mela recipes

Keep your eye on the doughnut….

Yudhika Sujanani's Cinnamon Doughnuts with AMC Cookware

Yudhika Sujanani’s Cinnamon Doughnuts with AMC Cookware

I love spending time with the kids and we always end up in the kitchen whipping up a batch of something special. The Easter weekend was no different and over the last few days, it’s been choc pudding, snowballs and doughnuts too! While making these doughnuts, I remembered the old saying….Keep your eye on the doughnut and not upon the hole! It just makes sense, doesn’t it? We just can’t stop fixating on the hole to see the luscious doughnut sometimes! It reminded me that through all the admin around the ‘hole’ in my life, there is still a doughnut!

The other saying that also came to mind was…The optimist sees the doughnut, the pessimist the hole! How often in life we spend our time with people who only see that hole and don’t have a word of encouragement to share? I am guilty of just that, and recognizing now that some of the best years of my life were spent with an aging playboy who was definitely the hole in my world! When you are compared to past lovers, accused of not bringing home enough bacon and never good enough for anything…when you are ridiculed and humiliated amongst friends and family, life begins to feel like the hole in the doughnut! Feeling unloved and tormented, the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can dominate your existence. These negative experiences can turn any relationship into a black hole!

A hole can abuse the human spirit. Holes sometimes carelessly define themselves by what they did twenty years ago….the wild parties, the corporate one night stands and how stupid their spouse was to not catch them cheating or maybe it was put in a slightly different way…I was so smart that I never got caught! I cannot understand how ego replaces good judgement and leads to emotional casualties. While most choose to add meaning to their lives by building careers and family relationships, a hole chooses to revel in frivolity. Casual flings, corporate incest…this is what I describe as those people that often become the ‘office bicycle’, and heavy boozing….it’s a tale not meant for the faint hearted but of a hole. The moral is a hole never grows up!

Some people thank me for the honesty and for sharing my thoughts, other so called public figures (not friends I might add, just opinionated fools) say that thoughts on politics, people and relationships should be zipped but in my opinion that is what only a coward would do! We all have our story and I share snippets of mine with you, hoping that it takes you out of your comfort zone, making you ask different questions. I have had to say my goodbyes, turning my back on things that were clearly toxic and damaging. The war still rages and unnecessarily so.

Just Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Just Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Such intense thoughts while making up a batch of doughnuts…I always say that cooking and baking is therapeutic and while you bang out a batch of these…keep your eye on the doughnut but find the hole that troubles your soul and keeps you up at night! Once you identify the hole, life starts to change and it can only be positive!

My last thought is that life is much like a doughnut, it can be plain and simple…just dusted with sugar, embellished with decadent toppings or filled with lashings of cream…the basic dough recipe however, remains the same! You can choose the toppings and sides like you did at ‘Just Doughnuts’ back in the old days. If your timing is off and you procrastinate, the doughnut turns stale! Seize the moment and enjoy. Celebrate the doughnut and mourn not a hole!

Cinnamon Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Cinnamon Doughnuts by Yudhika Sujanani

Cinnamon Doughnuts

Ingredients

500g cake flour
50g castor sugar
15ml dried yeast
5ml salt
300ml warm milk
3 egg yolks
100g butter, melted
Sunflower oil, to deep fry

200ml sugar
10ml ground cinnamon

Here’s how

Place the cake flour, castor sugar, dried yeast and salt into a mixing bowl.
Using a KitchenAid with a dough attachment, mix the dry ingredients on a low speed to evenly distribute the yeast.
Add the warm milk and eggs yolks.
Once the dough starts to come together, pour in the melted butter and continue mixing for 5 minutes.
If you are kneading the dough by hand, this should take about ten minutes.
Grease the mixing bowl with non stick spray.
Place the dough into a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Leave aside to rest and prove for 90 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and deflate, kneading the dough for 2 – 3 minutes.
Work the dough into a smooth ball and roll out until it is 1,5cm thick.
Use a round cutter and cut out the doughnuts and a smaller cutter for the hole in the centre. Use as little flour as possible or only if necessary when doing this to prevent the dough from becoming dry.
Place the doughnuts on a greased baking tray and cover with plastic wrapped that has also been greased with non-stick spray.
Gather the dough offcuts and once again roll into a smooth ball and repeat the process.
Leave the doughnuts to rise for 15 minutes.
Combine the cinnamon and the sugar in a mixing bowl and stir well.
Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an AMC Paella Pan – this pan has a smaller base and is wider at the top so it uses less oil than a normal pot.
Once the oil is hot, test using a tiny piece of dough – the dough should hit the oil, bubble and come up to the surface.

Frying the doughnuts in an AMC paella Frying the doughnuts in an AMC paella[/caption

Fry the doughnuts in batches until golden brown.
Remove them from the oil and dab slightly.
Toss the doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar and serve.

Old is gold….

Yudhika's Durban inspired menu....inspired by the old days!

Yudhika’s Durban inspired menu….inspired by the old days!

A trip down memory lane is what inspired my last Mela menu! It all started when I came across a rather vintage set of AMC pots that were from the 70’s. My mom also had a set but this set was a little older. These pots are always part of my kitchen memories. They were so flash in their day that serving dishes were hardly ever used in my home and it is still the same for me today!

BEFORE:

The vintage AMC lids and knobs

The vintage AMC lids and knobs

A very vintage set of AMC cookware...ready to be sent of for a 'spit and polish'

A very vintage set of AMC cookware…ready to be sent of for a ‘spit and polish’

AFTER:

The AMC lid after repolishing...

The AMC lid after repolishing…

As good as new or even better!  The AMC set after re-polishing!

As good as new or even better! The AMC set after re-polishing!

The various sized cookware were re-named in an Indian household and I am sure that some of my Indian followers will relate to the ‘rice pot’, ‘breyani pot’ and ‘fish curry pot’ – all names to describe the pots in the AMC range…and there was also a ‘dhall pot’. Kaye and Tamsyn from AMC Cookware looked quite puzzled when I mentioned these names during a meeting! And I am slowly learning to call them by their ‘good names’ like 30cm gourmet roaster, 24cm high, etc.

I was first tempted to leave the vintage set of AMC as is but asked Kaye and the AMC team to do an AMC overhaul! The pots arrived and I couldn’t believe that they looked brand spanking new…after over forty years of service! Looking at the old style handles and knobs on the lids, is like tripping all over food memory lane! I mentioned the names that the cookware is given in an Indian home…and to celebrate old fashioned food, I did a Mela menu inspired by my childhood.

Yudhika cooking up a storm on Mela!

Yudhika cooking up a storm on Mela!

We lived in Isipingo and for a while we lived in Isipingo Beach. My grandfather was a keen fisherman and loved to take my cousins and I on fishing trips! I even had my own fishing rod! My gran would pack a picnic basket and we would be off for the day. The best part of the fishing trip would be to get home and my mom would season the catch of the day with red chilli, salt and a light sprinkling of turmeric. This was the best fried fish ever! Sometimes she would also prepare a devilishly hot fish curry cooked with tamarind and tomatoes.

On the Mela menu for the week….Durban Fish Curry cooked in my AMC fish pot and Soji Balls! Soji Balls are ones of my favourite childhood treats and when I spotted a tray of them at a prayer, I swear I would pray would one eye open! They were hard to resist and every time us kids attended a prayer, we couldn’t help thinking of the treats that would come our way!

North or South Indian, it didn’t matter….almost every fish curry in Durban is cooked the same way! Some recipes remain untouched by language, caste and religion. The secret to a good fish curry is fresh fish, an AMC pot that cooks the fish in one layer and the most ripe tomatoes…in summer I use fresh ‘jam’ tomatoes that are over-ripe and in Winter I opt for tinned tomatoes that gives you super ripe juicy tomatoes all year round! I must admit that I sometimes use them in Summer too! I love a few shortcuts! If you missed Mela over the weekend and would like to take a look at my step by step video, click here to watch https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-durban-fish-curry-and-soji-balls/

Here’s the fish curry recipe just how I remember it….

Durban Fish Curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Durban Fish Curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Durban Fish Curry

Serves 4

750g firm fish steaks
60ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
6 cloves garlic, crushed
5ml crushed ginger
30ml red chilli powder
800g tomatoes, blanched and chopped – I use tinned tomatoes sometimes
10ml ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
2ml turmeric
30ml tamarind
125ml boiled water
Pinch of sugar
Curry leaves and coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC pot.
Add the mustard seeds and once the begin to pop.
Add the cumin seeds and fry until the sizzle and turn a shade darker.
Stir the onion and salt into the oil.
Saute the onions until they turn golden brown – I also add a few curry leaves to get the aromas going!
Add the crushed garlic and ginger and fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
Stir the red chilli powder into the oil and fry for 3 – 5 seconds, then add the tomatoes.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric and simmer the sauce until the tomatoes form a smooth paste – use the back of a wooden spoon to break down the lumps.
While the tomatoes are simmering, dissolve the tamarind in boiling water – if you are using tamarind with seeds, you will have to strain the liquid to remove the fibres and seeds.
When the tomatoes have cooked down and are completely soft, add the tamarind and then place the fish steaks into the sauce.
Poach the steaks in the sauce and simmer on a very low heat until the sauce has thickened – the cooking time depends on the thickness of the fish steaks.
Sprinkle in a little sugar to balance the sharpness and acidity of the tomatoes.
Garnish with fresh curry leaves and coriander.
Serve with rice or roti.

Drop dead delicious!

Yudhika Sujanani's Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Yudhika Sujanani’s Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Is it just me or is a self saucing pud just the sexiest thing?  It’s rich, moist and oozes with luscious chocolatey goodness!  It’s wicked, it’s sexy and it is drop dead delicious!  With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I have been dreaming up recipes that would be perfect for this special day and if you are the ‘dessert at my place’ kinda person, then this recipe is especially should tickle your fancy!

This is a rather off-beat recipe but then again, I am an off-beat sort of cook…the sauce is mixed together and then poured over the cake batter which is certainly odd, but it works…trust me on this! I used Belgian cocoa powder in this recipe but you can also try Bournville Cocoa…it will give you a dark chocolatey richness and a silken warm lava like sauce!

Serve with a dollop of fresh cream or ice cream, the choice is yours but this recipe will definitely have your Valentine asking for more! If Creme Brulee is more your kind of dessert, click here to watch the step by step guide from my cooking slot on Mela, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et3a12fBNzI
and don’t forget to catch the show this Sunday on SABC 2 at 13h30! On the menu is a Valentine inspired menu with marinated lamb chops and a dreamy berry pavlova!

Did I mention how easy this recipe is? Give it a go and don’t over bake it or the sauce will disappear!

Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

For the sauce:
250ml milk
90g light brown sugar
35g cocoa powder

125g soft butter
125g light brown sugar
5ml vanilla essence
2 large eggs
100g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

Cream or ice cream, to serve

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Gently heat the milk in a 16cm AMC pot until lukewarm and remove from the heat.
Add the brown sugar and cocoa powder.
Stir until the lumps have dissolved and the sauce is smooth.
Leave to cool.

Cream the butter and gradually add the sugar. Scrape down the mixing bowl.
Continue beating until fluffy and add the vanilla essence.
Add the eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of flour, beating well after each one.
Sift the dry ingredients and fold into the cream butter.
Grease a 1,5 litre greaseproof dish with butter. The dish should be about 5cm deep.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish.
Pour the cooled sauce mixture over the unbaked mixture.
Bake the for 30 – 35 minutes.
Serve hot with cream or ice cream.

Mela….Paratha Party

Yudhika Sujanani on SABC 2's Mela - Paratha's on the menu!

Yudhika Sujanani on SABC 2’s Mela – Paratha’s on the menu!

‘Dear Lord…please make them puff!’ Parathas were on the menu on Mela and during the shoot, I prayed and prayed…and prayed.  Every now and then a recipe flops and it’s disastrous but flopping on camera would be a catastrophe!  I bang out batches of paratha especially for Sunday brunch and they do puff up beautifully…but as Murphy would have it, I thought that they wouldn’t with a camera in front of me!

 

Yudhika on set at Holi Cow with SABC 2's Mela

Yudhika on set at Holi Cow with SABC 2’s Mela

 

The Mela season two shoot kicked off with the paratha episode and much to my relief…they did puff up!  Phew…I was so delighted…I mean overjoyed and having a whoop whoop moment.  I even dropped a comment about an Indian superstition – your mother in law will love you lots if your roti and paratha puff up into golden orbs!  Well, it’s just a superstition and I can tell you that it’s not true…maybe it’s because my mother in law doesn’t eat paratha???

 

Sweet Parathas or Sugar Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Sweet Parathas or Sugar Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

 

 

 

I also featured a childhood treat in this  food episode.  Indian moms could turn just about anything into a treat and a little leftover dough was made into a sugar roti or sweet paratha.  The dough was stuff with sugar and gathered into a ‘moneybag’, rolled and cooked on a thava or griddle pan.  One bite into it and the hot sugar syrup would ooze out deliciously.  If you missed the episode, click here…https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-parathas/

 

To the old fashioned recipe, I added a light drizzle of condensed milk and a generous sprinkling of fresh grated coconut.  This is something I picked up in Thailand – the locals prepare a pancake with banana, condensed milk and coconut – takes me back to being so so lucky to travel with the Thai Embassy and Amazing Thailand.

 

Yudhika's Paratha on SABC 2's Mela

Yudhika’s Paratha on SABC 2’s Mela

 

 

Aloo Parathas and Paneer Parathas and Sweet Parathas

 

 

Paratha Dough:

 

1000ml cake flour

7,5ml fine salt

475ml boiling water

120ml sunflower oil

90ml butter, melted

 

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Pour in the boiling water and mix with a wooden spoon.

Pour the sunflower oil in and mix well to combine.

Knead the dough while it is still hot until smooth.

Roll the dough into a ball until the cracks are no longer visible.

Slice the dough into eight pieces and roll into a smooth ball.

Leave the pieces in a mixing bowl and cover with a damp cloth.

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling for the parathas.

.

 

 

 

 

Aloo Paratha Filling

 

3 medium potatoes, boiled in the skin

15ml finely crushed fresh ginger

4 green chillies, finely chopped

45ml finely chopped coriander

5ml red chilli powder

Salt to season

 

 

Peel the skin off the potatoes and place them in a mixing bowl.

Mash the potatoes while they are still warm and leave to cool.

Pound the ginger and green chilli in a mortar.

Add the pounded mixture to the mashed potato.

Add the chopped coriander and red chilli powder.

Season with salt.

 

 

Paneer Paratha Filling:

 

100g grated paneer

1 large potatoe, grated

2ml ground cumin

5ml crushed ginger

5ml crushed garlic

Chopped coriander

5ml red chilli powder

5ml ground coriander

 

 

 

 

To assemble the parathas:

Flatten each piece of dough and scoop the filling into the centre.

Gather the edges of the dough to the centre to enclose the filling.

Twist the centre and pinch of the excess dough.

Gently flatten the dough with a rolling pin on a well floured work surface.

Roll the dough out into 15 – 17cm rounds.

Place the paratha on a heated tawa (indian griddle pan) and cook until freckles appear.

Turn the paratha over and drizzle a little melted butter over.

Turn again and drizzle a little butter over.

Remove from the pan when there are deep golden brown freckles on the parathas.

Serve hot with a dipping sauce of your choice.

 

Yudhika’s tips:

Smaller parathas are easier to handle especially if you are a beginner.

Adjust the green chilli if you would like a milder paratha.

Parathas can also be served with Mint Raita.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meat Free Monday’s Mushroom Macaroni

Yudhika's Meat Free Monday Mushroom Macaroni

Yudhika’s Meat Free Monday Mushroom Macaroni

I am a carnivore!  I love all things good and meaty.  With food inserts being filmed and the Post recipe page, I have to put my food wishes aside and put together a balanced recipe offering.

 

My daughter, Hetal almost 15 now…and going on 55 surprises me Sometimes they are pleasant, sometimes they are shocking!  But she has suddenly developed a love for vegetarian food.  How did she get through 14 years without me knowing that she loves paneer?

 

Sundays are busy days with the Mela food insert – you can find recipes after the show on the Mela Facebook page or get onto their twitter page too. I got into the kitchen quite early so I could clear my arvie for the Sunday dose of the show!  If you missed the food mela, click here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7d-b10Pu_s

 

I took a time capsule back to Std 6 Home Economics and decided to re-create the old Macaroni and Cheese by turning it into a gratin for Hetal yesterday.  Do you remember Home Economics from the good old days?  I almost expected her to say that she would prefer chicken…another surprise…she polished off the macaroni and went back for seconds.

 

I tasted some and although I am not a huge fan of vegetarian food, it was delicious…slightly creamy with fresh thyme to delicately flavour the sauce….then topped with a layer of golden melted cheese!  Just a word on the sauce, I added egg yolks to the sauce to add a little richness.  If you are strictly vegetarian, omit the eggs from the recipe.

Mushrooms in the AMC 28cm Chef's Pan

Mushrooms in the AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan

There are four easy steps to making up this dish, first the pasta and while that is on, I get going with the basic sauce and while that is cooling slightly, I saute the mushrooms.  Assemble and bake!  The ‘Big Mac’ just got a makeover!

 

For more pasta recipes, don’t forget to check out the Post Newspaper this week and you can also enter the AMC cookware competition!

 

All baked and ready for lunch...

All baked and ready for lunch…

Mushroom Macaroni Gratin

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

350g macaroni

Butter, to grease baking dish

45ml sunflower oil

400g button mushrooms, sliced

4 sprigs fresh thyme

5ml crushed garlic

Salt, to season

10ml Curry me Home Magic Masala or crushed chilli flakes

Black pepper, to season

100g cheddar, grated

 

 

For the sauce:

 

75g butter

50g cake flour

750ml full cream milk

1 bay leaf

100ml fresh cream

2 egg yolks, optional

50g cheddar, grated

Salt to season

 

Here’s how:

Cook the macaroni with salt and a little oil in a large AMC pot with boiling water. Check the packaging for the cooking time.

Grease the baking dish with butter.

Heat the sunflower oil in a 28cm AMC chef’s pan and add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms on high and add the fresh thyme.

Once the mushrooms are golden brown, add the crushed garlic and chilli flakes or Magic Masala.

Toss the mushrooms and season with salt – leave aside.

 

Heat the butter in an AMC saucepan on medium. Once the butter melts, stir in the cake flour and use a wooden spoon to mix until smooth.

Add the milk gradually and whisk well between each addition, making sure the sauce is smooth. Add the bay leaf and simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Stir the cheese into the sauce and whisk until smooth. Add the fresh cream and leave the sauce to cool slightly.

Beat the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Pour the sauce into the beaten eggs and whisk until combined.

Stir the cooked mushrooms into the macaroni, add half the sauce and mix gently to combine. Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared oven dish and pour the remaining sauce over the macaroni. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220°C for 25 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

 

 

Christmas recycled…..turkey pasta

Yudhika Sujanani's Recycled Turkey Pasta....

Yudhika Sujanani’s Recycled Turkey Pasta….

We have been hard at work with recipes…so while most people are having their yearly turkey, the Sujanani’s are ‘turkeyed’ out! It started around October when the Mela producer suggested we work on some spicy turkey recipes…we cooked up a few turkeys to find the best ones to share on the show!  Then Yogas Nair, editor of the Post Newspaper, also needed some festive recipes…it was back to the turkey….and then there is the blog too!  Turkey Turkey Turkey….and there are always those tired leftovers that sit in the refrigerator….tune into Mela on SABC 2 this week Sunday at 13h30 to get creative with Christmas leftovers when I will be making ‘Stuffed Curry Turkey Buns’ and ‘Phyllo Turkey Parcels’.  Watch the episode of Mela here where we prepare a Christmas menu with a spicy twist, https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-a-spicy-christmas/

 

I have come up with a few delicious ways to use up those leftovers…and one of my favourites is turkey pasta…and to really spice things up…I made a curried coconut turkey pasta!  Adding Indian spices to turkey livens up the leftovers….and creates a fantastic meal!  The best part is that it’s so super simple to prepare!  I made up a turkey pie which was just as good, click here for the recipe, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/21/turkey-express/

 

Use a few staple spices like red chilli, ground cumin, coriander and garam masala…I also use coconut milk in this sauce which adds a luxurious silky texture and richness to this simple pasta dish. Mild, medium or hot – the choice is yours!  Spice this up or down – you can even serve a little chopped green chilli in olive oil on the side.

 

About this sauce, use really good quality coconut milk…try finding Mae Ploy, Aroy D or Chao Koh…if you can’t find any of these, pop into your local Spar and use the Spar brand coconut cream! It really is the next best option.  Coconut milk can be quite deceiving….buy tried and tested brands ….sometimes even the more expensive ones turn your dishes into watery stews which can be terribly disappointing!

 

I use my own brand of spices in most of my recipes and sometimes it does seem like a long list of ingredients but do stock up your spice rack….I always say, ‘A well stocked spice rack is like having money in the bank!’  My Curry me Home spices are available at a few Spars around Gauteng and via mail order as well!  Click here to find out where you can pick up a bottle of Curry me Home spices or recipe books, https://yudhikayumyum.com/my-spar-stockists/

 

Turkey Pasta

 

Serves 4 – 6

 

Ingredients

 

 

500g cooked turkey meat

40ml sunflower oil

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

5ml mustard seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

7,5ml coarse salt

15ml desiccated coconut

30ml crushed ginger and garlic

10ml Curry Me Home red chilli powder

200g tinned tomatoes, chopped

5ml Curry Me Home ground cumin

5ml Curry Me Home ground coriander

5ml Curry Me Home garam masala

1ml turmeric

1 x 400g tin coconut milk

 

500g penne pasta

 

 

10ml sunflower oil

2,5ml cumin seeds

2 sprigs curry leaves

 

 

Here’s how:

 

 

Heat an AMC paella pan on medium.

Add the sunflower oil, then add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.

Once the bay leaf turns a shade darker, add the mustard seeds.

When the seeds splutter, add the chopped onion, and salt.

Saute until the onion turns light golden brown, add the desiccated coconut – the coconut can burn quite easily if the oil is too hot so take care.

Add the ginger and garlic when the coconut starts to turn light golden and becomes fragrant.

Add the red chilli powder and stir for 3 – 5 seconds.

Add the chopped tomatoes, cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric.

Simmer until the tomatoes soften.

Use the back of a wooden spoon to break down the lumps in the sauce.

Once the tomatoes resemble thick paste, pour in the coconut milk.

Simmer for a minute, then add the turkey meat and warm through.

While the sauce is cooking, cook the penne according to the instructions on the packaging – I cook the pasta in salted water with a drizzle of oil.

Drain the pasta and reserve 100ml liquid.

Toss the pasta and turkey sauce and add reserved liquid only if the sauce is too thick.

Place the pasta on a serving plate.

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC chef’s pan and add the cumin seeds.

Once they splutter, add the curry leaves and fry until they are crispy and fragrant.

Garnish the pasta with fried curry leaves and a drizzle of the cumin flavoured oil.

 

 

Christmas on the cards….cherry coconut and cardamom slice

Yudhika's Cherry Coconut and Cardamom Slice....

Yudhika’s Cherry Coconut and Cardamom Slice….

 

The load shedding has been driving me dippy…..I had a beautiful hazelnut nutella roll in the oven and it bombed…thanks to Eskom…in the meantime, here is another recipe for you that is perfect for Christmas!

 

Over the festive season, we have berries galore….raspberrries, blueberries, strawberries and my favourite…Cherries!

 

A slice of heaven....made with love by Yudhika!

A slice of heaven….made with love by Yudhika!

 

This recipe combines some of my favourite flavours and textures….coconut, squidgy baked cherries, a delicious buttery slice and lashings of mascarpone!  Together, its like a slice of heaven on a plate!  I serve this slightly warm and a word of warning…one slice is never enough!

 

Sliced...and ready to serve!

Sliced…and ready to serve!

This could be an extra special Christmas….you could win the KitchenAid stand mixer….click here…https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/….the winner will be announced after this weeks episode of Mela on SABC2 – tune in at 13h30 and stay tuned on my twitter site ‘Yudhika Sujanani’ for the big announcement.  On Mela this week, I will be preparing brown flour roti and chicken tikka wraps!  For more on Mela, check out the video links here…https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/  And for the links to the recipes I prepare on Mela….check out the Mela Facebook and Twitter pages!

 

 

Cherry Coconut and Cardamom Slice

 

Ingredients

 

150g soft butter

150g caster sugar

3 eggs

2,5ml vanilla paste

150g cake flour

75g desiccated coconut

10ml baking powder

5ml ground cardamom

45ml full cream milk

100g fresh cherries, pitted and halved

 

Icing sugar, to dust

 

250g mascarpone

30ml icing sugar

2ml vanilla paste

 

 

Here’s how:

 

Grease a 25cm fluted pie tart tin and line with baking paper.

Place the butter into a mixing bowl and cream until light in colour.

Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the sugar starts to ‘dissolve’ into the butter.

Add the eggs one at time with 5ml cake flour.

Beat well after each egg, add the vanilla essence.

Fold the cake flour, desiccated coconut, baking powder and ground cardamom into the egg mixture.

Fold in the milk and mix until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie tin and smooth with a spatula.

Scatter over the cherries and gently press them into the batter.

Bake at 170°C for 35 – 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin.

Dust with icing sugar.

Whip the mascarpone with the icing sugar and vanilla paste until thick.

Slice the cake and top with a dollop of sweetened mascarpone cream.

 

 

Up to a R100 Mela challenge…

 

Shoot the shop.....with Harry at the Broadacres Spar for Mela

Shoot the shop…..with Harry at the Broadacres Spar for Mela

 

Every now and then, we are challenged by the Mela producer to take up a challenge of sorts….this one got me thinking and shopping on high alert at our local supermarket, the Broadacres Superspar.  The challenge to prepare a three course meal for 4 people with R100.  It may sound impossible at first but a little cash can go a long way with some clever and creative shopping!  Just a quick word on costing….measure everything and weigh everything!

 

Shop shop shop at Broadacres Superspar.....special thanks to Mrs Pat Tarr and the team!

Shop shop shop at Broadacres Superspar…..special thanks to Mrs Pat Tarr and the team!

 

I headed off to the supermarket and checked out the specials and found some frozen hake fillets for just over R30 per box…I love hake but the price made this ingredient a winner….I also opted to make a little batch of choc cakes and spotted the little brinjals on special at R12 per punnet!  Another winner…a walk around Spar and the menu was already created.

 

Herbs can be pretty expensive, sometimes costing between R10 and R15 per pack.  With everyday cost-effective cooking, you need to get a little creative and I did the same a while ago by turning a sunny patch at Holi Cow into a herb garden…you have no idea how much fresh herbs and lettuce needs to be thrown out…it’s expensive and quite wasteful.

 

 

I opted to use fresh herbs from the garden…mint, coriander and spring onions were freshly picked to cut down on the costs and add oomph to the marinated brinjal starter.  I always have glace cherries in my  refrigerator…these are often left lying in there for a while so I decided to use them in the dessert…..it’s a shame really because they are so pretty.  Another tip for cost-effective cooking, is use up what you already have!!!

 

On the Mela menu today….Marinated Brinjals, Spicy Fish Masala and Mini Chocolate Cakes!  If you missed the episode, click here: https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/melas-r100-food-challenge/

 

Marinated brinjals by Yudhika on Mela's R100 challenge...

Marinated brinjals by Yudhika on Mela’s R100 challenge…

Marinated Brinjals

3 – 4 small brinjals (i picked up a little punnet)

Fine salt, to sweat brinjals

Sunflower or olive oil, to grill brinjals

Half a lemon

15ml olive oil

2 spring onions, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

Fresh mint sprigs, chopped

Fresh coriander, chopped

Thinly slice the brinjals and place them in a colander.

Wipe off the excess moisture using paper towels.

Heat a frying pan or a grill.

Brush the brinjal slices with oil and grill on a high heat until cooked through and slightly charred.

Place the brinjal slices onto a platter and squeeze over the lemon juice, then add 15ml olive oil

Season lightly with salt.

Sprinkle over the chopped spring and red onion.

Garnish with chopped mint and coriander.

Serve with crusty bread

 

 

Yudhika prepares a Spicy Fish Masala on SABC 2's Mela

Yudhika prepares a Spicy Fish Masala on SABC 2’s Mela

 

Spicy Fish Masala

50ml sunflower oil

5ml ajwain

4 sprigs on coriander with roots and stalks

1,5cm piece ginger

15ml crushed garlic

15ml mixed masala

4 ripe tomatoes, blanched and chopped

Salt to season

600g frozen fish

Chop the coriander stalks, roots and leaves into a mortar.  Add the ginger and garlic and pound into a rough paste.

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC paella pan on a low heat.

Add the ajwain or carom seeds to the oil and fry until they sizzle.

Add the rough ginger and garlic paste and fry until fragrant.

Stir the mixed masala into the oil and heat for 3 seconds.

Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer until the tomato thickens.

Season with salt and stir well.

Add 250ml boiled water and then gently place the fish into the pan.

Lower the heat and simmer until the fish is cooked through.

Garnish with fresh coriander.

 

Mini Chocolate cakes by Yudhika Sujanani

Mini Chocolate cakes by Yudhika Sujanani

Mini Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

40ml cocoa powder

50ml boiling water

2 eggs

90ml sugar

2ml vanilla essence

100ml cake flour

5ml baking powder

Pinch of salt

60ml sunflower oil

Apricot Jam

100g milk chocolate, chopped

30ml milk

Cherries, to garnish

Mint sprigs, to garnish

 

 

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius.

Grease and line 4 – 6 ramekins.

Dissolve the cocoa in boiling water and leave aside to cool.

Sift the cake flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and then add salt.

Beat the eggs in an electric mixer and gradually add sugar.

Continue beating until thick and creamy – the mixture should leave a trail on the surface for  3 seconds.

Fold the flour into the egg mixture.

Fold the cocoa and sunflower oil into the mixture and pour into prepared ramekins.

Bake for 12 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

Heat the apricot jam with water and glaze the cake.

Boil the milk, remove from heat and add the chocolate – whisk until the chocolate is smooth.

Pour the chocolate over the cake and serve.

Garnish with fresh mint and a cherry

 

 

 

Yudhika’s Tips:

Make sure the mixing bowl is oil free before whisking the eggs – oil prevents the eggs from incorporating air.

Shah Rukh in the bag….

 

Behind the scenes on SABC 2's Mela

Behind the scenes on SABC 2’s Mela

I got to see Shah Rukh Khan up close and personal about  15 years ago when he first performed in South Africa….he was a great performer then but didn’t really catch my eye….well, now he is sporting an eight pack and has definitely got my attention!  He has clearly earned his title as the ‘Badshah of Bollywood’!

 

Shah Rukh’s favourite meal is Tandoori Chicken and I prepared this with my very own spin for Mela!   I love tandoori anything, the only problem is that it does tend to dry out….so I worked my way around this to prepare an all in one Tandoori Chicken Traybake that is deliciously moist and tender!

 

It’s a simple recipe…all you need to do is introduce the ingredients, leave to marinate and they spices do the rest!  It’s also one of those dishes that is a complete crowd pleaser so if you are looking for a spicy chicken meal without the fuss, this one is for you!  If you missed the episode, click here…https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-shah-rukhs-tandoori-chicken/

 

It's in the bag.....marinated chicken for the tandoori tray bakeI pop the chicken into a Glad bag and pour the marinade ingredients in to make it as mess free as possible.  This works really well, saves on the washing up and also the bag goes straight into the refrigerator to marinate.  I have added magic masala to this recipe which is a spice from my own brand.  You can leave it out or use an unsalted chicken spice to replace it.  The marinade can be done a day in advance but always bring the chicken to room temperature before roasting.

 

A big thank you to the Mrs Pat Tarr and her team at the Broadacres Superspar with all the behind the scenes help in getting the ingredients sourced and delivered!

Tandoori Chicken Traybake by Yudhika SujananiTandoori Chicken Traybake

 

Ingredients

 

2 whole chickens

8 cloves garlic, crushed

30ml crushed ginger

25ml red chilli powder

15ml ground coriander

10ml ground cumin

10ml garam masala

15ml Magic Masala

Pinch of turmeric

125ml double thick yoghurt

Juice of 1 lemon

125ml water

5ml coarse salt

2 stock cubes, crumbled

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 large onions, sliced into wedges

50ml fresh cream

Fresh coriander, to garnish

 

Here’s how:

 

To flattie the chicken, lay the chicken on a chopping board with the breast side facing up. Press down hard on the breastbone twice. Turn the chicken over and use poultry shears to cut alongside the backbone of the chicken. Repeat on the other side and discard the backbone.

 

Remove the tip of the wing, excess fat and skin. Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat dry with absorbent paper towel.

 

Place all the remaining ingredients except the tinned tomatoes and sliced onion into a non-reactive mixing bowl. Whisk until the marinade is smooth.

 

Smear the marinade over the chicken flatties and leave to marinate for a few hours.

 

Place the chickens in a deep roasting pan with the skin side facing up. Roast the chicken in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 45 – 50 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.

 

Stir the chopped tomatoes and onion wedges into the pan juices and return the chicken to the oven for 15 minutes. The juices should run clear when the chicken is tested with a skewer.

 

Pour the cream into the roasting pan and stir into the sauce. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.