mothers day

‘Keep Mum and Carry On’…a message for Mother’s Day!

Yudhika Sujanani with Hetal, Rushil and Tanvi

Yudhika Sujanani with Hetal, Rushil and Tanvi

The world I grew up in was very different to the one I live in. I watched my mom and gran quietly go about their business of running a home even when things were falling apart. They would ‘Keep Mum’ and carry on. Keep Mum..it’s a code that Indian women live by and a phenomenon that makes no sense to me at all! Trained to see everything and say nothing, an Indian women is pushed to the very edge. I was warned as a child not to say anything and to never ask questions. If i ever raised a difficult topic with my mom or gran, their immediate response would be, ‘Keep quiet, your father/grandfather is going to hear you’. It frustrated me that no one wanted to discuss what was obviously huge issues. From domestic violence to alcohol abuse, financial disasters or gambling, there were no discussions.

I got into lots of trouble…asked too many questions and questioned what should not be questioned. My childhood was punctuated with beatings from my father. But I never kept mum, I would question and it would be like somebody pressed play, rewind and play again. I watched that movie too many times and the beatings did become easier to deal with. At first, it was unbearable to accept that a parent could behave in that way but the regularity of it numbs the soul and it becomes an out of body experience. There is no pain but I still think about how a parent could be so messed up. Nobody spoke about what really went on in their home and my situation wasn’t an exceptional case. It plagued the community and silenced women.

Life wasn’t a cake walk but I don’t regret the decisions I made, questions asked and the person I am today. It shocked everyone and it surprised or horrified them even more that I would make the same choices over again knowing that I would get another beating. So my childhood was spent living from one catastrophe to the next, one beating to the next. I was not allowed to complain about it to friends, neighbors or family members. That was considered as bringing shame upon your family. Is it possible to shame a family already living in shame? What happened at our house, stayed in our house. Life was lonely and the burden of keeping mum weighed heavily on my spirit. I felt ashamed through most of those years.

We live in a different world and parenting is different. Our kids question freely, tell us how they feel and blatantly tell us when we fail. It hurts to hear it but being a mum isn’t for sissies. Being a mum is different and so is being a daughter. Over the past 18 months I have taken a long hard look at myself after the worst arguments with my 15 year old daughter, Hetal. We lost each other over a dozen times thinking that there would be no way back. Hetal also had issues with her mom being a workaholic. It’s the world we live in but also a personality thing. Being a workaholic is not something to be proud of, it comes from my childhood fears and my children have to live with that. The issues left a huge crack in our family but miraculously it changed. Hetal came back into our world. It was a long hard road back but we took some time to appreciate each other, discovering facets of our complicated personalities. Life is tough for our kids too and my mistake was assuming that it was tougher for me. I got so caught up in the daily grind and assumed that she understood that.

My kids asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day and I said, ‘All I want is for you to be really happy’. I don’t want a day off from being a mum or to be left alone, fragrant soaps and body butters. I just want to take a day to appreciate each other, for the day to be filled with love and laughter. There is no special recipe in this post but a request that we find ingredients to make our relationships work! For this Mother’s Day, I would like for us to get to know our kids better, build a few bridges, break a few walls and share a few secrets. Our time with them is precious and I plan to make the most of it.

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The Crumpet Controversy…

The Crumpet Controversy by Yudhika Sujanani

The Crumpet Controversy by Yudhika Sujanani

With Mother’s Day just a few days away, it got me thinking about delicious recipes that my mom and gran would prepare! My gran always made fabulous crumpets and they are so good that she has to make them everyday when she comes to visit. I did watch her a few times and with most experienced Indian ladies, they cook and bake without measurements and my Nan is no different. They make everything look so easy and effortless. And it’s because they make it look so easy, that I did try to whip up a batch as an after school treat. Most of them were welded to the pan and scraping them off just led to lots of burning and trauma! The ones that did make it were hard and rubbery! I just had to pay more attention to Nan to get these right!

I use an AMC Chef’s Pan to cook these and grease it lightly with a mist of non-stick spray. Once the batter is in you could add a little melted butter to the pan but the spray on its own worked well enough. You can also use a AMC Cookware Skillet for this…and luckily enough, it’s the prize AMC are giving away…click here for more details on how to enter, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/05/04/cookware-for-queens-and-a-few-kings-too-the-amc-cookware-competition/

I posted a pic of the crumpets on Facebook. My English Champagne drinking friend, Carole Tate, declared that it wasn’t a crumpet after all! I was completely confused and decided to do a little investigating. English crumpets are different to Scottish ones, and there is much confusion over flapjacks, English muffins and Crumpets.

So let’s settle on calling these South African Crumpets which, by the way, are much like American flapjacks. They can be served dusted with cinnamon sugar, drizzled with syrup, and served in a stack topped with crispy bacon. Crumpets can also be served plain and smeared with a heavy dose of butter! It’s all good…it’s all delicious! These are easy enough for kids to make on Mother’s Day and here are a few other recipe ideas from my previous blog posts…For a meringue frosted cake and delicious scones click here – https://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/05/09/mothers-day-blues/

For those of you who are die hard English crumpet fans, apologies for calling this a crumpet. It’s what I have know it as my entire life. Let’s put the controversy aside, and bang out a batch…they are delicious by any name!

Since blogging is still ‘quite new’, I would love to hear from you so leave a message in the comments section when you drop by! And if you love the recipe, feel free to share it!

The crumpet stack - perfect for Mother's Day

The crumpet stack – perfect for Mother’s Day

Crumpets

Makes 24

Ingredients

500ml self raising flour
10ml baking powder
Pinch of salt
75ml sugar
250ml milk
250ml cold water
2 eggs
60ml melted butter

Cinnamon sugar, to dust
Butter and golden syrup, to serve

Here’s how:

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.
Add the sugar.
Lightly whisk the milk, water and eggs to combine.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
Whisk the mixture until smooth, then pour in the butter.
Whisk once again to incorporate.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and leave the batter to rest for an hour.
Heat an AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan and grease with non stick spray.
Cook spoonfuls of the batter in the pan – I use an egg ring to keep them even in size.
When the crumpets bubble on the surface and are golden brown, turn then over and cook on the opposite side.
Grease the pan again with non-stick spray and repeat.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Serve with butter and golden syrup.

Mother’s Day Mania….AMC Chef’s Pan Giveaway

I can’t believe that we are already in May and the days are flying by. Being at the Holi Cow makes me more aware of these things….we are now running bookings until the end of July! Cooking classes, high tea, baby showers, birthdays and even book club nights are being hosted at the Holi Cow.

If you have read some of my Mother’s Day blogs, you should know by now that I am not a fan of the set menus, crying babies, prams and just the general mayhem. This year, I am hosting a Mother’s Day Tea at the Holi Cow, 38 Kingfisher Drive, Fourways – so if you want to spend some time with Mom, snack on delicious home-made savouries and treat yourself to delicious old-fashioned cakes…this tea is for you. We kick off our tea with potato and brinjal pakodas, then serve North Indian Samosas with our Marvellous Mango Chutney, followed by Chicken Tikka served with mini rotis and our signature secret sauce that most of our customers call ‘that green sauce’ – It’s actually my mom’s home-made coriander and curry leaf mayo. I still bake every single cake at Holi Cow…I am fanatical about the cakes we serve. Red velvet, double chocolate hazelnut, carrot with cream cheese frosting and the White Chocolate Cardamom Cake are the cakes on offer and we also have Indian treats like Burfee and Gulab Jamun. Bookings are essential so give us a ring on 011 467 2661.

If like me, you are celebrating the day at home, here is a recipe that will warm up your Mother’s Day….a creamy chicken casserole with artichokes. It’s also one of those recipes perfect for this ‘banting diet’ that sounds way too good to be true. A real girls diet with full cream milk, cream, butter with some protein and select veggies. I will post some feedback soon, but so far, I haven’t craved carbs, not as hungry as before and have a little more energy for dreaded gym. I am really cynical about diets, but have noticed that a few of my friends are starting to look like a million bucks after being on the ‘Tim Noakes’ thing. I have used sunflower oil in the recipe but you can use butter or an olive oil instead.

I love artichokes and I feasted on them everyday while on holiday in Venice…I also visited a restaurant called Pane Vino san Daniella where Chef Luigi showed me how to prepare them. Here is a little video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PuO2aM_l5E

Yudhika's Must Haves!

Yudhika’s Must Haves!

I use the AMC Chef’s Pan to seal the chicken and get the thighs to that beautiful golden colour – this AMC chef’s pan is a ‘must have’ and I will be giving a pan away to one lucky YUM YUM follower! Post a comment about a recipe that you have tried from this blog and share your experience – that’s all you have to do….good luck!

I baked a 5 layer cake with a chocolate cream cheese frosting for Mom last year….here is the link: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/04/24/troubled-by-true-love/

Creamy Chicken and Artichokes...by Yudhika Sujanani

Creamy Chicken and Artichokes…by Yudhika Sujanani

Serves 4

Ingredients

2kg chicken thighs, skin on
Salt to season

60ml sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
100ml chopped carrots
100ml chopped leeks
6 – 8 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
200ml white wine
1 stock cube
Black pepper, to season
15ml Magic Masala (Curry me Home)
150ml fresh cream
2 x 400g tins artichoke hearts, drained
30ml lemon juice
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Here’s how:

Rinse the chicken thighs under cold running water and leave in a colander to drain.
Dab the thighs with absorbent paper towel and wipe away the moisture.
Lightly season the chicken with salt.
Heat an AMC chef’s pan on medium.
Brown the chicken thighs in batches placing the skin side down.
Remove from the pan and leave aside while preparing the sauce.

Heat the sunflower oil in a 30/40cm AMC pot on medium – I prefer a large pot and lay the chicken pieces out in a single layer.
Saute the onion until very pale golden in colour.
Add the carrots and leeks and saute until they soften.
Add the crushed garlic and saute for a few seconds.
Place the chicken thighs over the sautéed onions.
Add the fresh thyme, then pour in the white wine, chicken stock cube and 500ml water.
Add more water if necessary.
Simmer until the chicken is tender, add fresh cream, black pepper, Magic Masala and artichoke hearts.
Simmer for a few more minutes until the artichokes are warm and soak up some of the sauce.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and then sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Mother’s Day Love

Curry Me Home Mother's Day Giveaway!

Curry Me Home Mother’s Day Giveaway!

Mother’s Day is around the corner and one lucky person could win this Curry Me Home/Carrol Boyes Hamper!

Post a comment telling me what was the best  meal your mom ever cooked and this handy hamper worth R700 could be yours!

The hamper consists of five Curry Me Home spices and the Curry Me Home recipe book with a Carrol Boyes spoon to serve up some mouth watering curries!

Get those entries going guys!!!  The winner will be announced on the 11 May!

Lots of love,

Yudhika

Troubled by True Love

True Love Feature May 2013

True Love Feature May 2013

I love photo shoots…which girl doesn’t? So my True Love troubles began as this shoot was scheduled for the day after the Hobby X expo!  I had just done two expos back to back and was feeling completely knackered.  The panic began to set in.  It was not my finest moment when I realised that I was not paying attention to the 400 grams of Lindt chocolate being melted.  What was supposed to be a glorious, silky chocolate topping turned to an unsightly volcanic lava mess as the Lindt overheated and split.  My heart broke and I was too tired to even cry!

Rocky Road Cake aka 'The Messy Chocolate Cake

Rocky Road Cake aka ‘The Messy Chocolate Cake

I decided to call in the armed forces….my neighbour and really good friend, Mechelle Theodosiou!  She has a home that is like a treasure trove….she arrived with armfuls of goodies to set the table with!  What a trooper!  My mom was like the foodie fairy godmother – she was my kitchen co-pilot as we worked our way through the list of dishes that we needed to prepare.

Behind the scenes with True Love - Table setting by Mechelle Theodosiou

Behind the scenes with True Love – Table setting by Mechelle Theodosiou

My mind was buzzing and I warned Alexa Wilson that I was in need of  some serious ‘cosmetic panel beating’.  Alexa and I started working together on the set of ‘Sugar ‘n Spice’.  Much to my delight, she arrived with a few large cases of ‘equipment’ – 90% of it to camouflage the bags under my eyes.  She did a fantastic job and had me looking like a star in a flash.

The Star of the Show - The Mothers Day Cake

The Star of the Show – The Mothers Day Cake

The menu included my Home Style Lamb Curry with Velvety Potatoes, Crab in a Spicy Sauce and a selection of cakes that left the team breathless!  Red Velvet, Rocky Road aka the Messy Chocolate Cake and the star of the …’The Mother’s Day Cake’.  It’s a five layer cake dressed in lashings of the most decadent chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Mokgadi Itsweng - True Love's Food Editor

Mokgadi Itsweng – True Love’s Food Editor

…’The Mother’s Day Cake’.  It’s a five layer cake dressed in lashings of the most decadent chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Just a few tips about this cake…I use the Spar branded Cream Cheese for this recipe.  This blog is not sponsored by Spar but after a few run ins with dodgy cream cheese which covered split to watery frosting, I can’t help but recommend the Spar Cream Cheese for the job!  The measurements are in grams – I recommend an electronic scale for baking as every gram counts to achieve perfection!

IMG_3035

Here is the recipe:

Mother’s Day Cake

Ingredients for three layers:

360g cake flour

360g sugar

22,5ml baking powder

1ml salt

125g butter, room temperature

375ml full cream milk

3 eggs

10ml vanilla essence

Few drops of pink food colouring

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.

Grease and line 3 x 20cm cake tins.

Place the cake flour, baking powder and sugar into a mixing bowl.

Add the butter and beat until the ingredients are combined – the mixture should look quite gritty.

Gradually add the milk and vanilla essence while beating continuously.

Add the lightly beaten eggs and beat again until the batter is smooth.

Divide the mixture into three bowls and tint two batches with a few drops of pink food colouring.

Spoon the mixture into cake tins and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the tin and then leave on a wire rack to cook completely.

Ingredients for the chocolate layers:

200g cake flour

15ml baking powder

45g cocoa powder

225g sugar

85g butter, room temperature!

240ml full cream milk

2 eggs

5ml vanilla essence

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.

Place the cake flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar into a mixing bowl.

Add the butter and beat until the ingredients are combined – the mixture should look quite gritty.

Gradually add the milk and vanilla essence while beating continuously.

Add the lightly beaten eggs and beat again until the batter is smooth.

Spoon the mixture into 2 x 20cm cake tins and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the tin and then leave on a wire rack to cook completely.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

200g butter

400g sifted icing sugar

90g cocoa powder

2 x 230g tubs Spar cream cheese

60ml fresh cream

Cream the butter until light in colour and gradually add the icing sugar.

Sift the cocoa into the creamed butter and continue beating.

Add the cream cheese and cream the mixture until the ingredients are combined.

Pour the fresh cream into the frosting and beat for a few seconds until light and fluffy.

To assemble the cake:

Sandwich the cakes with the chocolate cream cheese frosting starting with a chocolate layer, then pink layer which will leave the vanilla sponge in the centre.

Then place a pink layer over the vanilla cake and sandwich with a chocolate layer.

Frost the top and sides of the cake and garnish with maraschino cherries.

*Special thanks to: Alex Wilson and Mechelle Theodosiou

Mother’s Day Blues

Raspberry sponge cake with meringue frosting

One day that has always troubled me is Mother’s Day (and maybe Father’s Day too).  The advertisements start coming out weeks before, to create feelings of guilt and obligation.  I don’t see articles full of constructive family bonding activities – it is rather about buying gifts, flowers or going out to lunch.

Well, I have decided to boycott the commercialism that surrounds Mother’s Day.  Flowers are always fabulous, but they are devilishly expensive and half the price at any other time.  Gifts – I would prefer to skip the fragrant soap and get a better birthday present rather.  And as for going out on Mother’s Day – you have to be joking!  Overcrowded restaurants, bad tempered and slow service, and disappointing quality food turned out by kitchens that are battling to cope with the volumes.  I don’t want another meal served at 3pm while sitting around being aggravated by kids who constantly zoom by me in their scooters!  I detest those scooters and parents who take their kids out with scooters to restaurants are a menace!  What are they thinking???

Take your mother out for a meal, of course you should.  But just don’t do it on Mother’s Day!  Make your own Mother’s Day a week earlier or later, or you could try my favourite – dining out on a Monday!  It chases away the Monday blues and gets the week off to a good start.

Ok, so now that we have agreed not to go out on Mother’s Day, what shall we do?  Mother’s Day is not about commercialism but it has become a day when families get together.  So, get a few bottles of mom’s favourite wine or champagne and get into the kitchen to cook something fabulous – in fact, go the whole hog and prepare a family feast – starters, mains and desserts.  Obviously, this is a good time to choose your mother’s favourite meal and not your own.

On Sunday, my family will be celebrating a family day and I will be preparing this quick and easy Chicken Breyani.  This is the cheats version so you can get in and out of the kitchen and really spend quality time with your family.  Chicken layered with basmati rice, lentils, aromatic spices and a few good glugs of cream – it is delicious.  The saffron infusion creates a perfumed aroma that wafts through our home.  Here is the video:

Spending too much time in the kitchen defeats the purpose of a get together on Mother’s Day.  End the meal with a Raspberry Meringue Cake.  This light, airy sponge is smothered in a meringue frosting and baked for a few minutes – it looks like a gooey marshmallow cake!

Raspberry Meringue Cake

Ingredients:

6 eggs

225ml castor sugar

5ml vanilla essence

375ml cake flour

15ml cornflour

15ml baking powder

Pinch of salt

90ml cold water

185ml sunflower oil

Raspberry jam, to sandwich cakes

Fresh raspberries to serve

Here’s how

Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius.  Grease and line three 20cm (8 inch) cake tins.  Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cornflour twice.

Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat using a hand held egg beater.  Gradually add in the castor sugar and continue beating.  The mixture must be light and should leave a trail on the surface that is visible for three seconds.

Add vanilla essence and fold in half the sifted dry ingredients into the egg mixture.  Add the cold water and then the remaining sifted flour.

Lastly fold in the sunflower oil.  Ensure that you have folded in the ingredients properly especially the batter at the bottom of the bowl.

Divide between the three cake tins and bake in a preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes until the cake slightly shrinks away from the tin.

Let the cakes stand for a minute or two before turning them out onto a wire rack.  Leave to cool completely.

To assemble the cake:

Spread the raspberry jam over two of the sponges and sandwich the cakes together.

To make the meringue frosting:

Whisk 4 egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add 185ml sugar a little at a time until the meringue is stiff and holds its shape.  and sieve icing sugar over.  Place the cake on a baking tray and frost the cake with the meringue mixture.  Bake at 200 degrees celsius until the meringue is pale golden brown in colour.

Decorate with fresh raspberries.

Yudhika’s Tips

Use strawberry jam and fresh strawberries to garnish if raspberries are not available.

I usually serve this with whipped cream on the side or drizzled with woolies double thick cream.

Always make sure that your ingredients are thoroughly mixed before pouring the batter into the cake tins.  The oil tends to sink to the bottom so make sure you lift the batter from the bottom of the bowl to ensure it is well combined.

My personal choice for Mother’s Day – a pimped out scone!  I would always choose to kick off Mother’s Day with a delicious home baked scone with lashings of fresh cream and strawberry jam.  Here is my extra special recipe:

An absolute treat

Fresh Cream Scones

Ingredients

560g cake flour
30ml baking powder
30ml castor sugar
5ml salt
250g butter
3 eggs
200ml fresh cream

For the egg wash:
1 egg
10ml milk

To serve
Butter,
Strawberry Jam
Whipped Cream
Grated Cheese

Here’s how

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Lightly beat the eggs and cream together.  Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.

Cut the butter into little blocks and add to the sifted dry ingredients.  Lightly rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips.  When the mixture resembles crumbs, pour in the egg and cream mixture.

Gently mix the ingredients together and work into a soft dough.  Do not knead the dough.  The dough will be soft but not perfectly smooth.

Roll the dough into a ball.  Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough.  It should be about 2cm thick.

Dip the scone cutter into flour and cut out rounds or hearts.  Gather the off cuts and gently knead into a ball.  Repeat the process until all the dough has been used up.

Place the rounds on a greased baking tray.  Leave the tray in the refrigerator for 10 – 15 minutes.

Beat the egg and milk together and brush the top of the scones with this egg wash.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until the scones are golden brown on the top and at the bottom.  Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm scones with butter, strawberry jam, cream or with grated cheese.

Yudhika’s Tips

Keeping the ingredients and dough as cold is possible is the secret to making good scones.

Buttermilk can be used instead of fresh cream.

Try not to let the egg wash drip onto the sides of the scones as it affects the shape when baking.

These scones can be frozen.  Remove scones from the oven before they begin to brown.  Leave to cool on a wire rack and then freeze.  Defrost the scones and then bake for 4 – 5 minutes in a hot oven until golden brown and heated through.