AMC competition

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.

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Very vegetarian….Paneer and Spinach Koftas

Paneer and Spinach Koftas....by Yudhika Sujanani

Paneer and Spinach Koftas….by Yudhika Sujanani

I recently joined a group on Facebook called ‘Strictly Vegetarian Recipes’ and it has been an inspiration. The group was started by Prathna Singh in memory of her mom who was a vegetarian. I have been so amazed by the recipes posted but mostly the enthusiasm of the members. From eggless baking to old fashioned recipes, the group share their love for all things deliciously vegetarian.

I have been raised in a meat loving home where veggies were for days that were financially challenging. Preparing veggie meals has not been at the top of my list but the ladies of ‘Strictly Vegetarian’ keep me on my toes and thinking of new ideas to share.

With the rise of the celebrity and masterchef generation, we tend to forget to acknowledge the home cooks and chefs from the older generation….there is no TV audience but it is where most recipes come from! Aunties and grannies, mothers and neighbours…recipes were shared through the local grapevine….I would also like to thank the members of the group for their amazing work and spirit in keeping the page alive and brimming with decadent ideas.

Some of the contributors on the page are Mrs Priscilla Ron Sha, Prathna Singh, Usha Singh and Sherry Baijnath. Thanks ladies for the delicious shares! This blog is a celebration so don’t forget to enter the AMC Cookware Competition, click here for the details…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/05/04/cookware-for-queens-and-a-few-kings-too-the-amc-cookware-competition/ Don’t forget the hashtags…#amcforlife #yudhikayumyum in your comments!

Here is a recipe from my veggie files…I used a combination of Indian and Thai flavours in the sauce. Coconut milk, lemongrass and lime leaves combined with Indian spices make this sauce utterly decadent. Lime leaves can be found at Asian supermarkets and can be kept in the pantry for over a year. When I am short on lemongrass, I just add a few extra lime leaves to mimic the citrus zing….it does work so don’t panic if you can’t find the lemongrass! When using coconut milk, I recommend the following brands…Mae Ploy, Aroy D and Chao Koh or you can use the Spar brand coconut cream (with the yellow label). Some of the brands are really watery and ruin the sauce. For the basic paneer recipe, click here…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/11/01/how-to-make-paneer/ – just remember to use Clover milk for the recipe…from my recipe testing, it seems to work best for paneer.

These recipes can be sent directly to your inbox…all you have to do is click follow on the bottom of the page…scroll down to the very bottom of the page!

Paneer and Spinach Koftas

200g grated paneer
2 large boiled potatoes, grated
150g baby spinach, finely shredded
7,5ml crushed ginger
7,5ml crushed garlic
2 green chillies, finely chopped
5ml ajwain (ajmo)
5ml fine salt

Chickpea batter
500ml chickpea flour
2,5ml ajwain
2,5ml salt
Cold water, to make batter

Sunflower oil, to fry koftas

For the sauce:
750g chopped tomatoes
250ml cold water
2 cloves garlic
5ml crushed ginger
6 lime leaves
1 stalk lemongrass
4 green cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
15ml red chilli powder
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
5ml garam masala
5ml sugar
125ml coconut milk
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Place the grated paneer, potato and baby spinach in a mixing bowl. Add the ginger, garlic, chopped chillies, ajwain and salt.
Mix well until the ingredients are combined.
Mould the mixture into balls and leave in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Make a batter with the chickpea flour, ajwain, salt and cold water.
Dip the koftas in the batter and then deep fry in hot oil.
Remove from the oil and leave to cool slightly, then dip in chickpea batter and fry again.
Leave to drain on a wire rack.

To make the sauce:

Place the tomatoes in a 24cm AMC pot and bring to the boil.
Pour in the water, then add garlic, ginger, lime leaves and lemongrass.
Place the cardamom pods, and bay leaf into the pot.
When the tomatoes soften completely, pass the mixture through a sieve.
Use the back of the wooden spoon to press the mixture through ensuring just the whole spices and lemongrass is left in the sieve.
Discard the pulp and bring the liquid to the boil.
Add red chilli powder, ground cumin, coriander, garam masala and sugar.
Simmer for a 3 – 5 minutes.
Add coconut milk and simmer until the sauce is glossy.
Place the koftas into the coconut sauce and garnish with fresh coriander.

The Crumpet Controversy…

The Crumpet Controversy by Yudhika Sujanani

The Crumpet Controversy by Yudhika Sujanani

With Mother’s Day just a few days away, it got me thinking about delicious recipes that my mom and gran would prepare! My gran always made fabulous crumpets and they are so good that she has to make them everyday when she comes to visit. I did watch her a few times and with most experienced Indian ladies, they cook and bake without measurements and my Nan is no different. They make everything look so easy and effortless. And it’s because they make it look so easy, that I did try to whip up a batch as an after school treat. Most of them were welded to the pan and scraping them off just led to lots of burning and trauma! The ones that did make it were hard and rubbery! I just had to pay more attention to Nan to get these right!

I use an AMC Chef’s Pan to cook these and grease it lightly with a mist of non-stick spray. Once the batter is in you could add a little melted butter to the pan but the spray on its own worked well enough. You can also use a AMC Cookware Skillet for this…and luckily enough, it’s the prize AMC are giving away…click here for more details on how to enter, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/05/04/cookware-for-queens-and-a-few-kings-too-the-amc-cookware-competition/

I posted a pic of the crumpets on Facebook. My English Champagne drinking friend, Carole Tate, declared that it wasn’t a crumpet after all! I was completely confused and decided to do a little investigating. English crumpets are different to Scottish ones, and there is much confusion over flapjacks, English muffins and Crumpets.

So let’s settle on calling these South African Crumpets which, by the way, are much like American flapjacks. They can be served dusted with cinnamon sugar, drizzled with syrup, and served in a stack topped with crispy bacon. Crumpets can also be served plain and smeared with a heavy dose of butter! It’s all good…it’s all delicious! These are easy enough for kids to make on Mother’s Day and here are a few other recipe ideas from my previous blog posts…For a meringue frosted cake and delicious scones click here – https://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/05/09/mothers-day-blues/

For those of you who are die hard English crumpet fans, apologies for calling this a crumpet. It’s what I have know it as my entire life. Let’s put the controversy aside, and bang out a batch…they are delicious by any name!

Since blogging is still ‘quite new’, I would love to hear from you so leave a message in the comments section when you drop by! And if you love the recipe, feel free to share it!

The crumpet stack - perfect for Mother's Day

The crumpet stack – perfect for Mother’s Day

Crumpets

Makes 24

Ingredients

500ml self raising flour
10ml baking powder
Pinch of salt
75ml sugar
250ml milk
250ml cold water
2 eggs
60ml melted butter

Cinnamon sugar, to dust
Butter and golden syrup, to serve

Here’s how:

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.
Add the sugar.
Lightly whisk the milk, water and eggs to combine.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
Whisk the mixture until smooth, then pour in the butter.
Whisk once again to incorporate.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and leave the batter to rest for an hour.
Heat an AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan and grease with non stick spray.
Cook spoonfuls of the batter in the pan – I use an egg ring to keep them even in size.
When the crumpets bubble on the surface and are golden brown, turn then over and cook on the opposite side.
Grease the pan again with non-stick spray and repeat.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Serve with butter and golden syrup.

Let them eat cake….

Double Choc Marble Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Double Choc Marble Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

I find it difficult to get my head around Women’s Day or Women’s Month…you see, I do believe that women are just phenomenal all year round! My Women’s Month kickstarted when my friend and colleague, Yogas Nair, was appointed as editor of the ‘Post Newspaper’. She is one of the real go getters I know that has kept climbing life’s mountains. Yogas and I go way back and she gave me my first ‘newspaper break’ by featuring my recipes in the Post many years ago. Looking back, it was one of those big career moments in my career and it gave me the platform to learn so much more. I went on to write for ‘The Star’, ‘Daily News’ and the ‘Sunday Times Extra’. However, all roads do seem to lead back to the Post and I am pleased that my recipes will be featured once again!

To be honest, I had not given much thought to Women’s month….I was still reeling from preparing ‘Burfee Cakes’ at Holi Cow for the Eid celebration but also just keeping up with the cooking classes and catering orders. Speaking of cooking classes, here is the updated schedule:

Cooking Class Update: The Curry Trail – learn how to use your spices to make curries from around Asia….Lamb Vindaloo, Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Thai Green Prawn, Paneer in Almond Sauce, Rotis and Coconut Creme Brulees. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a sit down lunch. Bookings essential.

Date: Saturday, 23rd August 2014
Time: 10 for 10.30am
Cost: R375 per person

Cooking Class Update: Spice Spice Baby…learn how to add spices to your everyday meals to cook up quick and easy fuss free meals. Traditional Lamb Jalfrezie, Creamy Chicken Curry, Mushroom Mattar, Balti Prawn Curry, Samosas and Boozy Cream Cake. The duration of the class is two hours long and is followed by a sit down dinner. Bookings essential.

Date: Wednesday, 27th August 2014
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Cost: R375 per person

Cooking Class Update: Curry 101 Hands on Class – learn how to use spices to make delicious spicy meals in a flash….Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Korma, Coconut Prawn, Mushroom and Chickpea Curry, Rotis and Chocolate Ganache Cake. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a delicious lunch. Bookings essential.

Date: Saturday, 30th August 2014
Time: 10 for 10.30am
Cost: R375 per person

Please email us at hetals@iafrica.com to book or call 011 – 4672661 to book your spot. All ingredients are provided.

The Post Women’s Day edition was a special one with a real cause for celebration as Yogas not only took on the role as editor but it marked the first female editor in 60 years! AMC cookware also joined in our celebration by sponsoring a R5000 prize for Women’s month!

Women's Month Prize....30cm Gourmet Roaster from AMC cookware!

Women’s Month Prize….30cm Gourmet Roaster from AMC cookware!

For more details on the competition, don’t forget to get your copy of the Post Newspaper on Wednesdays!

What better way to celebrate Women’s Month than a feature on cakes in the Post Newspaper? Here is one of the recipes featured in the Women’s Day edition….

Double Chocolate Marble Cake

This is a delicious buttery cake with a delicate crumb. It can be frosted but I chose to drizzle milk chocolate over instead for a lighter version.

Ingredients
300g soft butter
250g sugar
Pinch of salt
6 eggs
150ml milk, room temperature
280g self-raising flour
5ml baking powder
5ml vanilla essence
100g Lindt dark chocolate, chopped
20g cocoa powder

For the Chocolate Drizzle
100g milk chocolate, chopped
25g butter
60ml milk

Grease a 22 – 25cm bundt tin with butter and then dust the tin with flour. Shake off the excess flour.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric beater until very light in colour.
Add the salt and add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition.
Pour the milk into the creamed mixture – the mixture may look curdled but will come together at the next stage.
Divide the flour into two bowls. Add the chocolate chips to one bowl and the cocoa powder to the other. Divide the baking powder between the two bowls.
Divide the creamed mixture into the two bowls with flour and mix well to ensure the ingredients are well combined and form a soft thick batter.
Spoon the chocolate mixture into the bundt tin and use a spoon to creating a trough for the chocolate chip mixture. Scoop the second batch of batter into the tin.
Use the back of the spoon to smooth the top.
Bake the cake for 45 – 50 minutes depending on the size of the tin. A skewer should come out clean when the cake is tested.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 – 20 minutes and then turn out onto cake platter.
To make the chocolate drizzle:
Heat the milk and butter. Add the chopped milk chocolate and then stir until smooth. If the mixture appears lumpy, heat the chocolate for 10 second intervals in the microwave, stirring well after each time.
Spoon the melted chocolate over the cake, letting some of the drizzle run down the sides of the cake.