ochre media

Sugar ‘n Spice recipes: Chicken Korma

Yudhika Sujanani on Sugar 'n Spice - Feast of Eid

Yudhika Sujanani on Sugar ‘n Spice – Feast of Eid

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

Yudhika and the boss - Stephen de Kock from Ochre Media

Yudhika and the boss – Stephen de Kock from Ochre Media

My other boss, Ushi Goshalia

My other boss, Ushi Goshalia

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

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

Yudhika's Chicken Korma on Sugar 'n Spice

Yudhika’s Chicken Korma on Sugar ‘n Spice



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

Here’s How:

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

Yudhika’s Tips

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


Ready…Set…Spice – Feast of Eid

Parda Saffron Lamb Breyani

Parda Saffron Lamb Breyani

The second season of Sugar ‘n Spice kicks off tomorrow. This time its a little different with the recipes themed around Eid. ‘Time Travel’ is the best description for the weeks leading up to the shoot…at first, I was a little overwhelmed….wouldn’t you be? The Muslim ladies in our neighbourhood were more than good cooks…they were outstanding! A trip down memory lane was just the right place to start…and for me…all good things start in my hometown…a little town, just south of Durban called Isipingo!

Eid was a huge celebration – it did not matter if you were Muslim or not because our neighbours were just simply happy to share…it was not about religion…it was about sharing your traditions with the community.

Aunty Meymoona and Shayda would pop around and teach my very stressed mother how to make samoosa pur or a layered breyani. These ladies were not just good cooks…they were incredibly confident too and happy to share their knowledge!

Back to Sugar ‘n Spice…I was absolutely delighted to part of this project and once again, it’s the team that makes the show come alive. The Ochre production crew took over my home for two days and behind the scenes we were powered by Coca Cola (how do I love my Coke Light???), AMC cookware – (Chris Koekemoer, Nariman Parker and the lovely Kaye Cox) who put the fire into Sugar ‘n Spice and Chantelle I’Ons from Kenwood SA who kept the ‘wheels’ in my kitchen turning! Log onto the competitions link and find out how you can enter to win a cookware from AMC (a must have in my world) and also a Kenwood Kmix!

Here are the playout times for the Sugar ‘n Spice on DSTV’s Channel 195!

Saturday 27th July –Eps 1 & 2 at 3pm….repeat at 8pm

Sunday 28th – Eps 3, 4 and 5 at 1pm …Eps 6 & 7 at 2pm – music break in between…repeats at 6pm and 6.30pm

Daily from Monday 29th at 7.30 pm…2 eps back to back…repeats daily at 8am, 12pm and 4pm.

In episode one, I prepare a Parda Lamb Breyani….Parda means a ‘veil’! I did a food tour around Mumbai a few years ago and this is when I first got a tantalising taste of this style of Breyani. A breyani pot arrived at the table with a knife…the waiter then ‘saws’ through the crispy ‘lid’ to release the aromatic steam! It was certainly quite theatrical and I quite enjoy that from time to time.

This breyani is highly aromatic and the secret is the steam that is trapped in my trusted AMC gourmet unit. The ‘parda’ or ‘veil’ is made from a simple dough and it works wonders…in short, it’s a show stopper….

AMC gourmet unit...sealed with parda dough

AMC gourmet unit…sealed with parda dough

Here is the recipe:

Parda Saffron Lamb Breyani

Serves 10 – 12 people


2,5kg lamb knuckles
8 medium-sized Up to Date potatoes
2 onions, finely sliced
Spar sunflower oil, for frying
100ml sunflower oil
2 large cinnamon stick
4 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods
10ml cumin seeds
2 large onion, finely chopped
15ml coarse salt
30ml crushed garlic
30ml crushed ginger
45ml red chilli powder
20ml ground coriander
10ml ground cumin
15ml garam masala
5ml turmeric
400g chopped tomatoes
250ml fresh cream
3 x 400g Spar tinned lentils, drained
2500ml par cooked basmati rice
125ml extra virgin olive oil
Strands of saffron
500ml boiling water
Few drops of egg yellow food colouring
Fresh coriander and curry leaves, to garnish

For the ‘Parda’ dough:

400g cake flour
100g butter
5ml sugar
150ml cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten

Here’s how:
Peel the potatoes and slice them into thick rounds.
Heat the sunflower oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until tender.
Remove from the oil and leave to drain.
Gently dab the excess oil with absorbent paper towel.
Fry the onion slices until light golden brown.
Remove the onion from the oil and leave in a colander to drain.
Spread the onion slices over absorbent paper towel.

Heat 100ml sunflower oil in a large 30cm AMC gourmet unit (with metal handles).
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaves until fragrant.
Add the cardamom pods and cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the onion and salt.
Saute until the onion is light golden brown.
Add crushed garlic and ginger.
Stir for a few seconds and then add the red chilli powder.
Stir well and add the lamb knuckles.
Mix the knuckles in the chilli paste and continue stirring until the meat begins to stick.
Lower the heat and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Add the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric.
When the spices on the bottom of the pot start to brown, add the tomatoes and pour in boiling water to cover the knuckles.
Simmer the knuckles on a low heat, adding more water if necessary.
When the knuckles are 90 % cooked and the sauce has reduced, layer the fried potatoes over the lamb.
Pour the fresh cream over and then layer half the lentils over the potatoes.
Layer the cooked basmati rice over the lentils and scatter the remaining lentils on top.
Drizzle olive oil over the rice.
Heat the saffron strands in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Leave to cool lightly and then lightly crush the strands with your fingertips.
Pour the boiling water over the crushed saffron strands and leave to infuse.
Pour the saffron infusion over the pot and pour a few drops of egg yellow food colouring over the rice.
Sprinkle the fried onion slices over the rice and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to prevent the rice from becoming sticky.
Make the parda dough by rubbing the butter into cake flour. Add the sugar and pour in the water.
Use the Kenwood dough hook attachment to work it into soft dough.
Roll the dough into a large round.
Make a thick paste with flour and cold water. This should resemble thick glue.
Spoon the paste over the edges of the round and use the back of a teaspoon to spread it evenly.
Drape the round over the pot, then press and pleat the dough to stick it down firmly under the lip of the gourmet unit.
Brush the dough with beaten egg.
Place the breyani in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 45 – 60 minutes or until the pastry cover is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
Use a sharp knife to cut through the crispy dough to let out the steam.
Gently toss the breyani and garnish with fresh coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:
Always use cold rice when making breyani as this prevents the rice from getting sticky.
The rice should be par boiled and seasoned for this recipe.
The potatoes can be par-cooked by boiling.
Chicken pieces can be used instead of lamb in this recipe.
I prefer using fresh cream but low-fat yoghurt can be used instead.
Adjust the red chilli powder if you would like to make this dish milder or hotter

A note about Spar branded tinned lentils – I have tried various brands and this one works for me…the lentils are not too small and mushy which I have found with some other brands….its also been a stone free experience for me so far! Please use the brands, you are most comfortable with!