in the oven!!!

 

I made one of these and took a few slices through to Mrs Tarr at Broadacres…and we also had some turkey pie as well with it….I know I can count on her for feedback on new recipes….and well, I can honestly say that after a few festive recipe tastings, I knew I was going to get into trouble for tempting Mrs T….a troubled chef…or a troublesome one?

For more post-Christmas recipes, click here for a delicious turkey pasta…http://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/24/christmas-recycled-turkey-pasta/ or here for a hearty turkey pie, http://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/21/turkey-express/.  For the latest food inserts from Mela on SABC 2, click here, http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/ and don’t forget to like the Mela page on Facebook for the latest recipes!

 

 

Christmas Strudel

 

500g phyllo pastry (12 sheets)

125g butter, melted

Ground cinnamon, to sprinkle

 

300 Christmas cake or pudding

75g hazelnuts

75g pecan nuts

125g dark chocolate, chopped – I used Lindt!

100g dried cranberries

5ml ground cinnamon

75g brown sugar

 

Icing sugar, to dust

Custard, to serve

 

 

 

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Crumble the cake into a mixing bowl.

Add the hazelnuts, pecans, dark chocolate and cranberries.

Add 5ml ground cinnamon to the mixture and mix well.

Lay a sheet of phyllo pastry onto a work surface and brush with butter – reserve some butter for the top of the strudel

Place a sheet next to it with an overlap of about 4cm.

Brush the pastry with butter and repeat until all the layers are done.

Brush the top layer with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar over the pastry.

Spread the crumbled cake mixture leaving a 3cm gap around the edges.

Sprinkle the brown sugar over the filling and reserve 30ml for topping the strudel.

Fold the pastry over the filling around the edges.

Roll the pastry with the filling as you would for a Swiss Roll.

Grease a large baking sheet with non stick spray.

Place the phyllo roll onto the baking sheet and brush with butter.

Sprinkle the reserved brown sugar over the roll and bake for 35 – 40 minutes.

The strudel should be golden brown and crispy.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Dust with icing sugar and slice into rounds with a serrated knife.

Serve with homemade custard.