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.

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.

The Hunger Games….

Yudhika at Montsi Primary School....Lesotho with the World Food Programme

Yudhika at Montsi Primary School….Lesotho with the World Food Programme

This is an uncomfortable blog to write….it takes me back to a rather sad and unpleasant time in my life….fortunately, I have had many ‘happy endings’ which makes writing this much easier!

I have experienced hunger a few times….my family were not wealthy and putting a meal on the tables at times was just not possible. Growing up in an Indian community meant that everything was ‘hush-hush’ – I did not speak about it…actually nobody spoke about it! It was a game we played…pretending that everything was fine!

A packed school lunch was a luxury – my dad tried, I suppose but it just wasn’t enough. I cried sometimes…just feeling so overwhelmed by such poverty, helplessness and embarrassment. Don’t get me wrong, there were good times too but every now and then, our lives were punctuated with hunger! I did not starve, but I sure know what it feels like to be hungry.

Why Not I....at Montsi Primary School...

Why Not I….at Montsi Primary School…

There were lots of people who looked down upon us….judging and being harsh with words. But there were people who also shared their meals with us. I will always be grateful…there were just a few and I can count them on my fingers. I often think about those kids that I went to school with who just shared their sandwiches without asking too many questions…I am still in touch with them…old school friends like Prinola Gurie (Australia) and Sharon Srikisoon Chetty (Houston, Texas) – thank you two for being such awesome friends! During those difficult times, I dreamt the biggest dreams…and was grew determined and head strong…I grew a voice to match my determination!

I met Claudia Altorio from the World Food Programme in 2012 and while chatting, I just suddenly shared my story with her….my childhood tales from days I long to sometimes forget. I joined the World Food Programme because being hungry leaves memories of desperation that I will never forget! My second recipe book, Curry Me Home, Again has raised R30000 for WFP and I will continue raising funds through my projects! There has been much to celebrate over the years….a successful food brand, two recipe books, TV shows, the AMC brand ambassadorship, the Goldman Sachs Scholarship, Winning first prize at the Gordon Institute of Business Science Business Plan Competition….writing a column for the Post Newspaper…and now being featured weekly on SABC 2’s Mela! At every winning moment, I pause, and look back to see the girl I used to be….because without her, there would be no drive and determination!

Yudhika with the WFP team in Lesotho

Yudhika with the WFP team in Lesotho

World Food Day is coming up on the 16 October and I would like to say, ‘Hunger is the world’s most solvable problem!’ Every little bit counts, so please do spare a thought for those less fortunate! An unfortunate start can sometimes take you on the most beautiful journey and it is on this journey that I learnt the greatest lessons!

I would like to thank everyone….everyone that travelled on my journey and been a part of it! And to those that didn’t, thank you for making me even more determined to succeed. A huge heartfelt thanks to the companies that I work for and represent…AMC Cookware, KtichenAid and Spar!

So while I celebrate life and feast on my blog, I ask you to be a part of my journey….click ‘Follow’ on my blog…and leave a comment if you have read this….I will be donating R1 for every follower (even existing followers) to the World Food Programme! This is not my original idea….Two days ago, I was desperately craving a KFC Zinger burger! I rushed off to the KFC drive through and the lady at the ‘drive through’ asked me, “Would you like to ‘ADD HOPE'”? I said yes…and thought…surely I can find a way to ADD HOPE too! And this is my way…and I am hoping that you ADD HOPE too!

Diwali Burfee Blues…..Orange, Cardamom and Pistachio Burfee

Orange Cardamom Burfee by Yudhika Sujanani

Orange Cardamom and Pistachio Burfee by Yudhika Sujanani

Every year, there are a few requests for burfee recipes….so far I have done Almond burfee, Chocolate Burfee, Rose Burfee and Coconut Burfee….even Burfee made with fresh cream! And every year, I still think up more Burfee recipes. Sometimes, it has left me feeling rather blue….always having to think up something different! Speaking of blue…check out the new KitchenAid Stand Mixer competition on the blog….http://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/ and another competition that will definitely chase your blues away is the AMC Gourmet Roaster competition, click here, http://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/ – this is just what you need to get simmering for Diwali.

Back to the burfee….my favourite is the more solid burfee slice made with almonds and topped with brightly tinted flakes. This year, I have been playing around with burfee ideas and came up with a new one…Orange and Cardamom Burfee! This is also a teaser….I am featuring this recipe in the Post Diwali Supplement 2014 so this will give you a little ‘taster’ of what is to come on Wednesday….so, don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Post Newspaper on Wednesday, 15 October…I will also be preparing a traditional veggie breyani on this weeks’ episode of Mela on SABC 2 at 10.30am!

Now, the fresh cream burfee is softer and call be scooped or moulded into balls. You can watch the clip here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWFDoAJuQXI and here for the recipe: http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/07/29/sugar-n-spice-recipes-fresh-cream-almond-burfee-by-yudhika/ The important thing about the fresh cream version recipe is that you must reduce the liquid by at least 50% or the burfee will be too soft..if it is too soft, then place the burfee in the freezer for a while…this will dry out the excess moisture and then the burfee will firm up!

For the coconut burfee click here, http://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/07/24/the-eid-burfee-challenge/ and the rose burfee click, here…http://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/29/rose-and-pistachio-burfee/

Orange Cardamom and Pistachio Burfee

500g Klim milk powder

175ml tinned dessert cream

375ml sugar

250ml cold water

Zest of 1 orange, leave out the white pith
5ml orange essence
2,5ml ground cardamom

25ml butter

Few drops orange gel food colouring
Whole pistachios
, toasted
Slivers of orange zest, to decorate

Grease a 20 x 25cm pyrex dish or baking tray with butter.

Line the tray with plastic wrap ensuring the sides are also lined.

Grease the plastic wrap with butter.
In a mixing bowl, rub the dessert cream into the milk powder until it resembles bread crumbs.

Leave this aside for an hour to dry.
Place the milk powder mixture into a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds or until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Combine the sugar, water and orange zest in a small AMC pot and boil until a thick sticky syrup forms.
Add the cardamom and butter to the syrup.

Tint the syrup with the food colouring.
Pour the syrup into the milk powder and stir well to combine and leave to cool just slightly.
Quickly press the mixture down into the prepared dish or baking tray.

Once the mixture cools, refrigerate the burfee until firm and slice into blocks or diamonds.
Garnish with pistachios and orange zest slivers.

It’s a Blog Party…KitchenAid Competition

Yudhika's KitchenAid giveaway

Yudhika’s KitchenAid giveaway

My blog is a celebration…it’s all about feasting, celebrations and fun…there are some recipes too…but it’s also about my love for food and celebrating that love! To celebrate joining the Mela team, I decided to give away one of my kitchen must have appliances…A Stand Mixer! And over the past few weeks with all the cooking and baking going on, I have fallen in love with this appliance over and over again!

The winner of the KitchenAid Stand Mixer was announced. Renuka Lallbahadur was delighted but it left quite a few people feeling quite blue…so to chase away those blues…I am delighted to announce my next KitchenAid competition….A blue KitchenAid mixer worth R6990 could be yours by entering this competition…..all you have to do is leave a comment…what are you enjoying on the Mela food slot.

Yudhika's KitchenAid Giveaway....

Yudhika’s KitchenAid Giveaway….

Now to enter this competition take note…
You have to be a follower on my blog and on twitter!
When you comment, don’t forget to #kitchenaidsa #melasabc2 #yudhika
Twitter: @yudhikasujanani – tweet us with #yudhika #kitchenaid #melasabc2
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChefYudhika

For those of you who have been missing your Sunday dose of Mela, you can catch them here….http://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/

The competition closes on 13 November 2014 and the winner will be drawn on at Holi Cow on the 15 November at 10am – please let us know if you will be popping in for the draw! Contact Holi Cow at 011 467 2661.

The draw decision is final.