Mela SABC 2

Feast, Pray, Love…#1 Persian Pleasures in Kensington

Yudhika's Feast Pray Love in Kensington at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Yudhika’s Feast Pray Love in Kensington at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Feast, Pray, Love are three words that best describe what my life is all about…I celebrate through feasting and when I pray, it isn’t with a long list of things I need or want, it’s to be thankful…taking time to count every one of my blessings which makes me love life more everyday. Love…the most beautiful gift of all, what would life be without those we love and treasure!

Whether I am working, doing a show, or just being with my family…I feast, I pray and I love fiercely! The idea of putting together the ‘FPL’ section to my blog has been on my mind for ages, like coffee…my ideas keep percolating! Through my journey, highs and lows….I am learning to be kind to myself and forgiving too.

I love to travel, see new places and experience different cultures…on the 15th May this year, just a stroke past midnight, I was tapped lightly on my shoulder by an air hostess on SAA, waking me up to my birthday and a bottle of Taittinger Rose…it was a toast to new beginnings and what better way to kick off a new year with an adventure in London…with an exciting new project on the cards, the city was my oyster. I threw back my champagne and fell into the most delicious sleep.

The Iranian/Persian influenced stores on Kensington's High Street with Yudhika Sujanani

The Iranian/Persian influenced stores on Kensington’s High Street with Yudhika Sujanani

I had a bit of free time and took a walk down Kensington’s High Street which led me to a little pocket of Iranian supermarkets, green grocers and restaurants. I love Iranian food and Jozi seems to have lost Apadana, the only place I knew that made a good Fesenjun…which is chicken cooked in pomegranate molasses and walnuts. There is also an Apadana restaurant in Kensington. I popped into Zaman, the Iranian Supermarket…the store is crammed with everything from fresh and dried fruit, Persian sweets like cashew nut baklava, macaroons and something that looks like Indian jalebi to Iranian caviar…and spices. The Iranian community are pedantic about the quality of dried fruit, nuts and the saffron is fabulous.

Pomegranates...a persian must have ingredient

Pomegranates…a persian must have ingredient

Brightly coloured, juicy pomegranate rubies...the perfect walkabout snack on High Street #yudhikayumyum

Brightly coloured, juicy pomegranate rubies…the perfect walkabout snack on High Street #yudhikayumyum

Persian peaches....at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Persian peaches….at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Iranian Caviar...sights and sounds on High Street, Kensington with Yudhika Sujanani

Iranian Caviar…sights and sounds on High Street, Kensington with Yudhika Sujanani

The Iranian stores seem to be more like old-fashioned family run businesses. The fresh fruit display outside the store is inviting, colourful and very old school….bright pomegranate rubies are sold in little cups which make the perfect walkabout snack. There are also persian peaches, glossy deep coloured cherries, fresh herbs and veggies. For a Persian experience outside Iran, I recommend taking a stroll through this part of Kensington, it’s not only a feast for food explorers but for the eyes too!

The end of a High Street adventure...Yudhika Sujanani - May 2015

The end of a High Street adventure…Yudhika Sujanani – May 2015

I have been working on recipes for the Post Newspaper’s with Ramadan in mind and it’s the perfect opportunity to splash out with my saffron…here is my version of a Persian dish called Koresht-e-Mast which is chicken cooked with yoghurt and saffron. How can I best describe this dish…it’s almost a curry and also described as a Persian stew…a stew??? This is way too exotic and fragrant to be compared to stew…cumin, coriander, red chilli, teamed with fresh orange juice and finished with yoghurt. The dish is lightly spiced, aromatic and creamy. I used the Spar branded double thick yoghurt for this recipe as I find this one doesn’t split or curdle.

Yudhika's version of Persian style Koresht-e-Mast

Yudhika’s version of Persian style Koresht-e-Mast

Persian style Chicken – Koresht-e Mast

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

2,5ml saffron strands
50ml boiled water
1,6kg chicken thighs and drumsticks
45ml sunflower oil
1 bay leaf
2 onions, finely sliced
2,5ml salt
3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
10ml crushed ginger
10ml crushed garlic
10ml red chilli powder
10ml ground cumin
10ml ground coriander
2,5ml ground cardamom
500ml boiled water
2 stock cubes
Juice of 1 orange
6 sprigs fresh thyme
200ml Spar Double Thick Greek yoghurt
1 egg
30ml cold water
20ml Magic Masala, if you have…this is from my Curry Me Home range of spice

Sunflower oil, to brown chicken
Black pepper, to season
Fresh thyme to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the saffron strands in a dry pan or microwave for a few seconds.
Crush the saffron using your fingertips and place in a little bowl.
Pour the boiled water over the saffron and leave aside to infuse.
Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC Gourmet Roaster.
Add the bay leaf and fry until fragrant.
Add the sliced onions with the salt and saute until pale golden in colour.
Stir the celery sticks into the fried onion and saute until they soften.
Add the crushed ginger and garlic.
Place the chicken into the fried onion and stir well to coat.
Sprinkle the red chilli, ground cumin, coriander and cardamom over the chicken pieces.
Stir well to coat, pour in the boiled water and crumble the stock cubes into the pot.
Pour in the orange juice, add the fresh sprigs of thyme and saffron liquid.
Lower the heat and simmer until the chicken is tender.
Remove the chicken from the pan.
Heat an AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan and grease with non stick spray.
Place the cooked chicken in the pan with the skin side down, turning them often to ensure they brown evenly.
Remove from the pan once they are golden brown.

Whisk the yoghurt with egg and water.
Important step: Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the yoghurt mixture while whisking the sauce continuously – this prevents the sauce from splitting.
Add the Magic Masala – if you have some!
Simmer on low until the sauce thickens and then return the brown chicken to the pot.
Once the chicken heats through, season with black pepper and garnish with fresh thyme.
Serve with steamed basmati or pilau rice.

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Perfect Payasam

Yudhika prepping for the Pongal shoot on SABC 2's Mela

Yudhika prepping for the Pongal shoot on SABC 2’s Mela

Working on the Mela food inserts gives me a chance to re-visit my childhood and share my favourite food memories.  I grew up in Durban as most of you would know by now and the weekends were reserved for the local pastime, ‘visiting’.  So, some weekends we would be out and about visiting and on others, we would be at home expecting visitors.  It was an awesome tradition and there were no phone calls made to confirm or make arrangements…you just popped in.  Imagine doing that in this day and age?

 

Payasam or vermicelli as we know it was made over the weekend to serve to guests around tea time.  Sometimes we were served cake, biscuits or samosas but we always hoovered up the payasam.  Do you remember the visiting days?

 

Pongal was celebrated by the Tamil community last week and Mela featured some recipes that would be perfect for Pongal…a spicy brinjal curry, lentil pilau, coconut chutney and to follow, a deliciously creamy payasam.  I served the payasam with fried poppadoms.  If you missed the episode and want a quick course on payasam, click here for the step by step guide from Mela, https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-pongal-recipes/

 

Perfect for Pongal or anytime of year....Yudhika prepares payasam on Mela

Perfect for Pongal or anytime of year….Yudhika prepares payasam on Mela

 

Payasam

 

Ingredients

 

1 cinnamon stick

4 cardamom pods

125ml vermicelli, broken

60g butter

30ml desiccated coconut

350ml boiled water

1 litre full cream milk

80ml sago, washed

75 – 85g sugar

100g flaked almonds, toasted

 

Place the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods into an AMC pot.

Heat the spices until fragrant.

Add the vermicelli and stir until light golden brown.

Add the butter and stir for a minute, then add the desiccated coconut.

Fry for a minute.

Add the boiled water and full cream milk.

Add the sago and simmer on a low heat until the vermicelli softens and the sago is translucent.

Once the payasum thickens, add the sugar and then flaked almonds, reserving some for garnishing.

 

Post Christmas Blues….

Yudhika prepares a Christmas Strudel...

Yudhika prepares a Christmas Strudel…

I worked at the Broadacres Superspar over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day too….it has to be the most frantic days to be in store and it’s all hands on deck for the rush.  Turkey in every form imaginable….roulades, stuffed, deboned, unstuffed, turduckens and carved….you name it….and it was in store….not to mention gammon…gammon everywhere!

I have been posting post-Christmas recipes mainly using turkey….today I have a recipe that uses the last remaining slices of Christmas cake.  Don’t be too quick to write off this recipe…it is decadent and delicious!

 

Turfing out Christmas cake makes me sad….and it hurts the pocket too…all those good nuts and spices…not to mention the butter and brandy too!

 

This post-Christmas dessert will have you shining like a star!  I added more nuts, spices and Lindt chocolate to the filling and wrapped this in phyllo!  Use a bread knife to slice through the pastry…works like a charm and don’t be intimidated by this!  What I love about this recipe is also those delicious aromas that travel through the kitchen while it is in the oven!!!

 

I made one of these and took a few slices through to Mrs Tarr at Broadacres…and we also had some turkey pie as well with it….I know I can count on her for feedback on new recipes….and well, I can honestly say that after a few festive recipe tastings, I knew I was going to get into trouble for tempting Mrs T….a troubled chef…or a troublesome one?

For more post-Christmas recipes, click here for a delicious turkey pasta…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/24/christmas-recycled-turkey-pasta/ or here for a hearty turkey pie, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/21/turkey-express/.  For the latest food inserts from Mela on SABC 2, click here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/ and don’t forget to like the Mela page on Facebook for the latest recipes!

 

 

Christmas Strudel

 

500g phyllo pastry (12 sheets)

125g butter, melted

Ground cinnamon, to sprinkle

 

300 Christmas cake or pudding

75g hazelnuts

75g pecan nuts

125g dark chocolate, chopped – I used Lindt!

100g dried cranberries

5ml ground cinnamon

75g brown sugar

 

Icing sugar, to dust

Custard, to serve

 

 

 

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Crumble the cake into a mixing bowl.

Add the hazelnuts, pecans, dark chocolate and cranberries.

Add 5ml ground cinnamon to the mixture and mix well.

Lay a sheet of phyllo pastry onto a work surface and brush with butter – reserve some butter for the top of the strudel

Place a sheet next to it with an overlap of about 4cm.

Brush the pastry with butter and repeat until all the layers are done.

Brush the top layer with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar over the pastry.

Spread the crumbled cake mixture leaving a 3cm gap around the edges.

Sprinkle the brown sugar over the filling and reserve 30ml for topping the strudel.

Fold the pastry over the filling around the edges.

Roll the pastry with the filling as you would for a Swiss Roll.

Grease a large baking sheet with non stick spray.

Place the phyllo roll onto the baking sheet and brush with butter.

Sprinkle the reserved brown sugar over the roll and bake for 35 – 40 minutes.

The strudel should be golden brown and crispy.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Dust with icing sugar and slice into rounds with a serrated knife.

Serve with homemade custard.

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.

 

 

The Great Turkey Express…

Turkey Pie....by Yudhika Sujanani

Turkey Pie….by Yudhika Sujanani

 

I was watching Mela today and I had a little giggle when Kajal and Zakkie mentioned that it’s the festive season and turkeys must be having sleepless nights!  A little light-hearted Mela humor on a Sunday arvie is just the ticket!  If you missed the episode…click here to watch our Christmas episode, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCkHE67Y8Bw and for the recipe from the show, check out the Mela facebook page!

 

There is also the trauma of the refrigerator that is heaving with leftovers which can be pretty daunting.  With turkey…it’s usually that all the good bits are gone and you’re left with the dried out turkey breasts.  This used to be a problem but I have found a few ways of turning troublesome leftovers into an absolute feast!  If you are still looking for the perfect turkey recipe, click here….https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/12/turkey-time-recipes-for-the-festive-season/ or here for the turkey flattie recipe…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/04/almost-turkey-time/ !

 

Kitchen fun with Rushil Sujanani...

Kitchen fun with Rushil Sujanani…

 

 

Trawling through my kitchen….there are a few ingredients that you will always find….garlic, onions, carrots, fresh cream and Magic Masala to spice things up…in the freezer, you are bound to find a stash of buttery puff pastry…and in the garden, lots of fresh herbs!

 

I take a few ingredients and turn them into a deliciously french inspired filling for a pie….simple ingredients can make a delicious pie filling that is hearty and it can feed my hungry kids….they are the ravenous sort who just love good old-fashioned food! The best part of the pie making is that I get my kids to help out….and it can be a little messy but so much fun!

 

 

Tanvi Sujanani....the pastry princess!

Tanvi Sujanani….the pastry princess!

 

Tanvi and Rushil....helping decorate the pie!

Tanvi and Rushil….helping decorate the pie!

Thanks to the commercial pie chains and suppliers…we have forgotten how good a home-made one is…it’s just comfort food at it’s best!   After the festive over indulgences, serve this pie with a green salad and a little turkey gravy if you have.

 

Turkey pie by Yudhika Sujanani....

 

Turkey Pie

 

And the ingredients are...

And the ingredients are…

 

Ingredients

 

 

40ml sunflower oil

125ml chopped onion

2,5ml salt

2 leeks, finely chopped

75ml finely diced carrot

30ml fresh thyme, leaves only

8 rashers bacon, chopped

175g button mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

100ml white wine

400g roasted turkey meat

100ml fresh cream

5ml black pepper

60ml fresh coriander, chopped

20ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala

 

2 x 400g puff pastry sheets

1 egg, lightly beaten

 

 

Here’s how

 

Heat the sunflower oil in a 28cm Chef’s Pan and add the chopped onion.

Sprinkle in the salt and sauté until the onion is pale golden.

Add the leeks, carrots and fresh thyme.

 

Yudhika's turkey cook up in my AMC Chefs Pan....

Yudhika’s turkey cook up in my AMC Chefs Pan….

Saute until the carrots and leeks soften, add the chopped bacon.

Saute until the bacon browns.

Add the mushrooms and stir fry until they turn brown, then add the garlic and saute for a few seconds.

Pour in the wine, add the turkey and simmer until the liquid reduces by half.

Pour in the fresh cream and simmer until the sauce thickens and coats the turkey pieces.

Add the black pepper and leave the filling to cool.

Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.

 

Grease a baking sheet with non stick spray.

Place one sheet of puff pastry on the sheet.

Cut 4cm off the sides of the second sheet.

Place the cool turkey filling onto the first sheet of pastry.

Spicing up the pie with Magic Masala...

Spicing up the pie with Magic Masala…

 

Sprinkle the coriander and Magic Masala over the turkey.

 

Assemble the pie....

Assemble the pie….

 

Cover with the second sheet and gently enclose the filling by folding the excess pastry over the top layer.

Brush with the beaten egg.

If you have extra pastry, cut shapes out and decorate the top of the pie – I get my kids to help decorate the pie!

Brush again with the beaten egg.

Bake at 190°C for 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

 

 

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.

 

 

Christmas countdown…cake!

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

I have never made a Christmas cake ahead of time and followed the ritual of pouring brandy over it every week….the cake just gets gobbled up by the gremlins in my family…and when they are tired of cake…they pull of the almonds on the cake!  Some things run in the family!  I used to do just that when I was a kid and it’s a little like karma coming back to bite!

 

Most families have a traditional fruit cake recipe that is served at Christmas.  I love the aromas of Christmas cake…the brandy with spices fill a home with festive cheer!

 

Tried and tested sometimes or should I say almost always works best…I do sometimes feel that I should try a new recipe which generally ends up in a disaster.  I can bake…I am mean I can REALLY bake…..a few years ago I tried a recipe from a really flash cookbook….and it was one of those really expensive one too….the cake looked like a rather large over-baked Ouma rusk!  I was devastated and got teased about it for months!

 

I find following a recipe pretty difficult and my mom was the queen of fruit cakes…this is her recipe with a few tweaks here and there…I love spicing up a fruit cake and have added cardamom to my recipe as well!

 

I sometimes also use a good glug of Jack Daniels to this recipe instead of the brandy!  You can serve this cake with brandy butter or custard.  I just have a large slice with a good cup of coffee! Oh and I make this cake a few times during the year…so calling it a Christmas cake doesn’t come easily!

 

A big congratulations to Lalisha Singh on winning the KitchenAid stand mixer competition!  She joins our Tania Joy Fredericks, Renuka Lallbahadur and Natasha Ramlugan as well as Kay Straightfill and Krivani Pillay in our winners hall of hame!!! Stay tuned for more competitions on the blog with great prizes from AMC cookware, KitchenAid and Spar!

 

Light Christmas Fruit Cake

 

Ingredients

375g soft butter

300ml brown sugar

6 eggs

500g Safari Cake Mix

250ml mixed nuts (I love pecans)

750ml cake flour

15ml baking powder

10ml cinnamon

10ml mixed spice

5ml cardamom

2ml nutmeg

2ml salt

125ml milk

75ml brandy or whisky

100g whole almonds, blanched

 

 

Here’s how

Pre-heat oven to 170°C.

Grease and line a 10 inch round cake tin with baking paper. Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add the spices. Place dried fruit and nuts in a mixing bowl. Toss together 30ml cake flour and the dried fruit and nuts. The dried fruit should be lightly dusted with flour to prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

Mix together the milk and brandy. Sift the dry ingredients.

Cream butter and gradually add brown sugar until light and fluffy. The sugar crystals should also dissolve slightly – I used the KitchenAid mixer for this!

Add eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of cake flour to prevent curdling.

Add half the flour to the butter and egg mixture followed by half the liquid. Repeat this process and lastly fold in the dried fruit and nuts.

Arrange the blanched almonds on top of the cake and press them into the batter gently.

Bake for 70 – 75 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Turn out on a wire rack and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Groovy Gravy!

Turkey gravy by Yudhika Sujanani

Turkey gravy by Yudhika Sujanani

Store bought gravy just won’t work with a delicious home-made turkey!  Let’s face it….the generic commercial just add water gravies are quite hideous!

 

Gravy is easy to make and after roasting the turkey, the main ingredient is the pan juices…it’s like a turkey stock with a few added ingredients.  Here is the recipe for the roast turkey…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/12/turkey-time-recipes-for-the-festive-season/.  It is also delicious drizzled over the garlic potato stacks…click here for the recipe…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/12/potato-promises/

 

I leave the turkey to rest after roasting….this is absolutely necessary to get the meat to re-absorb the juices that keep the turkey moist and tender! Rest the turkey for as long as it has been in the oven….I serve it at room temperature with hot gravy!

 

Here is my recipe for the turkey gravy…..

 

Turkey gravy

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Pan juices, from roasting the turkey

15ml sunflower oil

75ml chopped onion

75ml chopped carrot

75ml chopped leeks

10ml butter

10ml flour

100ml fresh cream

 

 

 

Here’s how:

 

 

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC pot.

Add the chopped onion, carrots and leeks.

Saute the ingredients until the onions are translucent.

Pour the turkey juices into the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add a little water or stock if the mixture is too thick.

Strain the turkey juices and discard the pulp.

Heat the butter in a little pot and add the flour.

Cook the mixture for 30 seconds, then pour in the turkey juice.

Whisk the mixture on a medium heat.

Simmer until the gravy begins to thicken.

Add the fresh cream and simmer for a minute.

Check the seasoning and add a little salt if necessary.

Serve with the roasted turkey.

 

Potato Promises…..

Yudhika's Garlic Potato Stacks....

Yudhika’s Garlic Potato Stacks….

I love love love potatoes….some people say that potatoes are not really vegetables….I tend to agree…it doesn’t seem fair to lump a fabulous potato with something like cabbage or cauliflower!

 

Potatoes are not just a side dish…they can make a meal come alive and Indians are particularly pedantic about potatoes…I remember going out hunting for good potatoes and only the best ones make it into the curry pot!

 

For this recipe use “Up to Date” or UTD potatoes.  They are available in Fruit and Veg City as well as Food Lover’s Markets and Checkers stores…you could also pop into the local Indian green grocer, if you are lucky enough to have one of those in your area!

 

Stock standard potatoes are fabulous….and yes, old is gold but I could not help making up a batch of these to share with you!  They are oh so yum!  Thinly sliced potatoes with a good drizzle or dare I say, buttery soak?  Flavoured with fresh thyme and black pepper….these are particularly hard to resist!

 

These garlic potato stacks will work like a charm with the Roast Turkey…click here for the recipe…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/12/turkey-time-recipes-for-the-festive-season/

 

 

Garlic Potato Stacks

 

Makes 12

 

Ingredients

 

750g peeled potatoes

100g butter

4 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt, to season

Black pepper, to season

25ml fresh thyme leaves

 

 

Here’s how:

 

 

Thinly slice the potatoes and place them in a mixing bowl.

Heat the butter in an AMC pan with the crushed garlic and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Pour the butter through a strainer and discard the garlic.

Season the potatoes with salt and black pepper.

Add the thyme leaves and toss to coat.

Pour the butter over the potatoes and mix lightly.

Stack the potato slices into a 12 hole cupcake pan, starting with large slices and finishing with little ones.

Pour the remaining butter over the stacks.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190°C for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and golden. They should also have a few crispy sections.

Gently remove the stacks with a spatula.

Garnish with fresh thyme.

 

Turkey time….recipes for the festive season!

A spicy roast turkey....by Yudhika Sujanani at the Holi Cow!

A spicy roast turkey….by Yudhika Sujanani at the Holi Cow!

Growing up in Durban, the closest we got to turkey was Christmas shows on telly!  Christmas time was a time for delicious curries and a mainly seafood feast…..there would sometimes be a roast that would be added to the spread…just because and there would be roast potatoes to go with it.

Turkey was what Christmas dreams were made of ….and we always imagined it to be a huge turkey with stuffing, of course and all the trimmings.  Bigger is not better when it comes to turkey and although I would love to impress my son, Rushil, with an 8kg turkey…size doesn’t count and I always say…Bigger isn’t always better….besides, an 8kg turkey would look like an ostrich!

Celebrating is what do mostly through my blog….so you could be having a very very merry festive season if you win the KitchenAid stand mixer competition!  Take a look here to enter….https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/

I posted a recipe for a turkey flattie a few days ago, click here for the recipe…..https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/04/almost-turkey-time/ This recipe cuts down on the cooking time and its simply delicious!  I have also been hard at work creating recipes for the food insert on Mela which airs on Sundays at 13h30 on SABC 2…..we have a decadent Christmas feast lined up for you on the 21st December which will definitely leave your taste buds tingling when Christmas gets a spicy Indian twist….thanks to the Mela team who put this amazing segment together, sharing recipes and the true Mela magic!

A flavoured butter is a must for turkey….you can also play around with your favourite spices and herbs to create your very own take! And here is the recipe for my deliciously moist Christmas turkey….stay tuned for more recipes from me at the Holi Cow….I will be posting the garlic potato stack recipe in a few minutes!

Roast Turkey

5 – 5,5kg whole turkey, defrosted

Salt, to season

Black pepper, to season

250g soft butter

30ml sunflower oil

30ml ginger and garlic paste

5 – 6 green chillies, crushed or finely chopped

8 sprigs fresh thyme

15ml ground coriander

15ml red chilli powder

15ml ground cumin

15ml lemon juice

8 makrut lime leaves, optional

2 onions, quartered

2 slices fresh lemon, 5mm thick

1 bay leaf

Here’s how:

Season the turkey with salt and black pepper.

Place the butter, sunflower oil, ginger and garlic, green chilli and fresh thyme in a mixing bowl.

Cream the butter until soft, add the spices and mix well.

Stuff the turkey cavity with the quartered onions, lemon slices and bay leaf.

Use butcher’s twine to secure the drumsticks in place.

Place the turkey on a roasting pan with the breast facing up.

Gently lift the turkey skin and smear the spicy butter over the breasts.

Try not to break through the skin – this will keep the meat tender.

Rub a little butter over the wings and drumsticks.

Place the lime leaves under the turkey skin.

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C and roast the turkey for 10 minutes.

Lower the heat to 180°C and roast the turkey for 2,5 hours – calculate the time by allowing 30 minutes per kilogram.

Leave to rest for 2 – 2,5 hours before serving.