The home channel

Asian Beef Short Rib…Sugar & Spice recipes

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika - Asian Beef Short Rib served with Coconut Rice

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika – Asian Beef Short Rib served with Coconut Rice

I have a big heart for South East Asian flavors….lemongrass, coriander, coconut and chilli. On Sugar & Spice last week, I showcased these flavors dedicating an entire episode to highlight the delicious cuisine.

On the menu, a slow cooked Asian Beef Short Rib with a fragrant home-made paste, slowly simmered in coconut milk and to go with that a lightly scented coconut rice, dotted with peas. If you are short on time, the beef rib can be prepared in an AMC Speedcooker but remember to reduce the liquid to prevent the sauce turning into a soup….during the show, I used a normal pot…when I say normal I mean I use a fabulous AMC pot for this and not a pressure cooker.

Don’t forget to catch the show on Dstv’s Home Channel 176 or you can tune into Mela on Sundays on SABC 2 for a weekly dose of delicious too!

Asian Style Beef Short Rib by Yudhika Sujanani  cooked with lemongrass, chilli, garlic and coconut milk

Asian Style Beef Short Rib by Yudhika Sujanani cooked with lemongrass, chilli, garlic and coconut milk

Asian Beef Short Rib

Ingredients

1kg beef short rib

For the paste:
2 inch piece of ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped (white parts only)
4 – 6 green chillies, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
5 cloves
45ml sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped

50ml sunflower oil
1 – 2 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
30ml red chilli powder
2,5ml turmeric
10ml coarse salt

8 lime leaves

500 – 600ml coconut milk
Coriander, to garnish

Place the cloves, chillies, onion, garlic, and ginger into a blender.
Process until smooth.

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC Pan.
Add the cinnamon sticks and bay leaf.
Once the whole spices are fragrant, add the fragrant paste.
Saute until the moisture evaporates.
Add the red chilli powder and turmeric.
Stir for 3 – 5 seconds, then add the beef short rib.
Coat the rib with the fried paste, scraping the pan to prevent burning.
Add the salt and stir well.
Pour in the coconut milk, add the lime leaves and loosen the spices that are stuck to the base of the pan.
Lower the heat and simmer until the beef is tender.
Once the beef is cooked through, simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens.
Place on a serving platter and garnish with fresh coriander.

Pea and Coconut Rice by Yudhika Sujanani

Pea and Coconut Rice by Yudhika Sujanani

Pea and Coconut Rice

Ingredients

50ml sunflower oil
45ml desiccated coconut
375ml basmati rice
600ml water
150ml coconut milk
Salt to season
250ml frozen peas
Coriander, to garnish

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC pot until warm (not hot).
Add the desiccated coconut and stir to heat.
Add the curry leaves and stir for a few seconds.
Stir the basmati rice into the fried coconut.
Add the water, coconut milk and salt.
Reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid.
Once the rice has steamed through, add the frozen peas and cover with a tight fitting lid.
Check the rice, ensuring it does not stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
Leave to stand for 2 – 3 minutes until heated through.
Garnish with fresh coriander.

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Sugar & Spice with Yudhika: Almond Crusted Paneer

Yudhika prepares Almond Crusted Paneer on the Home Channel's  Sugar & Spice

Yudhika prepares Almond Crusted Paneer on the Home Channel’s Sugar & Spice

Caught up in the whirlwind of cooking classes, tv shoots and just amazing times, blogging sometimes takes a bit of a beating! I am back on track and please stay tuned to the blog, social media and the Home Channel to catch up on the latest episodes of Sugar & Spice on DSTV’s 176.

Here is a recipe from last week’s show, focusing on vegetarian meals! I marinated paneer in a tandoori style paste and patted on a handful of flaked almonds to form a crust…bake in a hot oven and serve with mint chutney! You have the perfect and quite unusual oven baked paneer.

Marinated Paneer crusted with flaked almonds ready for the oven....Sugar & Spice with Yudhika on the Home Channel

Marinated Paneer crusted with flaked almonds ready for the oven….Sugar & Spice with Yudhika on the Home Channel

Almond Crusted Paneer

Ingredients

4 litres full Cream Milk, preferably Clover
180ml white vinegar

Boil milk in a thick bottomed pot 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.

For the marinade

60ml chickpea flour
10ml Curry me Home Magic Masala or Indian Rub
20ml red chilli powder
2,5ml turmeric
5ml ajwain seeds (carom or lovage)
10ml garam masala
5ml ground black pepper
60ml fresh cream
50ml yoghurt

50g flaked almonds
Salt, to season
Sunflower oil, to drizzle

Place the spices, chickpea flour, yoghurt and cream into a bowl.
Stir well until the marinade is smooth.

Place a piece of baking paper onto a roasting pan or baking tray.
Drizzle with a little sunflower oil and spread two tablespoons of the marinade over the paper.
Place the paneer on top and coat in the remaining marinade.
Season with salt and gently press the flaked almonds over the marinade.
Drizzle with sunflower oil.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius for 12 minutes or until the paneer is golden brown.
Serve with mint chutney.

Spicing it up on Sugar & Spice…Saffron Apple Cake

Yudhika Sujanani's Portuguese episode on Sugar & Spice - DSTv 176

Yudhika Sujanani’s Portuguese episode on Sugar & Spice – DSTv 176

We are on the 5th episode of Sugar & Spice on DSTv’s Home Channel. I have been completely overwhelmed by the response and the emails and messages have been heart warming. Thanks to all of you for following the show and including some of my recipes in your cooking repertoire.

I do cook a fair bit of Indian dishes everyday, whether at Holi Cow or for my family…we love traditional Indian food but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the only cuisine that I prepare. Italian, Middle Eastern and Moroccan recipes are some of my favourites but also Portuguese cuisine! Portuguese food and I don’t mean the Nando’s type peri peri chicken, is popular and the Lusitoland festival shows just how popular it is.

On this season of Sugar & Spice, I have been stepping out of my curry zone and doing some of my other favourites with you…I challenged myself only allowing two Indian themed episodes. The team decided on Italian, Moroccan, Chocolate, Mediterranean, South East Asian and a whole episode dedicated to the love of chocolate!

This week features a Portuguese influenced Brazilian Pork and Bean stew with orange and cocoa….yes, it does sound a bit like a dessert and not a common combination for the South African palate but believe me, it does work like a charm. The Mozambican Style Prawns cooked in a buttery juice with onions, garlic and stock….and a Saffron Apple Cake with home-made custard!

We have the Portuguese to thank for making spices a part of global cuisine….and we also have them to thank for the Goan Indian Vindaloo….more about the Lamb Vindaloo later!

No matter what the theme is, the Home Channel together with Spar and AMC Cookware have given me an opportunity to share my love of all things spicy with you….it has been an amazing adventure so far and looking forward to the next season!

Yudhika's Saffron Apple Cake on The Home Channel

Yudhika’s Saffron Apple Cake on The Home Channel

Here is the recipe for the Saffron Apple Cake…this is a beautiful fruity cake and the appearance makes it impressive. You can use mixed spice, cloves, and cardamom to flavour the batter but I stuck to the classic cinnamon. For more recipes from Sugar & Spice, log onto http://www.thehomechannel.co.za and click on the food show tab.

Ready to serve...Yudhika's Saffron Apple Cake drizzled with home-made custard!

Ready to serve…Yudhika’s Saffron Apple Cake drizzled with home-made custard!

Saffron Apple Cake

Ingredients

Few strands of saffron
6 large Granny Smith Apples
15ml lemon juice
5 eggs, separated
225g butter
225g sugar
30ml ground almonds or coconut flour
370g cake flour
185ml full cream milk, room temperature
15ml baking powder
5ml vanilla paste or essence
5ml cinnamon
Pinch of salt

30ml sugar
Icing sugar, to dust cake

Pre-heat oven to 170 degree celsius.
Grease and line a 10 inch loose bottomed cake tin.

Heat the saffron strands in a dry pan for 30 seconds or microwave for 10 seconds.
Leave the saffron to cool and then crush lightly with your fingertips.
Peel and core the apples.
Cut the apples in half and slice thinly.
Lightly toss in the lemon juice to prevent the apples from discolouration.

Beat the egg whites until foamy and gradually add 15ml of from the 225g of weighed sugar until stiff.

Cream the butter until light in colour and gradually add the sugar.
Continue beating until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks with a teaspoon of flour and beat for a few seconds
Add the almond or coconut flour.
Gradually add the flour alternating with milk.
Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, crushed saffron and salt.
Beat well until the batter is smooth.
Lastly fold in half the stiffly beaten egg whites to ‘loosen’ the batter.
Fold in the remaining egg whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth with a spatula.
Arrange the apples starting out at the centre and angling each piece working in an outward concentric pattern so its starts to look like a flower.
Use the smaller pieces to fill in the gaps – do not press the apple slices deep into the pastry. The should have a raised appearance.
Sprinkle 30ml sugar over the apples and bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and shrinks away from the side of the tin.
Leave to cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Serve with home made custard.

French Style Custard

250ml fresh cream
5ml vanilla paste
2 egg yolks
70ml sugar

Heat the cream with vanilla paste, stirring continuously to prevent it from scorching.
Once the cream comes to the boil, place the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar into a paste and pour the hot cream over – this is an important step, do not add the eggs into the hot cream as this will cause the eggs to scramble.
Whisk the mixture and pour back into the pot.
Place the pot back on low heat and whisk continuously until the custard thickens.
Remove from the heat.
Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
Serve drizzled over the sliced saffron apple cake.

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.

To knead or not to need?

Need this??? Yudhika's delicous Naan Bread!

Need this??? Yudhika’s delicous Naan Bread!

Knead reminds me of ‘need’ and being caught in the negative ‘need’ cycle. Wherever we are in life, no matter what we accomplish, we are bombarded by society that ‘needs this’ or ‘needs that’. We are also bombarded by clever marketing convincing us that our wants are needs, and this creates much confusion. Telling the two apart is sometimes impossible.

I can’t speak for others but I have always needed to prove that I could and would rise above adversity. In my mind I made up a black list, remembering every nasty comment and dig…thinking, ‘ONE DAY, ONE DAY…! As the years passed, the list grew longer…and I know that this is an unique situation. Most of us have been in this place at some point in our lives. And my ‘ONE DAY’ has come and gone several times…but there is always a new villain on the list or am I that villain that keeps pushing myself harder?

The negative side was the need to prove myself led to me being a workaholic and becoming a bit of a magpie, collecting trinkets and material possessions along my journey. The positive side, I turned my frustration into something constructive, working toward a career that has given me enormous joy and fulfillment. I had the fancy homes and the bad marriages that came with it, unbreakable credit cards, a wardrobe to die for and the shoes….let’s not go there!

I have worked through a particularly difficult phase in my life, thinking I was going mad at times, doubting my own intuition and recovering from years of feeling like I still needed to try harder to prove myself. Sometimes it was about feeding my ego. I couldn’t let the past go or the constant nagging that came from a partner who clearly had his own axe to grind…for my own selfish reasons but also because I was put under pressure by being told that I wasn’t good enough…make more money, be thinner, eat less, try harder, be more funny, perform and complaints that I wasn’t subservient like Indian women were supposed to be. When did I stop being a woman and at what point did I become the circus horse??

Stupidly believing that I was being ‘encouraged’ for my ‘own good’ only to realize that the more I performed, I become easier to validate as my partner’s choice. Who knows what his issues were? But he pushed me hard into being a trophy to save himself from looking the fool. The worst is that this sort of treatment comes from the people closest to us which makes it even harder to deal with and it leads to un-natural desires and needs, creating stress and frustration. This is not a whine session, but thoughts shared which create awareness and different thought processes. I was a victim once, but that was a long time ago…I am not feeling sorry for myself, or an emotional refugee either…I am a just a person who was lucky enough to work it out.

I have reached a beautiful place in my life and here are my thoughts…after having experienced soul-destroying unhappiness, nothing material can ever be more valuable than feeling a true sense of joy. I have reached a beautiful place that is free from want….I am free from chasing unrealistic goals, pressure and ego. Materially, I want for nothing…not the latest car upgrade or fancy house, shopping sprees and five-star meals! This doesn’t mean that I have lost my drive and positivity…I love my work, family and have a life that is brimming with the most amazing opportunities. I have everything that is important and the rest will sort itself out. I have probably never felt better, more relaxed or happier.

I confused my needs with my wants, venturing down a damaging path to prove to others that I was worthy and capable. I had proven myself worthy repeatedly without realizing it. Take a look at life and ask yourself who you are doing it for…do it for the right reasons. Work hard, play hard, feast and be merry…live, love and rejoice! The lesson is to learn to draw a line between when adversity becomes a positive driver and when it becomes an obsession.

To the people who have been nasty, I can’t thank you enough for the role you played in me being who I am today. What was said and done to break my spirit became that which makes me unbreakable. The process did not come without hitches. I worked through them, and have come through it bigger (and curvier), better and stronger. I am thankful for the adversity that has built character and resilience, and it plays a lead role in my script.

 

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.

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.

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