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Sugar, spice and all things nice….Date Chocolate and Pecan Pie

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika Sujanani on DSTV's Home Channel 176

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika Sujanani on DSTV’s Home Channel 176

It’s been an eventful week with the first episode of a whole new season of Sugar ‘n Spice airing on The Home Channel. It’s pretty special because up until now, I have been doing short food inserts on Saffron TV, Great Expectations on Etv and appearing on SABC 2’s MELA! When the Home Channel approached me earlier this year, I was gobsmacked at their offer and thrilled to have my first very own show!

Taking it up a few notches from a food insert, it’s taken us 4 months to complete the series and it’s been a roller coaster ride with my family, team and the crew! I have once again been incredibly lucky to work with such amazing people from the Channel….big thanks to Michael Porter and Simphiwe Gamede, the crew…Africa Vezi and Sipho, who tolerated many crazy out take moments, takes and re-takes, and the awesome team at Holi Cow….for the early mornings, long nights, and my long prep sheets! And then, there are those special people who always find a moment in their day to send me a beautiful message of love and encouragement…thanks to my the people out there on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the food love and sharing my posts and links…thanks and thanks again! And my family, who I am most thankful for….what you see on telly isn’t just me, you see the team effort with me being the ‘front lady’ and that also includes the crazy make up artist/stylist…Stavroula Georgakis! Spar has once again sponsored our ingredients and AMC Cookware just keep me cooking in their fabulous pots! I just realized how big this team really is…it’s huge!

Episode one...Pecan pie with dates and chocolate by Yudhika Sujanani

Episode one…Pecan pie with dates and chocolate by Yudhika Sujanani

In the first episode, we spiced up old favourites…leftover butternut was recycled into a delicious salad with hazelnut dukkah and prawns, a french chicken casserole got a spicy makeover with saffron, chilli, cumin and coriander…and the classic pecan pie was turned into a chocolately one with dates too!

For more information and recipes from the show, check out The Home Channel’s website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter, http://www.thehomechannel.co.za/shows/food/sugar-and-spice

Yudhika's Sugar & Spice...check out the show times on DSTV's Channel 176

Yudhika’s Sugar & Spice…check out the show times on DSTV’s Channel 176

I first made this recipe for Eid last year. It’s fruity, crunchy, buttery and purely decadent! Here is the recipe for pecan pie with dates and dark chocolate.

A slice of gooey pecan nut pie with dates and chocolate...by Yudhika Sujanani for Sugar & Spice

A slice of gooey pecan nut pie with dates and chocolate…by Yudhika Sujanani for Sugar & Spice

Chocolate Date and Pecan Pie

Pastry:

120g butter
200g cake flour
65g sugar
1 egg

Rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the sugar and mix. Lightly beat the egg and knead gently into a soft dough.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Roll the pastry on a lightly dusted work surface until it is about 5mm thick and is large enough to line the bottom and sides of a 23cm loose bottomed pie tin.
Line the tin with the pastry and press down into the base and about 3,5cm up the sides.
Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Place a piece of baking paper over the paper, cover with dried beans and bake blind for 10 minutes.
Remove the beans and the paper and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Leave the pasty case to cool completely.

For the filling:

125g butter
175g brown sugar
75ml golden syrup
3 large eggs
1 cinnamon stick
200g pecan nuts
90g chopped dark chocolate, chopped
75g chopped dates, chopped

Whipped cream, to serve

Place the butter in a 28cm AMC Chef’s Pan, and melt on low heat.
Add the brown sugar and golden syrup.
Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Leave the mixture to cool till slightly warm.
Remove the cinnamon stick.
Lightly whisk the eggs, then add the melted ingredients.
Scatter the pecan nuts, chocolate and dates over the bake pie crust, then pour over the egg mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes at 150 degrees celsius, then reduce to 140 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.
Leave the pie to stand for a minute and then remove from the tin.
Serve slices of the pie warm with whipped cream.

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Going nuts….Coconut Tart meets Malva Pudding!

Going nuts....coconut tart meets Malva Pudding....by Yudhika Sujanani

Going nuts….coconut tart meets Malva Pudding….by Yudhika Sujanani

I have been going nuts over Malva pudding…it’s never happened to me before but lately it’s been malva this and malva that! And lashings of home-made, old-fashioned creme anglaise too! It is too hard to resist and one of the few things to look forward to when the Jozi chill sets in.

I hosted a dinner party a few weeks ago and then made a classic Malva pudding, a few days later on the Italian inspired episode of Sugar ‘n Spice, I threw in a few generous glugs of Frangelico while making a chocolate version. Sugar ‘n Spice goes live on The Home Channel in just a few days….We kick off on Monday at 2pm on DSTv’s Channel 176…so set the PVR and be sure to catch the first episode!

I was working on Ramadan sweet treats and in a complete moment of madness it was a ‘coconutty’ Malva sauce over a classic Greek tart! It is just pure decadence and dead easy to make. It can be served warm, room temperature or zapped in the microwave for a few seconds. It may be served with ice cream or custard but I had two diamonds and retreated to bed for the rest of the arvie, declaring I was in a food coma! It wasn’t just the tart, you see…it was also the other tastings that were going on this past Sunday…Persian Style Koresht with Chicken, Saffron Kebabs and and and….you can find these recipes in the Post Newspaper which is out today!

This recipe will have coconut lovers in heaven…the coconut milk in the malva sauce leaves the tart super moist and utterly decadent! I kept the batter quite simple, opting let the tart ooze with coconutty aromas but you can spice it up with lemon zest, cinnamon or ground cardamom. I used Mae Ploy Coconut milk for this recipe but you may also use a good substitute like Spar Branded Coconut Cream…it has a yellow label and costs around R24. If you love the recipes, please leave a comment and do click ‘follow’ to ensure the latest recipes are sent through to you via email…it’s lovely to hear from you, your food stories and hints and tips…it also keeps me in the writing in the right direction!

A few slices of coconut malva tart down...a few more to go!

A few slices of coconut malva tart down…a few more to go!

Greek Inspired Coconut Malva Tart

Ingredients

185g soft butter
250ml sugar
5ml vanilla essence
3 large eggs
250ml cake flour
15ml baking powder
500ml desiccated coconut
250 full cream milk, room temperature
Optional flavours: Lemon zest, 5ml cinnamon or 5ml ground cardamom can be added to the batter.

Coconut Sauce
250ml sugar
250ml water
250ml coconut milk
2,5ml vanilla essence
60g butter
Pistachio nuts, to garnish

Here’s how:
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Grease and line a 10 inch loose bottom pie tin with butter.
Using a hand held electric or free standing mixer, cream the butter until light and gradually add in the sugar.
Add the vanilla essence and continue beating until the creamed mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl regularly.
When the sugar granules should dissolve slightly, add the eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of cake flour. Beat well after each egg.
Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in the coconut.
Add the dry ingredients and milk to the creamed butter, alternating to prevent the mixture from becoming to thick.
Scoop the batter into a prepared tin and bake for 55 – 60 minutes.
The tart should be deep golden in colour and a skewer should come out clean when tested. Leave the tart in the tin to cool slightly and slice into diamonds.

Prepare the sauce: Dissolve the water and sugar in an AMC pan. Add the coconut milk, vanilla essence and butter. Bring to the boil until a thin syrup forms and lightly coats the back of a spoon. Pour the hot sauce over the warm tart while it is still in the tin.

Leave to soak and place a pistachio in the centre of each diamond.

This is how I roll…Rocking the Roti!

Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Every culture, every society, every country has superstitions. Whether we believe them or not, they play some part in our everyday lives. Some of them are based on religion, some based on folk legends but if you are Indian, there are more than a few superstitions about roti and most of them are about finding a husband or keeping your mother in law happy.

Here are some of the roti superstitions I grew up with…

1.The roti dough always needs to be made by hand and not a mixer – shows your mother in law that you are capable and if you do use an electric mixer, you will always have hard roti, not to mention the embarrassment and shame your mother will have to live with.

2. I used to cut out my roti using an AMC pot lid to save my mother the social embarrassment of having rather odd-shaped roti served at the table. I was told that this would also make the roti hard and biscuity…how??? Is there a scientific reason? Mrs Anne Bramdeo, who is just so dear to me convinced me that I needed to break my pot lid habit and gave me some lessons. The pot lid is now used for the rightful purpose.

3. It is bad luck to take the ‘roti pan’ off the heat while you are cooking them…you should cook off the roti without commercial breaks…in today’s world that means you don’t have time for selfies!

4. The first roti should never be eaten…it is for the birds! I say it is for the Mother in Law! The first roti is much like the first pancake, it never turns out right.

5. ‘Save the last roti’…I always got busted for this. Apparently, the last roti was saved to ‘save the family’ from starving but also in case God visited. Why waste a perfectly good roti? In the shloks or religious verses, it states ‘Treat your guests as God’ and if there was an unexpected guest, they should have at least one roti. I would happily cook up a batch at anytime, a fresh roti is a delicious treat.

6. If the roti puffs up, your mother in law is going to love you…I can safely say that this one is just a con to get women trying harder at roti…mine puff beautifully and I can swear there isn’t a loving mother in law in sight! I have had two, the first was never the loving type but the second….tjo tjo tjo! We all have those stories, don’t we?

7. If you don’t make good roti, you won’t find a husband…I know women who have no desire to make two minute noodles, but have found amazing husbands, women who laugh about their flying saucer style roti, wonky rotis, dry ones and maps of Africa.

I am going to be bold and brave, declaring that none of these superstitions ring true in my case, that is….I make a pretty mean roti, haven’t found lasting love, a loving mother in law or an amazing husband but I am having the time of my life! Roti superstitions were craftily conjured to keep women in the kitchen and trying harder! If you have any roti superstitions, please share them in the comments section…I am sure I missed a few!  While you are visiting this blog site, click follow to get the recipes sent to you via email.

The first attempt can always be a bit of a disaster…remember it only gets better each time you try. Every batch becomes less messy and your ‘roti lap time’ improves!

Ready to Roll...

Ready to Roll…

Here is my simple recipe, but before you get started here are 3 tips to remember!

Make sure the boiled water is not recently boiled or left to cool slightly, it needs to be bubbling when poured into the flour.

I use sunflower oil instead of butter, as this keeps the roti softer for longer. Butter gives the roti a more shortcrust like texture.

Work quickly with bringing the dough together, this makes it much easier.

Roti squiggles by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti squiggles by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti

Makes 12

Ingredients

750ml cake flour

5ml fine salt

375ml boiled water…I mean hot hot hot

90ml sunflower oil

Melted butter, to cook roti

Here’s how:

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Pour the boiled water over the dry ingredients.

Mix the water into the flour.

Add the sunflower oil and knead the dough until smooth.

Roll the dough into a ‘log’ and slice into 12 pieces.

Roll each piece into a length and curl up half .

Curl up the other half in the opposite direction.

Ready to Roll...part 2

Ready to Roll…part 2

Fold one curled section over the other and flatten the dough slightly.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth.

Roll each piece into a round ensuring that the work surface is dusted with flour.

Repeat until all the dough has been rolled out.

Place the roti on a hot pan, when small bubbles appear, flip the roti over.

Drizzle with melted butter, then flip the roti again, drizzle again and then flip the roti.

Brown the roti, and remove from the pan.

Yudhika’s Tips:

Pile the rotis and leave to cool before storing them away.

Store rotis in a cake tin lined with wax paper.

Reheat in a microwave for 10 – 20 seconds.

Flavor the dough with 2,5ml cumin seeds.

Five tips to perfect pilau…Spicy Brinjal Pilau!

Spicy Brinjal Veggie Pilau with chickpeas and lentils by Yudhika Sujanani

Spicy Brinjal Veggie Pilau with chickpeas and lentils by Yudhika Sujanani

The first pilau I made was from a recipe that I took out of the Indian Delights. I thought I would surprise my mom but it turned into a rather bad surprise…it wasn’t a recipe, it was my cooking skills! I was in high school at the time and without much patience! I cooked the pilau on a high heat and burnt it, the rice turned to mush and it was a complete mess! I am thankful to my creator for blessing me with determination….but still not sure whether it was determination or my ego that kept me cooking after the weeks of being teased about my kitchen disaster!

A good pilau is the perfect dish that turns meals into feasts. This is recipe that is perfect for Ramadan or it could make an appearance at your table served with roast chicken or lamb, curries and stews! For the vegetarians out there, it is a meal on it’s own, served with a salad and a creamy dollop of raita!

Here are a five of my tips to making a fabulous pilau…

Firstly, use a good quality rice. The broken grains in the cheaper brands cause the rice to cook unevenly and turn to mush.

Secondly, always cook the rice in advance and leave it to cool before adding it to the pilau. Rice that has chilled in the refrigerator works best and your pilau will be flop proof with fluffy steamed grains.

Third tip….slow and steady wins the race….pilau should be steamed gently to prevent it from sticking and burning.

Fourth tip….use a good quality pot with a thick base to prevent the pilau from steaming unevenly. I use AMC cookware without a hassle!

Fifth tip…back to the rice rice rice….I personally stick to basmati rice…avoid Jasmine and white rice as they are quite sticky….you can use long grain rice if you prefer but basmati for me is best!

Spicy Brinjal Veggie Pilau

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

2 large brinjals
Fine salt, to sweat brinjals
Sunflower oil, to grill or fry brinjals

45ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
10ml crushed garlic
10ml paprika or red chilli powder
400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
10ml roasted ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
1 x 400g tin butter beans
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
1 400g tin lentils
50ml fresh cream, optional
1000ml cooked Basmati Rice
125ml boiling water
10ml chilli flakes, to garnish
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Slice the brinjals into wedges and place them in a colander.
Sprinkle fine salt over the brinjals and leave to sweat for 20 minutes.
Use paper towel to dab the excess moisture off the brinjal wedges.
Heat the sunflower oil and fry/grill the brinjals.
Gently pat the excess oil of the brinjals and leave aside.

Heat the sunflower oil in a thick bottomed pot.
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaf until fragrant.
Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to splutter add the chopped onion.
Sprinkle the coarse salt over the onion and fry until they turn light golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic and stir for a few seconds.
Add the paprika and then stir in the chopped tomatoes.
Simmer for a minute before adding the ground coriander and cumin.
When the tomatoes soften completely, add the drained butter beans, chickpeas and lentils.
Pour in the fresh cream and layer the cooked basmati rice over.
Pour the boiling water over the rice and then reduce the temperature.
Simmer the pilau on the lowest heat setting until the rice has steamed through.
Place the brinjal wedges over the rice.
Garnish with chilli flakes and fresh coriander.

Yudhika’s Tips:
Fry the brinjals while the pilau is steaming though so that the wedges are hot when serving.
Par-cooked potatoes can be added to this recipe.

Ready for Ramadan…Moroccan Lamb Harira

Yudhika's Moroccan Inspired Lamb Harira

Yudhika’s Moroccan Inspired Lamb Harira

Time does fly and it’s already Ramadan. Most of my Muslim friends and colleagues will be fasting without food or water from dawn to dusk. I have always been completely amazed by the fast and how no matter where you were or who you were with, my Muslim friends stick to it! I envy this dedication and commitment. The month of fasting is not a hunger strike but a month of prayer and reflection. It’s a time that Muslims come together and re-connect over spirituality and end the day with a home cooked feast. I didn’t know much about Ramadan when I was a kid except knowing that my friends at school were not eating all day, but every year, I have learnt a little more about Islam while developing new recipes for Ramadan and Eid too! Here is one of those recipes perfect for the fasting month…I took some inspiration from Morocco for this one! This can be served as a soup or a stew. The temperature has plummeted and this hearty Moroccan Inspired Harira will definitely warm you up! To all my Muslim friends and followers, Ramadan Mubarak! Moroccan Lamb Harira Serves 4 Ingredients 700g lamb loin chops 50ml sunflower oil 1 bay leaf 1 stick cinnamon 5ml cumin seeds 2 onions, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, crushed 10ml crushed ginger 10ml paprika or red chilli powder Pinch of tumeric 2 stock cubes 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped 400g tin lentils, drained 400g tin chickpeas, drained Salt to season, optional Fresh coriander, to garnish Here’s how: Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC pot. Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Add the cumin and fry until the seeds begin to sizzle. Add the chopped onion and saute until light golden brown. Add the lamb pieces and seal the meat while stirring. When the meat is sealed, add the garlic and ginger. Stir for a few seconds and then add the paprika or red chilli powder. When the spices start to stick, pour in boiling water to cover the lamb. Add the stock cubes and turmeric. Simmer until the meat is tender. Stir the tomatoes into the lamb and cook until they soften. Add the lentils and chickpeas. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly. Check the seasoning and add more salt only if necessary. Garnish with fresh coriander. Yudhika’s Tips: Butter beans can also be added to this dish. Stock cubes contain salt so always check the seasoning before adding more.

Meat Free Monday…Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Meat Free Monday with Yudhika Sujanani - Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Meat Free Monday with Yudhika Sujanani – Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Another Meatless Monday…and today is also World No Meat Day! This is a quick and easy recipe that is absolutely delicious. You can serve it as a meal on it’s own or as a side dish. Mushrooms taste better when cooked in advance and absorb the spices from the sauce. Prepare the mushrooms and add the spinach just before serving, taking care not to over cook it.

Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Ingredients

50ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
10ml crushed garlic
10ml red chill powder
400g chopped tomatoes, fresh or tinned
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
2ml turmeric
400g mushrooms, sliced
400g baby spinach, chopped
Fresh curry leaves or coriander, to garnish

Here’s how

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC Paella Pan.
Add the mustard seeds and when the pop, add the cumin seeds.
Add the chopped onion and salt.
Saute until the onion is golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic and fry for a few seconds.
Stir the red chilli powder and mix for 5 seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes and stir in the remaining spices.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Simmer the sauce and use the back of a spoon to break down the lumps.
Once the sauce resembles tomato paste, add the chopped mushrooms.
Simmer until the mushrooms soften, add 125ml boiling water if the sauce is too thick.
Once the mushrooms are cooked through, add the chopped spinach and simmer uncover for a minute or two.
Garnish with fresh curry leaves and coriander.

Life’s a peach….

Yudhika Sujanani, getting ready for a new season of Sugar 'n Spice on The Home Channel

Yudhika Sujanani, getting ready for a new season of Sugar ‘n Spice on DSTV’s The Home Channel

Life can be many things but for me it’s a peach….It isn’t always the case but sometimes we can choose for it to be! Last week, I finished shooting the last episode of ‘Sugar ‘n Spice’ which will be airing on DSTv’s Home Channel on the 29th June. The show took over three months to shoot and we have had many fabulous but long days on set…early morning kick offs and late nights! I am pinching myself…still thinking of the days when I promised myself I would get my very own show! Stay tuned for more details! This cake reminds me so much of my days in Durban and when life is a peach, I have to celebrate.

When I was a kid, our trusted Defy oven would blow a fuse and we would be left without my mom’s famous cakes for months. Tinned peaches were always on standby when we were cash flush that is…they were served with chilled dessert cream and it was simply delicious. I love the distinct flavour of dessert cream and my kids think that it is a real treat when I haul out a large tin of peaches!

I made up this recipe which takes me back in time and I hope you enjoy it! A light sponge cake topped with luscious whipped cream and syrup soaked peaches! It might even be the perfect dessert making an appearance for Father’s Day on Sunday. I found a way of working around the sub standard fresh cream that just flops or won’t whip up successfully. Pick up a tub of Woolies or Weleda Double Thick Cream…you cant whip it on it’s own because it is too thick but add fresh cream or Nestle dessert cream to create a decadent topping!

Peaches and Cream Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Peaches and Cream Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Peaches and Cream Cake

Ingredients
4 eggs
200ml sugar
5ml vanilla essence
250ml cake flour
10ml baking powder
Pinch of salt
65ml cold water
125ml sunflower oil

For the cream topping:

250ml double thick cream
150ml Nestle dessert cream
60ml icing sugar
Drop of vanilla essence

400g tinned peach slices
Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish

Here’s how:
Preheat oven to 170°C.
Grease and line 1 x 10 inch round cake tin.
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, baking powder and salt into the egg mixture.
Add the water and oil, fold mixture again.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

For the topping:
Place the double thick cream, dessert cream, sugar and vanilla essence into a mixing bowl.
Whip until the cream thickens.
Scoop the cream onto the top of the cake and use a spatula to make little peaks.
Drain the peaches and discard the syrup.
Chop the peach slices into little pieces and sprinkle over the cake.
Garnish with mint leaves.

Yudhika’s Tips:
Make sure the mixing bowl is oil and grease free before whisking the eggs – oil prevents the eggs from incorporating air.

Sorry is…such a sorry word!

Yudhika's Spicy Lamb Rosti Bake

Yudhika’s Spicy Lamb Rosti Bake

Is it just me or does the word sorry irritate anyone else? My thoughts and feelings percolate over time. This is not something new or a revelation of sorts and no, I haven’t had my heart-broken over the weekend…the word just irritates me! I can’t remember when it first struck me. Perhaps it was when my kids were little and bashing each other in a fight over a toy but I can still remember my son, Rushil, saying, ‘Sorry doesn’t even help!’ Over the past few years and somewhere in the midst of my latest ugly divorce, the dreadful word ‘sorry’ has been thrown carelessly into life changing conversations. Sometimes ‘Sorry’ comes only after years of someone forcing you to accept that an apology wasn’t necessary and by then, it is too late.

Sorry isn’t enough…the word has made the world a worse place to live in. People have become careless with those most dear to them. People take chances knowing that when the cracks appear all they need to do is say sorry. Think back to being a child at school and playing with your friends…if you hurt or wronged anyone on the playground, we apologized by saying, ‘Sorry’…how many times did you say it without real emotion, regret and remorse? It has always been a mindless almost insincere response.

Human beings are flawed….we all are and mistakes are a part of life and us growing emotionally. In this modern tech savvy world we live in, is it not possible that we have become emotionally unintelligent? Whether you are ill, being cheated on, just lost your job or experienced some sort of tragedy…it’s met with the same generic response, ‘I am sorry!’ How can such a small word possibly become the ‘one size fits all’ plaster for life’s wounds, whatever they might be? I was in a relationship once and my partner dated his ex girlfriend…he said, ‘It was no big deal’. If it was no big deal, why was it not mentioned when I made him dinner the next evening or when he chatted to me for hours the next day? Why did he actually do it? He took the chance and me for granted is the short answer thinking that all he had to do is say, ‘Sorry’ and that would come only if I found out, of course! Well, he didn’t anticipate that it would not be enough to fill in the cracks it left in the relationship….and the one thing about cracks is that they often expand and distort our feelings. My question is was he really sorry or sorry that I found out?

Is this me moaning about my relationship experiences….absolutely not! I have been lied to, cheated on and emotionally distraught at different stages of my life. It is wretched and the most important thing I have to share is that at no point was ‘sorry’ ever enough to take the pain away. When I have been left feeling wretched, I often heard the same thing which is, ‘Well, I said I was sorry…Didn’t I…What more do you want?’ and it simply wasn’t enough. I have been soul searching, wondering what was wrong with me and why an apology wasn’t the plaster I thought it would be. I realize that these apologies lack sincerity. Why isn’t it good enough? What do we want? More than words….once the trust is broken, it’s a long hard road back. Maybe it is a women thing…I wanted to know why and deal with the underlying issues and was met by the, ‘Sorry, can we sweep this under the rug now?’

Over the last while, I have had my share of generic sorries…but it’s taught me a lesson too. I would like to share my advice, if I may that is…I have been thinking, agonizing over the apologies I have not accepted and going forward ask you to live your life after erasing the word ‘Sorry’ from your vocabulary. Imagine making decisions and considering the people around you knowing that if you messed up, sorry would not be an option. I know that this would not erase any chance of making mistakes but we have become careless….maybe it would get us to think for a moment about everything that is precious and taken for granted.

When we are wrong, we have to work harder than just an apology…we have to work harder than ‘Sorry’ to find a remedy, support the person we are apologizing to and put the ‘no big deal’ mentality aside! ‘Sorry’ is not an apology…it’s a word and it has no magical powers!

Sorry is a sorry word….it is one of the most useless words in the dictionary. I have yet to write a blog about my carelessness and the things that I have been sorry about and apologies I’ve made….coming soon!

It’s been cold over the past few days and all I want to do is tuck into some comfort food. It could be the weather but my guess is that my thoughts have also been keeping me busy and craving the comfort of Wintery bakes…I am endlessly entertained in my own company…with some comfort food of course! Here is a recipe for a deliciously spicy lamb rosti bake! I love a traditional Cottage Pie but with the weather playing up, I spiced this recipe up along the lines of Keema Masala or Curried Mince. It is delicious, quick to prepare and comforting! I used the spices from my Curry Me Home range and at first glance it looks like there is lots of red chilli…keep in mind that lamb and beef ‘hold’ a lot more chilli and it is the base spice of the dish. Mince tends to often be flavorless and bland so you have to spice it up a fair bit!

Spicy Lamb Rosti Bake

750g lamb mince
50ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
30ml ginger and garlic, crushed
30 – 45ml red chilli powder
10ml ground coriander
5ml garam masala
2ml turmeric
200g chopped tomatoes

700g potatoes, boiled in skins – I used Up To Date variety
Salt, to season potatoes
100g butter

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC Paella Pan.
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaf until fragrant, add the cumin seeds.
When the seeds start to splutter, add the onion and salt.
Salute the onion until light golden.
Add the crushed ginger and garlic and fry for a few seconds.
Add the red chilli powder and warm through for 3 – 5 seconds.
Stir the lamb mince into the red chilli and fry until it changes colour.
Add the ground coriander, garam masala and turmeric.
Stir for a few minutes and add the tomatoes.
Simmer until the tomatoes soften.
Place the lamb mince into a casserole dish.
Peel the potatoes and grate them over the mince.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Melt the butter and pour it over the potatoes.
Bake the lamb in the oven at 180 degrees celsius until the potatoes are golden brown which would take about 35 -45 minutes.

Burfee Bliss…an eggless cupcake!

Yudhika's Eggless Burfee Cupcakes...

Yudhika’s Eggless Burfee Cupcakes…

No matter how much time you spend in a kitchen, there are always some things that are not your forte. For me eggless baking has never come easy…perhaps my attempts are sabotaged by some of my first attempts which were always disastrous. From cakes that looked like rubber to cupcakes that felt like tennis balls…my earlier attempts made me cringe with embarrassment. Thankfully, much to the encouragement and constant requests from my readers and Facebook family, I come up with a cracker every now and then…don’t get me wrong, there are more disasters than victories.

When it comes to eggless cakes and bakes, I often find beautifully decorated cakes that can set you up for disappointment. One bite and the cake is either too dry, heavy and the bicarby bitterness overwhelming. I have been playing with a recipe for an eggless cupcake for a while and why not make a celebration cupcake? Last week, I did a feature in the Post Newspaper and featured my Eggless Burfee Cupcake creation. The recipe has been tested for a while and each time I made a batch, I thought of ways to improve the texture and flavour. Taking inspiration from an Indian speciality fudge, I added Klim and dessert cream to the recipe…it was one of those recipes that go something like this….a few tablespoons of that, let’s add a little cream, stir and check consistency, then a few pinches of cardamom….lick the spoon and, ‘Aha, it needs more sugar!’ For a quick and easy flop proof burfee recipe, click here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/31/idiot-proof-burfee/ and check out my latest competition to win a 30cm skillet valued at R3200 from AMC Cookware here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/05/04/cookware-for-queens-and-a-few-kings-too-the-amc-cookware-competition/

The baked burfee cupcakes...a little scone like on the surface!

The baked burfee cupcakes…a little scone like on the surface!

I develop recipes over the weekend and get my kids to take notes on my ramblings and document the recipe changes. I took a peek at these cupcakes while they were in the oven. They looked like scones and my heart sank momentarily. It’s a case of not judging a book by it’s cover…the scone like appearance masked the deliciously light, moist cakes. I topped them with a generous slathering of cream cheese frosting but you could use butter cream or whipped cream if you prefer.

Eggless Burfee Cupcakes....deliciously light and moreish!

Eggless Burfee Cupcakes….deliciously light and moreish!

Eggless Burfee Cupcakes

Makes 18

125g soft butter

125g sugar

100g Klim milk powder

100ml dessert cream

200ml full cream milk

5ml vanilla essence

210g cake flour

7,5ml baking powder

5ml bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

2,5ml ground cardamom

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.

In a free standing mixer or with a hand held beater, ream the butter until light in colour.

Add the sugar gradually and continue creaming until fluffly.

Stir the mix powder into the mixture and continue creaming

Gradually add the dessert cream.

Combine the full cream milk and vanilla essence.

Sift the dry ingredients.

Add half the sifted flour to the mixing bowl and beat until smooth.

Add half the milk and mix well, followed by the remaining flour.

Pour the remaining milk and beat until smooth.

Divide the mixture into a cupcake pan, lined with paper cases.

Bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cakes are tested.

Remove the cakes from the tin immediately and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Cream cheese frosting


120g soft butter


375ml icing sugar


230g plain cream cheese 


5ml Vanilla paste or extract

Tinted almonds, to decorate

For the frosting:

Cream butter and gradually add the icing sugar until light in colour.
Add the cream cheese and continue beating.
Add vanilla essence.
Continue beating until smooth – do not over-beat as the frosting can split.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost them using a spatula and decorate with tinted almonds.

Easter ideas….Spinach and Prawn Pilau

Yudhika's Spinach and Prawn Pilau with AMC Cookware...

Yudhika’s Spinach and Prawn Pilau with AMC Cookware…

The first part of 2015 has flown by and I can’t believe it’s Easter weekend already! I worked on an Easter recipe supplement for the Post Newspaper with Yogas Nair and her team which is always a delight! And this time, I was also lucky enough to work with my favourite company as the sponsor, AMC Cookware!

So while the Post Newspaper and AMC cookware keep me really busy, I have not blogged much but hopefully this recipe makes an appearance on your Easter table! And for those of you who love a hot cross bun, here is my recipe for Lindt Chocolate Hot Cross Bun, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/03/18/lindt-choc-chip-hot-cross-buns/

Spinach and Prawn Pilau

Serves 4

Ingredients

1kg prawns, shelled and de-veined
40ml sunflower oil, to fry prawns
Salt, to season

50ml sunflower oil
1 small cinnamon stick
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
4 garlic cloves, crushed
10ml red chilli powder
400g tomatoes, skinned and chopped or tinned
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
1ml turmeric
300g cooked brown lentils or 1 x 400g tin lentils drained
400g baby spinach chopped
750ml cooked basmati rice, cooled
125ml boiled water

Handful of crispy brown onions, to garnish
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how

Heat the sunflower oil in a 24cm AMC gourmet pan.
Add the cinnamon stick and fry until fragrant.
Add the mustard and when the seeds pop, add the cumin and fry for a few seconds.
Stir the onion and salt into the oil.
Saute until the onion turns light golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic cloves and saute until fragrant.
Stir the red chilli into the oil and heat for a few seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Simmer until the oil separates from the sauce.
Layer half the brown lentils and spinach over the cooked tomatoes.
Layer the rice over and then layer the remaining lentils and spinach.
Pour the boiled water over the rice.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice heats through and the spinach wilts.
Heat a 28cm Chef’s Pan.
Add the 40ml sunflower oil when the pan is hot.
Saute the prawn in the oil until they turn pink and the tails curl.
Place the prawns over the hot spinach pilau and garnish with crispy brown onion.