quick and easy

Paneer and lentil curry….

A little piece of heaven...Le Meridien, Chiang Rai...

A little piece of heaven…Le Meridien, Chiang Rai…

It’s storming here in Chiang Rai…and it doesn’t bother me at all….you see, I am at the Le Meridien Hotel and enjoying five-star service in the lap of luxury! The hotel room is large enough to host my entire family, the rim flow pool is too tempting to resist, and the service leaves nothing to be desired…I spent last night wondering how people here are so efficient without shouting at each other…my pet hate is South African restaurants where the staff talk loudly to each other, shout from across the room and then have lengthy conversations next to your table! What has happened to South African service and standards???

While I am away, I feel a little guilty for deserting my job as recipe provider especially during the fasting month…A quick curry in ten minutes is appealing on any day, but during the fasting month it’s a must! I double up on my paneer recipe and save half for an emergency curry day. You can check out the paneer recipe here….https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/09/06/no-goats-no-glory-the-mela-debut/ and take a look at the video: https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-episode-1-paneer-and-double-bean-curry/

You don’t have to use goat’s milk for the paneer, cow’s milk will do perfectly…try using Clover Full cream milk – it does work best! By the way, I have to just add that I don’t work for Clover, but some brands are just worth a mention to turn a recipe into a flop proof one! I also used tinned tomatoes and lentils to cut down on the prep time…tinned tomatoes are a must especially when the tomato supply is a bit ‘iffy’…by this I mean always use super ripe tomatoes that have been left out at room temperature, not ones from the refrigerator! Refrigerator tomatoes lack flavour, don’t break down easily and sometimes just remain chunky. Tinned brown lentils, chickpeas and beans are my favourite ‘cheats’ for ten minute curries….do give it a try!

Paneer and lentil curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Paneer and lentil curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Paneer and Lentil Curry

Ingredients

400g paneer
50ml sunflower oil
1 small cinnamon stick
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
10ml crushed ginger and garlic
10ml red chilli powder
4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
Pinch of turmeric
500ml cooked brown lentils
Or 2 x 400g tins lentils, drained
400g baby spinach, finely chopped
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an 30cm AMC pan.
Add the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds, then saute until the seeds begin to splutter.
Stir the chopped onion into the oil, add the coarse salt.
Saute until the onion turns light golden brown.
Add the ginger and garlic – stir for a few second, then add red chilli powder.
Next add the tomatoes, and stir in the cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Once the tomatoes have softened, add the brown lentils and simmer 5 minutes on a low heat.
Scatter the spinach over the lentils and leave to wilt – this should take a minute or two.
Slice the paneer and place the pieces into the lentil and spinach sauce.
Garnish with fresh coriander.

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Spring has Sprung…..Marinated Beef Fillet

I love Gibs....Yudhika Sujanani

I love Gibs….Yudhika Sujanani

Yes, Spring has finally Sprung….the weather in Jozi has been glorious. It felt as though Winter would go on forever, and suddenly the willow tree is coming alive again! It’s the best thing about our garden…the long drooping branches of the willow that showers us with a crisp coolness on long Summer days!

Although I do love curries, soups, stews and casseroles…enough to enjoy them anytime of the year, I sometimes ‘lus’ for lighter meals….grilled meat or fish that can be thrown onto a pan and served with a drizzle or salad. I love spicy foods and curries but also find a seared beef fillet irresistible!

The girls...Cohort 7 GIBS Goldman Sachs Scholarship Programme 2013!

The girls…Cohort 7 GIBS Goldman Sachs Scholarship Programme 2013!

My dear friend and GIBS 10000 women colleague, Mandisa Bardill, messaged me last week for my marinated beef fillet recipe. First a little about Mandisa…how could I best describe her….a singer, a songwriter, a businesswoman, a friend and the ‘Hummingbird’ of our group!

The lovely Mandisa Bardill

The lovely Mandisa Bardill

Mands raved about the marinated fillet after trying it at one of my home dinner parties…it was one of our mad, crazy feasts, actually! That was a party to remember…us girls in party mode ready to rock on….and believe me, these ladies are a unique and talented bunch!

The Drama Queen....Orly Shapiro....

The Drama Queen….Orly Shapiro….

Birthday girl...Rebecca Sands

Birthday girl…Rebecca Sands

Mpho Mnguni....dreamer and dancer!

Mpho Mnguni….dreamer and dancer!

Lara Tatley...a gentle gem!

Lara Tatley…a gentle gem!


Meagan....Another 7 girl!

Meagan….Another 7 girl!

Sue Anne Stander....oh crumbs....she has done it again!

Sue Anne Stander….oh crumbs….she has done it again!

It was a great evening of fun and feasting….and we had Rebecca’s birthday to celebrate…

Birthday girl....Becky Sands

Birthday girl….Becky Sands

If you love celebrating as much as we do, check out the KitchenAid competition…post your comment on Facebook, Twitter or on the blog posts with #KitchenAid #mela and you could be the lucky winner! Here is the link, https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/kitchenaid-giveaway-2014/

Even my kids got into party mode….firstly, by serving our guests and then having some fun!

Rushil and Hetal...having some fun!

Rushil and Hetal…having some fun!


Orly Shapiro, Rushil and Yudhika...

Orly Shapiro, Rushil and Yudhika…

One dessert is just not enough…..creme brulee was also on the menu!

Yudhika firing up the trusted plumber's torch...

Yudhika firing up the trusted plumber’s torch…

Most of the girls on the scholarship programme had never met before, but I am sure that most of us made new friends….not acquaintances but real friends for life! I was very privileged to be a part of my little group and we called ourselves….’The Pussycat Dolls’ or the ‘Elevator Witches’! We always sat together…every class bucking the advice to mix and mingle! Hats off to the course directors who had to get us in line and keep us on track….Korkor Cudjoe, Yogavelli Nambiar, Catherine Burnard and Misha Dhana – the Gibs team really did have their hands full!

Back to the recipe….without further delays….

Marinated Beef Fillet by Yudhika Sujanani

Marinated Beef Fillet by Yudhika Sujanani

Fillet by Yudhika Sujanani[/caption]

Marinated Beef Fillet

Serves four

Ingredients
1kg beef fillet
Seasoned salt
25ml sunflower oil
Juice of 2 lemons
3 cloves garlic crushed
Chopped green chilli, to taste
50ml olive oil
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Here’s how:

Remove the fillet from the refrigerator and allow the meat to stand until it is at room temperature. Place the meat on a chopping board and using a sharp knife trim the fillet and remove the silvery skin. Season the fillet with seasoned salt. Heat an AMC skillet on high until it is smoking hot. Place the seasoned fillet on the skillet and pour the sunflower oil over. Sear the fillet until it caramelises on the outside. When the meat is caramelised, remove from the pan and wrap it in foil. Leave the meat to rest for fifteen minutes. The fillet continues cooking while it is resting. While the meat is resting, combine the lemon juice, crushed garlic, green chilli, olive oil and chopped coriander. Place the meat on a chopping board and slice thinly. If the meat is undercooked, grill again on a hot pan. Arrange the meat on a platter and pour the lemon and olive oil mixture over the fillet.

Yudhika’s Tips
Beef fillet is one of the most tender cuts and also the most expensive.
Ask your local butcher to trim the fillet for you as this saves time.
You can slice the fillet into portions if this makes searing them easier.
Always pour the sunflower oil into the skillet once the meat has been added. The oil can catch alight when it is poured into the pan before the meat.
This can be prepared rare, medium or well done according to your taste but the cooking time should be adjusted accordingly.
Thinly sliced beef fillet is an impressive snack and it can be served at room temperature.

Let them eat cake….

Double Choc Marble Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Double Choc Marble Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

I find it difficult to get my head around Women’s Day or Women’s Month…you see, I do believe that women are just phenomenal all year round! My Women’s Month kickstarted when my friend and colleague, Yogas Nair, was appointed as editor of the ‘Post Newspaper’. She is one of the real go getters I know that has kept climbing life’s mountains. Yogas and I go way back and she gave me my first ‘newspaper break’ by featuring my recipes in the Post many years ago. Looking back, it was one of those big career moments in my career and it gave me the platform to learn so much more. I went on to write for ‘The Star’, ‘Daily News’ and the ‘Sunday Times Extra’. However, all roads do seem to lead back to the Post and I am pleased that my recipes will be featured once again!

To be honest, I had not given much thought to Women’s month….I was still reeling from preparing ‘Burfee Cakes’ at Holi Cow for the Eid celebration but also just keeping up with the cooking classes and catering orders. Speaking of cooking classes, here is the updated schedule:

Cooking Class Update: The Curry Trail – learn how to use your spices to make curries from around Asia….Lamb Vindaloo, Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Thai Green Prawn, Paneer in Almond Sauce, Rotis and Coconut Creme Brulees. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a sit down lunch. Bookings essential.

Date: Saturday, 23rd August 2014
Time: 10 for 10.30am
Cost: R375 per person

Cooking Class Update: Spice Spice Baby…learn how to add spices to your everyday meals to cook up quick and easy fuss free meals. Traditional Lamb Jalfrezie, Creamy Chicken Curry, Mushroom Mattar, Balti Prawn Curry, Samosas and Boozy Cream Cake. The duration of the class is two hours long and is followed by a sit down dinner. Bookings essential.

Date: Wednesday, 27th August 2014
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Cost: R375 per person

Cooking Class Update: Curry 101 Hands on Class – learn how to use spices to make delicious spicy meals in a flash….Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Korma, Coconut Prawn, Mushroom and Chickpea Curry, Rotis and Chocolate Ganache Cake. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a delicious lunch. Bookings essential.

Date: Saturday, 30th August 2014
Time: 10 for 10.30am
Cost: R375 per person

Please email us at hetals@iafrica.com to book or call 011 – 4672661 to book your spot. All ingredients are provided.

The Post Women’s Day edition was a special one with a real cause for celebration as Yogas not only took on the role as editor but it marked the first female editor in 60 years! AMC cookware also joined in our celebration by sponsoring a R5000 prize for Women’s month!

Women's Month Prize....30cm Gourmet Roaster from AMC cookware!

Women’s Month Prize….30cm Gourmet Roaster from AMC cookware!

For more details on the competition, don’t forget to get your copy of the Post Newspaper on Wednesdays!

What better way to celebrate Women’s Month than a feature on cakes in the Post Newspaper? Here is one of the recipes featured in the Women’s Day edition….

Double Chocolate Marble Cake

This is a delicious buttery cake with a delicate crumb. It can be frosted but I chose to drizzle milk chocolate over instead for a lighter version.

Ingredients
300g soft butter
250g sugar
Pinch of salt
6 eggs
150ml milk, room temperature
280g self-raising flour
5ml baking powder
5ml vanilla essence
100g Lindt dark chocolate, chopped
20g cocoa powder

For the Chocolate Drizzle
100g milk chocolate, chopped
25g butter
60ml milk

Grease a 22 – 25cm bundt tin with butter and then dust the tin with flour. Shake off the excess flour.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric beater until very light in colour.
Add the salt and add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition.
Pour the milk into the creamed mixture – the mixture may look curdled but will come together at the next stage.
Divide the flour into two bowls. Add the chocolate chips to one bowl and the cocoa powder to the other. Divide the baking powder between the two bowls.
Divide the creamed mixture into the two bowls with flour and mix well to ensure the ingredients are well combined and form a soft thick batter.
Spoon the chocolate mixture into the bundt tin and use a spoon to creating a trough for the chocolate chip mixture. Scoop the second batch of batter into the tin.
Use the back of the spoon to smooth the top.
Bake the cake for 45 – 50 minutes depending on the size of the tin. A skewer should come out clean when the cake is tested.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 – 20 minutes and then turn out onto cake platter.
To make the chocolate drizzle:
Heat the milk and butter. Add the chopped milk chocolate and then stir until smooth. If the mixture appears lumpy, heat the chocolate for 10 second intervals in the microwave, stirring well after each time.
Spoon the melted chocolate over the cake, letting some of the drizzle run down the sides of the cake.

Way Down South…..

South Indian Madras Style Chicken by Yudhika Sujanani

South Indian Madras Style Chicken by Yudhika Sujanani


I just got back from a few days in Durban…its been ages since my last proper visit and I was surprised at just how much I really missed my home city. I ate lots, feasted on the most delicious home cooked meals but most of all friends and family were a sight for my sore eyes. I returned to Jozi without having switched my laptop on once. I hired a car and a Garmin and headed off for my old haunts and started my tour in Isipingo, just south of Durban, where I grew up.

The lovely Mrs Deedat and I at Isipingo beach Intermediate School...

The lovely Mrs Deedat and I at Isipingo beach Intermediate School…

While I was in Durbs, I visited my first primary school teacher, Mrs Deedat and got to take a walk around the school in Isipingo Beach. Mrs Deedat went on to become the head mistress at the school. She would line us up everyday as the bell rang, and give us a goodbye kiss. The students would get quite fiercely competitive about bringing her treats and flowers….I always brought her flowers that I picked from the garden. She retires in just a few months and I am so glad that we could take a walk down memory lane with this beautiful lady.

I was thoroughly spoilt in Durban….from fresh linefish breyani made by Shabnum Moosa’s parents to dinners out and then chicken curry for Saturday brunch. Long lazy chats over numerous cups of coffee, high tea at the Oyster Box and fried rice from Tong Lok! Durban is not the place to be if you are trying to stick to the Tim Noakes diet!!! It was just an all round treat not to mention being in such good company just gladdened my rather overworked Jozi soul!

Crispy fish at Gateway's Beluga....

Crispy fish at Gateway’s Beluga….

For those of you, who like me, have lazy days, you can always pop into the Holi Cow in Fourways to pick up a takeaway for dinner or learn how to make delicious curries by joining one of our fun cooking classes! Call us on 011 4672661 to book your spot! All ingredients and recipes are provided.

Cooking Class Update: Curry 101 Hands on Class – learn how to use spices to make delicious spicy meals in a flash….Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Korma, Coconut Prawn, Mushroom and Chickpea Curry, Rotis and Chocolate Ganache Cake. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a delicious lunch.

Date: Saturday, 12th July 2014
Time: 10 for 10.30am
Cost: R375 per person

Cooking Class Update: The Curry Trail – learn how to use your spices to make curries from around Asia….Lamb Vindaloo, Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Thai Green Prawn, Paneer in Almond Sauce, Rotis and Coconut Creme Brulees. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a sit down dinner.

Date: Wednesday, 16th July 2014
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Cost: R375 per person

Cooking Class Update: Spice Spice Baby…learn how to add spices to your everyday meals to cook up quick and easy fuss free meals. Traditional Lamb Curry, Creamy Chicken Curry, Mushroom Mattar, Balti Prawn Curry, Samosas and Boozy Cream Cake. The duration of the class is two hours long and is followed by a sit down dinner.

Date: Wednesday, 23rd July 2014
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Cost: R375 per person

And now, for the recipe…I missed carbs terribly over the past few weeks…I am preparing this South Indian Madras Style Chicken for dinner tonight and serving it with rotis and rice…double the carbs…double the fun! It’s spicy chicken cooked with mustard seeds, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks….fired up with red chilli powder and finished with my signature Magic Masala! Hope you love it as much as I do!

South Indian Madras Style Chicken….

Ingredients:

1,2 – 1,4kg Whole Chicken
75ml sunflower oil
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
5ml mustard seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7,5ml coarse salt
4 cloves garlic, crushed
10ml crushed ginger
40ml red chilli powder
10ml ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
5ml garam masala
2,5ml turmeric
2 tinned tomatoes, chopped
1 x 400g tin Spar coconut cream
15ml Curry Me Home magic masala
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Remove the chicken skin, disjoint and cut into pieces.
Rinse the chicken under cold running water and leave in a colander to drain.
Pat the chicken pieces dry with absorbent paper towel.
Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC pot.
Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods.
Saute until fragrant and then add the mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add the chopped onion and salt.
Saute until the onion is golden brown.
Add the crushed ginger and garlic.
Stir the red chilli powder into the fried onion and stir for a few seconds.
Add the chicken and stir well to coat the pieces in fried onion mixture.
Continue stirring until the chicken pieces are sealed.
Add the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric.
Gently stir the chicken to coat in the spices.
Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the spices that are stuck.
Add the chopped tomatoes and lower the heat.
The moisture from the tomatoes will help de-glaze the pot.
Cover the pot with a lid and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken.
Add the coconut milk, magic masala and curry leaves.
Simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve with basmati rice or rotis.

Yudhika’s tips:
The chicken can be cooked in advance – add the coconut cream just before serving to prevent the sauce from thickening too much.
For a lighter dish, add 200ml coconut milk instead of the coconut cream.

The Daily Moos – A Holi Cow Update…

I have spent all day working on the Holi Cow newsletter….here is an update on the Indian High Tea and the ‘Hands On’ Cooking Classes….looking forward to seeing you at the Holi Cow! Click on the page below for the full newsletter….

The moos....

The moos….

Holi Cow…It’s our first high tea!

The Holi Cow High Tea hosted by Yudhika Sujanani

The Holi Cow High Tea hosted by Yudhika Sujanani

I am one of those people who can always add one more project to my stressful life. I was on my way to collect pictures from Vanessa Lewis, my photographer friend, when I drove past a “Remax For Sale’ sign…I called Jenny Ramsay, the agent, who was on holiday and climbing Table mountain. I viewed the property a few days later, and arranged for my better half to see it, and much to my surprise, he suggested that we put in an offer….this was the beginning Holi Cow!

The beginning....

The beginning….

The property was really old, a face brick one…inside and out…and needed lots of work. Here are some of the before pics…

The house...complete with swimming pool

The house…complete with swimming pool

The bar and living room

The bar and living room

Living room, bar leading into dining room....

Living room, bar leading into dining room….

The dining room....

The dining room….

It was time for some major renovations and so the drama began. I have never really had much luck with a ‘good builder’ but ours proved to be good but slow…it didn’t help that some things, I mean lots of things changed along the way. Walls moved, finishings changed, more demolition work not to mention electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. We resorted to drinking lots of Gin and I self medicated occasionally to cope with what seemed like a never-ending renovation.

I am not sure what was worse…the pics before renovations or during renovations….take a look at these pics and decide…

Gin and Jackhammers to remove the swimming pool

Gin and Jackhammers to remove the swimming pool

The entrance...

The entrance…

The entrance...

The entrance…

After 5 months...this is what we were looking at!

After 5 months…this is what we were looking at!

I began to lose heart – and just when I did, it seemed to come together. The Eastern Mosaic show on SABC 2 played a big part in getting the renovations done. I had a deadline and passed it on to the team…everyone had to be out by the 10 February. It worked….it was still not 100 percent complete but I had the place to myself for the first time….

Yudhika Sujanani - hosting the Holi Cow Tea Party

Yudhika Sujanani – hosting the Holi Cow Tea Party

Here are some pics from the Holi Cow High Tea…

The Eastern Mosaic with Yudhika Sujanani and Mo Nassuirio

The Eastern Mosaic with Yudhika Sujanani and Mo Nassuirio

Holi Cow Treats by Yudhika!

Holi Cow Treats by Yudhika!

The guest list…

Brenda Barton, Deputy Director of United Nations World Food Programme and Nokwazi Mzobe

Brenda Barton, Deputy Director of United Nations World Food Programme and Nokwazi Mzobe

The Gibs/Goldman Sachs Girls....Meagan Deventer, Zaakira Mohammed, Yudhika Sujanani and Orly Shapiro

The Gibs/Goldman Sachs Girls….Meagan Deventer, Zaakira Mohammed, Yudhika Sujanani and Orly Shapiro

Lyn Woodward...food genius with Yudhika at Holi Cow

Lyn Woodward…food genius with Yudhika at Holi Cow

The Holi Cow, Cooking School and Deli Details – 38 Kingfisher Drive, Fourways, 2191
Contact Number: 011 467 2661

Rainy Day Recipes – Curried Fish

Curried Salmon

Curried Salmon

I have had loads of requests and queries about fish curries recently…with Lent and Easter coming up not to mention this crazy rainy spell, fish curry is just what the doctor ordered.

The weather has been pretty awful – in the curry world this means that fresh tomatoes are not at their best. I would recommend using tinned tomatoes for this recipe if like me, are in Jozi where we haven’t seen the sun in a while.

I grew up in Durban and most of us refer to the AMC pot of choice as the ‘flat fish pot’ since the fish is cooked in a single layer. Haul out your AMC flat pot and give this rainy day recipe a bash….

Curried Salmon

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the fish:
900g salmon fillet
2,5ml salt
5ml red chilli powder
2,5ml turmeric

For the Curry:
60ml sunflower oil
10ml mustard seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
4 cloves garlic, crushed
10 – 15ml red chilli powder
6 tomatoes, blanched, skinned and grated
5ml ground roasted cumin
5ml ground roasted coriander
Pinch of turmeric
3 sprigs curry leaves
250ml boiling water
10ml Magic Masala

Here’s how:
Slice the salmon into pieces and season with salt.
Dust the salmon with red chilli powder an turmeric.
Rub the spices into the fish fillets.
Leave aside in a refrigerator.

For the Curry Sauce:
Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan.
When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the chopped onion and coarse salt.
Saute until light the onions are a light golden brown.
Add the garlic and saute for a few seconds.
Stir in the red chilli powder.
Stir for 3 – 5 seconds taking care not to burn the spice.
Add the grated tomatoes and simmer for a minute.
Add the roasted cumin, coriander, turmeric and curry leaves.
Simmer until the tomatoes soften and then add the boiling water.
Reduce the heat until simmer until the tomatoes dissolve completely.
Place the fish into the sauce in a single layer.
Sprinkle the magic masala over the fish.
Simmer on a low heat for a few minutes and spoon the sauce over the fish.
Cook for 4 – 6 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Yudhika’s Tips:
The fish must be cooked in a single layer.
Any firm fish fillets can be used in this recipe.
Add green chillies for a spicier dish.
The sauce can be made in advance and the fish added just before serving.

Paneer Makhani

Yudhika's Paneer Makhani...

Yudhika’s Paneer Makhani…

I am almost certain that by now, you have realized that Diwali is not a ‘Diet Friendly’ time of year. And this recipe is no different to any of the other Diwali favourites…a double whammy dish with cream and butter.

For a more sensible option try the ‘Seyal Paneer’ recipe: https://yudhikayumyum.com/sugar-n-spice-on-saffron-tv/saffron-tv-seyal-paneer/

I also use paneer as a pie filling in this Paneer Pasties recipe: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/24/paneer-and-mushroom-pasties/

This Paneer Makhani recipe will get you a gold star for Diwali!

Paneer Makhani

Ingredients

600g paneer, sliced
60ml cashew nuts
125ml boiling water
60ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
7,5ml coarse salt
15ml crushed ginger and garlic
2 green chillies, chopped
20ml red chilli powder
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
15ml ground coriander
10ml ground cumin
5ml garam masala
Pinch ground cardamom
2ml turmeric
60g cold butter, diced
30ml fresh cream
Coriander to garnish
Gold leaf to decorate

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

Slice the paneer into pieces.

Soak the cashew nuts in boiling water for 10 minutes and liquidize until smooth.
Pound the ginger, garlic and green chilli together.
Fry the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cumin seeds in oil until fragrant.
Add onions and salt, saute until light golden brown.
Add crushed ginger, garlic and green chilli, then add the red chilli powder.
Stir the chopped tomatoes into the spices.
Sprinkle in the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala, ground cardamom and turmeric.
Simmer until the tomatoes soften completely.
Use a potato masher to break down any lumps.
Add the cashew paste and 250ml boiling water.
Simmer until the sauce thickens.
Whisk the cold butter into the sauce, then pour in the fresh cream.
Gently place the paneer into the cooked sauce and heat through.
Garnish with fresh coriander and edible gold leaf.

How to make Paneer….

Yudhika Paneer recipe...

Yudhika Paneer recipe…

Paneer is an Indian Cottage cheese…it resembles feta but does not contain salt. For vegetarians, this is the equivalent of a ‘lamb curry with mushy potatoes’ (my favourite). I use paneer in pastries, breyanis and even in starters!

Please please please, do not use low fat milk – so far, Full Cream Clover milk works best for this recipe. I do experiment a fair bit and this blog is not sponsored by Clover! Use a good pot, (I use AMC cookware) so that the milk does not scorch and burn on the bottom which will ruin the paneer.

I am just about to post the Paneer Makhani recipe…I anticipate that there will be recipe requests for the Paneer…

Paneer

Ingredients

4 litres CLOVER Full Cream Milk
180 -200ml white vinegar

Boil milk in a large 30cm AMC cookware unit and stir continuously to prevent the milk from sticking.
Once the milk comes up to the boil, remove from the heat.
Pour the white vinegar around the pot and gently move the milk – do not stir.
If the mixture still looks milky, add a little more vinegar.
Leave aside for 30 minutes.
The curd should float to the top and form a thick layer.
Place the curd in a strainer and use the back of a spoon to press out the excess whey.
Tip the curd into a muslin cloth and mould it into a ‘cake’.
Place the paneer on a chopping board and place a large pot filled with water on top.
This will help the excess moisture drain away.
Leave to drain for 2 hours.
Place the paneer in a zip seal bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Yudhika’s tips:
Always use full cream milk when making paneer.
Leave the paneer on the draining board while it is being pressed – the whey can cause a mess.
If the paneer is too soft, leave it unwrapped in the refrigerator to firm up.

Pecan Chana Magaj….

Yudhika Sujanani's Chana Magaj...

Yudhika Sujanani’s Chana Magaj…

The food world is changing at an alarming rate…new trends are constantly being introduced and with so much emphasis being placed on ‘painting a picture’ on a plate, we lose the plot. I have a different approach to food and opt to keep it traditional especially with recipes like this Chana Magaj…’Why change it?’ It’s delicious, flop proof and a hit with my friends and family!

I remember paying an absolute bomb for a tray of ‘Chana Magaj’ many moons ago…much to my horror, when I sliced it, it simply crumbled. I was completely dismayed and cross (I will use a more acceptable word). I looked at the crumbled mess and tried to massage it back into a block! I eventually melted a large chunk of butter and mixed it into the chana crumble….it worked like a charm. The moral of the story is don’t scrimp on the butter!!!!

The ‘Devil is in the Detail’…As with most traditional recipes, patience is the secret ingredient. Put on some music and pour yourself a glass of wine while you are stirring the chickpea flour….taking your time makes all the difference. Use a 30cm AMC pot for cooking the chickpea flour…I know I do go on about it but ‘like seriously’…you can’t use a flimsy thin based pot for this! I get my daughters, Hetal and Tanvi, to take turns with cooking the chickpea flour. Every now and then, they bill me for their work and they do a fabulous job!

Chana Magaj keeps for ages in the refrigerator…so keep a few blocks away for ’emergencies’. I confess, I have lots of ’emergencies’ especially when I know these treats are resting in my refrigerator.

Pecan Chana Magaj

Ingredients:

500g chickpea flour
100ml milk, boiled
500g butter ghee
5ml ground cardamom
375g icing Sugar, sifted
100g Klim
100g pecan nuts

Place the chickpea flour and hot milk in a mixing bowl.
Rub the milk into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Leave the mixture to dry for an hour and then break down the large lumps using your fingertips.
Melt the butter ghee in an AMC pot on a low heat and then add the chickpea flour.
Continue stirring until the chickpea flour turns deep golden brown in colour – about an hour.
Leave aside to cool.
Grease a 25 x 25cm baking tray and line with plastic wrap.
Fold the wrap over the sides of the tray.
Stir in the ground cardamom, sifted icing sugar and full cream milk powder into the cooked mixture.
Work the icing sugar and milk powder into the chickpea flour using your fingertips.
Press the mixture into the baking tray – if the mixture is too dry, add a little melted butter.
Garnish with pecan nuts and leave aside to set.
Slice into blocks and lift the plastic wrap to loosen from the tray.