curry me home spices

Take it easy….Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks

Yudhika's Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks....

Yudhika’s Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks….

The weekend is here again and I have a action packed one ahead of me! I will be cooking up an absolute storm at the Grand Design Live show at the Coca Cola Dome. If you are popping in, come over to the Curry Me Home stand where we will be hosting quick and easy cooking demos with AMC Cookware…the best part is the tasting! The revised and limited edition of my second recipe book, Curry Me Home, Again will be on sale!

Some people have been commenting and asking, ‘Where is Winter’? I say it is here already…most mornings I look like the Oros Man with layers of flannel and fleece not to mention those chunky socks. As the temperature takes a nose dive, my food cravings rocket and there is a whole lot of cooking going on at Holi Cow! Having my mom around means that I get home cooked goodness everyday. My kids and I are super lucky to have her around.

Every now and then we take a curry break…we love love love our Indian food but a change is as good as a holiday….and I was dreaming of a Greek holiday when I prepared this recipe. Comfort food is always popular and a slow cooked lamb shank is the perfect fit! I often read through recipes and have to remind myself that not every recipe needs a myriad of spices. Perhaps, it is preparing Asian food that uses many spice combinations…my fingers itch to reach into my spice box.

This is a simple recipe and remember to cook the shanks slowly which brings out the flavour of the meat and also improves the texture. You can toss in a few green chillies to spice it up if you like! I gave in to my spice obsession and added two tablespoons of Magic Masala to the shanks…Magic Masala is one of my special blends and the Rolls Royce spice of the Curry Me Home range. This is not a curry spice but a ‘global blend’…whether you are cooking Moroccan, Greek, Middle Eastern or Indian…a little Magic Masala goes a long way…the combination of cumin, coriander, cardamom and cinnamon make this blend hard to live without…it is best described as ‘bottled gold’.

Get the shanks on and kick back to enjoy your weekend…serve the shanks with a heap of buttery mashed potato!

Leave a comment so I know you popped past my blog!

Greek Inspired Lamb Shanks

Ingredients

4 lamb shanks, each weighing about 400g
60ml sunflower
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
30ml tomato paste
250ml wine, white or red
2 stock cubes
250ml water
400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
Salt, to season
Black pepper, to season
30ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala
Fresh rosemary, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat a large AMC pot and pour in the sunflower oil.
Seal the lamb shanks in a single layer until golden brown.
Remove the shanks from the oil, then add the onion and saute until pale golden in colour.
Add the carrot, celery and saute until the vegetables soften.
Stir in the garlic and fresh thyme.
Saute until fragrant, add the tomato paste, wine, stock cubes and water.
Add the chopped tomatoes.
Simmer on a low heat for 3 – 5 minutes, then place the lamb shanks into the pan in a single layer.
Cook on a low heat until the lamb is tender – this should take about 2 hours on a low heat setting.
Add more water if necessary.
Remove the shanks from the pan and leave aside.
Pass the sauce through a strainer and use the back of a spoon to press out the liquid.
Return the shanks to the pan with the strained sauce and simmer until the sauce thickens.
Check the season and add salt only if necessary.
Season with black pepper.
Garnish with fresh rosemary.

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Stuffed…

Bling Bling Roast Chicken by Yudhika Sujanani

Bling Bling Roast Chicken by Yudhika Sujanani

 

I sometimes feel a little bleak during the festive season….it’s the end of year fatigue and tiredness, a touch of emotional sadness and well, I end up feeling a little stuffed!

 

A festive time for some and a dark time for others….around this time of year there is great excitement but there is also great sorrow.  The excitement is understandable but what about the sadness?  I was chatting to a therapist friend who told me that this is the busiest time of year!  I was chatting to a lawyer who also said that his clients ‘go mental’ during the festive season!  Tis the season to be jolly….or is it???

 

Around birthdays, christmas and any holidays…I often look back and think about all the things I missed out on as a child.  So, yes…there has been great success but the sadness strikes even while the life sparkles!  Life just wasn’t a cake walk but it’s the same for most people….we remember the people we love….the people we have lost…the worst are the people live and are missing from our lives!

 

I came across the South African Depression and Anxiety Group…their helpline is open throughout the year including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day too…for more information, take a look at the website, http://www.sadag.org and please go on and share it…they do amazing work!!!

 

I know I will be spending my Christmas with my kids and I will be feasting with them too!!!  My daughter, Tanvi, is not much of a turkey fan and loves a stuffed roast chicken…so here is one of her favourite recipes for a ‘pull out all the stops’ bling bling roast chicken!

 

On SABC 2’s Mela this Sunday, stay tuned….Christmas gets a spicy Indian twist with a delicious rice stuffed roast turkey, semolina roast potatoes and a cranberry Christmas Cake!

 

Bling Bling Roast Chicken

 

Ingredients

 

1 whole chicken, 1,2 – 1,3 kg

Pinch of salt, to season

50ml sunflower oil

250g bacon rashers (streaky or back)

 

A buttery rub....

A buttery rub….

For the rub:

75g soft butter

8 cloves garlic, crushed

10ml Curry me Home red chilli

10ml Curry me Home ground coriander

5ml Curry Me Home ground cumin

5ml Curry me Home garam masala

20ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala, optional

15ml fresh thyme leaves

30ml lemon juice

 

The Stuffed Part....

The Stuffed Part….

 

For the stuffing:

30ml breadcrumbs

125g sausage meat or chicken mince

75g finely chopped onion

1 egg yolk

30ml chopped fresh coriander

 

Here’s how:

Go easy on the salt for this recipe…the bacon that goes on top of the chicken adds salt to this recipe and so does the sausage meat in the stuffing.

 

Rinse the chicken under running water and pat dry with absorbent paper towel.

Season with salt.

Prepare the buttery rub my combining all the ingredients and creaming them until smooth.

 

Combine the stuffing ingredients  – the sausage meat should be quite salty so don’t over season the mixture.  If you are using chicken mince, season with salt and black pepper.

 

Stuff the chicken cavity with the mixture and secure the drumsticks in place with butcher’s twine.

 

Place the chicken on a greased roasting pan with the breasts facing up.  Gently lift the chicken skin and smear the butter over the breasts.  Smear some of the butter over the chicken wings and drumsticks.

 

Drizzle sunflower oil over the chicken. Layer the rashers over the chicken breasts.

 

Roast the chicken at 200 degrees celsius for ten minutes, then lower the temperature to 180 degrees.  Roast the chicken for 60 – 65 minutes or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced.

 

 

Traditional Lamb Curry….

Traditional lamb curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Traditional lamb curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Ten days to Diwali…the countdown has begun! It’s time to start planning the menu, and to start hauling out those tried and tested recipes. The next ten days are going to be manic in ‘Holiwood’ – the Diwali orders are piling up and so are the recipe requests….the AMC giveaway on the blog has created quite a stir…click here for more, https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/. There are two of my supplements out this Wednesday, 15 October in the Post Newspaper so don’t forget to diarise the date and pick up your copy! I just love the buzz and hearing from all of you…thanks for the lovely emails and comments!

I am delighted to say that yesterday’s episode of Mela was the most popular so far. The recipe for Durban Naan bread is the most viewed recipe on the blog and it just goes to show that old is gold! For the longest time, I felt that my food loves were not sophisticated enough…I am a simple eater and old-fashioned food is my best….as someone on twitter said…move over Chip and Dip…it’s time for Raan and Naan….click her to watch the clip from Mela, https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-raan-and-naan/ and here for the recipe:https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/10/12/melas-raan-and-naan/

A word of warning…..I am going to be blogging lots…just so you get some great ideas for your Diwali feast…so fasten your seat belt..this is going to be amazing ‘blog party’…stay tuned for the latest competition…details posted later today!

Lamb curry is one of my favourite curries….you can add potatoes to this if you like. A lamb dish always makes an appearance at our Diwali table…and so does fish, prawn and vegetarian…plus a decadent sweet offering! You can use shoulder, knuckles or leg for this recipe…I used the lamb shanks…I asked Mr Pat at Broadacres Spar butchery to slice each shank into three knuckles! This is one of my favourite cuts and it even works well in Lamb breyani. Leg of lamb is my least favourite cut for curries.

Traditional Lamb Curry

Serves 6 – 8

2kg lamb shanks

75ml sunflower oil

2 x 2.5 inch pieces of cinnamon

1 large bay leaf

2 cardamom pods

5ml cumin seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

10ml coarse salt

30ml crushed ginger

15ml crushed garlic

50ml red chilli powder

10ml ground coriander

7ml ground cumin

5ml garam masala

2,5ml tumeric

3 tomatoes, blanched and chopped

Fresh coriander to garnish

Here’s how I do it:

Cut across each shank into 3 pieces.

Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an 30 AMC pot.

Add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and cardamom pods.

Fry the whole spices for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the cumin seeds.

Add the onion, then stir in the salt and sauté until golden brown.

Add ginger and garlic paste and stir before add all ground spices.

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

Remove from heat if necessary while you do this.

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

When the mixture does begin to stick, add boiled water and leave to simmer for about 60 – 90 minutes or until the meat is tender – I simmer the lamb on a very low heat to make sure it’s meltingly tender!

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

Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander.

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, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/06/18/a-bone-to-pick-fish-and-prawn-breyani/

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 hetals@iafrica.com

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: https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/kitchenaid-giveaway-2014/

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

Better late than never….Recipes from Kasi Kitchen!

Yummy breyani tasting!

Yummy breyani tasting!

I was delighted to meet the Kasi Kitchen team at the Good Food and Wine show late last year.  Cinderella is a delight…easy to work with and blessed with a great sense of humour!  I just love her enthusiasm and see just loves her curries!  After tasting my best party trick, The Emergency Chicken Curry, she did not waste any time in setting up a shoot day to feature some of my recipes on her show.

After a rocky start to the day with the make up artist bailing on us at the last moment, we got going a little later than expected.  I have not seen the show yet but hoping that I did a good job with the hair and make-up.  I must confess that this was the first and a bit like being dumped in the deep end since I am a lip gloss and mascara only kind of person!

hmmmm...fingers crossed on the make up!

hmmmm…fingers crossed on the make up!

Before we get to the recipes, I must apologise for not posting this sooner!  Better late than never is what I always say….my facebook page lit up two days ago after the show was re-broadcasted with requests for recipes….without further delays…here are the star recipes from the show!

And here it is ....my favourite favourite...Lamb Breyani!

And here it is ….my favourite favourite…Lamb Breyani!

Layered Lamb Breyani

Serves 4 – 6

 

Ingredients

1kg lamb knuckles

4 medium sized potatoes

2 onions, finely sliced

Spar sunflower oil, for frying

60ml sunflower oil

1 large cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

4 cardamom pods

5ml cumin seeds

1 large onion, finely chopped

7,5ml coarse salt

15ml crushed garlic

20ml crushed ginger

30ml red chilli powder

10ml ground coriander

10ml ground cumin

7,5ml garam masala

2,5ml turmeric

100ml fresh cream

2 x 400g Spar tinned lentils, drained

1250ml par cooked Spar basmati rice

60g Spar butter

15ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala

200ml boiling water

Few drops of egg yellow food colouring

Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Peel the potatoes and slice them into thick rounds.

Heat the sunflower oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until tender.

Remove from the oil and leave to drain.

Gently dab the excess oil with absorbent paper towel.

Fry the onion slices until light golden brown.

Remove the onion from the oil and leave in a colander to drain.

Spread the onion slices over absorbent paper towel.

Heat 60ml sunflower oil in a large thick bottomed pot.

Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaves until fragrant.

Add the cardamom pods and cumin seeds.

When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the onion and salt.

Saute until the onion is light golden brown.

Add crushed garlic and ginger.

Stir for a few seconds and then add the red chilli powder.

Stir well and add the lamb knuckles.

Mix the knuckles in the chilli paste and continue stirring until the meat begins to stick.

Lower the hear and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.

Add the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric.

When the spices on the bottom of the pot start to brown, pour in boiling water to cover the knuckles.

Simmer the knuckles on a low heat, adding more water if necessary.

When the knuckles are tender and the sauce has reduced, layer the fried potatoes over the lamb.

Pour in the fresh cream over and then layer half the lentils over the potatoes.

Layer the cooked basmati rice over the lentils and scatter the remaining lentils on top.

Dot the rice with chopped pieces of butter and sprinkle the Magic Masala over.

Pour the boiling water into the pot and pour a few drops of egg yellow food colouring over the rice.

Sprinkle the fried onion slices over the rice and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.

Simmer the breyani on the lowest heat setting until the rice has steamed through.

Gently toss the breyani and garnish with fresh coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:

Always use cold rice when making breyani as this prevents the rice from getting sticky.

The rice should be par boiled and seasoned in this recipe.

The potatoes can be par-cooked by boiling.

Chicken pieces can be used instead of lamb in this recipe.

I prefer using fresh cream but low fat yoghurt can be used instead.

Adjust the red chilli powder if you would like to make this dish milder or hotter.

Curry Me Home spices are available at select SuperSpars.

Chocolate Sponge cake

Chocolate Sponge cake

And for the Chocolate Ganache Cake….

Ingredients

4 eggs
185ml sugar
5ml vanilla essence
200ml cake flour sifted with 10ml baking powder

Pinch of salt

85ml cocoa powder
100ml boiling water
125ml sunflower oil

To serve:
30ml apricot jam
15ml water
200g milk chocolate, chopped
75ml fresh cream

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Grease and line a 25cm cake tin.
Dissolve cocoa in boiling water and leave aside to cool.
Sift the cake flour and baking powder.
Add the salt to the sifted dry ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a hand-held beater.
Gradually add the sugar while beating continuously.
Continue beating until the mixture is thick and pale in colour.
When the beaten egg mixture leaves a trail on the surface for three seconds, add the vanilla essence and sifted dry ingredients.
Fold the flour into the egg mixture.
Pour the cold cocoa mixture and sunflower oil into the mixing bowl.
Gently fold the ingredients together.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes.
Turn out the cake onto a wire rack.
Heat the apricot jam with water.
Glaze the cake with the hot jam.
Leave the cake to cool.
Boil the cream and then add the chopped chocolate.
Whisk the cream until the chocolate dissolves.
Continue whisking until the chocolate is thick and shiny.
Pour the chocolate over the cake and serve immediately.

Yudhika’s tips:
Make sure the mixing bowl is oil free before whisking the eggs.  Oil prevents the eggs from incorporating air.
Slice the cake before pouring the chocolate sauce over as this makes it easier to serve.
This cake can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
You can also serve this cake with whipped cream and fresh berries.

Layered Lamb and Mushrooms

Layered Lamb and Mushrooms

I am just loving my new AMC gourmet cookware units!  I prepared the mince, covered the pan with foil and popped it straight into the oven!

Layered Lamb and Mushrooms

Serves 4
Ingredients:

60ml sunflower oil
2 sticks cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7,5ml – 10ml coarse salt
15ml crushed ginger
10ml crushed garlic
30ml mixed masala – I used my very own Nan’s Lazy Day Masala
1kg lamb mince
2 sprigs curry leaves
250ml frozen peas
1000ml cooked Basmati Rice
50ml melted butter
150ml boiling water
400g button mushrooms, sliced
Sunflower oil, to saute mushrooms
4 spring onions, finely sliced
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pot.
Add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.
When the spices are fragrant, add the cloves, cardamom pods and cumin seeds.
Saute until the seeds begin to splutter and then add the chopped onion.
Stir the salt into the onions and saute until the onions are light golden brown.
Add the crushed ginger and garlic.
Stir for a few seconds and then stir in the mixed masala.
Mix the masala with the onions taking care not to burn the spices.
Stir in the lamb mince and continue stir frying.
Use the back of a spoon to break down the lumps in the mince.
Stir the mince until browned and then stir in the curry leaves.
Remove the cardamom pods from the mince.
Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Place the mince in a casserole dish and then scatter the frozen peas over.
Layer the cooked rice over the peas and pour the melted butter over.
Pour the boiling water over the rice and then cover with foil.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until the rice has steamed through.
Heat a skillet and then pour in a little sunflower oil.
Saute the mushrooms in batches until golden brown.
Season the mushrooms with salt.
Layer the cooked mushrooms over the rice.
Garnish with sliced spring onion and coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:

The cooked rice must be cold for this recipe.
I use an AMC gourmet cookware unit which can be used from the stove top to the oven.
Cook the mushrooms in batches to prevent them from stewing in the pan.
Cooked brown lentils can be used instead of frozen peas.