Month: March 2015

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 https://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.

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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.