Sugar ‘n Spice – Naan Khatay

Yudhika Sujanani - The Almond Thief

Yudhika Sujanani – The Almond Thief

I remember this biscuits from when I was little…I have somewhat mixed feelings about them! The best thing about Naan Khatay was picking off the whole almonds from the biscuits. Mum would take one look at the naked nutless biscuits and know exactly who the culprit was. Needless to say, I would get one of those old-fashioned Indian Mum hidings!

Yudhika's Getaway Demo...

Yudhika’s Getaway Demo…

The thing about Indian Mum hidings is that you are not allowed to tell anyone…at the ripe old age of 37, I think I can safely spill the beans! And the perfect opportunity came up when I was shooting Season Two of ‘Sugar ‘n Spice’. Revenge is sweet and I mentioned my famous Almond Thief hidings while shooting much to my mum’s embarrassment. It was a real ice breaker…the Ochre team and I laughed hysterically! I then took a quick photo break – I found it impossible to keep a straight face so I struck a few poses instead…

Strike a pose...

Strike a pose…

Karma always creeps up at sometime…I open the biscuit tin and peer in to find the same sad-looking nutless biscuits! My kids just love nicking the nuts off the Naan Khatay. Could it perhaps be genetic or is it definitely Karma? My money is on Karma!

Fully dressed Naan Khatay

Fully dressed Naan Khatay

Naan Khatay


125g butter
125ml Spar castor sugar
125ml Spar sunflower oil
65ml semolina
Pinch of salt
2,5ml cardamom essence
5ml ground cardamom
5ml bicarbonate of soda
500 – 625ml cake flour, sifted
Whole blanched almonds, to garnish

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius.
Lightly grease a baking tray with butter.
Place the butter in a Kenwood Chef and cream until light in colour.
Gradually add the castor sugar and beat well.
Pour the sunflower oil into the creamed butter and continue beating.
Add the semolina, salt, cardamom essence, ground cardamom and bicarbonate of soda.
Stir well to combine and sift 500ml of cake flour into the mixing bowl.
A soft dough should form – if the dough is too sticky, add the remaining flour a little at a time until you get the right consistency.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth to stop it from drying out.
Grease your palm with a drop of oil and roll the dough into balls.
Place a whole blanched almond on the ball of dough and flatten gently.
Space the biscuits on a baking tray.
Bake for 10 -12 minutes or until the biscuits are pale golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.

Yudhika’s tips:
Substitute almonds with pecan nuts and use cinnamon instead of cardamom.
Greasing your palms with oil prevents the dough from sticking.
Place the almonds over the biscuits as each one has been moulded into a ball so that it does not crack.
These biscuits puff out so ensure that there is sufficient space between each biscuit on the baking tray.


Something got me started…

Lemon Drops lightly dusted with icing sugar

Keeping up with the recipes requests is keeping me busy…but I am also starting to look like the ‘cat that got the cream’!  Rob often asks me if something special has happened because I look particularly pleased with myself.  Of course I am pleased…I get to taste all my creations….curries, casseroles and freshly baked biscuits that make me want to swoon with delight!


Back to the melting moments….I decided to make a few variations and would love to share this recipe with you.  I made these a few days ago and they were irresistible….they actually tasted like ‘more’  I decided to keep my bingeing to myself but traces of white powder on my cheeks may well have given the game away – damn, the Spar Icing Sugar!


These are rich butter biscuits laced with lemon zest and gently massaged together with butter cream.  I simply love these lemony delights.


A quick note before we go on – I often talk about the products that I use in my home.  I am a huge Spar shopper mainly because my spices are stocked in a few stores in and around Jozi.  These recipes are not developed for Spar.


Now for the recipe…


Lemon Drops


250g Spar butter

125ml Spar Icing Sugar

15ml lemon zest

Few drops vanilla essence

350ml cake flour

150ml cornflour

2ml salt

Spar Icing Sugar, to dust


Butter cream:

75g butter


180ml Spar Icing Sugar

Drop of vanilla essence


15ml cold full cream milk


Here’s how:


Beat the butter and gradually add the icing sugar.

Continue beating until the light and creamy.

Add the lemon zest and the vanilla essence.

Sift the flour and cornflour into the creamed butter.

Sprinkle the salt over and mix the ingredients together to form a smooth dough.

Roll the dough into small balls each weighing about 15g.

Place the balls onto a greased baking tray.

Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 1o – 12 minutes.

Cool the biscuits on a wire rack.


To make up the butter cream:

Cream the butter and gradually add the icing sugar.

Continue beating until the icing is light in colour.


Add the vanilla and milk.

Beat for a minute.



To assemble:

Use a palette knife to smear the icing on half of the biscuits.

Sandwich the biscuits together with the remaining halves.

Lightly dust with icing sugar.

This recipe makes about 20 lemon iced lemon drops.




Yudhika’s tips:

The butter must be at room temperature when making these biscuits.


I keep saying this but margarine just won’t do for this recipe.

Add a dash of milk if the butter cream is too thick to spread on the biscuits.





Blast from the past!

Classic Melting Moments

I am a huge fan of Facebook…I love the photos and status updates particularly because I miss the old days when ‘visiting’ was a weekend activity.  Well, Facebook is like visiting….I really do feel like I am in touch and up to speed with the goings on.

I also get recipe requests on Facebook.  That’s the upside….the downside for me is that I don’t post recipes that have not been tried and tested, especially if I have not cooked it up for ages.  While I was away recently, I was sent a message by Delaine Chetty requesting a recipe for ‘Melting Moments’.  My childhood memories came rushing back….delicious melt in the mouth biscuits sandwiched together with vanilla icing…Oh yum….I love my job!  I always have an excuse to cook or bake something decadent.

I got to the refrigerator and hauled out a few blocks of Spar butter (I am going to have to replenish my stash soon!).  It took just a few minutes to make up the biscuit dough – I ran into some trouble with piping the biscuits.  I use the disposable plastic piping bags which tend to break easily with a biscuit dough…they do work really well with icing and meringues though.    I muttered a few curses when I realised I had broken the last bag and then started rolling the dough into balls.  They were just as delicious even if they were different to the piped sort that I was familiar with as a child.

There are lots of different variations to this recipe but here is one of my favourites which is the Classic version.

Classic Melting Moments


200g Spar butter

125ml castor sugar

1 egg

2 – 3 drops vanilla essence

275ml flour

120ml cornflour

120ml custard powder

2,5ml baking powder

Pinch of salt

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Sift the flour, cornflour, custard and baking powder twice.

Add the salt to the sifted dry ingredients.

Cream the butter and gradually add the sugar.

Scrape the bowl to ensure that all the butter is creamed.

Continue beating until light and fluffy.

Add the egg yolk and a teaspoon of flour and continue beating until well combined.

Add the vanilla essence and beat for a few seconds.

Drop the sifted dry ingredients into the cream butter and egg mixture.

Use your fingertips to work the ingredients into a soft dough.

Roll the dough into little balls and place them on a greased baking tray.

Use a fork to press the balls down lightly.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the base of the biscuits are golden brown.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

To prepare the icing:

70ml soft Spar butter

160ml icing sugar

15ml full cream milk

Cream the butter until light and fluffy.

Sift the icing sugar into the butter and continue beating on the lowest speed.

Continue beating until the icing is light and well combined.

Add milk and beat for a few seconds.

Use a palette knife and spread a little icing onto the flat side of half the biscuits.

Sandwich the biscuits with the remaining halves.

Yudhika’s tips:

I always use butter when I make these….when a recipe asks for butter, marg just won’t do.

I weigh each ball of dough with an electric scale.  They should weigh around 15g and you should get about 40 biscuits in total on the baking tray.

Rinse your hands often when rolling the dough into balls – this prevents the dough from sticking to your palms.