yudhika

Ready for Ramadan…Moroccan Lamb Harira

Yudhika's Moroccan Inspired Lamb Harira

Yudhika’s Moroccan Inspired Lamb Harira

Time does fly and it’s already Ramadan. Most of my Muslim friends and colleagues will be fasting without food or water from dawn to dusk. I have always been completely amazed by the fast and how no matter where you were or who you were with, my Muslim friends stick to it! I envy this dedication and commitment. The month of fasting is not a hunger strike but a month of prayer and reflection. It’s a time that Muslims come together and re-connect over spirituality and end the day with a home cooked feast. I didn’t know much about Ramadan when I was a kid except knowing that my friends at school were not eating all day, but every year, I have learnt a little more about Islam while developing new recipes for Ramadan and Eid too! Here is one of those recipes perfect for the fasting month…I took some inspiration from Morocco for this one! This can be served as a soup or a stew. The temperature has plummeted and this hearty Moroccan Inspired Harira will definitely warm you up! To all my Muslim friends and followers, Ramadan Mubarak! Moroccan Lamb Harira Serves 4 Ingredients 700g lamb loin chops 50ml sunflower oil 1 bay leaf 1 stick cinnamon 5ml cumin seeds 2 onions, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, crushed 10ml crushed ginger 10ml paprika or red chilli powder Pinch of tumeric 2 stock cubes 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped 400g tin lentils, drained 400g tin chickpeas, drained Salt to season, optional Fresh coriander, to garnish Here’s how: Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC pot. Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Add the cumin and fry until the seeds begin to sizzle. Add the chopped onion and saute until light golden brown. Add the lamb pieces and seal the meat while stirring. When the meat is sealed, add the garlic and ginger. Stir for a few seconds and then add the paprika or red chilli powder. When the spices start to stick, pour in boiling water to cover the lamb. Add the stock cubes and turmeric. Simmer until the meat is tender. Stir the tomatoes into the lamb and cook until they soften. Add the lentils and chickpeas. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly. Check the seasoning and add more salt only if necessary. Garnish with fresh coriander. Yudhika’s Tips: Butter beans can also be added to this dish. Stock cubes contain salt so always check the seasoning before adding more.

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Meat Free Monday…Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Meat Free Monday with Yudhika Sujanani - Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Meat Free Monday with Yudhika Sujanani – Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Another Meatless Monday…and today is also World No Meat Day! This is a quick and easy recipe that is absolutely delicious. You can serve it as a meal on it’s own or as a side dish. Mushrooms taste better when cooked in advance and absorb the spices from the sauce. Prepare the mushrooms and add the spinach just before serving, taking care not to over cook it.

Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Ingredients

50ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
10ml crushed garlic
10ml red chill powder
400g chopped tomatoes, fresh or tinned
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
2ml turmeric
400g mushrooms, sliced
400g baby spinach, chopped
Fresh curry leaves or coriander, to garnish

Here’s how

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC Paella Pan.
Add the mustard seeds and when the pop, add the cumin seeds.
Add the chopped onion and salt.
Saute until the onion is golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic and fry for a few seconds.
Stir the red chilli powder and mix for 5 seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes and stir in the remaining spices.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Simmer the sauce and use the back of a spoon to break down the lumps.
Once the sauce resembles tomato paste, add the chopped mushrooms.
Simmer until the mushrooms soften, add 125ml boiling water if the sauce is too thick.
Once the mushrooms are cooked through, add the chopped spinach and simmer uncover for a minute or two.
Garnish with fresh curry leaves and coriander.

Hope, Happiness and Hummingbirds…a visit to the Hummingbird Bakery

The black forest style cupcake by Yudhika Sujanani

The black forest style cupcake by Yudhika Sujanani

We grow up being mesmerized by fascinating creatures and when I was little, hummingbirds fascinated me the most. My mom once told me that this tiny little bird could even fly backwards. She described the way it would hover and draw out the nectar from flowers and it captured my attention forever. I have yet to see one but there is also another hummingbird that caught my attention while I was eating my way through London..The Hummingbird Bakery! I will come back to the bakery just now but first I want to share a few special messages that come from the mystical world of this bird. Ancient folk law has many myths about hummingbirds but mostly they remind us of how to live a happier life.

It’s called ‘the bird of the impossible’ – it can fly backwards which not only means that you can achieve the impossible, but it also symbolizes that we should re-visit our past but not dwell in it. While we fight to move forward in our lives, sometimes the answers can be found in our past. Take the lessons from the past, learn from the mistakes so you can move forward joyfully. Far too often we are encouraged to sweep things under the rug, box them and move on without processing it. We are pushed into believing that it is what we must do, but surely not what we should be doing? When the past remains unresolved, we carry the baggage forever, and forever is such a long time!

These tiny birds are able to fly thousands of kilometers during migration. They have the tiniest wings that make no aerodynamic sense at all! Take a closer look at your life and chose how you wish to spend your energy. We have limited resources and places and goals we wish to reach. Are we making the right choices or wasting our energy on things and people that don’t matter? From my own experiences, most of my energy was spent on fearing the unknown, worrying about issues and the worst of it is the people that seem to drain positivity out of your life. What will be, will be and the reality is that you will have to face it. The impending dread of dealing with a problem is far more agonizing than the problem itself. Take a beat, catch your breath and deal with the issue in your own time.

The hummingbird hovers over flowers for most of the day, tirelessly gathering up the nectar, but it never damages the plant. Sharing is not the issue, but we live in a society that takes until there is nothing left and too much damage is done. If you want something, do you need to harm the giver to get it? Do we take until there is nothing left? The greed that consumes us is what destroys our lives and the people around us. The hummingbird takes what it needs, not more! I have come across givers and takers, and things do swing in roundabouts…sometimes there are more givers, sometimes more takers but I changed so much about my life to ensure that although my circle is smaller, it is occupied by precious people. We experience joy in different ways and there is no right or wrong…so whether you are closing huge deals worth millions or collecting books for kids, it makes no difference. It’s your happiness! For many years one of my ways of experiencing joy is by sharing my generosity and love for food with my friends and family. I have learnt that not everyone values this gift. True generosity of spirit is my way of celebrating the successes and failures in my life.

Yudhika at Notting Hill's Hummingbird Bakery

Yudhika at Notting Hill’s Hummingbird Bakery

On a recent visit to London, I just had to stop in at the Hummingbird Bakery for a cupcake quick fix. I had first come across this amazing bakery while indulging in my penchant for recipe books. The first cook book was a collection of delicious, easy to make, home style cupcakes but it was the pictures that got my attention first. You see, I read my recipe books at bed time just as any person would read a novel. I pore over the pictures taking in every last bit of deliciousness. Most of the time, it’s this sort of food watching that leads to me raiding the refrigerator for midnight snacks. Life is full of little pleasures, isn’t it?

Yudhika at Notting Hill's Hummingbird Bakery

Yudhika at Notting Hill’s Hummingbird Bakery

What's in the box...Yudhika takes a  closer look!

What’s in the box…Yudhika takes a closer look!

I popped in at the store while visiting the Portobello Market in Notting Hill…yes, I had the whole Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts moment! Well, a short corny moment anyway. The store is tiny by South African standards…and the cupcakes delicious. I would be fibbing if I said I remembered how much the cupcakes cost, but a slice of cake is about 4 to 5 pounds….I was trying not to convert, it was way too depressing! I have been planning to write this blog for a while and thinking of a great cupcake recipe I can share with you….so here is my black forest cupcake recipe! There are a few steps to it but they are super delicious and worth the effort! A word on these…it’s my version – it is not authentic but being tired of commercial black forest cake with mass produced pie filling. This is a great way to use up strawberries that are over-ripe…remember the riper they are, the better the flavour. You can make up the jam or use a good quality store bought version to cut out a few steps.

The Hummingbird Bakery does not disappoint...Yudhika's visit to London

The Hummingbird Bakery does not disappoint…Yudhika’s visit to London

While I was in London, I was much like the hummingbird….hovering from one deliciously happy experience to the other…enjoying every moment…savouring every experience! Thanks to my lovelies that entertained me and spoilt me rotten! Before I launch into the recipe, I urge you to become the hummingbird…stay joyful, take all of life’s nectar with out hurting or destroying and most importantly to spend your time wisely with people that really matter! Wishing you all of life’s sweetness and joy!

Another London inspired cupcake by Yudhika

Another London inspired cupcake by Yudhika

Black Forest Style Cupcakes

Makes 16 – 18

Ingredients

100g soft butter
200g sugar
200g flour
50g cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
15ml baking powder
2 eggs
7ml vanilla essence
250ml full cream milk, at room temperature

The strawberry and cherry filling.....in an AMC pan.

The strawberry and cherry filling…..in an AMC pan.

For the filling:

300g strawberries, hulled and quartered
200g sugar
Juice of 1 lime
5ml vanilla paste
1 cinnamon stick
1 x 400g tinned black cherries, drained and chopped

45ml kirsch

250ml double thick cream
125ml single cream
15ml sugar
Drop of vanilla essence

20g chocolate, grated
Maraschino cherries, to garnish

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Line a cupcake pan with cases.
Place the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Process the ingredients on a low speed until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
Combine the eggs, vanilla essence and milk – beat lightly and gradually pour this into the mixer.
Beat until the mixture is smooth and lump free – do not over mix the batter.
Scoop the mixture into the paper cases.
Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cakes are tested.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the filling….this can be prepared a few hours in advance.

Leave the sliced strawberries in the refrigerator to dry out.
Place the strawberries in an 28cm AMC Chef’s Pan and add the sugar.
Stir well to coat the strawberries in the sugar – the sugar crystals start to turn pink.
Gently heat the pan, stirring from time time while the sugar melts.
Once the sugar melts, add the vanilla, cinnamon stick and lime juice.
When the mixture starts to boil, skim the surface to remove the foam.
Simmer the strawberries until they break down and the mixture thickens.
Add the chopped cherries, water and kirsch.
Simmer again until the cherries break down and thicken the jam like filling.
Pour the filling into a sterilized glass jar and leave to cool – this can be kept in the refrigerator and also used as a topping for crumpets etc.

For the cream…
Place the double thick cream and single cream into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and vanilla essence and whip until soft peaks form. Leave in the refrigerator until needed.

To assemble…
Use a paring knife to hollow out about 2 teaspoons of each cupcake, taking care not to cut through them.
Fill each cupcake with the strawberry and cherry filling.
Top the cupcakes with a scoop of cream and grate over a little dark chocolate.
Decorate with a maraschino cherry and enjoy!

To all the chops I’ve loved before….spicy lamb chops!

Yudhika on SABC 2's Mela..for all the chops I have loved before!

Yudhika on SABC 2’s Mela..for all the chops I have loved before!

I have a strange sense of humour and drive my kids and my mom crazy with the songs I sing! One of my favourite singers was Julio Iglesias and his song, ‘To all the girls I’ve loved before’….what sounded romantic to me as a child, just sounds completely ironic now.

My version of the song, is ‘To all the chops I’ve loved before’…

To all the chops I’ve loved before,
Who marinated in and out my store,
I’m glad they came along…
I dedicate this blog….
To all the the chops I’ve loved before!

I am not shy to say…but boy, have I loved a few chops in my time! I am kind to myself and know that it’s a part of growing up and sometimes a part of growing old! I should write my memoirs and share some of my giggles but that would be telling, wouldn’t it?!

So, I like most of you have had my share of ‘boy trouble’ and the problem with boys is that they grow into bullies which is most unattractive and unacceptable! So from the cheats, to possessive freaks to older men and aging playboys…I have seen and experienced my fair share!

Has it made me bitter…absolutely not…I have learnt to laugh about it. And once you laugh, the tears never fall. Life is beautiful so why should we define it by dodgy relationships!

I do love lamb chops and marinated ones are my favourite. I prepared these on Mela a while ago and thought that if you have a love of chops, like me, then this recipe will not disappoint like some other chops do!

A message to all the chops I have loved before, your time has passed, I have grown from my experience and thank you for the education, the lessons learned and experience. I won’t look back and haven’t…there are no second chances or third ones and sorry won’t do! I guess if some of those chops walk past my work in a book store, they must be surprised and possibly kicking themselves for judging me by everything I did not have… where I come from, girls from wealthy families were taken seriously and money talked, while the rest walked! I don’t have regrets for it has shown me that some people lack character! For those of you who have had your heart broken, smile for you are free from what could have caused you a lifetime of pain! There is a reason why people don’t make a book and just have a chapter in your life! Love yourself and be kind during the hard times and heartbreak! And I wish you much happiness and love on your adventure!

If you missed the episode on Mela, click here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-spicy-lamb-chops-and-pavlova/

To all the chops I've loved before....marinated lamb chops by Yudhika Sujanani

To all the chops I’ve loved before….marinated lamb chops by Yudhika Sujanani

Masala Lamb Chops

12 lamb chops

Salt, to season

Marinade:

45ml crushed ginger

15ml crushed garlic

2ml black pepper

25ml fresh cream

25ml greek yoghurt

10ml ground cumin

15ml red chilli powder

10ml garam masala

50ml lemon juice

Sunflower oil, to baste

Lemon wedges, to serve

Here’s how:

Season the lamb chops with salt.

Mix the marinade ingredients together until smooth.

Rub the marinade over the chops and leave to rest in a refrigerator for a few hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place a wire rack over a baking tray.

Arrange the chops on the wire rack and drizzle with a little sunflower oil

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Old is gold….

Yudhika's Durban inspired menu....inspired by the old days!

Yudhika’s Durban inspired menu….inspired by the old days!

A trip down memory lane is what inspired my last Mela menu! It all started when I came across a rather vintage set of AMC pots that were from the 70’s. My mom also had a set but this set was a little older. These pots are always part of my kitchen memories. They were so flash in their day that serving dishes were hardly ever used in my home and it is still the same for me today!

BEFORE:

The vintage AMC lids and knobs

The vintage AMC lids and knobs

A very vintage set of AMC cookware...ready to be sent of for a 'spit and polish'

A very vintage set of AMC cookware…ready to be sent of for a ‘spit and polish’

AFTER:

The AMC lid after repolishing...

The AMC lid after repolishing…

As good as new or even better!  The AMC set after re-polishing!

As good as new or even better! The AMC set after re-polishing!

The various sized cookware were re-named in an Indian household and I am sure that some of my Indian followers will relate to the ‘rice pot’, ‘breyani pot’ and ‘fish curry pot’ – all names to describe the pots in the AMC range…and there was also a ‘dhall pot’. Kaye and Tamsyn from AMC Cookware looked quite puzzled when I mentioned these names during a meeting! And I am slowly learning to call them by their ‘good names’ like 30cm gourmet roaster, 24cm high, etc.

I was first tempted to leave the vintage set of AMC as is but asked Kaye and the AMC team to do an AMC overhaul! The pots arrived and I couldn’t believe that they looked brand spanking new…after over forty years of service! Looking at the old style handles and knobs on the lids, is like tripping all over food memory lane! I mentioned the names that the cookware is given in an Indian home…and to celebrate old fashioned food, I did a Mela menu inspired by my childhood.

Yudhika cooking up a storm on Mela!

Yudhika cooking up a storm on Mela!

We lived in Isipingo and for a while we lived in Isipingo Beach. My grandfather was a keen fisherman and loved to take my cousins and I on fishing trips! I even had my own fishing rod! My gran would pack a picnic basket and we would be off for the day. The best part of the fishing trip would be to get home and my mom would season the catch of the day with red chilli, salt and a light sprinkling of turmeric. This was the best fried fish ever! Sometimes she would also prepare a devilishly hot fish curry cooked with tamarind and tomatoes.

On the Mela menu for the week….Durban Fish Curry cooked in my AMC fish pot and Soji Balls! Soji Balls are ones of my favourite childhood treats and when I spotted a tray of them at a prayer, I swear I would pray would one eye open! They were hard to resist and every time us kids attended a prayer, we couldn’t help thinking of the treats that would come our way!

North or South Indian, it didn’t matter….almost every fish curry in Durban is cooked the same way! Some recipes remain untouched by language, caste and religion. The secret to a good fish curry is fresh fish, an AMC pot that cooks the fish in one layer and the most ripe tomatoes…in summer I use fresh ‘jam’ tomatoes that are over-ripe and in Winter I opt for tinned tomatoes that gives you super ripe juicy tomatoes all year round! I must admit that I sometimes use them in Summer too! I love a few shortcuts! If you missed Mela over the weekend and would like to take a look at my step by step video, click here to watch https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-durban-fish-curry-and-soji-balls/

Here’s the fish curry recipe just how I remember it….

Durban Fish Curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Durban Fish Curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Durban Fish Curry

Serves 4

750g firm fish steaks
60ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
6 cloves garlic, crushed
5ml crushed ginger
30ml red chilli powder
800g tomatoes, blanched and chopped – I use tinned tomatoes sometimes
10ml ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
2ml turmeric
30ml tamarind
125ml boiled water
Pinch of sugar
Curry leaves and coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC pot.
Add the mustard seeds and once the begin to pop.
Add the cumin seeds and fry until the sizzle and turn a shade darker.
Stir the onion and salt into the oil.
Saute the onions until they turn golden brown – I also add a few curry leaves to get the aromas going!
Add the crushed garlic and ginger and fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
Stir the red chilli powder into the oil and fry for 3 – 5 seconds, then add the tomatoes.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric and simmer the sauce until the tomatoes form a smooth paste – use the back of a wooden spoon to break down the lumps.
While the tomatoes are simmering, dissolve the tamarind in boiling water – if you are using tamarind with seeds, you will have to strain the liquid to remove the fibres and seeds.
When the tomatoes have cooked down and are completely soft, add the tamarind and then place the fish steaks into the sauce.
Poach the steaks in the sauce and simmer on a very low heat until the sauce has thickened – the cooking time depends on the thickness of the fish steaks.
Sprinkle in a little sugar to balance the sharpness and acidity of the tomatoes.
Garnish with fresh curry leaves and coriander.
Serve with rice or roti.

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.

Mela….Paratha Party

Yudhika Sujanani on SABC 2's Mela - Paratha's on the menu!

Yudhika Sujanani on SABC 2’s Mela – Paratha’s on the menu!

‘Dear Lord…please make them puff!’ Parathas were on the menu on Mela and during the shoot, I prayed and prayed…and prayed.  Every now and then a recipe flops and it’s disastrous but flopping on camera would be a catastrophe!  I bang out batches of paratha especially for Sunday brunch and they do puff up beautifully…but as Murphy would have it, I thought that they wouldn’t with a camera in front of me!

 

Yudhika on set at Holi Cow with SABC 2's Mela

Yudhika on set at Holi Cow with SABC 2’s Mela

 

The Mela season two shoot kicked off with the paratha episode and much to my relief…they did puff up!  Phew…I was so delighted…I mean overjoyed and having a whoop whoop moment.  I even dropped a comment about an Indian superstition – your mother in law will love you lots if your roti and paratha puff up into golden orbs!  Well, it’s just a superstition and I can tell you that it’s not true…maybe it’s because my mother in law doesn’t eat paratha???

 

Sweet Parathas or Sugar Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Sweet Parathas or Sugar Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

 

 

 

I also featured a childhood treat in this  food episode.  Indian moms could turn just about anything into a treat and a little leftover dough was made into a sugar roti or sweet paratha.  The dough was stuff with sugar and gathered into a ‘moneybag’, rolled and cooked on a thava or griddle pan.  One bite into it and the hot sugar syrup would ooze out deliciously.  If you missed the episode, click here…https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-parathas/

 

To the old fashioned recipe, I added a light drizzle of condensed milk and a generous sprinkling of fresh grated coconut.  This is something I picked up in Thailand – the locals prepare a pancake with banana, condensed milk and coconut – takes me back to being so so lucky to travel with the Thai Embassy and Amazing Thailand.

 

Yudhika's Paratha on SABC 2's Mela

Yudhika’s Paratha on SABC 2’s Mela

 

 

Aloo Parathas and Paneer Parathas and Sweet Parathas

 

 

Paratha Dough:

 

1000ml cake flour

7,5ml fine salt

475ml boiling water

120ml sunflower oil

90ml butter, melted

 

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Pour in the boiling water and mix with a wooden spoon.

Pour the sunflower oil in and mix well to combine.

Knead the dough while it is still hot until smooth.

Roll the dough into a ball until the cracks are no longer visible.

Slice the dough into eight pieces and roll into a smooth ball.

Leave the pieces in a mixing bowl and cover with a damp cloth.

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling for the parathas.

.

 

 

 

 

Aloo Paratha Filling

 

3 medium potatoes, boiled in the skin

15ml finely crushed fresh ginger

4 green chillies, finely chopped

45ml finely chopped coriander

5ml red chilli powder

Salt to season

 

 

Peel the skin off the potatoes and place them in a mixing bowl.

Mash the potatoes while they are still warm and leave to cool.

Pound the ginger and green chilli in a mortar.

Add the pounded mixture to the mashed potato.

Add the chopped coriander and red chilli powder.

Season with salt.

 

 

Paneer Paratha Filling:

 

100g grated paneer

1 large potatoe, grated

2ml ground cumin

5ml crushed ginger

5ml crushed garlic

Chopped coriander

5ml red chilli powder

5ml ground coriander

 

 

 

 

To assemble the parathas:

Flatten each piece of dough and scoop the filling into the centre.

Gather the edges of the dough to the centre to enclose the filling.

Twist the centre and pinch of the excess dough.

Gently flatten the dough with a rolling pin on a well floured work surface.

Roll the dough out into 15 – 17cm rounds.

Place the paratha on a heated tawa (indian griddle pan) and cook until freckles appear.

Turn the paratha over and drizzle a little melted butter over.

Turn again and drizzle a little butter over.

Remove from the pan when there are deep golden brown freckles on the parathas.

Serve hot with a dipping sauce of your choice.

 

Yudhika’s tips:

Smaller parathas are easier to handle especially if you are a beginner.

Adjust the green chilli if you would like a milder paratha.

Parathas can also be served with Mint Raita.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something fishy…

Old fashioned Durban fish cakes by Yudhika Sujanani

Old fashioned Durban fish cakes by Yudhika Sujanani

Food is like time travel – I always say that and a recipe like this does transport me to my childhood in Durban.  Aromas would waft out the kitchen and I would soak up warm scented air.  My gran would make up a batch of these and it would be served at special occasions.  She never measured anything…and never missed a beat with her cooking.  She was like a magician, just adding a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that and miraculously she would turn out the most delicious meals.

 

During my childhood I noticed that men and women didn’t hang out together at functions.  The women congregated in the kitchen and the men would sit outside.  The men would make frequent trips to the ‘car boot’ which was where the booze was stashed.  Nobody ever real boozed openly – Boozing was man business and they left the cooking  and child minding up to the women folk!  Makes you think about how much things have changed!

 

For this recipe, I used tinned middle cut mackerel.  Tinned fish was never popular in our home and only acceptable in fish cake format.  I like these fish cakes super spicy, but reduce the green chilli for a milder version.  Do you remember these from your childhood.

 

I cooked these in an AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan.  If you are a little nervous about the cakes falling apart and sticking to the pan, start out by lightly greasing the skillet with a slick on non stick spray.  Then heat up the sunflower oil, and fry the cakes until golden brown.  The non stick spray is just a little ‘insurance policy’! I did a more summery fish cake recipe on Mela just recently using steamed hake and then baked them instead of frying.  Check out the video here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/01/26/mela-summer-sizzler-fish-cakes/ – you can also head over to the Mela facebook page for the latest recipes.

 

 

I featured this recipe a few weeks ago in the Post Newspaper, don’t forget to pick up your copy and enter the AMC competition!

 

Fish Cakes

Makes 16

 

Ingredients

 

2 x 410g tins middle cut Mackerel

500g potatoes, boiled in skin

1 onion, finely chopped

10ml crushed garlic

60g coriander, chopped

8 green chillies, finely chopped

10ml ground cumin

10ml ground coriander

5ml salt

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

 

 

1 egg, lightly beaten

Bread crumbs, to coat

 

Sunflower oil, to shallow fry cakes

 

Lemon wedges, to serve

 

Here’s how:

 

Drain off the liquid from the tinned Mackerel.

Place the pieces in a mixing bowl.

Scrape the fish to remove the dark meat of the mackerel and the bones as well.

Rinse lightly under a slow trickle of running water to wash away little bones.

Flake the fish into a mixing bowl.

Skin the potatoes and grate them into the bowl.

Add the garlic, fresh coriander and green chillies.

Sprinkle the powdered spices into the mixture.

Season with salt, add the egg and the egg yolk.

Mix well to combine.

Mould the mixture into little patties and place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Refrigerate the fish cakes until firm – this takes about an hour.

Dip the cakes into the beaten egg and toss them in bread crumbs to coat.

Heat an AMC 28cm Chefs Pan and once hot, spray over a thin layer of non stick spray, then pour in sunflower oil.

Fry the cakes in batches until they are golden brown.

Serve hot with lemon wedges and dipping sauces.

 

 

Christmas recycled…..turkey pasta

Yudhika Sujanani's Recycled Turkey Pasta....

Yudhika Sujanani’s Recycled Turkey Pasta….

We have been hard at work with recipes…so while most people are having their yearly turkey, the Sujanani’s are ‘turkeyed’ out! It started around October when the Mela producer suggested we work on some spicy turkey recipes…we cooked up a few turkeys to find the best ones to share on the show!  Then Yogas Nair, editor of the Post Newspaper, also needed some festive recipes…it was back to the turkey….and then there is the blog too!  Turkey Turkey Turkey….and there are always those tired leftovers that sit in the refrigerator….tune into Mela on SABC 2 this week Sunday at 13h30 to get creative with Christmas leftovers when I will be making ‘Stuffed Curry Turkey Buns’ and ‘Phyllo Turkey Parcels’.  Watch the episode of Mela here where we prepare a Christmas menu with a spicy twist, https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-a-spicy-christmas/

 

I have come up with a few delicious ways to use up those leftovers…and one of my favourites is turkey pasta…and to really spice things up…I made a curried coconut turkey pasta!  Adding Indian spices to turkey livens up the leftovers….and creates a fantastic meal!  The best part is that it’s so super simple to prepare!  I made up a turkey pie which was just as good, click here for the recipe, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/21/turkey-express/

 

Use a few staple spices like red chilli, ground cumin, coriander and garam masala…I also use coconut milk in this sauce which adds a luxurious silky texture and richness to this simple pasta dish. Mild, medium or hot – the choice is yours!  Spice this up or down – you can even serve a little chopped green chilli in olive oil on the side.

 

About this sauce, use really good quality coconut milk…try finding Mae Ploy, Aroy D or Chao Koh…if you can’t find any of these, pop into your local Spar and use the Spar brand coconut cream! It really is the next best option.  Coconut milk can be quite deceiving….buy tried and tested brands ….sometimes even the more expensive ones turn your dishes into watery stews which can be terribly disappointing!

 

I use my own brand of spices in most of my recipes and sometimes it does seem like a long list of ingredients but do stock up your spice rack….I always say, ‘A well stocked spice rack is like having money in the bank!’  My Curry me Home spices are available at a few Spars around Gauteng and via mail order as well!  Click here to find out where you can pick up a bottle of Curry me Home spices or recipe books, https://yudhikayumyum.com/my-spar-stockists/

 

Turkey Pasta

 

Serves 4 – 6

 

Ingredients

 

 

500g cooked turkey meat

40ml sunflower oil

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

5ml mustard seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

7,5ml coarse salt

15ml desiccated coconut

30ml crushed ginger and garlic

10ml Curry Me Home red chilli powder

200g tinned tomatoes, chopped

5ml Curry Me Home ground cumin

5ml Curry Me Home ground coriander

5ml Curry Me Home garam masala

1ml turmeric

1 x 400g tin coconut milk

 

500g penne pasta

 

 

10ml sunflower oil

2,5ml cumin seeds

2 sprigs curry leaves

 

 

Here’s how:

 

 

Heat an AMC paella pan on medium.

Add the sunflower oil, then add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.

Once the bay leaf turns a shade darker, add the mustard seeds.

When the seeds splutter, add the chopped onion, and salt.

Saute until the onion turns light golden brown, add the desiccated coconut – the coconut can burn quite easily if the oil is too hot so take care.

Add the ginger and garlic when the coconut starts to turn light golden and becomes fragrant.

Add the red chilli powder and stir for 3 – 5 seconds.

Add the chopped tomatoes, cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric.

Simmer until the tomatoes soften.

Use the back of a wooden spoon to break down the lumps in the sauce.

Once the tomatoes resemble thick paste, pour in the coconut milk.

Simmer for a minute, then add the turkey meat and warm through.

While the sauce is cooking, cook the penne according to the instructions on the packaging – I cook the pasta in salted water with a drizzle of oil.

Drain the pasta and reserve 100ml liquid.

Toss the pasta and turkey sauce and add reserved liquid only if the sauce is too thick.

Place the pasta on a serving plate.

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC chef’s pan and add the cumin seeds.

Once they splutter, add the curry leaves and fry until they are crispy and fragrant.

Garnish the pasta with fried curry leaves and a drizzle of the cumin flavoured oil.

 

 

Christmas countdown…cake!

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

I have never made a Christmas cake ahead of time and followed the ritual of pouring brandy over it every week….the cake just gets gobbled up by the gremlins in my family…and when they are tired of cake…they pull of the almonds on the cake!  Some things run in the family!  I used to do just that when I was a kid and it’s a little like karma coming back to bite!

 

Most families have a traditional fruit cake recipe that is served at Christmas.  I love the aromas of Christmas cake…the brandy with spices fill a home with festive cheer!

 

Tried and tested sometimes or should I say almost always works best…I do sometimes feel that I should try a new recipe which generally ends up in a disaster.  I can bake…I am mean I can REALLY bake…..a few years ago I tried a recipe from a really flash cookbook….and it was one of those really expensive one too….the cake looked like a rather large over-baked Ouma rusk!  I was devastated and got teased about it for months!

 

I find following a recipe pretty difficult and my mom was the queen of fruit cakes…this is her recipe with a few tweaks here and there…I love spicing up a fruit cake and have added cardamom to my recipe as well!

 

I sometimes also use a good glug of Jack Daniels to this recipe instead of the brandy!  You can serve this cake with brandy butter or custard.  I just have a large slice with a good cup of coffee! Oh and I make this cake a few times during the year…so calling it a Christmas cake doesn’t come easily!

 

A big congratulations to Lalisha Singh on winning the KitchenAid stand mixer competition!  She joins our Tania Joy Fredericks, Renuka Lallbahadur and Natasha Ramlugan as well as Kay Straightfill and Krivani Pillay in our winners hall of hame!!! Stay tuned for more competitions on the blog with great prizes from AMC cookware, KitchenAid and Spar!

 

Light Christmas Fruit Cake

 

Ingredients

375g soft butter

300ml brown sugar

6 eggs

500g Safari Cake Mix

250ml mixed nuts (I love pecans)

750ml cake flour

15ml baking powder

10ml cinnamon

10ml mixed spice

5ml cardamom

2ml nutmeg

2ml salt

125ml milk

75ml brandy or whisky

100g whole almonds, blanched

 

 

Here’s how

Pre-heat oven to 170°C.

Grease and line a 10 inch round cake tin with baking paper. Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add the spices. Place dried fruit and nuts in a mixing bowl. Toss together 30ml cake flour and the dried fruit and nuts. The dried fruit should be lightly dusted with flour to prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

Mix together the milk and brandy. Sift the dry ingredients.

Cream butter and gradually add brown sugar until light and fluffy. The sugar crystals should also dissolve slightly – I used the KitchenAid mixer for this!

Add eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of cake flour to prevent curdling.

Add half the flour to the butter and egg mixture followed by half the liquid. Repeat this process and lastly fold in the dried fruit and nuts.

Arrange the blanched almonds on top of the cake and press them into the batter gently.

Bake for 70 – 75 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Turn out on a wire rack and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.