feast of eid

Sugar ‘n Spice – Baba Ghanoush Recipe

My son, Rushil Sujanani on the job with Sugar 'n Spice and the Ochre team

My son, Rushil Sujanani on the job with Sugar ‘n Spice and the Ochre team

Brinjal works well served along with almost any dish…lamb, chicken or seafood. This can be served as a starter with pita breads, as a dip or a side dish – it’s entirely up to you. Baba Ghanoush is a traditional Middle Eastern dish – I have once again tweaked the recipe and added Curry Me Home Magic Masala to liven the brinjals up a bit…I do love the zing of fresh and dried chilli!

Maybe a little more bite than I was looking for...

Maybe a little more bite than I was looking for…

This recipe is from Season Two of Sugar ‘n Spice – Feast of Eid.

Baba Ghanoush - smoky brinjals

Baba Ghanoush – smoky brinjals

Baba Ghanoush

Serves 4 as a side dish

4 large brinjals
30ml light olive oil

50ml olive oil
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 green chillies, chopped
15ml Magic Masala
15ml lemon juice
Handful of coriander, chopped

Pierce the brinjals with a sharp knife and brush them with olive oil.
Bake them in a hot oven or over charcoal until the skins are crispy and the flesh is soft.
Place the brinjals in a zip seal bag and leave to cool down.
Slice the brinjals in half and scoop out the flesh and discard the skin.
Roughly chop the flesh of the brinjals.
Heat 50ml olive oil in an AMC pot.
Add the cumin seeds and saute until they sizzle.
Add the chopped onion and salt.
While the onion is in the pan, crush the garlic and chilli in a mortar.
When the onion is light golden brown, add the pounded chilli and garlic.
Stir the brinjals into the fried onion and garlic.
Continue stirring until the brinjal turns mushy.
Add the magic masala and lemon juice.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Stir well and serve with flatbreads as a dip or as a side dish along with meat, chicken or fish.

Yudhika’s tips:

Grilling the brinjals over hot coal gives the best flavour.

Sugar ‘n Spice recipes: Chicken Korma

Yudhika Sujanani on Sugar 'n Spice - Feast of Eid

Yudhika Sujanani on Sugar ‘n Spice – Feast of Eid

Sugar ‘n Spice shoot days are big fun…a little stressful at times but always fun. The Saffron/Ochre team are fabulous and I am always delighted to work with them! Stephen de Kock (the boss), Ushi Goshalia (my other boss), Danny (cameraman extraordinaire), Levar DUB DUB (he makes divine cocktails) and the Zaheera Mohammed/Gavin Poonjala (the money master minds)…what more could a girl ask for??? Oh yes, one more thing…Alexa Wilson…she had me looking like Indian Barbie all day…everyday!

Yudhika and the boss - Stephen de Kock from Ochre Media

Yudhika and the boss – Stephen de Kock from Ochre Media

My other boss, Ushi Goshalia

My other boss, Ushi Goshalia

The shoots are fun…the days are long and there are lots of festive cheer…not to mention the lunch time feasts and doggie bags – It’s all part of the Sugar ‘n Spice experience!

In episode five of Sugar ‘n Spice, I prepared the classic…or should I say my version of the classic Chicken Korma. This is said to have originated in Persia and was brought to India in the 16th Century during the Mughal Empire. This is also not a dish for the faint hearted, calorie conscious eater…the sauce is lightly spiced with cardamom, red chilli, bay leaves and cinnamon, thickened with cashew nuts and finished with a generous glug of fresh cream….perfect for any feast and for those who prefer mild dishes.

Yudhika's Chicken Korma on Sugar 'n Spice

Yudhika’s Chicken Korma on Sugar ‘n Spice

CHICKEN KORMA

Ingredients

800g chicken fillet, sliced
60ml sunflower oil
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
5 cardamom pods
60ml desiccated coconut
2 onions, finely sliced
60ml boiling water
185ml cashew nuts
250ml boiling water
15ml crushed ginger
15ml crushed garlic
10ml red chilli powder
5ml ground coriander
5ml garam masala
250ml fresh cream
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander to garnish
Edible gold leaf, to garnish

Here’s How:

Soak cashew nuts in 250ml boiling water for ten minutes. Saute the onion slices with a little oil in a non stick frying pan until golden brown. Remove and drain on absorbent paper towel.
Place the 60ml boiling water in a Kenwood blender with the onion slices and process until smooth. Place the onion paste in a bowl.
Process the cashew nuts in the Kenwood blender with the water until smooth.
Heat oil in a 30cm AMC pot on medium. Fry cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and bay leaf until they turn a shade darker and become fragrant. Add coconut and stir until the coconut turns a light golden brown. Stir in the crushed ginger and garlic.
Mix in the onion paste and saute until the excess moisture evaporates. Stir in the red chilli powder, coriander and garam masala. Stir for a few seconds before adding the chicken fillets.
Coat the chicken in the spices and fry until the pieces are sealed. Sprinkle in the salt.
Pour in cashew paste and a little boiling water. When the chicken fillet is almost done and the cashew sauce thickens, add the fresh cream and sugar.
Reduce heat and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Gently dab the gold leaf over the chicken and serve.

Yudhika’s Tips

Use 6 plump chicken fillets for 4 people.
For a more nutty flavour, add coconut milk instead of fresh cream.
A Kenwood blender/liquidiser works best when making onion and cashew nut paste – a food processor leaves lumps in the paste and does not result in a smooth sauce.

Sugar ‘n Spice: Yudhika’s Saffron Coconut Cake

Saffron Coconut Cake from Sugar 'n Spice with Yudhika Sujanani

Saffron Coconut Cake from Sugar ‘n Spice with Yudhika Sujanani

I simply love to bake and this is a recipe from my collection! Layers of light saffron tinted sponge cake, sandwiched with thick buttery coconut frosting and topped with toasted coconut shavings…this cake is exotic and the perfect dessert after a feast!

Like most of the recipes in my little black book, I owe this one to a fortunate kitchen miscalculation. I intended on making a plain vanilla sponge and much to my horror, I ran out of full cream milk. Rob insists on buying low-fat milk…I am more the ‘love fat’ kind of shopper! I guess that what happens when you leave the shopping to the HB! Note to cake fans….Low fat milk just won’t do…full cream works best!

I thought that coconut milk would be a good substitute and then add a little saffron to spice things up. A rather fortunate mishap, I would say….the make do cake turned into a real winner. It was moist with the gentle fragrance of coconut and the frosting takes this cake to a whole new level of luxuriousness!

This recipe is from Season Two of Sugar ‘n Spice which we shot during my kid’s school holidays…we had to get creative with trying to find things to keep them busy!

My beautiful daughter, Tanvi - the lovely Ochre Assistant for the day!

My beautiful daughter, Tanvi – the lovely Ochre Assistant for the day!

Saffron coconut cake

Ingredients
Few strands of saffron
400ml coconut milk
360g cake flour
300g sugar
22,5ml baking powder
125g soft Spar butter
3 large eggs
5ml vanilla essence

Here’s how:
Heat the strands of saffron in a dry pan for a few seconds.
Pour in 100ml of the coconut milk and bring to the boil.
Leave the strands to infuse with the coconut milk for a few minutes and then leave to cool completely.
Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl Add the sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the butter and beat on low with a paddle attachment until the mixture has a sandy consistency.
Pour in the coconut milk, saffron infusion, eggs and vanilla essence.
Beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure the ingredients are well combined.
Divide the mixture between 3 x 20cm greased and lined cake tins.
Bake at 170 degrees celsius for 20 – 22 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cake is tested.
Turn the cakes out on a wire rack and leave to cool.

Coconut Frosting

250g soft Spar butter
500g Spar icing sugar
75ml coconut milk
Drop of vanilla essence
Toasted coconut shavings, to garnish

Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat well.
Once the butter is light in colour, gradually add the icing sugar.
Continue beating until the icing is fluffy.
Gradually pour in the coconut milk and vanilla essence.
Continue beating until the icing is very pale in colour.
To assemble:
Sandwich the cakes together with the icing.
Ice the sides and top of the cake using a palette knife.
Place the cake in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up.
Garnish the cake with toasted coconut shavings.

Yudhika’s tips:

If you are not a lover of coconut…simply use the 400ml full cream milk in the cake batter and then fresh cream instead of coconut milk in the frosting.