naan bread

To knead or not to need?

Need this??? Yudhika's delicous Naan Bread!

Need this??? Yudhika’s delicous Naan Bread!

Knead reminds me of ‘need’ and being caught in the negative ‘need’ cycle. Wherever we are in life, no matter what we accomplish, we are bombarded by society that ‘needs this’ or ‘needs that’. We are also bombarded by clever marketing convincing us that our wants are needs, and this creates much confusion. Telling the two apart is sometimes impossible.

I can’t speak for others but I have always needed to prove that I could and would rise above adversity. In my mind I made up a black list, remembering every nasty comment and dig…thinking, ‘ONE DAY, ONE DAY…! As the years passed, the list grew longer…and I know that this is an unique situation. Most of us have been in this place at some point in our lives. And my ‘ONE DAY’ has come and gone several times…but there is always a new villain on the list or am I that villain that keeps pushing myself harder?

The negative side was the need to prove myself led to me being a workaholic and becoming a bit of a magpie, collecting trinkets and material possessions along my journey. The positive side, I turned my frustration into something constructive, working toward a career that has given me enormous joy and fulfillment. I had the fancy homes and the bad marriages that came with it, unbreakable credit cards, a wardrobe to die for and the shoes….let’s not go there!

I have worked through a particularly difficult phase in my life, thinking I was going mad at times, doubting my own intuition and recovering from years of feeling like I still needed to try harder to prove myself. Sometimes it was about feeding my ego. I couldn’t let the past go or the constant nagging that came from a partner who clearly had his own axe to grind…for my own selfish reasons but also because I was put under pressure by being told that I wasn’t good enough…make more money, be thinner, eat less, try harder, be more funny, perform and complaints that I wasn’t subservient like Indian women were supposed to be. When did I stop being a woman and at what point did I become the circus horse??

Stupidly believing that I was being ‘encouraged’ for my ‘own good’ only to realize that the more I performed, I become easier to validate as my partner’s choice. Who knows what his issues were? But he pushed me hard into being a trophy to save himself from looking the fool. The worst is that this sort of treatment comes from the people closest to us which makes it even harder to deal with and it leads to un-natural desires and needs, creating stress and frustration. This is not a whine session, but thoughts shared which create awareness and different thought processes. I was a victim once, but that was a long time ago…I am not feeling sorry for myself, or an emotional refugee either…I am a just a person who was lucky enough to work it out.

I have reached a beautiful place in my life and here are my thoughts…after having experienced soul-destroying unhappiness, nothing material can ever be more valuable than feeling a true sense of joy. I have reached a beautiful place that is free from want….I am free from chasing unrealistic goals, pressure and ego. Materially, I want for nothing…not the latest car upgrade or fancy house, shopping sprees and five-star meals! This doesn’t mean that I have lost my drive and positivity…I love my work, family and have a life that is brimming with the most amazing opportunities. I have everything that is important and the rest will sort itself out. I have probably never felt better, more relaxed or happier.

I confused my needs with my wants, venturing down a damaging path to prove to others that I was worthy and capable. I had proven myself worthy repeatedly without realizing it. Take a look at life and ask yourself who you are doing it for…do it for the right reasons. Work hard, play hard, feast and be merry…live, love and rejoice! The lesson is to learn to draw a line between when adversity becomes a positive driver and when it becomes an obsession.

To the people who have been nasty, I can’t thank you enough for the role you played in me being who I am today. What was said and done to break my spirit became that which makes me unbreakable. The process did not come without hitches. I worked through them, and have come through it bigger (and curvier), better and stronger. I am thankful for the adversity that has built character and resilience, and it plays a lead role in my script.

 

Advertisements

Mela’s Raan and Naan…

Yudhika Sujanani...shooting the Raan episode on SABC 2's Mela...

Yudhika Sujanani…shooting the Raan episode on SABC 2’s Mela…

Mela has a way of getting under my skin….I think, dream and eat Mela! I am always thinking up recipes and ideas to share with the Mela viewers and believe me that can change your day hugely! I observe things in slow motion…cook slower and think harder about sharing everything I know about food. Sundays are not the same….Mela and my co-presenters really do spice up my day!

Eid was celebrated last weekend, but the Raan can be prepared for any feast or celebration. I am such a lamb fan…any day would be great! About naan bread….this is the Durban Naan bread….we used to get our weekly dose from Crescent bakery and it was still warm when we got home…the lamb curry or chops chutney would be just about ready…then it was time to tuck in! The French have brioche….and in Durban, we had our local Naan bread! This bread is soft and fragrant….the melted butter drizzled over softens the bread and adds a buttery decadence that is irresistible!

The lamb is marinated overnight…don’t cheat on this step! Sometimes, things just take time…and this recipe really does need some time….think SLOW! If you missed this weeks episode click here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-raan-and-naan/ and to enter my latest competition with AMC cookware, click here to find out how you can win an AMC gourmet roaster…https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/ Do leave a comment….I would love to hear from you…tell me about your naan memories!

The Eid ul Adha feast by Yudhika Sujanani

The Eid ul Adha feast by Yudhika Sujanani

Slow Cooked Raan, Naan and Raita

Ingredients
1,5kg leg of lamb
Salt to season
10ml black pepper
45ml red chilli powder
45ml garam masala
60ml Magic Masala
50ml lemon juice
75ml crushed ginger
75ml crushed garlic
125ml full cream yoghurt
125ml fresh cream

Wash the leg of lamb under cold running water.
Pat dry with absorbent paper towel and place on a roasting pan.
Season the lamb with salt.
Make a marinade with the remaining ingredients and smear this over the lamb.
Leave to marinate for a few hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat an oven to 140 degrees Celsius, roast the lamb 140 degrees Celsius.
Roast the lamb for 5 hours or until the lamb is meltingly tender.
If you are short on time…preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius and cook the lamb for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees and roast for 2 – 2,5 hours or until the meat is tender – the lamb would have a different texture due to the oven temperature.
Increase the oven temperature to 190 degrees celsius and roast for another 20 -25 minutes.

Home made Naan by Yudhika Sujanani

Home made Naan by Yudhika Sujanani

Naan

Makes 4 rounds

Ingredients
1250ml cake flour
10ml salt
40ml sugar
150ml milk powder
10g dried yeast
75g melted butter
1 x 400g tin evaporated milk
250ml warm water
10ml fennel seeds
Poppy seeds
60ml melted butter, for brushing naan breads

Combine the cake flour, salt, sugar, milk powder and dried yeast in a mixing bowl of a free-standing mixer.
Add the melted butter, evaporated milk, warm water and fennel seeds.
Mix the dough with the hook attachment until smooth.
Place the dough in a large bowl that has been greased with non stick spray.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise – this should take about an hour and the dough should double in size.
Knead the dough and divide into four portions.
Place two rounds on a baking tray that has been greased, cover with plastic wrap and leave again to rise again. Repeat with the second two rounds on a separate baking tray. This takes about 30 minutes – the dough should once again double.

Ready for the oven...

Ready for the oven…

Brush the proved Naan rounds with warm water and sprinkle poppy seeds over the bread.
Bake for 25 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius.
Remove the naan from the oven and brush with melted butter, then wrap in a tea towel.

Serve....

Serve….

Serve the slices of lamb with Naan bread – drizzle the flavoured oil over the meat and add a dollop of yoghurt.