the post newspaper

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat…Where have you been?

Yudhika's Harrods Inspired Chocolate Fig Cupcakes

Yudhika’s Harrods Inspired Fig and Chocolate Cupcakes

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat,

Where have you been?

I have been to London,

Not to visit the Queen!

My days have been full, my evenings fuller and life has just been crazy! I must apologize for not blogging in a while!  And from here on, ‘I solemnly swear to blog’!  Thanks and thanks again for the lovely messages and posts – and to those of you who said you missed the recipes, its just the inspiration needed to publish a new recipe!

So, the question everyone asks is, ‘Where have you been?’

Well here, there and everywhere!  But my latest highlight was an invitation to London!  I have been hankering after a break for ages.  I will be blogging some of the highlights of my trip as well as the recipes and dishes that made a memorable one!

Yudhika's adventure at Harrods

Yudhika’s adventure at Harrods

A trip to London would not be complete without a trip to Harrods.  I should write a story titled, ‘Lost in Harrods’…it is the most amazing shopping experience ever! And the entire 5th floor is dedicated to shoes…only shoes!  For those of you who know me, I have an ongoing love affair with shoes! I spent hours admiring the displays and feasting my eyes on the exquisite collection.

The chocolate truffle display at Harrods - how beautiful!

The chocolate truffle display at Harrods – how beautiful!

The Harrods Food Hall has the most amazing selection of food creations that I have experienced.  From designer cupcakes that cost around 6 pounds to triple layer cakes that cost more than a pretty penny. The best way to survive London is to never think about the exchange rate.  I did a quick little clip, take a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQxDaJXAKmM&list=UU-twiG9NWyVR9OH9F7gSbMg and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHpKF5YgmaY&list=UU-twiG9NWyVR9OH9F7gSbMg

Yudhika visits Harrods: 75 pounds for a cake at Harrods!!!  WOW!

Yudhika visits Harrods: 75 pounds for a cake at Harrods!!! WOW!

I got home feeling inspired and whipped up a batch of these delicious cupcakes.  They are rather ‘Harrods Looking’ even if I say so myself.  I did pick up a foodie keepsake from the store, an Irish wood board which I am sure I will treasure for years.

I got back to Jozi feeling inspired and made up a batch of these to impress my kids!  They are delicious and more importantly come without a Harrods price tag!  This recipe is going to be featured in the Post Newspaper’s Easter Supplement that comes out on Wednesday this week so don’t forget to pick up your copy!

On to the recipe….here is my Harrod’s Inspired Fig and Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

Ingredients

Makes 12

100g cake flour

7,5ml baking powder

25g cocoa powder

120g sugar

50g butter, room temperature

120ml full cream milk

1 egg

5ml vanilla essence

The Frosting Ingredients

100g butter

200g sifted icing sugar

45g cocoa powder

230g cream cheese
 – I used Spar Cream Cheese

30ml full cream milk, optional

Fresh figs, to garnish

Fresh mint, to garnish

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.

Place the cake flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar into a mixing bowl.

Add the butter and beat until the ingredients are combined – the mixture should look quite gritty.

Gradually add the milk and vanilla essence while beating continuously.

Add the lightly beaten eggs and beat again until the batter is smooth.

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cakes are tested.

Remove the cakes from the tin and then leave on a wire rack to cook completely.

For the frosting:

Beat together icing sugar and butter until well combined.

Sift in the cocoa powder and continue beating.

Add the cream cheese and continue beating the ingredients until smooth and fluffy.

This should take 2 – 3 minutes – take care not to over work the frosting.

Add full cream milk if the frosting is too thick.

To finish:

Pipe the frosting over the cupcakes and top with a fresh fig.

Garnish with a mint sprig.

The Great Turkey Express…

Turkey Pie....by Yudhika Sujanani

Turkey Pie….by Yudhika Sujanani

 

I was watching Mela today and I had a little giggle when Kajal and Zakkie mentioned that it’s the festive season and turkeys must be having sleepless nights!  A little light-hearted Mela humor on a Sunday arvie is just the ticket!  If you missed the episode…click here to watch our Christmas episode, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCkHE67Y8Bw and for the recipe from the show, check out the Mela facebook page!

 

There is also the trauma of the refrigerator that is heaving with leftovers which can be pretty daunting.  With turkey…it’s usually that all the good bits are gone and you’re left with the dried out turkey breasts.  This used to be a problem but I have found a few ways of turning troublesome leftovers into an absolute feast!  If you are still looking for the perfect turkey recipe, click here….https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/12/turkey-time-recipes-for-the-festive-season/ or here for the turkey flattie recipe…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/04/almost-turkey-time/ !

 

Kitchen fun with Rushil Sujanani...

Kitchen fun with Rushil Sujanani…

 

 

Trawling through my kitchen….there are a few ingredients that you will always find….garlic, onions, carrots, fresh cream and Magic Masala to spice things up…in the freezer, you are bound to find a stash of buttery puff pastry…and in the garden, lots of fresh herbs!

 

I take a few ingredients and turn them into a deliciously french inspired filling for a pie….simple ingredients can make a delicious pie filling that is hearty and it can feed my hungry kids….they are the ravenous sort who just love good old-fashioned food! The best part of the pie making is that I get my kids to help out….and it can be a little messy but so much fun!

 

 

Tanvi Sujanani....the pastry princess!

Tanvi Sujanani….the pastry princess!

 

Tanvi and Rushil....helping decorate the pie!

Tanvi and Rushil….helping decorate the pie!

Thanks to the commercial pie chains and suppliers…we have forgotten how good a home-made one is…it’s just comfort food at it’s best!   After the festive over indulgences, serve this pie with a green salad and a little turkey gravy if you have.

 

Turkey pie by Yudhika Sujanani....

 

Turkey Pie

 

And the ingredients are...

And the ingredients are…

 

Ingredients

 

 

40ml sunflower oil

125ml chopped onion

2,5ml salt

2 leeks, finely chopped

75ml finely diced carrot

30ml fresh thyme, leaves only

8 rashers bacon, chopped

175g button mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

100ml white wine

400g roasted turkey meat

100ml fresh cream

5ml black pepper

60ml fresh coriander, chopped

20ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala

 

2 x 400g puff pastry sheets

1 egg, lightly beaten

 

 

Here’s how

 

Heat the sunflower oil in a 28cm Chef’s Pan and add the chopped onion.

Sprinkle in the salt and sauté until the onion is pale golden.

Add the leeks, carrots and fresh thyme.

 

Yudhika's turkey cook up in my AMC Chefs Pan....

Yudhika’s turkey cook up in my AMC Chefs Pan….

Saute until the carrots and leeks soften, add the chopped bacon.

Saute until the bacon browns.

Add the mushrooms and stir fry until they turn brown, then add the garlic and saute for a few seconds.

Pour in the wine, add the turkey and simmer until the liquid reduces by half.

Pour in the fresh cream and simmer until the sauce thickens and coats the turkey pieces.

Add the black pepper and leave the filling to cool.

Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.

 

Grease a baking sheet with non stick spray.

Place one sheet of puff pastry on the sheet.

Cut 4cm off the sides of the second sheet.

Place the cool turkey filling onto the first sheet of pastry.

Spicing up the pie with Magic Masala...

Spicing up the pie with Magic Masala…

 

Sprinkle the coriander and Magic Masala over the turkey.

 

Assemble the pie....

Assemble the pie….

 

Cover with the second sheet and gently enclose the filling by folding the excess pastry over the top layer.

Brush with the beaten egg.

If you have extra pastry, cut shapes out and decorate the top of the pie – I get my kids to help decorate the pie!

Brush again with the beaten egg.

Bake at 190°C for 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

 

 

The goddess within……

Yudhika Sujanani - photographed by Vanessa Lewis

Yudhika Sujanani – photographed by Vanessa Lewis

I asked Vanessa Lewis to shoot my Diwali 2014 pictures for the Post Newspaper….and while we were on shoot, she came up with the idea of doing a pic that reflected what life was like for me. With the help of make up artist extraordinaire, Lyn Kennedy, they had me looking like Jansi ki Rani much to my amazement. For those of you who don’t know…Jansi ki Rani was the warrior Queen of an Indian city called Jansi in the 1800’s!

There is just so much on the go and at times it feels like I am juggling 100 things…I am a mom, wife, recipe book author, recipe columnist, recipe developer, owner of a food brand and entrepreneur! I admit that I am not perfect at any of them…but the race isn’t over yet!

This post is not about religion – let’s get that straight…so for those people who read these blog and get into a huff, you clearly haven’t understood it! The lamps represent keeping the fires burning, the heap of spice represents the effort that goes into my spice brand, Curry Me Home. And the sweetmeats….that represents the abundance that life has to offer and the love I share through the food I create.

With religion out the way….this is about embracing your strengths and understanding them! So before everyone goes crazy thinking that I claim to be a religious goddess, I declare that I am not. We often come across buzz phrases like ‘awaken the goddess’ or ‘be your own goddess’ or even Nigella’s ‘domestic goddess’ but what does that really mean? I think a domestic goddess would wake up every morning and make up her own bed, I confess that I don’t!

For me, it means quietly getting on with your stuff…it means not complaining because however much you complain, you know the job will be done…it means, hauling out your big girl knickers and lacing up your boots because life is full of twists and turns! From my personal experiences, I can say entrepreneurship isn’t for sissies but neither is love or parenting!

I was given the name ‘Yudhika’ – it’s a Sanskrit name meaning Jasmine but there is another meaning….In Gurmukhi, Punjabi, and Hindi ‘Yudh’ means war! Naming an Indian child is an auspicious event and I think that someone forget to mention this to my gran (she was in charge of names)! A hindu priest once visited our home and said that the name is one of the Goddess Durga…she took on the form of a warring Goddess, Yudhika! It’s a strong name and most conservative Indians are surprised by it because it is also believed that your name determines your character and personality! A ‘Yudhika’ would be the rebellious sort!

I lived up to the meaning of my name…I am a fighter, a rebel and never the sort that would make a subservient wife or daughter in law! We are all born with a divine uniqueness….it’s just that we have to find out what it is…and it is only then that we can perhaps crack life’s secret code!

I take on a lot, do a lot, work fiercely, fight hard and love passionately…I am constantly asked how I do it and my response is that, ‘If you love what you do, you never work a day! And yes, there are always things that do get neglected….

So, leave you with these thoughts….we pray for health, happiness and success but we play a large part in achieving what we desire! We have to take up the challenge to creating that happy space….I do believe in a supreme being but not so much in the religions around it!

Here are some tips for finding that goddess….

– Try traveling back in time to when you were a kid, and remember the things you said you would do….that was when you were free from most fears….I said to my mom that I was going to be famous! She still talks about it!

– Put yourself on a pedestal…because no one can do that for you!

– Love what you do….we spend most of our lives at work….so, try to make it a happy space…if you don’t love it, then start out by trying to like what you do!

– Learn to be your own best friend….be selfish…put yourself first, because without you there can be nothing else! Try this….’Me first, everything else later’

– Share whatever you can share…share with friends and family…..and share with strangers…this is the best sharing because let’s face it…our friends and family can piss us off sometime!

– Share a kind thought…ask someone how they really are without expecting the ‘I’m fine and you’ response….and listen to them….make an effort to connect!

– Say what you will do, when you say you will do it! We lose credibility by not doing this and making excuses for it! I am borrowing this one from Graeme Butchart, author and creator of ‘The Genius Programme’ http://www.graemebutchart.com

– And if none of these strike a cord, enter the AMC cookware competition on the blog here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/ or the KitchenAid competition here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/

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.

Layered Lamb and Mushrooms

Layered Lamb and Mushrooms

I am just loving my new AMC gourmet cookware units!  I prepared the mince, covered the pan with foil and popped it straight into the oven!

Layered Lamb and Mushrooms

Serves 4
Ingredients:

60ml sunflower oil
2 sticks cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7,5ml – 10ml coarse salt
15ml crushed ginger
10ml crushed garlic
30ml mixed masala – I used my very own Nan’s Lazy Day Masala
1kg lamb mince
2 sprigs curry leaves
250ml frozen peas
1000ml cooked Basmati Rice
50ml melted butter
150ml boiling water
400g button mushrooms, sliced
Sunflower oil, to saute mushrooms
4 spring onions, finely sliced
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pot.
Add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.
When the spices are fragrant, add the cloves, cardamom pods and cumin seeds.
Saute until the seeds begin to splutter and then add the chopped onion.
Stir the salt into the onions and saute until the onions are light golden brown.
Add the crushed ginger and garlic.
Stir for a few seconds and then stir in the mixed masala.
Mix the masala with the onions taking care not to burn the spices.
Stir in the lamb mince and continue stir frying.
Use the back of a spoon to break down the lumps in the mince.
Stir the mince until browned and then stir in the curry leaves.
Remove the cardamom pods from the mince.
Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Place the mince in a casserole dish and then scatter the frozen peas over.
Layer the cooked rice over the peas and pour the melted butter over.
Pour the boiling water over the rice and then cover with foil.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until the rice has steamed through.
Heat a skillet and then pour in a little sunflower oil.
Saute the mushrooms in batches until golden brown.
Season the mushrooms with salt.
Layer the cooked mushrooms over the rice.
Garnish with sliced spring onion and coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:

The cooked rice must be cold for this recipe.
I use an AMC gourmet cookware unit which can be used from the stove top to the oven.
Cook the mushrooms in batches to prevent them from stewing in the pan.
Cooked brown lentils can be used instead of frozen peas.

The joys of jet lag….

Freshly baked croissants

 

I have just got back from a fabulous holiday…three weeks of pure bliss.  I am such a lucky girl…Bangkok, Koh Samui and Singapore in one holiday.  Luckier still, the Bangkok leg of the trip was sponsored by the Royal Thai Embassy in Pretoria, who arranged an invitation to Bangkok Fashion Week  as well as a few days at the world famous Blue Elephant cooking school.

We thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our three week holiday stint – great weather, fantastic food, 5 star service, and above all such friendly and helpful people. Despite this, we were still happy to get back home last week. I think that is the benefit of a 3 week break instead of 2 – you are not left still needing a bit more. Plus, I have to say that despite the taxis, broken traffic lights and the billing shambles, Joburg is actually not such a bad place (I must be getting soft!)

After all the holiday fun comes the work – I am now way behind on my blogging. But for now, I am going to jump the queue with this blog because this recipe needs to be shared with the world!  In the last week I have dealt with my jet lag troubles by indulging in a few decadent treats. On Sunday morning I woke up at 3am, and after spending an hour tossing and turning in bed I decided to get up  and do something useful.  I briefly thought about watching a movie, reading a book, or sewing a dress. I decided instead to fulfil an early morning craving for home-made croissants – light and delicious freshly baked pastry was what  my troubled tummy was calling for.

So at 4am, with just the afghan hounds for company, I tiptoed downstairs and crept into the kitchen.  An early morning start is always enjoyable once you are up, and it also meant the croissants were ready for tea at 3pm.

 

My butter stash…

 

I always keep a stash of Spar butter in the refrigerator so I don’t break the bank when I make these.  I love cooking and baking with butter and maybe you have noticed that it has become quite expensive.  If you are going to give this recipe a bash – stay away from the margarine….it just won’t work!

Here is my recipe for Butter Croissants….

Ingredients:

500g cake flour

7g dried yeast

10ml salt

50g sugar

40g powdered milk (I used Klim)

350ml iced water

275g butter, at room temperature

1 large egg, beaten

Icing sugar, optional to dust

Here’s how:

Sift the cake flour into a large mixing bowl.

Add the yeast to the sifted flour.

Dissolve the salt, sugar and milk powder in 100ml of the iced water.

Stir the ingredients into the iced water.

Make a well in the flour and pour in the iced water mixture.

Use your fingertips to work the flour into the liquid.

Slowly add the remaining iced water taking care not make the dough too sticky.

Knead the dough lightly and then leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until the dough doubles.

Knead the dough for a few seconds and cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate the dough for 6 hours.

While the dough is resting, lightly cream the butter.

Leave the butter in the refrigerator to chill – it should be cold but not hard.

Place the butter on grease proof and work it into a 10cm x 10cm block.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and then roll into a large rectangle.

Place the butter block diagonally over the centre of the dough.

Fold the edges over the butter ensuring that it is properly enclosed with the dough.

Roll the dough into a large rectangle.

Fold top third of the dough over the middle section.

Fold the bottom third over the middle section.

Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface with the folded flap facing right.

Roll out the dough out and repeat the process twice more – The dough must rest for 20 minutes in the refrigerator each time.

Roll the dough into a large rectangle and cut out 2 x 35cm rounds.

Use a ruler to mark each round into eight ‘triangles’.

Refrigerate the triangles for 20 minutes.

Roll each triangle starting at the base and tuck the point under the roll.

Gently curl the roll into a crescent shape.

Leave the rolls to rise at room temperature.

Beat the egg with 5ml cold water.

Brush the croissants with the egg mixture.

Bake at 230 degrees celsius for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Croissants lightly dusted with icing sugar

Dust the croissants with icing sugar when they cool down.