anne bramdeo

This is how I roll…Rocking the Roti!

Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Every culture, every society, every country has superstitions. Whether we believe them or not, they play some part in our everyday lives. Some of them are based on religion, some based on folk legends but if you are Indian, there are more than a few superstitions about roti and most of them are about finding a husband or keeping your mother in law happy.

Here are some of the roti superstitions I grew up with…

1.The roti dough always needs to be made by hand and not a mixer – shows your mother in law that you are capable and if you do use an electric mixer, you will always have hard roti, not to mention the embarrassment and shame your mother will have to live with.

2. I used to cut out my roti using an AMC pot lid to save my mother the social embarrassment of having rather odd-shaped roti served at the table. I was told that this would also make the roti hard and biscuity…how??? Is there a scientific reason? Mrs Anne Bramdeo, who is just so dear to me convinced me that I needed to break my pot lid habit and gave me some lessons. The pot lid is now used for the rightful purpose.

3. It is bad luck to take the ‘roti pan’ off the heat while you are cooking them…you should cook off the roti without commercial breaks…in today’s world that means you don’t have time for selfies!

4. The first roti should never be eaten…it is for the birds! I say it is for the Mother in Law! The first roti is much like the first pancake, it never turns out right.

5. ‘Save the last roti’…I always got busted for this. Apparently, the last roti was saved to ‘save the family’ from starving but also in case God visited. Why waste a perfectly good roti? In the shloks or religious verses, it states ‘Treat your guests as God’ and if there was an unexpected guest, they should have at least one roti. I would happily cook up a batch at anytime, a fresh roti is a delicious treat.

6. If the roti puffs up, your mother in law is going to love you…I can safely say that this one is just a con to get women trying harder at roti…mine puff beautifully and I can swear there isn’t a loving mother in law in sight! I have had two, the first was never the loving type but the second….tjo tjo tjo! We all have those stories, don’t we?

7. If you don’t make good roti, you won’t find a husband…I know women who have no desire to make two minute noodles, but have found amazing husbands, women who laugh about their flying saucer style roti, wonky rotis, dry ones and maps of Africa.

I am going to be bold and brave, declaring that none of these superstitions ring true in my case, that is….I make a pretty mean roti, haven’t found lasting love, a loving mother in law or an amazing husband but I am having the time of my life! Roti superstitions were craftily conjured to keep women in the kitchen and trying harder! If you have any roti superstitions, please share them in the comments section…I am sure I missed a few!  While you are visiting this blog site, click follow to get the recipes sent to you via email.

The first attempt can always be a bit of a disaster…remember it only gets better each time you try. Every batch becomes less messy and your ‘roti lap time’ improves!

Ready to Roll...

Ready to Roll…

Here is my simple recipe, but before you get started here are 3 tips to remember!

Make sure the boiled water is not recently boiled or left to cool slightly, it needs to be bubbling when poured into the flour.

I use sunflower oil instead of butter, as this keeps the roti softer for longer. Butter gives the roti a more shortcrust like texture.

Work quickly with bringing the dough together, this makes it much easier.

Roti squiggles by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti squiggles by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti

Makes 12

Ingredients

750ml cake flour

5ml fine salt

375ml boiled water…I mean hot hot hot

90ml sunflower oil

Melted butter, to cook roti

Here’s how:

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Pour the boiled water over the dry ingredients.

Mix the water into the flour.

Add the sunflower oil and knead the dough until smooth.

Roll the dough into a ‘log’ and slice into 12 pieces.

Roll each piece into a length and curl up half .

Curl up the other half in the opposite direction.

Ready to Roll...part 2

Ready to Roll…part 2

Fold one curled section over the other and flatten the dough slightly.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth.

Roll each piece into a round ensuring that the work surface is dusted with flour.

Repeat until all the dough has been rolled out.

Place the roti on a hot pan, when small bubbles appear, flip the roti over.

Drizzle with melted butter, then flip the roti again, drizzle again and then flip the roti.

Brown the roti, and remove from the pan.

Yudhika’s Tips:

Pile the rotis and leave to cool before storing them away.

Store rotis in a cake tin lined with wax paper.

Reheat in a microwave for 10 – 20 seconds.

Flavor the dough with 2,5ml cumin seeds.

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Sugar ‘n Spice: It’s a date….

Yudhika Sujanani's Date Crumble

Yudhika Sujanani’s Date Crumble

I have mentioned Mrs Anne Bramdeo in my Curry Me Home recipe book and in a few blogs. She is just one of those people who you carry in your heart! If I had to count my blessings on a quiet day…she would feature as one of my greatest!

Now, about Anne Bramdeo…she taught me how to make mealie meal rotis and convinced me to stop using an AMC pot lid to get them perfectly round. She also showed me how to smock, make chilli pickle and how to keep your spice rack in order. When I am in her company, I feel happy and content…close to twenty years later – I am certain that it is one of those soul mate connections that we share.

Anne Bramdeo loves dates…when I last visited her she enthused about ‘date jam’. I hunted high and low – but there was no date jam to be found at the supermarkets…I think I should have a quiet word with Pat Tarr from Broadacres Superspar about this. By the way, I did take Mrs Tarr a chunk of this crumble and she says I should get a ‘WARNING’ because it was so moreish!

I set out to perfect a date jam and tweaked the recipe just before the Sugar ‘n Spice ‘Feast of Eid’ show. I added a pinch of cardamom and a handful of pistachios. I used the home-made jam to zhoosh up an old-fashioned crumble! I am delighted to share this with you and say that this recipe like so many others was inspired by a very special lady who I fondly call Aunty Anne!

Tune into DSTV’s Saffron TV on Channel 195 to catch the show…

Saturday 27th July –Eps 1 & 2 at 3pm….repeat at 8pm

Sunday 28th – Eps 3, 4 and 5 at 1pm …Eps 6 & 7 at 2pm – music break in between…repeats at 6pm and 6.30pm

Daily from Monday 29th at 7.30 pm…2 eps back to back…repeats daily at 8am, 12pm and 4pm.

PS – Anne Bramdeo turns 70 next month and I am hoping to pop to Durban to visit her on this special day…Maybe, I could make her this date crumble?

Here is the recipe…

Date Crumble:

Date Jam

500ml cold water
500ml sugar
500ml chopped dates
5ml ground cardamom
45ml fresh lemon juice
125ml pistachios

Dissolve the sugar and water in a 24cm AMC pot.
On a medium heat, stir the solution until the sugar crystals have dissolved.
Bring the solution to the boil and then add the chopped dates.
Simmer until the dates are soft and mushy.
To test the jam, place a little on a saucer.
Scrape the jam with a back of a teaspoon – there should be a visible line in the saucer.
Add the lemon juice and pistachios.
Stir well and leave to cool.

For the crumble:

Ingredients

250g Spar butter
45ml sugar
45ml Spar sunflower oil
5ml vanilla essence or vanilla paste
2 eggs
10ml baking powder
600ml – 700ml cake flour
Spar Icing sugar, to dust

Place the butter and sugar in a Kenwood Chef and cream until light and fluffy.
Add the sunflower oil and vanilla paste.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift 600ml cake flour and baking powder into the cream butter.
Use the dough hook to work the ingredients into a soft ball.
Add a little more flour if the dough is too soft.
Divide the dough into two portions.
Place one portion in the freezer to firm up.
Grease a 23cm loose bottomed pie tin and press half the dough over the base.
Spread the date jam over the base.
Grate the chilled dough directly over the jam.
Bake the crumble in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 30 – 35 minutes or until it is golden brown.
Turn the crumble from time to time to ensure that it browns evenly.
Remove the crumble from the tin while it is still hot and dredge with layer of icing sugar.
Serve warm with a dollop of cream or ice cream.

Yudhika’s Tips:

I prefer to make this with real butter – what could be nicer? I am not oblivious to the cost of butter but I label myself a keen shopper so when I spot the Spar butter on special, I load up my trolley and avoid making eye contact with the other shoppers…I recommend this butter for baking and when on special it retails for R19.95 per 500g! What a win!

The Icing Sugar is also a Spar house brand! I like the resealable bag and it does not harden and become super lumpy….I sometimes cheat when making frosting and pop it into the Kenwood with out sifting it…I am a self-confessed lazy chef that hates washing up!