soji

The bold and the breyani….Coming up on Mela!

Parda Veg Breyani baked in AMC Gourmet Cookware by Yudhika Sujanani

Parda Veg Breyani baked in AMC Gourmet Cookware by Yudhika Sujanani

The breyani police will be out in full force on Diwali.  The breyani police could be anyone…difficult kids to your dragon in-laws or especially a battle-axe mother in law…for some homes there will be a vegetarian breyani but I am sure that by now you know that I will be enjoying a non vegetarian feast!  My mother in law doesn’t visit or eat curry!  I am not sure if this is a good thing….perhaps it is just one of ‘those things’!

 

I do enjoy a spicy vegetarian breyani served almost ‘drowning’ in delicious yellow dhal!  A bit of grated carrot with finely sliced red onions and maybe 2 pickled chillies would make it a memorable meal.  Oh, and soji as dessert – what could be more traditional or delicious!  For the soji recipe, click here… https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/30/soji-i-remember-i-remember/

 

If you are looking for a festive lamb breyani, try out this recipe from my show, Feast of Eid on Saffron/Home Channel last year, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/07/26/ready-set-spice-feast-of-eid/ and if you’re feeling a little nervous, take a look at the video clip before getting started here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXuhIfzGiR0…leave a comment….It would be great to hear from you!

Yudhika on the Mela set preparing the parda veg breyani

Yudhika on the Mela set preparing the parda veg breyani

 

Back to the veggie breyani….this week on Mela, I will be featuring a Parda Veg Breyani…this breyani is also called ‘Dum Breyani’ which means its cooked in a pot sealed with dough so that all the flavours are ‘trapped’.  I always post Mela recipes on Sunday, but since SABC 2 are running a week behind schedule, I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to share this amazing recipe with you right now!

 

It makes a change from the stove top breyani….for this recipe….get your AMC pot and mojo on!  Haul out an AMC gourmet roaster….it goes from hob to oven to table…really, who needs extra washing up on Diwali!  If you are hankering after an AMC gourmet pan, click here to enter the competition on my blog, https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/.  AMC cookware are also giving away one of their awesome pans on Mela’s twitter page so do take a look!

 

Potatoes make a breyani so get down to your local veg store and ask for ‘Up to Date’ potatoes….no kidding ….it’s really called Up to Date!  These potatoes are often the most expensive and are almost a floury variety that soak up the delicious flavours.  Soft mushy potatoes are a must!  Waxy potatoes won’t do for this recipe or any breyani recipe!

 

 

The Feast...a bold and breyani special by Yudhika

The Feast…a bold and breyani special by Yudhika

Vegetable Breyani

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes, sliced into rounds and par cooked

3 carrots, sliced

250g green beans

250ml frozen peas

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained

45ml sunflower oil

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

5ml cumin seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

7,5ml salt

15ml crushed ginger and garlic

15ml red chilli powder

10ml ground coriander

5ml ground cumin

5ml garam masala

2ml turmeric

60ml fresh cream

4 level cups par cooked basmati rice

250ml cooked brown lentils

30ml butter

Egg yellow food colouring , to tint rice

125ml crispy fried brown onion

250ml boiling water

Coriander and curry leaves, to garnish

 

For the dough:

200g cake flour

50g butter

5ml sugar

75ml cold water

 

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil in a AMC gourmet pot (with metal handles), add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Fry until the spices turn a shade darker, then add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds begin to splutter, stir the chopped onion into the oil and add salt.

Saute until the onion is light golden brown then add the ginger and garlic.

Add the red chilli powder and stir for a few seconds. Add the veggies, the remaining spices, and fresh cream. Stir well to coat the veggies in the creamy spice marinade.

Layer half the brown lentils over the veggies, top with the par cooked rice, then scatter the remaining lentils on top of the rice. Slice the butter into little blocks and place them on top of the rice.

Sprinkle the brown onion slices over the rice and the drizzle in the food colouring.

Pour the water over the rice and set aside.

 

Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the sugar and water. Use a mixer with a dough hook attachment and work the dough until smooth – I used the KitchenAid Mixer for this!

Roll the dough into a round large enough to cover the pot. Dab the edges of the round with water. Place the round over the pot and press the moistened edges firmly over the sides.

Brush the dough with milk. Place the breyani in a preheated oven at 180°C and bake for 45 -60 minutes. The pastry should be golden brown and should sound hollow when tapped.

Use a bread knife and cut through the dough to let out the steam – the steam can leave you with a nasty burn so take care when you are removing the dough.

Gently toss the breyani and garnish with fresh coriander and curry leaves.

 

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The big Diwali Bake off…..

 

Yudhika Diwali 2014...made beautiful by Lyn Kennedy and Photographed by Vanessa Lewis

Yudhika Diwali 2014…made beautiful by Lyn Kennedy and Photographed by Vanessa Lewis

While the controversy over the date  Diwali will be celebrated rages and the confusion grows, it is time to start planning the feast!

 

It’s a time of year for family, friends and feasting but also a time to pull out all the stops….I have been asked about recipes flat out and it is phenomenal that with the world changing so much, there are still people out there hosting traditional Diwali parties!

 

 

So today, I have decided to put together a quick reference list….so scroll down the list to find your favourite recipes….Praise God for my AMC cookware and KitchenAid mixer…my pots and pans have been working overtime just trying to keep up with the recipe requests!!!

 

Diwali would not be complete without a slice of Pecan Chana Magaj: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/11/01/pecan-chana-magaj/ – you could also use flaked almonds on the top if you prefer…the great thing is that this one can be made in advance and it stores beautifully in the refrigerator!  Always serve this at room temperature!

 

Idiot's Burfee.....

I have to constantly think up new burfee ideas and here are some of them!  I love coconut and it adds an extra special flavour to this Coconut Burfee: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/07/24/the-eid-burfee-challenge/ .  For something a little more subtle and exotic, try this recipe…Rose and Pistachio Burfee: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/29/rose-and-pistachio-burfee/ – Just remember to go easy on the food colouring – it should be very lightly coloured!  Now, for a bit of a higher grade burfee recipe try this one…..Fresh Cream Burfee: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/07/29/sugar-n-spice-recipes-fresh-cream-almond-burfee-by-yudhika/ – this is a very very soft burfee…take care when simmering the liquid to prevent scorching but it should resemble thick custard when added to the milk powder….or the burfee will be too soft….if the burfee does turn out too soft, try popping them into the freezer as this dries out the excess moisture.  Watch the how to video from my stint on Sugar ‘n Spice here….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWFDoAJuQXI

 

For me…this is my best flop proof burfee….it doesn’t have a long list of ingredients but it works beautifully every time….I refer to it as the Idiot Proof Burfee….because it is so so quick and  easy! https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/31/idiot-proof-burfee/ but if it is something a little out of the ordinary that you are looking for try this one….it is an adaptation of the Idiot Burfee but I love the hint of citrus and the colour of course…..Orange Cardamom and Pistachio Burfee: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/10/13/burfee/

 

I love Gulab jamuns and I always get my kids to set up an assembly line to prepare these…it’s a great way to get kids to work with you in the kitchen…they also help with the sampling….Gulab Jamun: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/11/08/troubled-by-diwali-gluttony/ or you could try this Indian Gulab Jamun recipe….please use Nespray for this one…Klim just doesn’t work…click here to watch the video from Sugar n Spice…there is a little trick in making these, so dont forget to watch this….https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/31/gulab-jamun-sugar-n-spice/

 

Biscuits are popular around Diwali and a biscuit with a nut is a memorable biscuit….try this….Eggless pecan biscuits: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/29/eggless-faker-pecan-shortbread/ or the Naan Khatay – I don’t feel territorial about these….whether they originated from India or Pakistan…they are delicious…what bothers me the most is that I got a few hidings for stealing the nuts of the top!  It always embarrasses my mom terribly when I remind her about this!  Watch the video from Season Two of Sugar n Spice….it’s around the second half of the clip…https://yudhikayumyum.com/new-videos/sugar-n-spice-season-2-videos/

Home made hot jalebis are an absolute treat….give this instant jalebi a bash….Jalebi: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/11/08/jackie-jalebi-out-on-parole-for-diwali and here is a quick and easy Laddoo recipe: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/11/12/laddoooooommmmaaaa-scoring-a-diwali-goal/

 

For a higher grade day when you have lots of energy…try this Banana Puri: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/23/banana-less-banana-puri/ – this takes time…rest the dough..its the secret to making great banana puri!  I still wonder why they call it banana puri!

 

For the classic buttery Soji, click here for the recipe, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/30/soji-i-remember-i-remember/ …this will take you back decades….it’s rich, buttery and delicious…this is not for the calorie counters and faint hearted…and yes the recipe is correct….it is 400g butter and 375g semolina…not like someone suggested that its 500g semolina! Stick to the recipe…..this makes about 1,6kg soji…you could halve the recipe if you like!

 

Now, there are many great giveaways on this blog and also in the Post Newspaper….you have to enter it to win it…so get entering….check out the AMC competition details in the Post or you could click here to find out how you can win a KitchenAid….https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/ – you must be a follower on the blog and on twitter to win and don’t forget to leave your comment about the Mela food segment, you can watch here…https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/  – this is a fab prize and a must have for any ardent baker!  Worth R6990, it is a Rolls Royce Kitchen Stand Mixer!

 

For the AMC competition….I don’t have to tell you again how important it is to have  great cookware….and for me, AMC is the best….you can win a 24cm Gourmet Roaster worth R3350 by entering on this link…..https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/ ….this is one of the units that I use the most….and it has gourmet handles that means you can pop the pot into the oven…on this Sundays episode of Mela, I will be preparing a breyani that is oven baked in an AMC pot….don’t forget to tune in!  AMC aren’t kidding when they say, ‘AMC for life’!

 

Phew….this has felt like a marathon post….I think I may need to put together a list of recipes for the Diwali Cook Off….I need a coffee and cake right now….maybe you should check back later for the list!

Soji – I remember, I remember…

Yudhika's Decadent Soji

Yudhika’s Decadent Soji

I am sure most of us walked into a dark room when we were kids and whispered, ‘There is no such thing as ghosts’. I still whisper that after I watch horror movies! Now that I am all grown up, I whisper at weddings, ‘There is no such thing as lite SOJI!!! I wish people would stop asking me for the low-fat version – there simply isn’t one! Eating a skinny version defeats the purpose…it’s all that buttery goodness that got you hooked in the first place.

Soji brings back lots of memories….for me, it’s mostly around weddings. Not the modern versions of weddings…I am talking about the ‘paper plate’ ones. Let me explain…this is when marriages were made to last unlike paper plates….no fancy stuff! The garlands were made with fresh yellow carnations…and burgundy Benares saries were the rage! So was Kruger coin jewellery and Bally shoes!

The Soji was served on the SAME paper plate as the breyani – little bits of curry spices would soak into the sweet butter semolina – Heavenly, I tell you! No cutlery in sight….I would just squish little bits into my mouth and feel the warm comfort of those calories in each bite. And then there were the ‘Rich People’s Weddings’ – in my tiny world that meant that the Soji had lots of almonds!

Soji is served at weddings, birthdays, tea time and even at funerals….let’s just say that you can tell how a person feels by what goes into a soji…funeral soji is generally the unhappy, lite version! Definitely not my favourite!

By the end of today, I am sure that someone is going to report me to the Heart Foundation for this recipe…but Diwali is just once a year! So, I will just have to take my chances…make up a batch of this Soji, dish up a luscious helping, and while you suck on a scoop of buttery decadence, think of your best memory….post your comments!

Here is the recipe:

Soji

This makes about 1,6kg

Ingredients

3 large cinnamon sticks
350g Taystee Wheat
400g butter
200g dessert cream
250g evaporated milk
90g condensed milk
250ml milk
300ml cold water
2,5ml egg yellow food colouring
7ml ground cardamom
100g sugar
100g tinted almonds

Here’s how:

Getting set....with AMC cookware!

Getting set….with AMC cookware!


Place the Taystee Wheat and cinnamon sticks into a 30cm AMC pot.
Toast the semolina on medium heat until the grains brown slightly.

Which piece of butter should I use???

Which piece of butter should I use???


Add the butter and continue stirring, until the semolina changes colour.
Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble....

Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble….

CAUTION – Take care when adding the liquid…it does splutter and can cause a nasty burn! Add the dessert cream, evaporated milk, condensed milk, milk and water to the pot.
Add egg yellow, add more colouring if necessary.
Stir the mixture until it thickens and starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Continue stirring and then add sugar.
Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
Once the butter start to ‘float’ around the side of the pan, remove from the heat.
Place in a serving dish and garnish with brightly tinted almonds.
Call the Heart Foundation or your nearest hospital if you have any problems!

Semolina Cake

Semolina Cake from Sugar n Spice

Semolina Cake from Sugar n Spice

 

There have been lots of requests for this recipe – I have posted it under the Sugar ‘n Spice recipe tab but here it is for easy reference!  This cake is one of the most popular ones from the tv show and it is perfect for tea time – no cream or frosting required.  Just dust the cake with a fine layer of icing sugar!  It is an absolute treat.

 

 

 

Don’t forget to enter the competitions that are still running – the Whirlpool microwave, AMC Paella pan and the KitchenAid blender are still up for grabs!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Semolina Cake

Ingredients

250g soft Spar butter

225g sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

3 eggs, separated

250ml self-raising flour, sifted

250ml semolina

280ml Spar Greek yoghurt

Icing sugar, to dust

Perfect for tea!

Perfect for tea!

Here’s how

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Grease a 20cm bundt tin with non stick spray.

Place the egg whites in a metallic bowl and whisk with 30ml sugar until soft peaks form.

Cream butter and add the sugar gradually. Continue beating the butter until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add the egg yolks one at a time with 2,5ml cake flour to prevent the mixture from curdling.

Add the self-raising flour and the semolina and mix well.

Pour in the yoghurt and beat well to combine.

Add half the beaten egg whites and lightly fold into the cake mixture.

Add the remaining whisked egg whites and lightly fold ensuring that the ingredients are well combined.

Bake in a preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cake is tested.

Leave the cake to stand for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack.

Dust the cake with icing sugar when cool.

Yudhika’s Tips

Almond or rose essence can be used to flavour the cake batter.

All ingredients including the yoghurt must be at room temperature for the best results.

If you do not have a Bundt tin, use a round baking tin but ensure that you line the base and side of the tin with baking paper.

Orange zest can be used instead of lemon zest.