Cooking

Take it easy….Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks

Yudhika's Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks....

Yudhika’s Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks….

The weekend is here again and I have a action packed one ahead of me! I will be cooking up an absolute storm at the Grand Design Live show at the Coca Cola Dome. If you are popping in, come over to the Curry Me Home stand where we will be hosting quick and easy cooking demos with AMC Cookware…the best part is the tasting! The revised and limited edition of my second recipe book, Curry Me Home, Again will be on sale!

Some people have been commenting and asking, ‘Where is Winter’? I say it is here already…most mornings I look like the Oros Man with layers of flannel and fleece not to mention those chunky socks. As the temperature takes a nose dive, my food cravings rocket and there is a whole lot of cooking going on at Holi Cow! Having my mom around means that I get home cooked goodness everyday. My kids and I are super lucky to have her around.

Every now and then we take a curry break…we love love love our Indian food but a change is as good as a holiday….and I was dreaming of a Greek holiday when I prepared this recipe. Comfort food is always popular and a slow cooked lamb shank is the perfect fit! I often read through recipes and have to remind myself that not every recipe needs a myriad of spices. Perhaps, it is preparing Asian food that uses many spice combinations…my fingers itch to reach into my spice box.

This is a simple recipe and remember to cook the shanks slowly which brings out the flavour of the meat and also improves the texture. You can toss in a few green chillies to spice it up if you like! I gave in to my spice obsession and added two tablespoons of Magic Masala to the shanks…Magic Masala is one of my special blends and the Rolls Royce spice of the Curry Me Home range. This is not a curry spice but a ‘global blend’…whether you are cooking Moroccan, Greek, Middle Eastern or Indian…a little Magic Masala goes a long way…the combination of cumin, coriander, cardamom and cinnamon make this blend hard to live without…it is best described as ‘bottled gold’.

Get the shanks on and kick back to enjoy your weekend…serve the shanks with a heap of buttery mashed potato!

Leave a comment so I know you popped past my blog!

Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks

Ingredients

4 lamb shanks, each weighing about 400g
60ml sunflower
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
30ml tomato paste
250ml wine, white or red
2 stock cubes
250ml water
400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
Salt, to season
Black pepper, to season
30ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala
Fresh rosemary, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat a large AMC pot and pour in the sunflower oil.
Seal the lamb shanks in a single layer until golden brown.
Remove the shanks from the oil, then add the onion and saute until pale golden in colour.
Add the carrot, celery and saute until the vegetables soften.
Stir in the garlic and fresh thyme.
Saute until fragrant, add the tomato paste, wine, stock cubes and water.
Add the chopped tomatoes.
Simmer on a low heat for 3 – 5 minutes, then place the lamb shanks into the pan in a single layer.
Cook on a low heat until the lamb is tender – this should take about 2 hours on a low heat setting.
Add more water if necessary.
Remove the shanks from the pan and leave aside.
Pass the sauce through a strainer and use the back of a spoon to press out the liquid.
Return the shanks to the pan with the strained sauce and simmer until the sauce thickens.
Check the season and add salt only if necessary.
Season with black pepper.
Garnish with fresh rosemary.

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The Great Idli Revival…

Yudhika's Durban tea party at Holi Cow...with Joanne Joseph.

Yudhika’s Durban tea party at Holi Cow…with Joanne Joseph.

There’s been a wave of enthusiasm about Idli…and some people have been asking what is this thing that makes everyone go a little dippy. A description doesn’t do them justice…they are steamed semolina cakes made with rice flour and fresh coconut. It’s a humble treat but an irresistible one!

I shared my recipe in the Post Newspaper a few weeks ago…I had been reminiscing about my childhood and the specialities that ‘oldies’ used to make….and I say ‘oldies’ fondly. I miss that feeling…eating and indulging in the food these ladies prepared could only leave you feeling loved in that very special way!

There’s been an overwhelming response to this recipe and a similar one to the snowball blog too…I was surprised that so many people shared the same sentiments about growing up in Durban and snowballs too! You can find the recipe here,

I had a group of phenomenal women around for a little Durban style tea party recently. We feasted on curry pies, samosas, idli and snowballs…what a treat to be in such great company but also to reconnect over the treasures that we relished from our childhood in Durban. Devi Sankaree, Joanne Joseph, Aasra Bramdeo, Krivani Pillay and Uveka Rangappa…thanks so much for a delightful afternoon at Holi Cow with loads of giggles!

Phenomenal women...Krivani Pillay SAFM, Devi Sankaree Govender - Carte Blanche, and Koo Govender - Phakama Women's Academy  enjoying the treats at Holi Cow!

Phenomenal women…Krivani Pillay SAFM, Devi Sankaree Govender – Carte Blanche, and Koo Govender – Phakama Women’s Academy…enjoying the treats at Holi Cow!

I have been making idli flat out since and there seems to be a bit of a revival…some people have rocked up at Holi Cow desperately seeking one, and others brought their kids over to give it a try…some have sent their kids to urgently collect! It gladdens my heart to know that there is so much love that can be shared through food.

I used fresh yeast for this recipe…you can use half the quantity of dried yeast if you prefer. I prefer the fresh yeast though….might be my imagination but I think there is a difference. I have to say that I can be quite superstitious and old fashioned with baking. There’s also been quite a few queries about where to get fresh yeast…it used to be available and kept in the refrigerated dairy section in supermarkets. With so few people baking, fresh yeast isn’t always available.

You can pop through to your local supermarket and get some from the bakery section. It is inexpensive and good supermarkets are happy to share…I normally get my yeast over the counter at the Broadacres Superspar or Hobart Superspar…I don’t think you would have much luck at Woolies or Checkers but the Spars are individually owned and there is a good chance they would help you out…you could also try your local bakery…it sounds like a schlep but it is worth the effort!

Steaming the idli in an AMC pan using the egg poacher

Steaming the idli in an AMC pan using the egg poacher

Now, you don’t have to run out and get an idli pot…I have one that I bought from India and it is nothing to hoo haa about. The pot is quite thin and rattles around on the hob….also the stacked idli stand leaves some of the dumplings squashed. I use an AMC egg poacher for this and it works perfectly. You do not need a fancy pot just for steaming them. It’s also better to steam them in one layer as they cook evenly and in the same time. If you are looking to start your AMC collection or adding to the existing one, click here for the latest AMC competition, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/05/04/cookware-for-queens-and-a-few-kings-too-the-amc-cookware-competition/

Take a browse through the blog….I love hearing from you and your comments point me in the right direction…so feel free to drop me a line or two!

Sweet Idli by Yudhika Sujanani

Sweet Idli by Yudhika Sujanani

Sweet Idli

Makes 18 – 24

Ingredients

10ml sugar
20g fresh yeast
500ml tepid water

250ml self raising flour
125ml rice flour
125ml semolina
250ml maize meal
2,5ml salt

225ml sugar
185ml desiccated coconut
125g melted butter

Here’s how

Place the sugar in a jug, add the fresh yeast and the water.
Stir well to dissolve and leave in a warm place.
Bubbles should appear on the surface – if not it means that the yeast is inactive.
Place the self raising flour in a mixing bowl.
Add the rice flour, semolina, maize meal and salt.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture.
Stir well to combine and ensure the mixture is smooth.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 3 – 4 hours or until the mixture has doubled in volume.
The batter should have large bubbles on the surface.
Stir the sugar, desiccated coconut and melted butter into the batter
Bring 500ml water to boil in a 24cm AMC pot.
Place an insert ring with a 6 egg poacher on the pot.
Grease the poaching cups with non stick spray.
Spoon the batter into the cups – it should be about 3/4 full.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and steam for 12 – 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean with the idli is tested.
Serve hot with butter and syrup.

Busting my chops…

Chop Chutney by Yudhika Sujanani

Chop Chutney by Yudhika Sujanani

Success is not a destination…it is a journey. And I can truthfully say, that the road is not paved with success. There are gravel roads, highways and cobbled paths but there are more failures and disappointments than victories. I have never opted for the easier routes. It doesn’t sit comfortably but there are times that the road was clearly the wrong one. If we made all the right choices, we would definitely not work as hard. The lessons we learn often come from failure. There is so much we learn about our ‘inner circle’ only when we experience dismal failure…suddenly our good friends disappear and some of them stay close, encouraging and guiding us through the darkness. I am thankful for all the lessons…good, bad and ugly.

Looking back over the past decade, I have been busting my chops…learning lessons on my journey and persevering through. I started out in the food world when I was 14 years old…buttering bread and rolling cutlery in paper serviettes. I started out by just lending a hand in the kitchen…running errands and always assisting the weakest link in the food chain. But as I climbed the ladder, every rung came with it’s own lessons and a better view too. I eventually opened a restaurant and that also came with it’s lessons. I loved food but hated the restaurant admin that kept me out of the kitchen. I paid my school fees and learnt very quickly that if I wanted to serve delicious food, I would have to work on the admin in the day and chef during the dinner service. Welcome to the life of a restaurateur…seven years of double shifts and three kids I wasn’t putting to bed later, I sold Salaam Bombay to concentrate on the career I have now.

I started doing live cooking demos and became the brand ambassador to a large food corporate…I was still working double shifts but from home. I made samosas, thousands of them, for the Broadacres Superspar to fill up the financial gaps in my bank balance. The financial shortfalls was what led me to launch a range of spices called Curry Me Home at the same Spar. My first recipe book followed a few months later. Through this time, there was rejection, a few bad surprises and the road had been bumpy at the best of times.

I have busted my chops since I was 14, and there are people out there that assume that a strategic marriage is behind my success. Frankly, my marriages have been the failure that has fueled much of my drive to succeed. I have experienced my fair share of divorce ugliness but will not be a casualty of the process or ugliness that comes with it. Marriage to a wealthy man can provide financial stability but it will not provide you with knowledge and wisdom to succeed as an independent woman. The men that claim that their wives had married for money lack good common sense. Imagine the foolishness of a man who does this, raising questions about his wisdom and intelligence. There have been a few murmurs going around and either way, whatever people believe, I am going to take it a a compliment…because I am that resilient, smart and business savvy to succeed. And if I ever decide to become that gold digger, I am sure that I will be successful at that too.

As adults, we often speak of our sacrifices…quite recently and increasingly often, I watch my kids and think of how much they have sacrificed by not having me around as much as they would have liked. They complain sometimes but most often understand, accept and tolerate the workload that comes with the lifestyle we enjoy. But the lifestyle doesn’t come from what Indians refer to as ‘being a sponge’ or gold digger. If I opted in as a ‘sponge’, my kids would have had more time with me and definitely little respect!

I have worked double triple time and still do, never turning down work and being an entrepreneur 24/7. I am a cook, teacher, author, TV presenter, PR lady and manufacturer! I have always known that no matter how hard you work, there are always ‘those people’ who just love busting your chops! The petty, mindless comments and stupidity of the gossip, leaves me asking questions about the lack of education and imbecility! When the fits of giggles subside, I recognize that lives can be that empty!

All of this and I throw my hands in the air and declare, ‘To each chop, his own!’, I suppose! Which brings me back to the chops….here is my recipe for a golden oldie from Durban….Chop Chutney! This is a Sunday favourite but also a great way to recycle lamb chops after a weekend braai.

Chops Chutney

Serves 4

Ingredients

1,4kg lamb chops
250ml water
15ml crushed ginger and garlic
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
Salt to season

50ml sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml salt
1 sprig curry leaves
3 – 4 green chillies
10ml crushed ginger and garlic
5ml – 10ml red chilli powder
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2,5ml ground cumin
2,5ml ground coriander
2,5ml garam masala
1ml turmeric
Pinch of sugar
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Pour the water into a 30cm AMC gourmet roaster, then add the ginger and garlic.
Arrange the lamb chops in a single layer.
Add a cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
Simmer the chops until the water has evaporated and the meat is tender.
The fat from the chops should be left in the pan.
Fry the chops until golden brown and season with salt.
Pour off the excess oil.

Heat the sunflower oil in a 24cm AMC pot and fry the onions with salt until light golden brown.
Add the curry leaves and chillies, saute for a few seconds.
Stir the ginger and garlic into the pot and then add the red chilli powder.
Add the tomatoes, then the remaining spices.
Simmer until the sauce thickens and the tomatoes soften.
Sprinkle in the sugar and pour the cooked tomatoes into the pot with the lamb chops.
Toss the lamb chops in the tomato chutney to coat.
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.

Burfee Bliss…an eggless cupcake!

Yudhika's Eggless Burfee Cupcakes...

Yudhika’s Eggless Burfee Cupcakes…

No matter how much time you spend in a kitchen, there are always some things that are not your forte. For me eggless baking has never come easy…perhaps my attempts are sabotaged by some of my first attempts which were always disastrous. From cakes that looked like rubber to cupcakes that felt like tennis balls…my earlier attempts made me cringe with embarrassment. Thankfully, much to the encouragement and constant requests from my readers and Facebook family, I come up with a cracker every now and then…don’t get me wrong, there are more disasters than victories.

When it comes to eggless cakes and bakes, I often find beautifully decorated cakes that can set you up for disappointment. One bite and the cake is either too dry, heavy and the bicarby bitterness overwhelming. I have been playing with a recipe for an eggless cupcake for a while and why not make a celebration cupcake? Last week, I did a feature in the Post Newspaper and featured my Eggless Burfee Cupcake creation. The recipe has been tested for a while and each time I made a batch, I thought of ways to improve the texture and flavour. Taking inspiration from an Indian speciality fudge, I added Klim and dessert cream to the recipe…it was one of those recipes that go something like this….a few tablespoons of that, let’s add a little cream, stir and check consistency, then a few pinches of cardamom….lick the spoon and, ‘Aha, it needs more sugar!’ For a quick and easy flop proof burfee recipe, click here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/31/idiot-proof-burfee/ and check out my latest competition to win a 30cm skillet valued at R3200 from AMC Cookware here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/05/04/cookware-for-queens-and-a-few-kings-too-the-amc-cookware-competition/

The baked burfee cupcakes...a little scone like on the surface!

The baked burfee cupcakes…a little scone like on the surface!

I develop recipes over the weekend and get my kids to take notes on my ramblings and document the recipe changes. I took a peek at these cupcakes while they were in the oven. They looked like scones and my heart sank momentarily. It’s a case of not judging a book by it’s cover…the scone like appearance masked the deliciously light, moist cakes. I topped them with a generous slathering of cream cheese frosting but you could use butter cream or whipped cream if you prefer.

Eggless Burfee Cupcakes....deliciously light and moreish!

Eggless Burfee Cupcakes….deliciously light and moreish!

Eggless Burfee Cupcakes

Makes 18

125g soft butter

125g sugar

100g Klim milk powder

100ml dessert cream

200ml full cream milk

5ml vanilla essence

210g cake flour

7,5ml baking powder

5ml bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

2,5ml ground cardamom

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.

In a free standing mixer or with a hand held beater, ream the butter until light in colour.

Add the sugar gradually and continue creaming until fluffly.

Stir the mix powder into the mixture and continue creaming

Gradually add the dessert cream.

Combine the full cream milk and vanilla essence.

Sift the dry ingredients.

Add half the sifted flour to the mixing bowl and beat until smooth.

Add half the milk and mix well, followed by the remaining flour.

Pour the remaining milk and beat until smooth.

Divide the mixture into a cupcake pan, lined with paper cases.

Bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cakes are tested.

Remove the cakes from the tin immediately and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Cream cheese frosting


120g soft butter


375ml icing sugar


230g plain cream cheese 


5ml Vanilla paste or extract

Tinted almonds, to decorate

For the frosting:

Cream butter and gradually add the icing sugar until light in colour.
Add the cream cheese and continue beating.
Add vanilla essence.
Continue beating until smooth – do not over-beat as the frosting can split.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost them using a spatula and decorate with tinted almonds.

Another Meat Free Monday! Creamy Cauliflower

Yudhika Sujanani - Quick and Easy Creamy Cauliflower Curry!

Yudhika Sujanani – Quick and Easy Creamy Cauliflower Curry!

Here is a quick and easy recipe for a Meat Free Monday!

Creamy Cauliflower

Ingredients

800g cauliflower florets
60ml sunflower oil
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
10ml crushed ginger and garlic
10ml red chilli powder
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
2ml turmeric
125ml fresh cream
250ml frozen peas
Fresh curry leaves or coriander, to garnish

Here’s how

Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for 2 minutes and then drain.
Rinse the florets in cold water and leave to drain.
Heat the oil in a 24cm AMC pot.
Add the cumin seeds and when they splutter, add the onion and salt.
Saute until the onion turns light golden brown.
Add crushed ginger and garlic – cook until the moisture evaporates.
Stir the cauliflower florets into the onion.
Saute for a minute then add the powdered spices.
Simmer for 3 – 4 minutes, pour in the cream.
Add the frozen peas and simmer on a low heat until cooked through.
Once the sauce thickens slightly, remove from the heat and garnish with curry leaves or fresh coriander.

Mother’s Day Blues

Raspberry sponge cake with meringue frosting

One day that has always troubled me is Mother’s Day (and maybe Father’s Day too).  The advertisements start coming out weeks before, to create feelings of guilt and obligation.  I don’t see articles full of constructive family bonding activities – it is rather about buying gifts, flowers or going out to lunch.

Well, I have decided to boycott the commercialism that surrounds Mother’s Day.  Flowers are always fabulous, but they are devilishly expensive and half the price at any other time.  Gifts – I would prefer to skip the fragrant soap and get a better birthday present rather.  And as for going out on Mother’s Day – you have to be joking!  Overcrowded restaurants, bad tempered and slow service, and disappointing quality food turned out by kitchens that are battling to cope with the volumes.  I don’t want another meal served at 3pm while sitting around being aggravated by kids who constantly zoom by me in their scooters!  I detest those scooters and parents who take their kids out with scooters to restaurants are a menace!  What are they thinking???

Take your mother out for a meal, of course you should.  But just don’t do it on Mother’s Day!  Make your own Mother’s Day a week earlier or later, or you could try my favourite – dining out on a Monday!  It chases away the Monday blues and gets the week off to a good start.

Ok, so now that we have agreed not to go out on Mother’s Day, what shall we do?  Mother’s Day is not about commercialism but it has become a day when families get together.  So, get a few bottles of mom’s favourite wine or champagne and get into the kitchen to cook something fabulous – in fact, go the whole hog and prepare a family feast – starters, mains and desserts.  Obviously, this is a good time to choose your mother’s favourite meal and not your own.

On Sunday, my family will be celebrating a family day and I will be preparing this quick and easy Chicken Breyani.  This is the cheats version so you can get in and out of the kitchen and really spend quality time with your family.  Chicken layered with basmati rice, lentils, aromatic spices and a few good glugs of cream – it is delicious.  The saffron infusion creates a perfumed aroma that wafts through our home.  Here is the video:

Spending too much time in the kitchen defeats the purpose of a get together on Mother’s Day.  End the meal with a Raspberry Meringue Cake.  This light, airy sponge is smothered in a meringue frosting and baked for a few minutes – it looks like a gooey marshmallow cake!

Raspberry Meringue Cake

Ingredients:

6 eggs

225ml castor sugar

5ml vanilla essence

375ml cake flour

15ml cornflour

15ml baking powder

Pinch of salt

90ml cold water

185ml sunflower oil

Raspberry jam, to sandwich cakes

Fresh raspberries to serve

Here’s how

Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius.  Grease and line three 20cm (8 inch) cake tins.  Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cornflour twice.

Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat using a hand held egg beater.  Gradually add in the castor sugar and continue beating.  The mixture must be light and should leave a trail on the surface that is visible for three seconds.

Add vanilla essence and fold in half the sifted dry ingredients into the egg mixture.  Add the cold water and then the remaining sifted flour.

Lastly fold in the sunflower oil.  Ensure that you have folded in the ingredients properly especially the batter at the bottom of the bowl.

Divide between the three cake tins and bake in a preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes until the cake slightly shrinks away from the tin.

Let the cakes stand for a minute or two before turning them out onto a wire rack.  Leave to cool completely.

To assemble the cake:

Spread the raspberry jam over two of the sponges and sandwich the cakes together.

To make the meringue frosting:

Whisk 4 egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add 185ml sugar a little at a time until the meringue is stiff and holds its shape.  and sieve icing sugar over.  Place the cake on a baking tray and frost the cake with the meringue mixture.  Bake at 200 degrees celsius until the meringue is pale golden brown in colour.

Decorate with fresh raspberries.

Yudhika’s Tips

Use strawberry jam and fresh strawberries to garnish if raspberries are not available.

I usually serve this with whipped cream on the side or drizzled with woolies double thick cream.

Always make sure that your ingredients are thoroughly mixed before pouring the batter into the cake tins.  The oil tends to sink to the bottom so make sure you lift the batter from the bottom of the bowl to ensure it is well combined.

My personal choice for Mother’s Day – a pimped out scone!  I would always choose to kick off Mother’s Day with a delicious home baked scone with lashings of fresh cream and strawberry jam.  Here is my extra special recipe:

An absolute treat

Fresh Cream Scones

Ingredients

560g cake flour
30ml baking powder
30ml castor sugar
5ml salt
250g butter
3 eggs
200ml fresh cream

For the egg wash:
1 egg
10ml milk

To serve
Butter,
Strawberry Jam
Whipped Cream
Grated Cheese

Here’s how

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Lightly beat the eggs and cream together.  Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.

Cut the butter into little blocks and add to the sifted dry ingredients.  Lightly rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips.  When the mixture resembles crumbs, pour in the egg and cream mixture.

Gently mix the ingredients together and work into a soft dough.  Do not knead the dough.  The dough will be soft but not perfectly smooth.

Roll the dough into a ball.  Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough.  It should be about 2cm thick.

Dip the scone cutter into flour and cut out rounds or hearts.  Gather the off cuts and gently knead into a ball.  Repeat the process until all the dough has been used up.

Place the rounds on a greased baking tray.  Leave the tray in the refrigerator for 10 – 15 minutes.

Beat the egg and milk together and brush the top of the scones with this egg wash.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until the scones are golden brown on the top and at the bottom.  Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm scones with butter, strawberry jam, cream or with grated cheese.

Yudhika’s Tips

Keeping the ingredients and dough as cold is possible is the secret to making good scones.

Buttermilk can be used instead of fresh cream.

Try not to let the egg wash drip onto the sides of the scones as it affects the shape when baking.

These scones can be frozen.  Remove scones from the oven before they begin to brown.  Leave to cool on a wire rack and then freeze.  Defrost the scones and then bake for 4 – 5 minutes in a hot oven until golden brown and heated through.

A Freedom Day Feast

South Africans celebrate Freedom Day on the 27th April.  This year I will be celebrating Freedom Day by feasting with family and friends.  The idea of marking the day with a feast came to me while reading Anna Trapido’s book, Hunger for Freedom.  The book also reminded me of South Africa’s food heritage and particularly Madiba’s love of all things spicy – pickles, breyani and even crab curry are just some of the recipes featured in the book.  There are many stories that are beautifully written – stories that tell us about people, the food they prepared and the meals they shared.

Indian food has long played an important part in the development of a South African food culture.  Our nation’s love of strong spicy flavours and chilli is part of our heritage.  Everywhere you go in South Africa, there is Peri Peri, Garlic, Chutney, Dips and generally robust flavours.  Those of you who have travelled widely will know that this is not always the case in other countries.

Try to find a traditional Durban Curry in India – you can’t!  And don’t think that South African Indians grew up on Rogan Josh, Korma and Vindaloo – we grew up eating curry and rice!  Ever been to an Indian wedding – I just know that you were served breyani, breyani and more breyani cooked in the biggest pot you have ever seen.  My point is that South African food is not based on fancy schmancy recipes, but rather on good wholesome spicy food.

We grew up eating curry cooked in AMC pots every day, but every now and then one of the many great cooks in the neighbourhood would break out with something different for example Malva Pudding, Milk Tart and Bobotie.  It was always like a breath of fresh air, and although we might have immediately gone back to our Durban curries, the memory of those ‘adventures’ has always stayed with me.  I still try to relive those adventures in my cooking, although Durban Curry will always have a special place in my heart.

Here are two of recipes that I will be preparing for my Freedom Day Feast….

Crayfish Curry - perfect for the Freedom Day feast

One of Madiba’s favourites, Crayfish Curry – this is how I make it!

Ingredients

12 medium sized crayfish tails, deveined

50ml sunflower oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

7,5ml coarse salt

Curry leaves, if you have them

15ml freshly crushed garlic

30ml Curry Me Home Red Chilli Powder

6 – 8 ripe tomatoes (I used the 1 and a half tins of Spar Whole Peeled Tomatoes)

5ml Curry Me Home Ground Cumin

10ml Curry Me Home Ground Coriander

2,5ml turmeric

5ml sugar

2 sprigs of curry leaves

Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

If you are using fresh tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water.  Remove the skins and chop.  I used the tinned variety for this recipe simply because I was out of ripe tomatoes and the ones in the veggie basket were too firm to make up a good sauce.  Chop the tinned tomatoes and remove the hard centre.

Heat the sunflower oil on medium.  Add the onions, salt and curry leaves.  Saute until the onion is light golden brown before adding the garlic.  Saute the garlic for a few seconds until fragrant and then add the red chilli powder.  Stir for 5 seconds and then add the tomatoes.  Cook until the tomatoes soften and add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and sugar.  Reduce the heat and simmer for until the sauce thickens slightly.  Add the crayfish tails and simmer until the shells change colour.  When the tails curl slightly and the meat is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and add curry leaves.  Add the fresh coriander and serve with basmati rice.

Yudhika’s tips:

I leave the crayfish in the shell – it adds more flavour to the sauce.

A sweet ending...

Yum Yum Malva Pudding

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients2 eggs
200ml castor sugar
250ml cake flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
2ml salt
20ml butter, melted
100ml full cream milk
50ml fresh cream
15ml apricot jam
5ml vinegarMalva Sauce
250ml cream
125g butter
125ml castor sugar
125ml boiling waterIce cream or custard, to serveHere’s how:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Grease an oven proof dish with non stick spray.  Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda twice.  Stir the salt into the sifted dry ingredients.  Combine the melted butter, full cream milk and the cream.  Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl.  Use a hand held beater, and beat the eggs while gradually adding the castor sugar.  Continue beating the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the sifted dry ingredients, alternating with the milk and cream mixture.  Lastly add the apricot jam and the vinegar.  Beat well ensuring the mixture is smooth.  Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and set.

For the sauce:
Combine the cream, butter, castor sugar and boiling water.  Simmer the sauce on low for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens slightly.  Pour the hot sauce over the baked pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.

To serve:
Serve the malva pudding warm and topped with ice cream or custard.

Yudhika’s tips
Use 150ml full cream milk instead of a combination of full cream milk and fresh cream for the pudding.
Whipped cream can be served with the pudding.

The temperature in Jozi is dropping and there is a chill in the air. I think that this is the perfect weather for comfort food and here is the perfect recipe…a quick and easy flop proof creme brulee! Enjoy!

The temperature in Jozi is dropping and there is a chill in the air. I think that this is the perfect weather for comfort food and here is the perfect recipe…a quick and easy flop proof creme brulee! Enjoy!.