yudhika sujanani l’etang

Spring has Sprung…..Marinated Beef Fillet

I love Gibs....Yudhika Sujanani

I love Gibs….Yudhika Sujanani

Yes, Spring has finally Sprung….the weather in Jozi has been glorious. It felt as though Winter would go on forever, and suddenly the willow tree is coming alive again! It’s the best thing about our garden…the long drooping branches of the willow that showers us with a crisp coolness on long Summer days!

Although I do love curries, soups, stews and casseroles…enough to enjoy them anytime of the year, I sometimes ‘lus’ for lighter meals….grilled meat or fish that can be thrown onto a pan and served with a drizzle or salad. I love spicy foods and curries but also find a seared beef fillet irresistible!

The girls...Cohort 7 GIBS Goldman Sachs Scholarship Programme 2013!

The girls…Cohort 7 GIBS Goldman Sachs Scholarship Programme 2013!

My dear friend and GIBS 10000 women colleague, Mandisa Bardill, messaged me last week for my marinated beef fillet recipe. First a little about Mandisa…how could I best describe her….a singer, a songwriter, a businesswoman, a friend and the ‘Hummingbird’ of our group!

The lovely Mandisa Bardill

The lovely Mandisa Bardill

Mands raved about the marinated fillet after trying it at one of my home dinner parties…it was one of our mad, crazy feasts, actually! That was a party to remember…us girls in party mode ready to rock on….and believe me, these ladies are a unique and talented bunch!

The Drama Queen....Orly Shapiro....

The Drama Queen….Orly Shapiro….

Birthday girl...Rebecca Sands

Birthday girl…Rebecca Sands

Mpho Mnguni....dreamer and dancer!

Mpho Mnguni….dreamer and dancer!

Lara Tatley...a gentle gem!

Lara Tatley…a gentle gem!


Meagan....Another 7 girl!

Meagan….Another 7 girl!

Sue Anne Stander....oh crumbs....she has done it again!

Sue Anne Stander….oh crumbs….she has done it again!

It was a great evening of fun and feasting….and we had Rebecca’s birthday to celebrate…

Birthday girl....Becky Sands

Birthday girl….Becky Sands

If you love celebrating as much as we do, check out the KitchenAid competition…post your comment on Facebook, Twitter or on the blog posts with #KitchenAid #mela and you could be the lucky winner! Here is the link, https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/kitchenaid-giveaway-2014/

Even my kids got into party mode….firstly, by serving our guests and then having some fun!

Rushil and Hetal...having some fun!

Rushil and Hetal…having some fun!


Orly Shapiro, Rushil and Yudhika...

Orly Shapiro, Rushil and Yudhika…

One dessert is just not enough…..creme brulee was also on the menu!

Yudhika firing up the trusted plumber's torch...

Yudhika firing up the trusted plumber’s torch…

Most of the girls on the scholarship programme had never met before, but I am sure that most of us made new friends….not acquaintances but real friends for life! I was very privileged to be a part of my little group and we called ourselves….’The Pussycat Dolls’ or the ‘Elevator Witches’! We always sat together…every class bucking the advice to mix and mingle! Hats off to the course directors who had to get us in line and keep us on track….Korkor Cudjoe, Yogavelli Nambiar, Catherine Burnard and Misha Dhana – the Gibs team really did have their hands full!

Back to the recipe….without further delays….

Marinated Beef Fillet by Yudhika Sujanani

Marinated Beef Fillet by Yudhika Sujanani

Fillet by Yudhika Sujanani[/caption]

Marinated Beef Fillet

Serves four

Ingredients
1kg beef fillet
Seasoned salt
25ml sunflower oil
Juice of 2 lemons
3 cloves garlic crushed
Chopped green chilli, to taste
50ml olive oil
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Here’s how:

Remove the fillet from the refrigerator and allow the meat to stand until it is at room temperature. Place the meat on a chopping board and using a sharp knife trim the fillet and remove the silvery skin. Season the fillet with seasoned salt. Heat an AMC skillet on high until it is smoking hot. Place the seasoned fillet on the skillet and pour the sunflower oil over. Sear the fillet until it caramelises on the outside. When the meat is caramelised, remove from the pan and wrap it in foil. Leave the meat to rest for fifteen minutes. The fillet continues cooking while it is resting. While the meat is resting, combine the lemon juice, crushed garlic, green chilli, olive oil and chopped coriander. Place the meat on a chopping board and slice thinly. If the meat is undercooked, grill again on a hot pan. Arrange the meat on a platter and pour the lemon and olive oil mixture over the fillet.

Yudhika’s Tips
Beef fillet is one of the most tender cuts and also the most expensive.
Ask your local butcher to trim the fillet for you as this saves time.
You can slice the fillet into portions if this makes searing them easier.
Always pour the sunflower oil into the skillet once the meat has been added. The oil can catch alight when it is poured into the pan before the meat.
This can be prepared rare, medium or well done according to your taste but the cooking time should be adjusted accordingly.
Thinly sliced beef fillet is an impressive snack and it can be served at room temperature.

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No Goats, No Glory – The Mela Debut…

Mela Magic with Yudhika Sujanani

Mela Magic with Yudhika Sujanani

The big day has finally arrived! I cannot believe that after months of shooting and flying around South Africa, Mela will be launching tomorrow on SABC2 at 10.30am! I have been celebrating the launch date and the KitchenAid Stand Mixer competition has been keeping me incredibly busy. More about the competition on this link, https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/kitchenaid-giveaway-2014/

Rina and I at Belnori Boutique Cheesery....

Rina and I at Belnori Boutique Cheesery….

My first episode took the team and I out to Bapsfontein to Belnori Boutique Cheesery and it was a real treat. I was set on making paneer and thought it would be a great idea to try it with goat’s milk. We were met by the owners, Rina and Norman Beicher – this couple is really passionate about goats and cheese, of course! They produce an extensive range of award-winning cheeses. I am an absolute fan of ‘Chevre Frais’ or the soft goats cheese so I didn’t need much coazing to get started on the tasting!

The stars of the show....The Goats of Belnori!

The stars of the show….The Goats of Belnori!

Goats....goats...goats...

Goats….goats…goats…

Goats…I do love them! I think I must have fallen in love with these creatures at the Fairview Estate! I absolutely love the curiosity that sparkles in their eyes, their animated silliness, and they are incredibly mischievous!

Rina was an absolute charm and took me through the range of from cottage cheese to semi hard varieties, camembert and even yoghurt! But it was the fresh goats milk that i was after! I have sometimes tasted goats milk and cheese that was pretty unpleasant. Rina explained that the ewes are kept away from the rams and bathed regularly….it all comes down to good animal husbandry, she said! Tasting the products, I realized that she had a point…there weren’t any ‘goaty’ flavours in the yoghurt or cheese! Belnori is a gem!

I picked up a bucket and then hustled back to Holi Cow to prepare a batch of paneer! Cow’s milk can be used instead in this recipe…but if you are feeling adventurous, give the goat’s milk a chance!

Yudhika preparing paneer in the AMC paella pan

Yudhika preparing paneer in the AMC paella pan

A word about paneer…it does take some time to prepare so please do use a good pot for the preparation. I used the AMC paella pan, which is wider at the top. Use a paddle spoon to stir the milk as it heats through to prevent the milk from scorching which gives the paneer a nasty burnt flavour. I also prefer making up a larger batch of paneer so you get thicker, chunkier pieces and it can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days or even frozen until needed.

In the first episode, we got through two recipes…the preparation of the paneer and a double bean curry with creamy paneer! Double beans can sometimes be found in Fruit and Veg City stores and almost always at Indian greengrocer. They are bright, colourful, and delicious.

Fresh double beans from the Indian green grocer.....

Fresh double beans from the Indian green grocer…..

Paneer
Ingredients
4 litres Full Cream Milk, either goat’s or cow’s milk
180 – 200ml white vinegar

Here’s how:
Boil the full cream milk in an AMC pot.
Stir the milk to prevent a skin from forming.
Prevent the milk from burning by scraping the bottom of the pan.
Once the milk comes up to the boil, add the vinegar.
The curds will separate from the whey.
If the whey still looks milky, add a little more vinegar.
Do not stir the milk – this will break the curd that will be difficult to work with.
The curd will float to the top and form a thick layer.
Gently scoop the curd into a sieve using a large slotted spoon.
Gently press the curd down with a spoon to remove excess moisture.
Tip the curd into a clean dishtowel and mould into a round.
Wrap the curd tightly and place on a chopping board.
Fill a large pot with water and place this on top of the paneer to press out the whey.
Leave aside until firm.

Yudhika’s Tips:

If the paneer is too soft, unwrap the cheese and leave uncovered in the refrigerator.

Double Bean Curry with Paneer by Yudhika Sujanani

Double Bean Curry with Paneer by Yudhika Sujanani

Double Beans with Paneer

Ingredients

60ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
15ml ginger and garlic
15ml red chilli powder
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
Pinch of turmeric
1kg double beans, shelled
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
7ml coarse salt
Fresh curry leaves and coriander, to garnish

Heat the sunflower oil, then add the mustard seeds and fry until they splutter.
Add the cumin seeds and fry until they turn a shade darker.
Add the onion and sauté until the onion turns light golden brown.
Stir the ginger and garlic paste into the onion, then add the red chilli powder, cumin, coriander and turmeric – stir for 3 – 5 seconds.
Drop the double beans into the pot and stir well to coat.
Cover the beans with boiling water and simmer until they soften.
Add the chopped tomatoes and salt.
Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.
Cut the paneer into chunks and place them over the cooked beans.
Lower the heat and simmer until the paneer heats through – add a more boiling water if the sauce is too thick.
Garnish with curry leaves and 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.

Choux Trouble – Fig and Mascarpone Puffs

Fig and Mascarpone Choux Puffs by Yudhika Sujanani

Fig and Mascarpone Choux Puffs by Yudhika Sujanani

The first time I made choux puffs was when I was about 16 years old. My mom was a huge fan of the Food and Home magazine and there was a feature on choux pastries which I found intriguing. I marched myself to the kitchen with my mother egging me on to make up a batch and they turned out perfect.

This started a craze and the Saturday arvie Swiss Roll was replaced by Profiteroles or Eclairs. The pastry was filled with scoops of fresh cream and then drizzled with chocolate. For some reason, I can’t even remember why, we just stopped making them. I have been working on some recipes for Eid, and remember that these puffs are a Persian favourite. They are called Nan Khameii.

I created these with a fig and mascarpone cream – ordinary whipped cream tends to flop after a bit and makes these pastries go soggy. The thicker the cream, the better the puff. I have tried these with chopped dried figs in the cream but much prefer a swirl of good red fig jam instead.

Fig and Mascarpone Puffs – Nan Khameii

Ingredients

For the choux pastry:
250ml cold water
125g butter, cubed
140g cake flour
Pinch of salt
4 large eggs

In a thick bottomed pan, bring the water and butter on a medium heat until the butter melts.
Add the flour and salt, then stir until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan.
Remove from the heat, and leave to cool until slightly warm.

Cooking up the flour butter and water in an AMC pot!

Cooking up the flour butter and water in an AMC pot!

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Beat the eggs into the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pipe the mixture onto a greased baking tray leaving enough room in between them.

Piped choux pastry on a baking sheet

Piped choux pastry on a baking sheet

Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180 degrees celsius and bake for 20 minutes.
Switch off the oven and leave to cool in the oven.

Pretty and puffed!

Pretty and puffed!

For the filling

2 x tubs Mascarpone Cream
2ml vanilla paste or essence
120ml icing sugar
50ml red fig jam

70g white chocolate, melted

Place the cream and vanilla into a mixing bowl, then whisk while gradually adding the icing sugar.
Continue whisking the cream until stiff.
Stir the fig jam into the cream.
Slice through the puff and fill with cream.
Drizzle white chocolate over the puff to garnish.

The Eid Burfee Challenge….

Coconut and Pistachio Burfee by Yudhika Sujanani

Coconut and Pistachio Burfee by Yudhika Sujanani

It’s that time of year ago and once again, I headed back to the kitchen to test and develop more recipes for Eid.  I  came up with a selection of recipes and took a look at it only to realize that it would just not be Eid without a Burfee recipe.  After a chat to the food editor, Jenny Kay, it was back to the drawing board.

 

 

It does become a challenge…every year around Eid and Diwali there are requests for burfee recipes.  Last year, I did a rose and pistachio burfee https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/29/rose-and-pistachio-burfee/

 

This time, I decided to play around with coconut and pistachios and I came up with a delicious creamy version of this old favourite.  I love just love coconut…desiccated, freshly grated, milk or just as is.

 

If you are looking for a new burfee recipe, this might be the one for you!

 

Coconut and Pistachio Burfee

500g Klim milk powder
145g dessert cream

125g butter
125ml sugar
1 x tin condensed milk
145g dessert cream
2 x 400g tins coconut milk
Green food colouring, to tint
125ml icing sugar
5ml ground cardamom
Edible gold leaf, to decorate
Pistachios, to decorate


Rub the cream into the milk powder until the mixture resembles crumbs.  
Set aside for 60 – 90 minutes.
Grease a 20 x 20cm casserole dish with non stick spray or butter.
Line the dish with plastic wrap, leaving some of the wrap draped over the sides of the dish.  
Grease the plastic wrap with non stick spray or butter.
Place the mixture into a food process in batches and blitz until the crumbs are fine ground.
Combine the butter, sugar, condensed milk, dessert cream and coconut milk in an AMC sauce pan and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer while stirring continuously to ensure it does not scorch.  This does take some time – don’t rush as if this is cream is not thick enough the burfee will not set properly.

Once the mixture reaches the consistency of thick custard, remove from the heat and add a few drops of food colouring.

Add the milk powder in batches and stir well.
Lastly stir in the icing sugar and ground cardamom.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish, and leave in a refrigerator to set overnight.
Loosen the excess plastic and lift the burfee out of the dish.
Slice the burfee into cubes, wiping the knife with warm damp dishcloth.
Garnish with gold leaf and pistachios.

Mother’s Day Mania….AMC Chef’s Pan Giveaway

I can’t believe that we are already in May and the days are flying by. Being at the Holi Cow makes me more aware of these things….we are now running bookings until the end of July! Cooking classes, high tea, baby showers, birthdays and even book club nights are being hosted at the Holi Cow.

If you have read some of my Mother’s Day blogs, you should know by now that I am not a fan of the set menus, crying babies, prams and just the general mayhem. This year, I am hosting a Mother’s Day Tea at the Holi Cow, 38 Kingfisher Drive, Fourways – so if you want to spend some time with Mom, snack on delicious home-made savouries and treat yourself to delicious old-fashioned cakes…this tea is for you. We kick off our tea with potato and brinjal pakodas, then serve North Indian Samosas with our Marvellous Mango Chutney, followed by Chicken Tikka served with mini rotis and our signature secret sauce that most of our customers call ‘that green sauce’ – It’s actually my mom’s home-made coriander and curry leaf mayo. I still bake every single cake at Holi Cow…I am fanatical about the cakes we serve. Red velvet, double chocolate hazelnut, carrot with cream cheese frosting and the White Chocolate Cardamom Cake are the cakes on offer and we also have Indian treats like Burfee and Gulab Jamun. Bookings are essential so give us a ring on 011 467 2661.

If like me, you are celebrating the day at home, here is a recipe that will warm up your Mother’s Day….a creamy chicken casserole with artichokes. It’s also one of those recipes perfect for this ‘banting diet’ that sounds way too good to be true. A real girls diet with full cream milk, cream, butter with some protein and select veggies. I will post some feedback soon, but so far, I haven’t craved carbs, not as hungry as before and have a little more energy for dreaded gym. I am really cynical about diets, but have noticed that a few of my friends are starting to look like a million bucks after being on the ‘Tim Noakes’ thing. I have used sunflower oil in the recipe but you can use butter or an olive oil instead.

I love artichokes and I feasted on them everyday while on holiday in Venice…I also visited a restaurant called Pane Vino san Daniella where Chef Luigi showed me how to prepare them. Here is a little video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PuO2aM_l5E

Yudhika's Must Haves!

Yudhika’s Must Haves!

I use the AMC Chef’s Pan to seal the chicken and get the thighs to that beautiful golden colour – this AMC chef’s pan is a ‘must have’ and I will be giving a pan away to one lucky YUM YUM follower! Post a comment about a recipe that you have tried from this blog and share your experience – that’s all you have to do….good luck!

I baked a 5 layer cake with a chocolate cream cheese frosting for Mom last year….here is the link: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/04/24/troubled-by-true-love/

Creamy Chicken and Artichokes...by Yudhika Sujanani

Creamy Chicken and Artichokes…by Yudhika Sujanani

Serves 4

Ingredients

2kg chicken thighs, skin on
Salt to season

60ml sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
100ml chopped carrots
100ml chopped leeks
6 – 8 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
200ml white wine
1 stock cube
Black pepper, to season
15ml Magic Masala (Curry me Home)
150ml fresh cream
2 x 400g tins artichoke hearts, drained
30ml lemon juice
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Here’s how:

Rinse the chicken thighs under cold running water and leave in a colander to drain.
Dab the thighs with absorbent paper towel and wipe away the moisture.
Lightly season the chicken with salt.
Heat an AMC chef’s pan on medium.
Brown the chicken thighs in batches placing the skin side down.
Remove from the pan and leave aside while preparing the sauce.

Heat the sunflower oil in a 30/40cm AMC pot on medium – I prefer a large pot and lay the chicken pieces out in a single layer.
Saute the onion until very pale golden in colour.
Add the carrots and leeks and saute until they soften.
Add the crushed garlic and saute for a few seconds.
Place the chicken thighs over the sautéed onions.
Add the fresh thyme, then pour in the white wine, chicken stock cube and 500ml water.
Add more water if necessary.
Simmer until the chicken is tender, add fresh cream, black pepper, Magic Masala and artichoke hearts.
Simmer for a few more minutes until the artichokes are warm and soak up some of the sauce.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and then sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Holi Cow cooking classes….

Holi Cow wordpress

I have been sending out invitations to the next cooking class which will be held this Saturday at the Holi Cow….I am tempted to call these posts ‘The Daily Moos’!

There are so many spices that are used in Indian Cuisine and most enthusiastic cooks do find this pretty intimidating. Ground spices are not only for Indian cuisine…ground cumin and coriander is used in mediterranean cuisine as well as Moroccan, Sri Lankan, Turkish as well as Persian cuisine. And the same goes for garam masala, turmeric and red chilli…I love cooking with a pinch of this and a handful of that…the mornings feel crisp and its time to spice things up as Winter approaches….

The Curry 101 class takes you through the basics…from which pots to use…how to get started and then I will take you through the ‘Birds and the Bees’ of Indian Cooking.

The class will be held on Saturday, 29th March 2014 at the Holi Cow cooking school, 38 Kingfisher Drive Fourways. I do request that guests book and arrive at 10 so we can get cooking by 10.30am..lunch is included and will be served at 12.30. This is a hands on interactive class and you will be cooking in my collection of AMC cookware!

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday. Please do ring us on 011 467 2661 to book.

Yudhika x

Paneer Makhani

Yudhika's Paneer Makhani...

Yudhika’s Paneer Makhani…

I am almost certain that by now, you have realized that Diwali is not a ‘Diet Friendly’ time of year. And this recipe is no different to any of the other Diwali favourites…a double whammy dish with cream and butter.

For a more sensible option try the ‘Seyal Paneer’ recipe: https://yudhikayumyum.com/sugar-n-spice-on-saffron-tv/saffron-tv-seyal-paneer/

I also use paneer as a pie filling in this Paneer Pasties recipe: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/24/paneer-and-mushroom-pasties/

This Paneer Makhani recipe will get you a gold star for Diwali!

Paneer Makhani

Ingredients

600g paneer, sliced
60ml cashew nuts
125ml boiling water
60ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
7,5ml coarse salt
15ml crushed ginger and garlic
2 green chillies, chopped
20ml red chilli powder
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
15ml ground coriander
10ml ground cumin
5ml garam masala
Pinch ground cardamom
2ml turmeric
60g cold butter, diced
30ml fresh cream
Coriander to garnish
Gold leaf to decorate

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

Slice the paneer into pieces.

Soak the cashew nuts in boiling water for 10 minutes and liquidize until smooth.
Pound the ginger, garlic and green chilli together.
Fry the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cumin seeds in oil until fragrant.
Add onions and salt, saute until light golden brown.
Add crushed ginger, garlic and green chilli, then add the red chilli powder.
Stir the chopped tomatoes into the spices.
Sprinkle in the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala, ground cardamom and turmeric.
Simmer until the tomatoes soften completely.
Use a potato masher to break down any lumps.
Add the cashew paste and 250ml boiling water.
Simmer until the sauce thickens.
Whisk the cold butter into the sauce, then pour in the fresh cream.
Gently place the paneer into the cooked sauce and heat through.
Garnish with fresh coriander and edible gold leaf.

How to make Paneer….

Yudhika Paneer recipe...

Yudhika Paneer recipe…

Paneer is an Indian Cottage cheese…it resembles feta but does not contain salt. For vegetarians, this is the equivalent of a ‘lamb curry with mushy potatoes’ (my favourite). I use paneer in pastries, breyanis and even in starters!

Please please please, do not use low fat milk – so far, Full Cream Clover milk works best for this recipe. I do experiment a fair bit and this blog is not sponsored by Clover! Use a good pot, (I use AMC cookware) so that the milk does not scorch and burn on the bottom which will ruin the paneer.

I am just about to post the Paneer Makhani recipe…I anticipate that there will be recipe requests for the Paneer…

Paneer

Ingredients

4 litres CLOVER Full Cream Milk
180 -200ml white vinegar

Boil milk in a large 30cm AMC cookware unit 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.

Pecan Chana Magaj….

Yudhika Sujanani's Chana Magaj...

Yudhika Sujanani’s Chana Magaj…

The food world is changing at an alarming rate…new trends are constantly being introduced and with so much emphasis being placed on ‘painting a picture’ on a plate, we lose the plot. I have a different approach to food and opt to keep it traditional especially with recipes like this Chana Magaj…’Why change it?’ It’s delicious, flop proof and a hit with my friends and family!

I remember paying an absolute bomb for a tray of ‘Chana Magaj’ many moons ago…much to my horror, when I sliced it, it simply crumbled. I was completely dismayed and cross (I will use a more acceptable word). I looked at the crumbled mess and tried to massage it back into a block! I eventually melted a large chunk of butter and mixed it into the chana crumble….it worked like a charm. The moral of the story is don’t scrimp on the butter!!!!

The ‘Devil is in the Detail’…As with most traditional recipes, patience is the secret ingredient. Put on some music and pour yourself a glass of wine while you are stirring the chickpea flour….taking your time makes all the difference. Use a 30cm AMC pot for cooking the chickpea flour…I know I do go on about it but ‘like seriously’…you can’t use a flimsy thin based pot for this! I get my daughters, Hetal and Tanvi, to take turns with cooking the chickpea flour. Every now and then, they bill me for their work and they do a fabulous job!

Chana Magaj keeps for ages in the refrigerator…so keep a few blocks away for ’emergencies’. I confess, I have lots of ’emergencies’ especially when I know these treats are resting in my refrigerator.

Pecan Chana Magaj

Ingredients:

500g chickpea flour
100ml milk, boiled
500g butter ghee
5ml ground cardamom
375g icing Sugar, sifted
100g Klim
100g pecan nuts

Place the chickpea flour and hot milk in a mixing bowl.
Rub the milk into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Leave the mixture to dry for an hour and then break down the large lumps using your fingertips.
Melt the butter ghee in an AMC pot on a low heat and then add the chickpea flour.
Continue stirring until the chickpea flour turns deep golden brown in colour – about an hour.
Leave aside to cool.
Grease a 25 x 25cm baking tray and line with plastic wrap.
Fold the wrap over the sides of the tray.
Stir in the ground cardamom, sifted icing sugar and full cream milk powder into the cooked mixture.
Work the icing sugar and milk powder into the chickpea flour using your fingertips.
Press the mixture into the baking tray – if the mixture is too dry, add a little melted butter.
Garnish with pecan nuts and leave aside to set.
Slice into blocks and lift the plastic wrap to loosen from the tray.