Diwali Teaser – Dry Prawn Masala

Dry Prawn Masala

Dry Prawn Masala by Yudhika Sujanani

Whether my guests fast or not on Diwali, a sure fire, dead easy prawn dish always makes an appearance on my Diwali menu. I was really annoyed last year when some hindus assumed that everyone observed a vegetarian fast on Diwali…more about that here,

This prawn masala is delicious, quick and easy to make – the sauce is thick and slightly creamy and the most important thing to remember is to not overcook the prawns…I would suggest cooking them for a minute, then turn off the heat and leave aside…there is enough heat in the pan to continue cooking them to perfection!

 Diwali is a celebration…it’s a festival…it’s a family Mela…and I do find that our moms and grannies work too hard on the day to spoil us with a feast.  I have a different approach…suggest recipes that are not complicated and won’t keep you in the kitchen all day…even though I love the kitchen, I would also love to spend time with my guests.

The Post Diwali Supplement that I have been working on for the past few weeks will be published on Wednesday, 15th October…..I couldn’t keep all the recipes to myself till then so I am sharing this one with you….and hopefully keeping you keen for the bumper Post supplement.

Stay tuned to the blog….I will be posting a few more teaser recipes….I have been cooking up a storm, photographing the recipes and also feasting my little heart out!

Diwali baking classes will be held at Holi Cow on the 12 and 18th October….the classes start at 11am and finish at 2pm.  I will be demonstrating these old time favourites: Burfee, Chana Magaj, Jalebi, Ladoo, Gulab Jamun and North Indian Samosas. Cost R400 per person.  Email me if you are  keen on joining the class at

And if baking is your passion…you won’t want to miss this opportunity to enter the competition on my blog to win a KitchenAid stand mixer! Click here and leave a comment to enter:

Dry Prawn Masala

Serves 4

1kg prawns, shelled and deveined

45ml sunflower oil, to saute prawns

40ml sunflower oil

5ml mustard seeds

5ml cumin seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

5ml coarse salt

10ml crushed garlic

10ml Curry Me Home red chilli powder

400g chopped tomatoes, fresh or tinned

5ml Curry Me Home ground cumin

5ml Curry Me Home ground coriander

Pinch of turmeric

50ml fresh cream or coconut milk, optional

Handful of chopped coriander

Here’s how

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC pan, then add the mustard seeds.

When they begin to splutter, add the cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds.

Stir the onion into the oil, then add salt and saute until light golden brown.

Add the garlic and fry until fragrant.

Add the red chilli powder for 5 seconds, then stir in the tomatoes.

Stir the cumin, coriander and turneric into the sauce and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Heat a skillet on high, then add the sunflower oil.

Add the prawns to the pan.

Once the prawns start to change colour, add the thick sauce and stir fry for a minute.

Add the fresh cream or coconut milk and cook for 30 seconds.

Sprinkle the chopped coriander over the prawns and toss to coat.

Serve immediately with fresh bread, roti or puri


Diwali on a plate….

With Diwali just around the corner, I spend a fair bit of time trying to decide what to prepare and which recipes to share on the blog…after many years of feeling sad around festive occasions, my daughter…the lovely Tanvi, was born on this auspicious day…so it become a tradition to celebrate her birthday on Diwali and it’s never without a feast!

I have been looking back at pics and recipes that I prepared recently and stumbled upon this set from the Garden and Home magazine. I meant to blog it ages ago…and almost forgot…I solemnly swear to blog more often. Lyn Woodward from G and H did an entertainment feature at my home earlier this year. I had just arrived back from Thailand and Vietnam – and went straight into this shoot. Looking at the pictures, I realized that Diwali and Christmas are celebrated a few times a year in my home.

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan…what was supposed to be lunch in the under our beautiful willow tree, turned out to be a muddy garden slush puppy…it rained and rained….on the up side…it was perfect curry weather. I tossed out my summery frock and hauled out a ‘Maggie Thatcher’ sort of dress…gotta love that Pringle store in Sandton City!

On the guest list…we had our fabulous neighbors, Neil and Natalie Andrews, and one of my old-time friends…aka the 702 traffic man…the one and only Aki Anastasiou! Never a dull moment with these three around….fabulous company and boy, and enthusiastic about food…definitely my kind of people! By this I mean…not the salad and low-fat dressing sort! Throw in Lyn Woodward…and its the perfect recipe for a bit of lunch time trouble!

The Crew…

The Cook - Yudhika Sujanani

The Cook – Yudhika Sujanani

The Rob....

The Rob….

Natalie Andrews

Natalie Andrews


Aki Anastasiou and Natalie Andrews...

Aki Anastasiou and Natalie Andrews…

Lyn Woodward....and the Diwali princess, Tanvi Sujanani

Lyn Woodward….and the Diwali princess, Tanvi Sujanani

A sit down meal is becoming quite rare since most people opt to entertain at restaurants. I am a bit old fashioned about this and prefer a home cooked meal…bangers to breyani….anything will do. And planning the table design can be so much fun! I get my kids to help out with this and they are fast becoming little experts.

Kids adding a few special touches to the table...

Kids adding a few special touches to the table…

Menus are somewhat challenging for me…I have a rule…I serve only what I love! A good hot snack gets the party off to a good start. And, once the snacky bits are served, you can take a deep breath…and relax.

My favourite dish of the day was the Masala Lamb which I served with Aloo Parathas, Pomegranate Raita and Mint and Coriander Chutney! Click on this link for the Aloo Paratha recipe:

I use my very own Curry Me Home range of spices…email me at for the mail order details or click here to find your nearest Spar outlet:

Here is another recipes that will spice up your Diwali entertaining…

Yudhika's Masala Lamb

Yudhika’s Masala Lamb

Masala Lamb

Serves 4 – 6

1.2kg lamb knuckles
62.5ml sunflower oil
2 onions, finely chopped
7,5ml coarse salt
15ml crushed ginger
15ml crushed garlic
30ml Curry Me Home Red Chilli Powder
10ml Curry Me Home Ground Coriander
5ml Curry Me Home Ground Cumin
5ml Curry Me Home Garam Masala
2,5ml Tumeric
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
15ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala
30g fresh coriander, chopped

Here’s how I do it:

Heat the sunflower oil on medium in a large AMC pot.

Add the onion and salt. Then sauté until the onions are golden brown.

Add ginger and garlic paste and stir before add the red chilli powder.

Place the lamb in the spice paste and stir well to coat the knuckles.

Remove from heat if necessary while you do this.

Stir the meat ensuring that the spices and lamb do not stick or burn.

When the mixture does begin to stick, add boiling water and leave to simmer for about 30 – 45 minutes.

Sprinkle the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric over the lamb knuckles.

Stir well and leave to simmer until the lamb is tender.

Add the chopped tomato and simmer until they soften and form a thick sauce.

Sprinkle the magic masala over the lamb and simmer for a minute.

Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander.

Curried Lamb Knuckles –

Curried Lamb Knuckles

There is no downside to cooking a Lamb Curry – its hearty and delicious and tastes even better the next day.  If I was a cut of lamb….I would be a knuckle….its got it all.  Tender meat, a bone that adds flavour to the sauce not to mention the marrow.

I don’t visit a stand alone butchery….my favourite butcher is Mr Pat from Broadacres Superspar.  He reminds me of growing up in Isipingo and visiting a butcher and specifying exactly what you want.  Whether its trimming lamb chops to perfection or slicing the knuckles to the exact size…he is a superspar….errr….I mean superstar.  Mr Pat is an old school butcher and such a gentleman (he takes off his cap every time he greets me)…from the days when meat was not pre-packaged and perfect….

I use my AMC electric pan to cook lamb – its perfect for slow cooking lamb and the food can be kept warm for ages.  After the water is added, I reduce the setting and forget about it for a good 2 hours.  Slow cooking is the best way to get the lamb meltingly tender.



Here is my recipe for Curried Lamb Knuckles….




Serves 6




50ml sunflower oil
2 cinnamon sticks
1 large bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds (jeera)
1 large onion, finely chopped
7,5ml coarse salt
15ml crushed ginger
10ml crushed garlic
15ml red chilli powder
12,5ml roasted ground coriander (dhania powder)
7ml roasted ground cumin (jeera powder)
2,5ml turmeric
1,2kg lamb knuckles
2 tins butter beans, drained
1 tomato, blanched and chopped
5ml garam masala
2 sprigs curry leaves
Fresh coriander, to garnish
Here’s how:
Heat oil in a large, thick bottomed pot.  Fry the cinnamon sticks and bay leaf until fragrant.  Sprinkle in the cumin seeds and when they begin to crackle, add the finely chopped onion.  Stir in the salt and saute until the onion pieces turn a light golden brown.  Stir in the crushed ginger and garlic.
Remove the pot from the heat and then add the red chilli powder, ground cumin, ground coriander and turmeric. Stir for a few seconds and then add the lamb knuckles.  Return the post to the heat.  Stir fry the lamb knuckles in the onion and spices until it begins to stick and brown.
Pour in boiling water to cover the knuckles and simmer for 30 – 45 minutes or until soft and tender.
Pour in more water if necessary.
Add the butter beans, and chopped tomato only when the lamb is tender.  Simmer for 5 minutes on a low heat until the tomato has softened and formed a thick sauce.
Add more boiling water if necessary.  Sprinkle in the garam masala and curry leaves.
Garnish with fresh coriander.


Yudhika’s Tips

If you are lucky enough to be near the Broadacres Superspar, you can order your meat from Mr Pat on 011 540 1500.

Leg of lamb can be used instead of knuckles although it tends to be a bit more dry.

Lentils can be used instead of butter beans.
Adjust the red chilli powder according to your taste.

Salt is added to the onion because it speeds up the browning of the onion and cuts down the initial cooking time.

Visit the AMC cookware website… for more information on their cookware units.

The Day Enrique Came To Town

Some of the delicious dishes at the Superspar

Some of the delicious dishes at Broadacres Superspar

I have been a guest chef at the Hobart and Broadacres Superspar for the last few months.  Both these stores have kept me on my toes – in fact, it’s actually the customers who keep me busy.  The demand for home cooked convenience meals has been growing.  During the Winter months there is a spike in the demand for comfort food. Soups, Hot Pots and Casseroles and yes, you guessed it….CURRIES!


The Curry Me Home Display at Broadacres Superspar

Chicken with baby spinach, Brinjal in Coconut Sauce (Mrs Tarr’s favourite), Coconut and curry leaf lamb and Mediterranean chicken casserole are just some of the dishes I have been preparing at the hot counter.  The customers have been enthusiastic and adventurous about the new meals and often talk about how much easier it is to pick up a meal rather than cook.  A lady popped in last week to pick up Pumpkin Pie (this is a speciality at both Broadacres and Hobart) that she was taking to Cape Town.

Loving the Spar’s Freshline baby spinach – All washed and ready to go!

My cooking stint last week coincided with the Spar International visit.  There were around 300 delegates from all over the world that visited the Broadacres Superspar.  I was gob smacked – I had absolutely no idea that there were Spar stores in so many different countries.  We watched as they wandered around the store staring at name badges…there were visitors from Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Austria – the list does go on.

The chicken breyani was simmering gently in my largest AMC electric pot.  If I could compare this pot to a 4 x 4, I would say that its not like having an ordinary one – Its like having a top of the range Porsche Cayenne!  This 40cm Magnum AMC pot always saves the day!  In the pot world it says “I have arrived!”  The chicken with baby spinach was cooked in time and the delicious spicy aromas wafted throughout the store.  The one thing that always stands out about these two Superspars is that it attracts the ‘gourmet customers’.  Broadacres Spar is an institution – just when boerewors got boring, they came up with the red wine, chilli and garlic wors.  That earned the Spar a big gold Yudhika star!  It is by far the best ‘blow your socks off’ boerie I have ever tasted.  Since the breyani was a new dish we handed out little tasters garnished with crispy onions and coriander.

The pot of all pots – My AMC Magnum

The last bus pulled in outside the Spar.  There were a few quiet whispers and a few ladies remarked that the Spanish visitors had arrived.  A lady at the counter said, ‘Off all the days!  Off all the days, today is the day I am shopping in my gym clothes!’

Can you imagine a bus load of handsome, well dressed men who look like Enrique Iglesias??? One or two Enrique lookalikes would be challenging but a bus load of them was just more that most girls could handle!  They toured the store turning heads everywhere they went.  Boy, I wish I had made a “Pull Out All The Stops Paella’ that day.  I handed out Chicken Breyani tasters instead.  I don’t know if they could sing – but that was the last of my worries!

My advice to the single ladies out there is, “Maybe you should book your next holiday to Spain and check out the ‘historical sites’ and soak up some Spanish culture.”

Enough about the Spaniards – the Breyani never made it to the hot counter.  We sold out in half an hour with the Broadacres customers ordering mainly large portions.