Yogas Nair

Under the whip…Baklava Semolina Cake

Baklava Semolina Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Baklava Semolina Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

The silly season is here….and most people think that it starts around November. For me, it’s been a silly year….with 17 episodes of Mela on SABC 2 plus more to be shot, a recipe column in the Post, Holi Cow… and the KitchenAid competition!it’s been a full plate…really full and then came along the Post Diwali supplement that will also be featured in the Daily News! It’s going to be a bumper Diwali with another supplement for Diwali with Golden Cloud that will also be featured in the Post newspaper.

I am just completing the recipes and proofreading which means that the end is near! Must say, although its fabulous to finish a project, I am really going to miss all the recipe trials and feasting and the 5am starts to my day….there have been pies, cakes, biscuits and curries….my best were the home-made bread rolls and naan.

I have been under the whip…but the best thing about doing these features is you have to come up with new recipes….and this one will make you fall in love! It’s a Baklava Semolina Cake! This is an eggless recipe which is also great for the fasting month. I love semolina cake…it has a lovely texture and it soaks up the fragrant syrup. Topped with toasted pistachios and almonds, it is irresistible! Speaking about irresistible, the KitchenAid competition was won by Renuka Lallbahadur and for the latest competition to win one of my kitchen must-haves from AMC cookware worth R3350, click here….https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/

You might worry that there is lots of syrup in this recipe…but the semolina soaks up every little bit of the syrup. Leave the cake for a few hours before serving to ensure the syrup soaks through and there isn’t a dry centre.

So this recipe is the hook….there are more delicious recipes coming your way…..and just a few more days till the Post is out….diarize it….Post Newspaper: Wednesday 15th October!!!! If you would like to watch some of the cooking clips from Sugar ‘n Spice click here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/new-videos/ and for the clips from the new show, Mela, click here….https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/

Eggless Baklava Semolina Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Eggless Baklava Semolina Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Baklava Semolina Cake
Ingredients
325g Golden Cloud semolina
45g desiccated coconut
100g sugar
5ml bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
150g melted butter
200ml milk
30ml double thick greek yoghurt

Syrup:
350g sugar
350ml water
2 cinnamon sticks
30ml honey
15ml lemon juice

Topping
4 sheets of phyllo pastry
60g melted butter
140g roasted pecans and flaked almonds

Here’s how:
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Place the all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a 20cm loose bottom baking or pie tin.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the top is pale golden brown.

While the cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup.

Place the sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in a thick-bottomed pot.
Heat on low until the sugar melts, stirring continuously.
Increase the heat and simmer until the syrup lightly coats the back of a spoon – it should be slightly sticky to the touch – it should not be too thick or it will not drench the cake.
Remove from the heat, then stir in the honey and lemon juice.

Pour the hot syrup over the warm cake and reserve a 60ml syrup for the topping.

Brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter, then layer with the next sheet. Brush the sheet with butter and repeat until all five sheets are done.
Brush the top of the pile with melted butter, then roll the sheets up to resemble a swiss roll.

Slice the roll into 5mm pieces and place on a baking tray. Bake at 175°C for 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and unroll them slightly so they resemble ribbons.
Bake again until golden brown.

To assemble:
Sprinkle half the nuts over the cake, then arrange the phyllo pastry on top.
Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the cake, then drizzle with 60ml reserved syrup.

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Leaving on a jetplane…..spicy brinjals, jalebi and other stories

A not so regal Yudhika Sujanani....

A not so regal Yudhika Sujanani….

I am about to head off for the big airport as my kids call it…Rob, my other half, has left to Chang Rai, in the north of Thailand last week, and I am flying off to meet him….it’s been pretty much a touch and go sort of thing….its been busy, really busy….and just when you think it’s reached a peak….there is another mountain to conquer! Thank heavens for Holi Cow….it has become my other home, office and yes, paradise!

The ‘another mountain’ is the Post Newspaper Diwali supplement that will be published on Wednesday, 15 October….just in time for Diwali. I absolutely love being in the kitchen and creating new recipes. I have been cooking up a storm with the Holi Cow team running after me…I even roped my Nan into being my new assistant, getting new recipes done, photographed and ready for the Post boss lady, Yogas Nair. There really is a new sheriff in town!

So although Rob has asked me to bring cycling gear, hiking boots and a cozzie…I am taking summery frocks, lip gloss, sunscreen and shades…I will not be playing Lara Croft’s part in Tomb raider! Hmmm…come to think of it, I have no issues though if Rob wants to play Brad Pitt!

Holi Cow has hosting busy cooking classes, catering and lunch time parties not to mention the endless cakes we seem to bake on order! There have also been tv days with the Mela team and an old school Bollywood style photo shoot with Vanessa Lewis who asked me to look regal…regal only worked when there weren’t any jalebi in sight…all I could think of was eating them!

It’s also been a busy month spent cooking up vegetarian dishes as the Hindu fasting month, Purtassi, is being observed. From the tried and tested recipes like simple bean curry and then the zhooshed ones like paneer koftas in coconut sauce….the requests are overwhelming! It’s also time to get “Diwali Ready’ and perhaps you should enter the KichenAid competition by posting your feedback with #KitchenAid #Mela on this link: https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/kitchenaid-giveaway-2014/

Before I leave off to my short trip to mountains in Thailand….I leave you with a veggie recipe, perfect for the fasting month. Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Post newspaper for more veggie recipes that we will be featuring this month!

Spicy Brinjals

Spicy Brinjals

Spicy Brinjals

2 large brinjals, sliced
Fine salt, to sweat brinjals
Sunflower oil, to grill brinjals

45ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml fennel seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
15ml desiccated coconut
10ml crushed ginger and garlic
10ml red chilli powder
600g tomatoes, skinned and chopped
5ml ground cumin
10ml ground coriander
2ml turmeric
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how

Place the sliced brinjals in a colander and sprinkle with fine salt.
Leave to sweat for 30 minutes.
Wipe the brinjals with absorbent paper towel and gently squeeze out excess moisture.
Brush the brinjal slices with sunflower oil and grill in a hot pan.

For the sauce:
Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an AMC 30cm pot, and add the mustard seeds.
Add the fennel and when the seeds begin to splutter, stir in the onions.
Sprinkle the coarse salt over the onions and saute until light golden.
Add the desiccated coconut and stir for a few seconds until fragrant and starting to change colour.
Stir in the ginger and garlic, next add the red chilli powder.
Add the chopped tomatoes, and then sprinkle over the remaining powdered spices.
Simmer until the tomatoes soften into a thick sauce and the oil separates from the sauce.
Place the brinjal slices into the sauce and garnish with fresh coriander.

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.