spar coconut cream

Very vegetarian….Paneer and Spinach Koftas

Paneer and Spinach Koftas....by Yudhika Sujanani

Paneer and Spinach Koftas….by Yudhika Sujanani

I recently joined a group on Facebook called ‘Strictly Vegetarian Recipes’ and it has been an inspiration. The group was started by Prathna Singh in memory of her mom who was a vegetarian. I have been so amazed by the recipes posted but mostly the enthusiasm of the members. From eggless baking to old fashioned recipes, the group share their love for all things deliciously vegetarian.

I have been raised in a meat loving home where veggies were for days that were financially challenging. Preparing veggie meals has not been at the top of my list but the ladies of ‘Strictly Vegetarian’ keep me on my toes and thinking of new ideas to share.

With the rise of the celebrity and masterchef generation, we tend to forget to acknowledge the home cooks and chefs from the older generation….there is no TV audience but it is where most recipes come from! Aunties and grannies, mothers and neighbours…recipes were shared through the local grapevine….I would also like to thank the members of the group for their amazing work and spirit in keeping the page alive and brimming with decadent ideas.

Some of the contributors on the page are Mrs Priscilla Ron Sha, Prathna Singh, Usha Singh and Sherry Baijnath. Thanks ladies for the delicious shares! This blog is a celebration so don’t forget to enter the AMC Cookware Competition, click here for the details…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/05/04/cookware-for-queens-and-a-few-kings-too-the-amc-cookware-competition/ Don’t forget the hashtags…#amcforlife #yudhikayumyum in your comments!

Here is a recipe from my veggie files…I used a combination of Indian and Thai flavours in the sauce. Coconut milk, lemongrass and lime leaves combined with Indian spices make this sauce utterly decadent. Lime leaves can be found at Asian supermarkets and can be kept in the pantry for over a year. When I am short on lemongrass, I just add a few extra lime leaves to mimic the citrus zing….it does work so don’t panic if you can’t find the lemongrass! When using coconut milk, I recommend the following brands…Mae Ploy, Aroy D and Chao Koh or you can use the Spar brand coconut cream (with the yellow label). Some of the brands are really watery and ruin the sauce. For the basic paneer recipe, click here…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/11/01/how-to-make-paneer/ – just remember to use Clover milk for the recipe…from my recipe testing, it seems to work best for paneer.

These recipes can be sent directly to your inbox…all you have to do is click follow on the bottom of the page…scroll down to the very bottom of the page!

Paneer and Spinach Koftas

200g grated paneer
2 large boiled potatoes, grated
150g baby spinach, finely shredded
7,5ml crushed ginger
7,5ml crushed garlic
2 green chillies, finely chopped
5ml ajwain (ajmo)
5ml fine salt

Chickpea batter
500ml chickpea flour
2,5ml ajwain
2,5ml salt
Cold water, to make batter

Sunflower oil, to fry koftas

For the sauce:
750g chopped tomatoes
250ml cold water
2 cloves garlic
5ml crushed ginger
6 lime leaves
1 stalk lemongrass
4 green cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
15ml red chilli powder
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
5ml garam masala
5ml sugar
125ml coconut milk
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Place the grated paneer, potato and baby spinach in a mixing bowl. Add the ginger, garlic, chopped chillies, ajwain and salt.
Mix well until the ingredients are combined.
Mould the mixture into balls and leave in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Make a batter with the chickpea flour, ajwain, salt and cold water.
Dip the koftas in the batter and then deep fry in hot oil.
Remove from the oil and leave to cool slightly, then dip in chickpea batter and fry again.
Leave to drain on a wire rack.

To make the sauce:

Place the tomatoes in a 24cm AMC pot and bring to the boil.
Pour in the water, then add garlic, ginger, lime leaves and lemongrass.
Place the cardamom pods, and bay leaf into the pot.
When the tomatoes soften completely, pass the mixture through a sieve.
Use the back of the wooden spoon to press the mixture through ensuring just the whole spices and lemongrass is left in the sieve.
Discard the pulp and bring the liquid to the boil.
Add red chilli powder, ground cumin, coriander, garam masala and sugar.
Simmer for a 3 – 5 minutes.
Add coconut milk and simmer until the sauce is glossy.
Place the koftas into the coconut sauce and garnish with fresh coriander.

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.