AMC paella pan

Keep your eye on the doughnut….

Yudhika Sujanani's Cinnamon Doughnuts with AMC Cookware

Yudhika Sujanani’s Cinnamon Doughnuts with AMC Cookware

I love spending time with the kids and we always end up in the kitchen whipping up a batch of something special. The Easter weekend was no different and over the last few days, it’s been choc pudding, snowballs and doughnuts too! While making these doughnuts, I remembered the old saying….Keep your eye on the doughnut and not upon the hole! It just makes sense, doesn’t it? We just can’t stop fixating on the hole to see the luscious doughnut sometimes! It reminded me that through all the admin around the ‘hole’ in my life, there is still a doughnut!

The other saying that also came to mind was…The optimist sees the doughnut, the pessimist the hole! How often in life we spend our time with people who only see that hole and don’t have a word of encouragement to share? I am guilty of just that, and recognizing now that some of the best years of my life were spent with an aging playboy who was definitely the hole in my world! When you are compared to past lovers, accused of not bringing home enough bacon and never good enough for anything…when you are ridiculed and humiliated amongst friends and family, life begins to feel like the hole in the doughnut! Feeling unloved and tormented, the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can dominate your existence. These negative experiences can turn any relationship into a black hole!

A hole can abuse the human spirit. Holes sometimes carelessly define themselves by what they did twenty years ago….the wild parties, the corporate one night stands and how stupid their spouse was to not catch them cheating or maybe it was put in a slightly different way…I was so smart that I never got caught! I cannot understand how ego replaces good judgement and leads to emotional casualties. While most choose to add meaning to their lives by building careers and family relationships, a hole chooses to revel in frivolity. Casual flings, corporate incest…this is what I describe as those people that often become the ‘office bicycle’, and heavy boozing….it’s a tale not meant for the faint hearted but of a hole. The moral is a hole never grows up!

Some people thank me for the honesty and for sharing my thoughts, other so called public figures (not friends I might add, just opinionated fools) say that thoughts on politics, people and relationships should be zipped but in my opinion that is what only a coward would do! We all have our story and I share snippets of mine with you, hoping that it takes you out of your comfort zone, making you ask different questions. I have had to say my goodbyes, turning my back on things that were clearly toxic and damaging. The war still rages and unnecessarily so.

Just Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Just Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Such intense thoughts while making up a batch of doughnuts…I always say that cooking and baking is therapeutic and while you bang out a batch of these…keep your eye on the doughnut but find the hole that troubles your soul and keeps you up at night! Once you identify the hole, life starts to change and it can only be positive!

My last thought is that life is much like a doughnut, it can be plain and simple…just dusted with sugar, embellished with decadent toppings or filled with lashings of cream…the basic dough recipe however, remains the same! You can choose the toppings and sides like you did at ‘Just Doughnuts’ back in the old days. If your timing is off and you procrastinate, the doughnut turns stale! Seize the moment and enjoy. Celebrate the doughnut and mourn not a hole!

Cinnamon Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Cinnamon Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Cinnamon Doughnuts

Ingredients

500g cake flour
50g castor sugar
15ml dried yeast
5ml salt
300ml warm milk
3 egg yolks
100g butter, melted
Sunflower oil, to deep fry

200ml sugar
10ml ground cinnamon

Here’s how

Place the cake flour, castor sugar, dried yeast and salt into a mixing bowl.
Using a KitchenAid with a dough attachment, mix the dry ingredients on a low speed to evenly distribute the yeast.
Add the warm milk and eggs yolks.
Once the dough starts to come together, pour in the melted butter and continue mixing for 5 minutes.
If you are kneading the dough by hand, this should take about ten minutes.
Grease the mixing bowl with non stick spray.
Place the dough into a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Leave aside to rest and prove for 90 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and deflate, kneading the dough for 2 – 3 minutes.
Work the dough into a smooth ball and roll out until it is 1,5cm thick.
Use a round cutter and cut out the doughnuts and a smaller cutter for the hole in the centre. Use as little flour as possible or only if necessary when doing this to prevent the dough from becoming dry.
Place the doughnuts on a greased baking tray and cover with plastic wrapped that has also been greased with non-stick spray.
Gather the dough offcuts and once again roll into a smooth ball and repeat the process.
Leave the doughnuts to rise for 15 minutes.
Combine the cinnamon and the sugar in a mixing bowl and stir well.
Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an AMC Paella Pan – this pan has a smaller base and is wider at the top so it uses less oil than a normal pot.
Once the oil is hot, test using a tiny piece of dough – the dough should hit the oil, bubble and come up to the surface.

Frying the doughnuts in an AMC paella Frying the doughnuts in an AMC paella[/caption

Fry the doughnuts in batches until golden brown.
Remove them from the oil and dab slightly.
Toss the doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar and serve.

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Christmas recycled…..turkey pasta

Yudhika Sujanani's Recycled Turkey Pasta....

Yudhika Sujanani’s Recycled Turkey Pasta….

We have been hard at work with recipes…so while most people are having their yearly turkey, the Sujanani’s are ‘turkeyed’ out! It started around October when the Mela producer suggested we work on some spicy turkey recipes…we cooked up a few turkeys to find the best ones to share on the show!  Then Yogas Nair, editor of the Post Newspaper, also needed some festive recipes…it was back to the turkey….and then there is the blog too!  Turkey Turkey Turkey….and there are always those tired leftovers that sit in the refrigerator….tune into Mela on SABC 2 this week Sunday at 13h30 to get creative with Christmas leftovers when I will be making ‘Stuffed Curry Turkey Buns’ and ‘Phyllo Turkey Parcels’.  Watch the episode of Mela here where we prepare a Christmas menu with a spicy twist, https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-a-spicy-christmas/

 

I have come up with a few delicious ways to use up those leftovers…and one of my favourites is turkey pasta…and to really spice things up…I made a curried coconut turkey pasta!  Adding Indian spices to turkey livens up the leftovers….and creates a fantastic meal!  The best part is that it’s so super simple to prepare!  I made up a turkey pie which was just as good, click here for the recipe, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/21/turkey-express/

 

Use a few staple spices like red chilli, ground cumin, coriander and garam masala…I also use coconut milk in this sauce which adds a luxurious silky texture and richness to this simple pasta dish. Mild, medium or hot – the choice is yours!  Spice this up or down – you can even serve a little chopped green chilli in olive oil on the side.

 

About this sauce, use really good quality coconut milk…try finding Mae Ploy, Aroy D or Chao Koh…if you can’t find any of these, pop into your local Spar and use the Spar brand coconut cream! It really is the next best option.  Coconut milk can be quite deceiving….buy tried and tested brands ….sometimes even the more expensive ones turn your dishes into watery stews which can be terribly disappointing!

 

I use my own brand of spices in most of my recipes and sometimes it does seem like a long list of ingredients but do stock up your spice rack….I always say, ‘A well stocked spice rack is like having money in the bank!’  My Curry me Home spices are available at a few Spars around Gauteng and via mail order as well!  Click here to find out where you can pick up a bottle of Curry me Home spices or recipe books, https://yudhikayumyum.com/my-spar-stockists/

 

Turkey Pasta

 

Serves 4 – 6

 

Ingredients

 

 

500g cooked turkey meat

40ml sunflower oil

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

5ml mustard seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

7,5ml coarse salt

15ml desiccated coconut

30ml crushed ginger and garlic

10ml Curry Me Home red chilli powder

200g tinned tomatoes, chopped

5ml Curry Me Home ground cumin

5ml Curry Me Home ground coriander

5ml Curry Me Home garam masala

1ml turmeric

1 x 400g tin coconut milk

 

500g penne pasta

 

 

10ml sunflower oil

2,5ml cumin seeds

2 sprigs curry leaves

 

 

Here’s how:

 

 

Heat an AMC paella pan on medium.

Add the sunflower oil, then add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.

Once the bay leaf turns a shade darker, add the mustard seeds.

When the seeds splutter, add the chopped onion, and salt.

Saute until the onion turns light golden brown, add the desiccated coconut – the coconut can burn quite easily if the oil is too hot so take care.

Add the ginger and garlic when the coconut starts to turn light golden and becomes fragrant.

Add the red chilli powder and stir for 3 – 5 seconds.

Add the chopped tomatoes, cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric.

Simmer until the tomatoes soften.

Use the back of a wooden spoon to break down the lumps in the sauce.

Once the tomatoes resemble thick paste, pour in the coconut milk.

Simmer for a minute, then add the turkey meat and warm through.

While the sauce is cooking, cook the penne according to the instructions on the packaging – I cook the pasta in salted water with a drizzle of oil.

Drain the pasta and reserve 100ml liquid.

Toss the pasta and turkey sauce and add reserved liquid only if the sauce is too thick.

Place the pasta on a serving plate.

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC chef’s pan and add the cumin seeds.

Once they splutter, add the curry leaves and fry until they are crispy and fragrant.

Garnish the pasta with fried curry leaves and a drizzle of the cumin flavoured oil.