Month: September 2014

All aboard…..

Love begins with 'LIKE' - click like or follow on facebook, twitter or the blog and leave a comment!

Love begins with ‘LIKE’ – click like or follow on facebook, twitter or the blog and leave a comment!

Just a few hours to go before this magnificent KitchenAid mixer finds its new home! Enter by leaving a comment on this link,…you can also leave a comment with #KitchenAid #Mela on these links:
Facebook –
Facebook –
Facebook –
or Twitter:

Good luck with the competition…I am so so excited to be sharing such an awesome prize on my blog….don’t forget to click ‘follow’ on this blog to get the latest recipes and competition information.

Till tomorrow then,



An Eid feast…

Eid recipe...Spiced Shoulder of lamb by Yudhika Sujanani

Eid recipe…Spiced Shoulder of lamb by Yudhika Sujanani

Last year I was asked to host another series of Sugar ‘n Spice with Saffron Tv and the Home Channel on DSTV. I was excited and overwhelmed but mainly taken aback at being asked since I am not a Muslim. I grew up in Isipingo, a little suburb near the old Durban airport, Louis Botha. We moved homes quite often but I do recall that there was much to celebrate irrespective of religion….everyone came out to play at Diwali, Eid and Easter!

I think most of the kids that grew up in my generation feel the same. When I was around 7 years old, we lived in Isipingo Beach and most of my friends and neighbours were Muslim. I can still remember the aroma of breyani wafting down the street…and our gracious neighbours always sent over a steaming pot….it was just how things were! For the Parda Lamb breyani recipe, click here: and you can also watch the clip from the show for a step by step guide to the perfect breyani…click here:

I miss that, and feel quite sad that my kids will never experience childhood pleasures of being taken care of by a few moms from your street. Eid makes me remember those times….the aromas, the laughter and life’s little pleasures….speaking of life’s pleasures….there is just one more day to enter the KitchenAid competition on the blog…click here, leave a comment and you could be the lucky winner…

And now for one of my Eid recipes….I prepared a spiced shoulder of lamb, slow roasted to perfection with potatoes and onion wedges! It’s also one of those recipes that takes a little time to assemble, some time to marinate and then it can be left to sort itself out in the oven. Vinegar is not something used much in curries and marinades and the combination of vinegar and yoghurt must seem even more strange but it works beautifully….and it does not end up in a curdled mess! The lamb is spicy with a slight tang from the vinegar…tender and very aromatic.

Spiced Shoulder of Lamb


1 shoulder of lamb around 2,5 – 2,7kg

2 onions, sliced and fried until golden
30ml red chilli powder
30ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala, optional
5ml finely ground cardamom
100ml finely crushed ginger and garlic
200ml white vinegar
400g double thick Greek Yoghurt…I used the Spar brand
10ml cumin seeds
15ml coarse salt

30ml sunflower oil
2 onions, cut into wedges
4 potatoes, halved
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
500ml water

50g melted butter
5ml garam masala
60ml fresh cream

Handful fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Place the brown onions in a liquidiser with a little water and blitz until smooth. Place the onion into a mixing bowl, then add the red chilli, Magic Masala, cardamom, ginger/garlic paste, vinegar and yoghurt. Add the cumin seeds and coarse salt and stir well to combine.

Use a sharp knife to make little incisions in the lamb. Do not remove the fat…this adds flavour and also keeps the lamb tender by preventing the meat from drying out.

Smear the marinade over the meat and place in a zip seal bag. Refrigerate the lamb overnight. Then bring the lamb to room temperature before roasting.

Grease a roasting pan with sunflower oil, then layer over the onions and potatoes. Place the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves in pan.

Place the marinated shoulder on top of the onions and potatoes and pour in the water. Cover with foil and roast in a preheated oven at 160 degrees celsius for 3 hours – check the meat and the potatoes – the lamb should come off the bone easily and the potatoes should be tender.

Remove the foil and drizzle the melted butter over the lamb. Increase the oven temperature to 200 degrees and roast until the meat is golden brown with a few darker speckled bits…baste the lamb every five minutes.

Stir the garam masala and cream into the roasting pan – then roast for another 2 – 3 minutes.

Garnish with fresh coriander.

Serve with fresh bread, naan or pilau rice.

Starry Starry Eyes…

Mela Episode 3: Keralan Fish and Spicy Wilted Spinach by Yudhika Sujanani...

Mela Episode 3: Keralan Fish and Spicy Wilted Spinach by Yudhika Sujanani…

It’s always a bit daunting to recreate someone else’s recipes…and for the 3rd episode of Mela, I was taken aback when my lovely producer asked me to re-create the recipes of Michelin Starred Chef, Atul Kocchar.

After reading through his recipe, I realized that we share a similar food philosophy – I keep it simple and so does he…Atul also seems to be a ‘old is gold’ chef….he uses simple techniques and makes use of fresh herbs like curry leaves and coriander….garlic and one of my favourites, coconut milk! I am sure that we both would disagree though on the pro’s of using frozen ‘box fish’ – it’s sometimes difficult to source fantastically fresh fish in Jozi so I use the convenient option….

I don’t enjoy fussy food and must declare, that after cooking up Chef Atul’s Keralan Fish and the Spicy Wilted Spinach, that I am starry eyed….I think I have a food crush on this chef!

I did change the recipes slightly…cutting down on the whole green chillies and also by adding tomatoes to the wilted spinach to suit my personal tastes! If you missed the episode, click on this link…

Just a quick tip…I met with Kaye and Tamsyn from AMC cookware. We discussed pots and pans….and I had to explain what a fish pot was….its a wide AMC pot that is not deep. The fish needs to be poached in the sauce in a single layer to prevent it from becoming an absolute mush!


Here is the recipe…

Keralan Fish
7ml salt
7ml turmeric
4 fish fillets, 600g
30ml coconut oil/sunflower oil
1 onion finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 green chillies, sliced lengthwise
5ml red chilli powder
Handful of curry leaves
1 x 400g tin coconut milk
Small bunch fresh coriander, chopped

Here’s how
Gently rub the fish fillets with 5ml turmeric and 5ml salt.
Heat the oil in a 30cm AMC pot, then sauté the onion with the 2,5ml salt until pale golden brown.
Add the chillies, half the curry leaves and garlic – sauté until fragrant.
Add the red chilli powder and remaining turmeric.
Pour in the coconut milk and simmer gently until the sauce begins to bubble.
Place the fish fillets into the sauce and simmer on a low heat setting until the dish is cooked through.
Heat a little sunflower oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, fry the remaining curry leaves until they splutter.
Garnish the fish with fresh coriander and fried curry leaves.

Spicy Wilted Spinach

15ml sunflower oil
2,5ml mustard seeds
2,5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
2 dried red chillies
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tomatoes, blanched and chopped
800g chopped spinach

Heat the sunflower oil.
Add the mustard seeds and once they begin to splutter add the cumin seeds.
Add the onion, salt and dried red chillies, then sauté until the onion is light golden brown.
Add the garlic and fry until fragrant.
Stir the chopped tomatoes into the onion and simmer until they soften.
Add the chopped spinach and sauté until the spinach wilts.

Diwali Teaser – Dry Prawn Masala

Dry Prawn Masala

Dry Prawn Masala by Yudhika Sujanani

Whether my guests fast or not on Diwali, a sure fire, dead easy prawn dish always makes an appearance on my Diwali menu. I was really annoyed last year when some hindus assumed that everyone observed a vegetarian fast on Diwali…more about that here,

This prawn masala is delicious, quick and easy to make – the sauce is thick and slightly creamy and the most important thing to remember is to not overcook the prawns…I would suggest cooking them for a minute, then turn off the heat and leave aside…there is enough heat in the pan to continue cooking them to perfection!

 Diwali is a celebration…it’s a festival…it’s a family Mela…and I do find that our moms and grannies work too hard on the day to spoil us with a feast.  I have a different approach…suggest recipes that are not complicated and won’t keep you in the kitchen all day…even though I love the kitchen, I would also love to spend time with my guests.

The Post Diwali Supplement that I have been working on for the past few weeks will be published on Wednesday, 15th October…..I couldn’t keep all the recipes to myself till then so I am sharing this one with you….and hopefully keeping you keen for the bumper Post supplement.

Stay tuned to the blog….I will be posting a few more teaser recipes….I have been cooking up a storm, photographing the recipes and also feasting my little heart out!

Diwali baking classes will be held at Holi Cow on the 12 and 18th October….the classes start at 11am and finish at 2pm.  I will be demonstrating these old time favourites: Burfee, Chana Magaj, Jalebi, Ladoo, Gulab Jamun and North Indian Samosas. Cost R400 per person.  Email me if you are  keen on joining the class at

And if baking is your passion…you won’t want to miss this opportunity to enter the competition on my blog to win a KitchenAid stand mixer! Click here and leave a comment to enter:

Dry Prawn Masala

Serves 4

1kg prawns, shelled and deveined

45ml sunflower oil, to saute prawns

40ml sunflower oil

5ml mustard seeds

5ml cumin seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

5ml coarse salt

10ml crushed garlic

10ml Curry Me Home red chilli powder

400g chopped tomatoes, fresh or tinned

5ml Curry Me Home ground cumin

5ml Curry Me Home ground coriander

Pinch of turmeric

50ml fresh cream or coconut milk, optional

Handful of chopped coriander

Here’s how

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC pan, then add the mustard seeds.

When they begin to splutter, add the cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds.

Stir the onion into the oil, then add salt and saute until light golden brown.

Add the garlic and fry until fragrant.

Add the red chilli powder for 5 seconds, then stir in the tomatoes.

Stir the cumin, coriander and turneric into the sauce and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Heat a skillet on high, then add the sunflower oil.

Add the prawns to the pan.

Once the prawns start to change colour, add the thick sauce and stir fry for a minute.

Add the fresh cream or coconut milk and cook for 30 seconds.

Sprinkle the chopped coriander over the prawns and toss to coat.

Serve immediately with fresh bread, roti or puri

Paneer and lentil curry….

A little piece of heaven...Le Meridien, Chiang Rai...

A little piece of heaven…Le Meridien, Chiang Rai…

It’s storming here in Chiang Rai…and it doesn’t bother me at all….you see, I am at the Le Meridien Hotel and enjoying five-star service in the lap of luxury! The hotel room is large enough to host my entire family, the rim flow pool is too tempting to resist, and the service leaves nothing to be desired…I spent last night wondering how people here are so efficient without shouting at each other…my pet hate is South African restaurants where the staff talk loudly to each other, shout from across the room and then have lengthy conversations next to your table! What has happened to South African service and standards???

While I am away, I feel a little guilty for deserting my job as recipe provider especially during the fasting month…A quick curry in ten minutes is appealing on any day, but during the fasting month it’s a must! I double up on my paneer recipe and save half for an emergency curry day. You can check out the paneer recipe here…. and take a look at the video:

You don’t have to use goat’s milk for the paneer, cow’s milk will do perfectly…try using Clover Full cream milk – it does work best! By the way, I have to just add that I don’t work for Clover, but some brands are just worth a mention to turn a recipe into a flop proof one! I also used tinned tomatoes and lentils to cut down on the prep time…tinned tomatoes are a must especially when the tomato supply is a bit ‘iffy’…by this I mean always use super ripe tomatoes that have been left out at room temperature, not ones from the refrigerator! Refrigerator tomatoes lack flavour, don’t break down easily and sometimes just remain chunky. Tinned brown lentils, chickpeas and beans are my favourite ‘cheats’ for ten minute curries….do give it a try!

Paneer and lentil curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Paneer and lentil curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Paneer and Lentil Curry


400g paneer
50ml sunflower oil
1 small cinnamon stick
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
10ml crushed ginger and garlic
10ml red chilli powder
4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
Pinch of turmeric
500ml cooked brown lentils
Or 2 x 400g tins lentils, drained
400g baby spinach, finely chopped
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an 30cm AMC pan.
Add the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds, then saute until the seeds begin to splutter.
Stir the chopped onion into the oil, add the coarse salt.
Saute until the onion turns light golden brown.
Add the ginger and garlic – stir for a few second, then add red chilli powder.
Next add the tomatoes, and stir in the cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Once the tomatoes have softened, add the brown lentils and simmer 5 minutes on a low heat.
Scatter the spinach over the lentils and leave to wilt – this should take a minute or two.
Slice the paneer and place the pieces into the lentil and spinach sauce.
Garnish with fresh coriander.

Purtassi recipes…Mushroom and Chickpea Curry

Curry in 10 minutes...mushroom and chickpea by Yudhika Sujanani

Curry in 10 minutes…mushroom and chickpea by Yudhika Sujanani

Just a quick recipe that will have you in and out the kitchen in a flash – it’s perfect as a side dish but also for the Hindu fasting month of Purtassi!

If you are short on time, used tinned chickpeas and tomatoes to cut down on the prep….you could have this dish down in ten minutes….also waterless cookware like AMC prevent your delicious spicy curries from turning into stews…

Mushroom and chickpea curry


45ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt to season
2 garlic cloves, crushed
15ml desiccated coconut
15ml red chilli powder
2 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped

5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
5ml garam masala
2ml turmeric
200g button mushrooms, quartered
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
100ml boiling water
30 – 45ml coconut milk, optional

Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an AMC pot.
Add the mustard seeds and saute until they begin to pop.
Add the cumin seeds and saute until they begin to sizzle.
Stir the onion and salt in.
Saute until the onion is light golden brown.
Add the garlic and then stir in the desiccated coconut DSC_0758until light golden.
Sprinkle the red chilli powder over the fried onion and stir for 3 – 5 seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes and lower the heat.
Add the cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric.
Simmer for a minute, then add the mushrooms.
Gently stir the mushrooms until they are coated in the spices.
Simmer until the mushrooms are almost cooked through.
Add the chickpeas and boiling water.
Simmer until the sauce thickens.
Add coconut milk and stir, then garnish with curry leaves and chopped coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:
Lentils can be used instead of chickpeas.
Use coconut milk to replace the cream in this recipe.
Desiccated coconut burns very easily so take care when adding it the the oil.

Leaving on a jetplane…..spicy brinjals, jalebi and other stories

A not so regal Yudhika Sujanani....

A not so regal Yudhika Sujanani….

I am about to head off for the big airport as my kids call it…Rob, my other half, has left to Chang Rai, in the north of Thailand last week, and I am flying off to meet him….it’s been pretty much a touch and go sort of thing….its been busy, really busy….and just when you think it’s reached a peak….there is another mountain to conquer! Thank heavens for Holi Cow….it has become my other home, office and yes, paradise!

The ‘another mountain’ is the Post Newspaper Diwali supplement that will be published on Wednesday, 15 October….just in time for Diwali. I absolutely love being in the kitchen and creating new recipes. I have been cooking up a storm with the Holi Cow team running after me…I even roped my Nan into being my new assistant, getting new recipes done, photographed and ready for the Post boss lady, Yogas Nair. There really is a new sheriff in town!

So although Rob has asked me to bring cycling gear, hiking boots and a cozzie…I am taking summery frocks, lip gloss, sunscreen and shades…I will not be playing Lara Croft’s part in Tomb raider! Hmmm…come to think of it, I have no issues though if Rob wants to play Brad Pitt!

Holi Cow has hosting busy cooking classes, catering and lunch time parties not to mention the endless cakes we seem to bake on order! There have also been tv days with the Mela team and an old school Bollywood style photo shoot with Vanessa Lewis who asked me to look regal…regal only worked when there weren’t any jalebi in sight…all I could think of was eating them!

It’s also been a busy month spent cooking up vegetarian dishes as the Hindu fasting month, Purtassi, is being observed. From the tried and tested recipes like simple bean curry and then the zhooshed ones like paneer koftas in coconut sauce….the requests are overwhelming! It’s also time to get “Diwali Ready’ and perhaps you should enter the KichenAid competition by posting your feedback with #KitchenAid #Mela on this link:

Before I leave off to my short trip to mountains in Thailand….I leave you with a veggie recipe, perfect for the fasting month. Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Post newspaper for more veggie recipes that we will be featuring this month!

Spicy Brinjals

Spicy Brinjals

Spicy Brinjals

2 large brinjals, sliced
Fine salt, to sweat brinjals
Sunflower oil, to grill brinjals

45ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml fennel seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
15ml desiccated coconut
10ml crushed ginger and garlic
10ml red chilli powder
600g tomatoes, skinned and chopped
5ml ground cumin
10ml ground coriander
2ml turmeric
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how

Place the sliced brinjals in a colander and sprinkle with fine salt.
Leave to sweat for 30 minutes.
Wipe the brinjals with absorbent paper towel and gently squeeze out excess moisture.
Brush the brinjal slices with sunflower oil and grill in a hot pan.

For the sauce:
Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an AMC 30cm pot, and add the mustard seeds.
Add the fennel and when the seeds begin to splutter, stir in the onions.
Sprinkle the coarse salt over the onions and saute until light golden.
Add the desiccated coconut and stir for a few seconds until fragrant and starting to change colour.
Stir in the ginger and garlic, next add the red chilli powder.
Add the chopped tomatoes, and then sprinkle over the remaining powdered spices.
Simmer until the tomatoes soften into a thick sauce and the oil separates from the sauce.
Place the brinjal slices into the sauce and garnish with fresh coriander.

Celebrating Spring with Mela Picnic…Coronation Chicken Wraps and Scones…

Yudhika shooting the Spring picnic at Holi cow with Rushil Sujanani

Yudhika shooting the Spring picnic at Holi cow with Rushil Sujanani

I love picnics and after a long Jozi Winter, the first Spring picnic is always something to look forward to. You don’t need to find a park…why not have a picnic in your garden at home? The trick with picnics is to make a treat or two and then just buy a few treats to bulk up the picnic offering! You don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen and miss a beautiful day – it shouldn’t feel like a mission!

Clowning around with Harry, the Mela Cameraman!

Clowning around with Harry, the Mela Cameraman!

I love the simplicity of a picnic..anything goes and everything is a treat! I picked up some cupcakes from the Fourways Farmer’s Market, some plain Haloumi and also my favourite, Chilli Haloumi as well. Soft cheeses like goats milk and cream cheese work well with biscuits! Don’t forget to pack a light wine for the day or if you are like me a bottle of pink champagne would do nicely! I absolutely love African fabrics and a African Spring celebration would not be possible without a dress, skirt or top from Sun Goddess! A big thanks to Vanya and Thando Mangaliso for adding that special sunshine to our shoots!

Curious about what I will be doing on SABC 2’s Mela…check out this little interview:

The Mela team….Mark, Herman and Dave had to tag along to the market with me for the shoot….I am so so lucky to work with such a fab team! Shoot days are hard work BUT they are magical at the same time….we laugh ourselves through the day and sometimes it’s difficult to keep a straight face in front of the camera….as you can see from the pictures…they are not pic perfect – they reflect what really goes on at Holi Cow and some of the clowning around too!

Coronation chicken…for many years, it just sounded so so boring and I would roll my eyeballs when I heard about it! Such a proper British dish, by default, it had to be boring! And yes, you always get the stock standard history 101 about the Queen’s coronation!

I am sharing my favourite version that Chris Smit generously shared with me…I did change the recipe slightly – I do find it impossible to follow recipes! This can be used as a filling for wraps, sandwiches and baked potatoes….in a salad or served in a heap with a poppadom on top!

Scone for the tasting...yum yum time!

Scone for the tasting…yum yum time!

For the best scone recipe from the show, click on this link… you can serve the scones with a raspberry cream or with whipped cream with a pinch of cardamom like I prepared on Mela. Although, you don’t need a fancy mixer to make up a batch of these scones, a KitchenAid is still one of my must haves….take a look at the competition which celebrates the launch of Mela here,

If you missed last week’s Mela…click here for the paneer and double bean curry..

Here is the recipe for the Raspberry and Rose Cream – a pinch of cardamom wouldn’t hurt here either….

Raspberry and Rose Cream

250ml double thick cream
50ml fresh cream
15ml castor sugar
Drop of vanilla
200g punnet fresh raspberries

Here’s how:

Place the thick cream and fresh cream in a mixing bowl. Add sugar and vanilla essence. Use a wire whisk to whip the cream until it is thick.

Back to the Coronation Chicken Wraps…

Coronation chicken wraps by Yudhika Sujanani...

Coronation chicken wraps by Yudhika Sujanani…

Coronation Chicken Wraps

1 Whole Roasted Chicken, skinned and de-boned
30ml sunflower oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
15ml crushed ginger
5ml red chilli powder
5ml ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
2,5ml turmeric
160ml yoghurt, plain
160ml. mayonnaise
30ml chutney – I used Mango Chutney
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Lemon Juice
Fresh Coriander Leaves, chopped
8 – 10 soft flour wraps
Fresh salad leaves


Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC pot – add the onion and saute until translucent.
Add the ginger and garlic.
Stir for a few seconds until fragrant.
Add the red chilli, cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Cook the spices for a few seconds.
Add the chicken and stir through – leave to cool.
Add the yoghurt, mayonnaise, chutney, and lemon juice.
Season lightly with salt (the chicken is seasoned already) and then a sprinkling of black pepper.
Add the coriander and stir gently.
Warm the wraps on a hot pan and then place one on a board.
Layer the salad leaves over the wraps and place a few scoops of coronation chicken on top. Roll the wrap up tightly and serve.

A quick update…

Love begins with 'LIKE' - click like or follow on facebook, twitter or the blog and leave a comment!

Love begins with ‘LIKE’ – click like or follow on facebook, twitter or the blog and leave a comment!

The second episode of SABC 2’s Mela will air on Sunday at 10.30am. And it is a special Spring tribute – This week Mela picks up the energy of Spring. This season could be called nature’s mela, with its colour, birdsong and a sense of excitement and anticipation – and there’s plenty to inspire us.

I will be preparing Coronation Chicken Wraps and Strawberry Scones with Cardamom Cream! I also pop out to the Fourways Farmer’s Market to pick up some of my favourite cheeses and cupcakes to add to my picnic basket! Pop in on my blogsite on Sunday for the recipes….if you missed last week’s episode, you can watch it here…

There is just 18 days left to enter the KitchenAid Stand mixer competition….it’s been tremendous so far but you have to be in it to win it!!! Here is the link: – post a comment, follow the blog and tweet your little heart out!

I have been working with the Post Newspaper again and this week featured ‘Spring Cupcakes’. You can also take a look at the recipes for the Rose and Raspberry Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes and for those who are about to start with their Hindu fast for the month, I have just the recipe for you…Eggless Lemon and Coconut Cupcakes

NP amc pot winner 1 (Read-Only)
The AMC Cookware winner for August 2014 is Varsha Balmukan of Merebank….she has won the 30cm Gourmet Roaster and recipe book worth R5000! To enter this month’s AMC competition, check out the details in the Post Newspaper!

Here’s what the rest of the Mela team are up to this week…

Yoga Mela: It’s easy to slip out of synch with the rhythms of nature – especially when you’re living in a city. This week’s yoga moment will help to restore the harmony – with Yarisha Singh presenting a celebration of spring

Mela Star: There’s something about the crisp white summer uniform that makes the navy seem so stylish – but is a life at sea really so romantic? Lieutenant Kenneth Singh commands a South African Navy ship – and he invited Jailoshini Naidoo aboard.

Mela Rising Star: If a DJ gets his playlist right, he can set the party rocking and it going till the early morning. DJ Desiblue has developed his own floor-stomping formula – which is why he’s this week’s rising star.

Wellness Mela: Traditionally, yoga keeps you firmly on the earth – but some interesting new techniques have been developed that seem to defy gravity. This doesn’t involve levitation – but it got Mishal Mookery up in the air.

Fashion Mela: Fusion fashion began with Indian designers creating a blend of East and West – but lately they’re finding inspiration in Africa, the Middle East and greater Asia. This can be seen in a recent collection by Monisha Jaising – and award-winning designer and Mela style panellist Nadine Pillay analyses the look.

Music Mela: Youngistaan is a recent release featuring Jackky Bhagnani and Neha Sharma. One of its hit tracks has been filmed against the backdrop of the mesmerizing Taj Mahal, tying in perfectly with the theme of spring romance.

Mela Star Dust: No-one can keep a secret in Bollywood and we’re about to blow away the star dust – and reveal all there is to know about Aamir Khan.

Arts Mela: Naatya Pravahaam is a new dance production that aims to convey ideas rather than tell a story. K Sarveshan is a master of the bharata natyam style of classical dance – and he sketched the background to Mishal Mookery.

Music Mela: Mela signs off for this week with Chancey Illa, a track celebrating the youthful energy of Chennai and featuring the sensational Anirudh Ravichander.

Spring has Sprung…..Marinated Beef Fillet

I love Gibs....Yudhika Sujanani

I love Gibs….Yudhika Sujanani

Yes, Spring has finally Sprung….the weather in Jozi has been glorious. It felt as though Winter would go on forever, and suddenly the willow tree is coming alive again! It’s the best thing about our garden…the long drooping branches of the willow that showers us with a crisp coolness on long Summer days!

Although I do love curries, soups, stews and casseroles…enough to enjoy them anytime of the year, I sometimes ‘lus’ for lighter meals….grilled meat or fish that can be thrown onto a pan and served with a drizzle or salad. I love spicy foods and curries but also find a seared beef fillet irresistible!

The girls...Cohort 7 GIBS Goldman Sachs Scholarship Programme 2013!

The girls…Cohort 7 GIBS Goldman Sachs Scholarship Programme 2013!

My dear friend and GIBS 10000 women colleague, Mandisa Bardill, messaged me last week for my marinated beef fillet recipe. First a little about Mandisa…how could I best describe her….a singer, a songwriter, a businesswoman, a friend and the ‘Hummingbird’ of our group!

The lovely Mandisa Bardill

The lovely Mandisa Bardill

Mands raved about the marinated fillet after trying it at one of my home dinner parties…it was one of our mad, crazy feasts, actually! That was a party to remember…us girls in party mode ready to rock on….and believe me, these ladies are a unique and talented bunch!

The Drama Queen....Orly Shapiro....

The Drama Queen….Orly Shapiro….

Birthday girl...Rebecca Sands

Birthday girl…Rebecca Sands

Mpho Mnguni....dreamer and dancer!

Mpho Mnguni….dreamer and dancer!

Lara Tatley...a gentle gem!

Lara Tatley…a gentle gem!

Meagan....Another 7 girl!

Meagan….Another 7 girl!

Sue Anne Stander....oh crumbs....she has done it again!

Sue Anne Stander….oh crumbs….she has done it again!

It was a great evening of fun and feasting….and we had Rebecca’s birthday to celebrate…

Birthday girl....Becky Sands

Birthday girl….Becky Sands

If you love celebrating as much as we do, check out the KitchenAid competition…post your comment on Facebook, Twitter or on the blog posts with #KitchenAid #mela and you could be the lucky winner! Here is the link,

Even my kids got into party mode….firstly, by serving our guests and then having some fun!

Rushil and Hetal...having some fun!

Rushil and Hetal…having some fun!

Orly Shapiro, Rushil and Yudhika...

Orly Shapiro, Rushil and Yudhika…

One dessert is just not enough…..creme brulee was also on the menu!

Yudhika firing up the trusted plumber's torch...

Yudhika firing up the trusted plumber’s torch…

Most of the girls on the scholarship programme had never met before, but I am sure that most of us made new friends….not acquaintances but real friends for life! I was very privileged to be a part of my little group and we called ourselves….’The Pussycat Dolls’ or the ‘Elevator Witches’! We always sat together…every class bucking the advice to mix and mingle! Hats off to the course directors who had to get us in line and keep us on track….Korkor Cudjoe, Yogavelli Nambiar, Catherine Burnard and Misha Dhana – the Gibs team really did have their hands full!

Back to the recipe….without further delays….

Marinated Beef Fillet by Yudhika Sujanani

Marinated Beef Fillet by Yudhika Sujanani

Fillet by Yudhika Sujanani[/caption]

Marinated Beef Fillet

Serves four

1kg beef fillet
Seasoned salt
25ml sunflower oil
Juice of 2 lemons
3 cloves garlic crushed
Chopped green chilli, to taste
50ml olive oil
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Here’s how:

Remove the fillet from the refrigerator and allow the meat to stand until it is at room temperature. Place the meat on a chopping board and using a sharp knife trim the fillet and remove the silvery skin. Season the fillet with seasoned salt. Heat an AMC skillet on high until it is smoking hot. Place the seasoned fillet on the skillet and pour the sunflower oil over. Sear the fillet until it caramelises on the outside. When the meat is caramelised, remove from the pan and wrap it in foil. Leave the meat to rest for fifteen minutes. The fillet continues cooking while it is resting. While the meat is resting, combine the lemon juice, crushed garlic, green chilli, olive oil and chopped coriander. Place the meat on a chopping board and slice thinly. If the meat is undercooked, grill again on a hot pan. Arrange the meat on a platter and pour the lemon and olive oil mixture over the fillet.

Yudhika’s Tips
Beef fillet is one of the most tender cuts and also the most expensive.
Ask your local butcher to trim the fillet for you as this saves time.
You can slice the fillet into portions if this makes searing them easier.
Always pour the sunflower oil into the skillet once the meat has been added. The oil can catch alight when it is poured into the pan before the meat.
This can be prepared rare, medium or well done according to your taste but the cooking time should be adjusted accordingly.
Thinly sliced beef fillet is an impressive snack and it can be served at room temperature.