yudhikayumyum

Feast, Pray, Love…#1 Persian Pleasures in Kensington

Yudhika's Feast Pray Love in Kensington at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Yudhika’s Feast Pray Love in Kensington at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Feast, Pray, Love are three words that best describe what my life is all about…I celebrate through feasting and when I pray, it isn’t with a long list of things I need or want, it’s to be thankful…taking time to count every one of my blessings which makes me love life more everyday. Love…the most beautiful gift of all, what would life be without those we love and treasure!

Whether I am working, doing a show, or just being with my family…I feast, I pray and I love fiercely! The idea of putting together the ‘FPL’ section to my blog has been on my mind for ages, like coffee…my ideas keep percolating! Through my journey, highs and lows….I am learning to be kind to myself and forgiving too.

I love to travel, see new places and experience different cultures…on the 15th May this year, just a stroke past midnight, I was tapped lightly on my shoulder by an air hostess on SAA, waking me up to my birthday and a bottle of Taittinger Rose…it was a toast to new beginnings and what better way to kick off a new year with an adventure in London…with an exciting new project on the cards, the city was my oyster. I threw back my champagne and fell into the most delicious sleep.

The Iranian/Persian influenced stores on Kensington's High Street with Yudhika Sujanani

The Iranian/Persian influenced stores on Kensington’s High Street with Yudhika Sujanani

I had a bit of free time and took a walk down Kensington’s High Street which led me to a little pocket of Iranian supermarkets, green grocers and restaurants. I love Iranian food and Jozi seems to have lost Apadana, the only place I knew that made a good Fesenjun…which is chicken cooked in pomegranate molasses and walnuts. There is also an Apadana restaurant in Kensington. I popped into Zaman, the Iranian Supermarket…the store is crammed with everything from fresh and dried fruit, Persian sweets like cashew nut baklava, macaroons and something that looks like Indian jalebi to Iranian caviar…and spices. The Iranian community are pedantic about the quality of dried fruit, nuts and the saffron is fabulous.

Pomegranates...a persian must have ingredient

Pomegranates…a persian must have ingredient

Brightly coloured, juicy pomegranate rubies...the perfect walkabout snack on High Street #yudhikayumyum

Brightly coloured, juicy pomegranate rubies…the perfect walkabout snack on High Street #yudhikayumyum

Persian peaches....at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Persian peaches….at Zaman on High Street, Kensington

Iranian Caviar...sights and sounds on High Street, Kensington with Yudhika Sujanani

Iranian Caviar…sights and sounds on High Street, Kensington with Yudhika Sujanani

The Iranian stores seem to be more like old-fashioned family run businesses. The fresh fruit display outside the store is inviting, colourful and very old school….bright pomegranate rubies are sold in little cups which make the perfect walkabout snack. There are also persian peaches, glossy deep coloured cherries, fresh herbs and veggies. For a Persian experience outside Iran, I recommend taking a stroll through this part of Kensington, it’s not only a feast for food explorers but for the eyes too!

The end of a High Street adventure...Yudhika Sujanani - May 2015

The end of a High Street adventure…Yudhika Sujanani – May 2015

I have been working on recipes for the Post Newspaper’s with Ramadan in mind and it’s the perfect opportunity to splash out with my saffron…here is my version of a Persian dish called Koresht-e-Mast which is chicken cooked with yoghurt and saffron. How can I best describe this dish…it’s almost a curry and also described as a Persian stew…a stew??? This is way too exotic and fragrant to be compared to stew…cumin, coriander, red chilli, teamed with fresh orange juice and finished with yoghurt. The dish is lightly spiced, aromatic and creamy. I used the Spar branded double thick yoghurt for this recipe as I find this one doesn’t split or curdle.

Yudhika's version of Persian style Koresht-e-Mast

Yudhika’s version of Persian style Koresht-e-Mast

Persian style Chicken – Koresht-e Mast

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

2,5ml saffron strands
50ml boiled water
1,6kg chicken thighs and drumsticks
45ml sunflower oil
1 bay leaf
2 onions, finely sliced
2,5ml salt
3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
10ml crushed ginger
10ml crushed garlic
10ml red chilli powder
10ml ground cumin
10ml ground coriander
2,5ml ground cardamom
500ml boiled water
2 stock cubes
Juice of 1 orange
6 sprigs fresh thyme
200ml Spar Double Thick Greek yoghurt
1 egg
30ml cold water
20ml Magic Masala, if you have…this is from my Curry Me Home range of spice

Sunflower oil, to brown chicken
Black pepper, to season
Fresh thyme to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the saffron strands in a dry pan or microwave for a few seconds.
Crush the saffron using your fingertips and place in a little bowl.
Pour the boiled water over the saffron and leave aside to infuse.
Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC Gourmet Roaster.
Add the bay leaf and fry until fragrant.
Add the sliced onions with the salt and saute until pale golden in colour.
Stir the celery sticks into the fried onion and saute until they soften.
Add the crushed ginger and garlic.
Place the chicken into the fried onion and stir well to coat.
Sprinkle the red chilli, ground cumin, coriander and cardamom over the chicken pieces.
Stir well to coat, pour in the boiled water and crumble the stock cubes into the pot.
Pour in the orange juice, add the fresh sprigs of thyme and saffron liquid.
Lower the heat and simmer until the chicken is tender.
Remove the chicken from the pan.
Heat an AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan and grease with non stick spray.
Place the cooked chicken in the pan with the skin side down, turning them often to ensure they brown evenly.
Remove from the pan once they are golden brown.

Whisk the yoghurt with egg and water.
Important step: Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the yoghurt mixture while whisking the sauce continuously – this prevents the sauce from splitting.
Add the Magic Masala – if you have some!
Simmer on low until the sauce thickens and then return the brown chicken to the pot.
Once the chicken heats through, season with black pepper and garnish with fresh thyme.
Serve with steamed basmati or pilau rice.

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The sardine run….

The sardine run...Spicy Sardines by Yudhika Sujanani

The sardine run…Spicy Sardines by Yudhika Sujanani

I haven’t eaten a sardine in about thirty years. The sardine run was always a much awaited event on the Durban calendar. Somewhere in the 80’s there were huge shoals of fish that washed up on the shores in Durban and there were people actually scooping them up in buckets.

Firstly, it was quite a sight…I was amazed by the piles of fish heaped on the shore and the locals seemed to be in a trance as they went about collecting their sardine stash. A few days later, I was sure that I overdosed on freshly fried spicy sardines! There were sardines everywhere and every home that visited also served sardines…I do see them on the menu at Portuguese restaurants but haven’t eaten one since!

There have been a few Facebook posts about the sardines in Durban and here is one of my Spicy Sardine recipes….I serve them with a spicy tomato chutney that coats the sardines keeping them moist and delicious!

I’m ready to give sardines a bash again…if only I could find one in Jozi and have it prepared the old fashioned Durban way! I really do miss Durban and all it’s beautiful people and treats!

Sardines in a Spicy Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

12 sardines
10ml red chilli powder
2,5ml turmeric
5ml salt
Sunflower oil to shallow fry

For the Spicy Tomato Sauce

30ml sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs of curry leaves
15ml red chilli powder
6 tomatoes
5ml coarse salt
10ml roasted coriander powder (dhania powder)
5ml roasted cumin powder (jeera powder)
2,5ml turmeric
Handful of fresh coriander

Here’s how:

Slice a cross into the base of each tomato and place them in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and leave aside for 3 minutes. Remove the skins and chop the tomatoes.
Sprinkle turmeric, salt and red chilli powder over the sardines and gently rub the spices over. Place the sardines in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat the sunflower oil in a pot. Fry the finely chopped onion until light golden brown. Add the crushed
garlic and curry leaves. Stir for a few seconds and then add the red chili powder.
Stir the red chilli powder for 5 seconds and then add the chopped tomatoes.
Season with salt and keep stirring until the tomatoes soften slightly.
Add the roasted ground cumin, coriander and the turmeric. Lower the heat and continue stirring until the tomatoes dissolve and form a thick sauce.
Heat the sunflower oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the sardines in batches until crispy.
Remove from the heat and gently dab the sardines with paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat this process until all the sardines are fried.
Spoon some of the tomato sauce over the base of a casserole dish and then spoon the remaining sauce over the sardines and sprinkle the chopped coriander over. Garnish with a few curry leaves.

Yudhika’s Tips

To clean the sardines: Scale sardines and make a cut along the bottom of the fish. Remove the intestines and entrails. Rinse the fish under cold running water and pat dry using absorbent paper towels.
Handle the sardines gently as they do tend to break up when handled roughly.

Five tips to perfect pilau…Spicy Brinjal Pilau!

Spicy Brinjal Veggie Pilau with chickpeas and lentils by Yudhika Sujanani

Spicy Brinjal Veggie Pilau with chickpeas and lentils by Yudhika Sujanani

The first pilau I made was from a recipe that I took out of the Indian Delights. I thought I would surprise my mom but it turned into a rather bad surprise…it wasn’t a recipe, it was my cooking skills! I was in high school at the time and without much patience! I cooked the pilau on a high heat and burnt it, the rice turned to mush and it was a complete mess! I am thankful to my creator for blessing me with determination….but still not sure whether it was determination or my ego that kept me cooking after the weeks of being teased about my kitchen disaster!

A good pilau is the perfect dish that turns meals into feasts. This is recipe that is perfect for Ramadan or it could make an appearance at your table served with roast chicken or lamb, curries and stews! For the vegetarians out there, it is a meal on it’s own, served with a salad and a creamy dollop of raita!

Here are a five of my tips to making a fabulous pilau…

Firstly, use a good quality rice. The broken grains in the cheaper brands cause the rice to cook unevenly and turn to mush.

Secondly, always cook the rice in advance and leave it to cool before adding it to the pilau. Rice that has chilled in the refrigerator works best and your pilau will be flop proof with fluffy steamed grains.

Third tip….slow and steady wins the race….pilau should be steamed gently to prevent it from sticking and burning.

Fourth tip….use a good quality pot with a thick base to prevent the pilau from steaming unevenly. I use AMC cookware without a hassle!

Fifth tip…back to the rice rice rice….I personally stick to basmati rice…avoid Jasmine and white rice as they are quite sticky….you can use long grain rice if you prefer but basmati for me is best!

Spicy Brinjal Veggie Pilau

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

2 large brinjals
Fine salt, to sweat brinjals
Sunflower oil, to grill or fry brinjals

45ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
10ml crushed garlic
10ml paprika or red chilli powder
400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
10ml roasted ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
1 x 400g tin butter beans
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
1 400g tin lentils
50ml fresh cream, optional
1000ml cooked Basmati Rice
125ml boiling water
10ml chilli flakes, to garnish
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Slice the brinjals into wedges and place them in a colander.
Sprinkle fine salt over the brinjals and leave to sweat for 20 minutes.
Use paper towel to dab the excess moisture off the brinjal wedges.
Heat the sunflower oil and fry/grill the brinjals.
Gently pat the excess oil of the brinjals and leave aside.

Heat the sunflower oil in a thick bottomed pot.
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaf until fragrant.
Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to splutter add the chopped onion.
Sprinkle the coarse salt over the onion and fry until they turn light golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic and stir for a few seconds.
Add the paprika and then stir in the chopped tomatoes.
Simmer for a minute before adding the ground coriander and cumin.
When the tomatoes soften completely, add the drained butter beans, chickpeas and lentils.
Pour in the fresh cream and layer the cooked basmati rice over.
Pour the boiling water over the rice and then reduce the temperature.
Simmer the pilau on the lowest heat setting until the rice has steamed through.
Place the brinjal wedges over the rice.
Garnish with chilli flakes and fresh coriander.

Yudhika’s Tips:
Fry the brinjals while the pilau is steaming though so that the wedges are hot when serving.
Par-cooked potatoes can be added to this recipe.

Sorry is…such a sorry word!

Yudhika's Spicy Lamb Rosti Bake

Yudhika’s Spicy Lamb Rosti Bake

Is it just me or does the word sorry irritate anyone else? My thoughts and feelings percolate over time. This is not something new or a revelation of sorts and no, I haven’t had my heart-broken over the weekend…the word just irritates me! I can’t remember when it first struck me. Perhaps it was when my kids were little and bashing each other in a fight over a toy but I can still remember my son, Rushil, saying, ‘Sorry doesn’t even help!’ Over the past few years and somewhere in the midst of my latest ugly divorce, the dreadful word ‘sorry’ has been thrown carelessly into life changing conversations. Sometimes ‘Sorry’ comes only after years of someone forcing you to accept that an apology wasn’t necessary and by then, it is too late.

Sorry isn’t enough…the word has made the world a worse place to live in. People have become careless with those most dear to them. People take chances knowing that when the cracks appear all they need to do is say sorry. Think back to being a child at school and playing with your friends…if you hurt or wronged anyone on the playground, we apologized by saying, ‘Sorry’…how many times did you say it without real emotion, regret and remorse? It has always been a mindless almost insincere response.

Human beings are flawed….we all are and mistakes are a part of life and us growing emotionally. In this modern tech savvy world we live in, is it not possible that we have become emotionally unintelligent? Whether you are ill, being cheated on, just lost your job or experienced some sort of tragedy…it’s met with the same generic response, ‘I am sorry!’ How can such a small word possibly become the ‘one size fits all’ plaster for life’s wounds, whatever they might be? I was in a relationship once and my partner dated his ex girlfriend…he said, ‘It was no big deal’. If it was no big deal, why was it not mentioned when I made him dinner the next evening or when he chatted to me for hours the next day? Why did he actually do it? He took the chance and me for granted is the short answer thinking that all he had to do is say, ‘Sorry’ and that would come only if I found out, of course! Well, he didn’t anticipate that it would not be enough to fill in the cracks it left in the relationship….and the one thing about cracks is that they often expand and distort our feelings. My question is was he really sorry or sorry that I found out?

Is this me moaning about my relationship experiences….absolutely not! I have been lied to, cheated on and emotionally distraught at different stages of my life. It is wretched and the most important thing I have to share is that at no point was ‘sorry’ ever enough to take the pain away. When I have been left feeling wretched, I often heard the same thing which is, ‘Well, I said I was sorry…Didn’t I…What more do you want?’ and it simply wasn’t enough. I have been soul searching, wondering what was wrong with me and why an apology wasn’t the plaster I thought it would be. I realize that these apologies lack sincerity. Why isn’t it good enough? What do we want? More than words….once the trust is broken, it’s a long hard road back. Maybe it is a women thing…I wanted to know why and deal with the underlying issues and was met by the, ‘Sorry, can we sweep this under the rug now?’

Over the last while, I have had my share of generic sorries…but it’s taught me a lesson too. I would like to share my advice, if I may that is…I have been thinking, agonizing over the apologies I have not accepted and going forward ask you to live your life after erasing the word ‘Sorry’ from your vocabulary. Imagine making decisions and considering the people around you knowing that if you messed up, sorry would not be an option. I know that this would not erase any chance of making mistakes but we have become careless….maybe it would get us to think for a moment about everything that is precious and taken for granted.

When we are wrong, we have to work harder than just an apology…we have to work harder than ‘Sorry’ to find a remedy, support the person we are apologizing to and put the ‘no big deal’ mentality aside! ‘Sorry’ is not an apology…it’s a word and it has no magical powers!

Sorry is a sorry word….it is one of the most useless words in the dictionary. I have yet to write a blog about my carelessness and the things that I have been sorry about and apologies I’ve made….coming soon!

It’s been cold over the past few days and all I want to do is tuck into some comfort food. It could be the weather but my guess is that my thoughts have also been keeping me busy and craving the comfort of Wintery bakes…I am endlessly entertained in my own company…with some comfort food of course! Here is a recipe for a deliciously spicy lamb rosti bake! I love a traditional Cottage Pie but with the weather playing up, I spiced this recipe up along the lines of Keema Masala or Curried Mince. It is delicious, quick to prepare and comforting! I used the spices from my Curry Me Home range and at first glance it looks like there is lots of red chilli…keep in mind that lamb and beef ‘hold’ a lot more chilli and it is the base spice of the dish. Mince tends to often be flavorless and bland so you have to spice it up a fair bit!

Spicy Lamb Rosti Bake

750g lamb mince
50ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
30ml ginger and garlic, crushed
30 – 45ml red chilli powder
10ml ground coriander
5ml garam masala
2ml turmeric
200g chopped tomatoes

700g potatoes, boiled in skins – I used Up To Date variety
Salt, to season potatoes
100g butter

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC Paella Pan.
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaf until fragrant, add the cumin seeds.
When the seeds start to splutter, add the onion and salt.
Salute the onion until light golden.
Add the crushed ginger and garlic and fry for a few seconds.
Add the red chilli powder and warm through for 3 – 5 seconds.
Stir the lamb mince into the red chilli and fry until it changes colour.
Add the ground coriander, garam masala and turmeric.
Stir for a few minutes and add the tomatoes.
Simmer until the tomatoes soften.
Place the lamb mince into a casserole dish.
Peel the potatoes and grate them over the mince.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Melt the butter and pour it over the potatoes.
Bake the lamb in the oven at 180 degrees celsius until the potatoes are golden brown which would take about 35 -45 minutes.

Another Meat Free Monday! Creamy Cauliflower

Yudhika Sujanani - Quick and Easy Creamy Cauliflower Curry!

Yudhika Sujanani – Quick and Easy Creamy Cauliflower Curry!

Here is a quick and easy recipe for a Meat Free Monday!

Creamy Cauliflower

Ingredients

800g cauliflower florets
60ml sunflower oil
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
10ml crushed ginger and garlic
10ml red chilli powder
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
2ml turmeric
125ml fresh cream
250ml frozen peas
Fresh curry leaves or coriander, to garnish

Here’s how

Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for 2 minutes and then drain.
Rinse the florets in cold water and leave to drain.
Heat the oil in a 24cm AMC pot.
Add the cumin seeds and when they splutter, add the onion and salt.
Saute until the onion turns light golden brown.
Add crushed ginger and garlic – cook until the moisture evaporates.
Stir the cauliflower florets into the onion.
Saute for a minute then add the powdered spices.
Simmer for 3 – 4 minutes, pour in the cream.
Add the frozen peas and simmer on a low heat until cooked through.
Once the sauce thickens slightly, remove from the heat and garnish with curry leaves or fresh coriander.

Cookware for Queens….and a few Kings too! The AMC Cookware Competition!

Competition time...The AMC 30cm Skillet worth R3200

Competition time…The AMC 30cm Skillet worth R3200

AMC Cookware and I have teamed up several times to work on some amazing projects…from TV shows to the Post Newspaper recipe column…we keep things cooking! And I sometimes share the experiences and want you to experience that too!

Drum roll please….we haven’t run a competition on the blog for a while so here is your chance to enter! AMC Cookware are giving away a 30cm Skillet and recipe book worth R3200! The pan is perfect for making crumpets, grilling chicken, chops and steaks and also for making roti!

All you have to do is share the link to the blog on facebook or twitter, click follow, and leave a comment with #yudhikayumyum #amcforlife We love hearing your feedback – feel free to comment on the recipes featured, share your memories and tell us your AMC story! We all want to be winners but try not to leave a comment saying, ‘I want to win the AMC prize’ You can leave your feedback in the comments section on this post or any of the recipe posts as long as you remember to hashtag us.

AMC for life!

AMC for life!

AMC has been a household name for decades. For more information on AMC Cookware and the amazing specials they have on offer, visit their website http://www.amcsa.co.za

The AMC Classic Cookbook!

The AMC Classic Cookbook!

So a few rules:

You can enter as many times as you like – all names will be put forward in a lucky draw.
You must be a follower of the blog to be eligible – to subscribe, please scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click on the ‘follow’ button!
Rude and abusive comments will not be entered into the draw.
Competition closes 3 June 2015 and the winner will be announced on the 4 June 2015.
Please do not ask people to vote for your comment – it’s a lucky draw.

South African entries only.

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.

 

 

Festive feuding…..

Yudhika visits the Fourways Farmers Market on SABC 2's Mela...

Yudhika visits the Fourways Farmers Market on SABC 2’s Mela…

The festive season…some people love it…some people dread it!  The producer of Mela, is always full of brilliant ideas….and one of our themes was what to make when the inlaws….or should I say ‘outlaws’ come to visit!

Mother in law blues….it’s awful but over the holidays we all seem to overdose on it….yes, yes…they are perfect and they are the best cooks too….so, we first had a look around to see what we could come up with….first stop was our local ‘Fourway’s Farmers Market’.  The produce is amazingly fresh and it is a must for any ardent foodie.  I happened to come across a chocolatier stand.and they had fabulous white chocolate that was too tempting to resist.

 

We decided to prepare a meltingly delicious burfee with a decadent twist….white belgian chocolate…that ought to get the tongues to stop wagging!

 

Burfee isn’t a festive must….but, a little slice served at any time of year can be just what the doctor ordered to soothe those fraying nerves…I have to agree with the Mela producer on this one!  If you missed this episode of the ‘Food Mela’, click here to view….https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/yudhikas-chocolate-burfee-on-mela/

 

 

A word on milk powder…I suggest using Klim milk powder for this recipe.  For more on burfee check out these links on this blog….https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/07/24/the-eid-burfee-challenge/ for the Coconut Burfee and here for the rose and pistachio burfee…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/29/rose-and-pistachio-burfee/  and perhaps this one for the super decadent fresh cream burfee recipe…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/07/29/sugar-n-spice-recipes-fresh-cream-almond-burfee-by-yudhika/ and check out the video link to watch how to make up this burfee from my show Sugar n Spice…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWFDoAJuQXI

White Chocolate Burfee by Yudhika on SABC2's Mela....

White Chocolate Burfee by Yudhika on SABC2’s Mela….

 

Chocolate Burfee

Whole almonds

Red food colouring, to tint almonds

Gold dust, to tint almonds

500g Klim milk powder

175ml tinned dessert cream

375ml sugar

250ml cold water

2,5ml ground cardamom

25ml butter

50g chopped white chocolate, chopped

50g chocolate, to garnish

Tint the almonds with red food colouring and roast in a hot oven until dry.

Leave aside to cool and then sprinkle with gold dust.

Gently rub the gold dust over the almonds.

Grease a 20 x 25cm pyrex dish or baking tray with butter.

Line the tray with plastic wrap ensuring the sides are also lined.

Grease the plastic wrap with butter.
In a mixing bowl, rub the dessert cream into the milk powder until it resembles bread crumbs.

Leave this aside for an hour to dry out.

Place the milk powder mixture into a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds or until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Combine the sugar and water in a small AMC pot and boil until a thick sticky syrup forms.

Add the cardamom and butter to the syrup.

Pour the syrup into the milk powder, add the chopped chocolate and stir well to combine and leave to cool just slightly.

Add the chopped chocolate and working quickly press the mixture down into the prepared dish or baking tray.

Once the mixture cools, garnish with the tinted almonds and chopped chocolate.  Refrigerate the burfee until firm and slice into blocks or diamonds.

Potato Promises…..

Yudhika's Garlic Potato Stacks....

Yudhika’s Garlic Potato Stacks….

I love love love potatoes….some people say that potatoes are not really vegetables….I tend to agree…it doesn’t seem fair to lump a fabulous potato with something like cabbage or cauliflower!

 

Potatoes are not just a side dish…they can make a meal come alive and Indians are particularly pedantic about potatoes…I remember going out hunting for good potatoes and only the best ones make it into the curry pot!

 

For this recipe use “Up to Date” or UTD potatoes.  They are available in Fruit and Veg City as well as Food Lover’s Markets and Checkers stores…you could also pop into the local Indian green grocer, if you are lucky enough to have one of those in your area!

 

Stock standard potatoes are fabulous….and yes, old is gold but I could not help making up a batch of these to share with you!  They are oh so yum!  Thinly sliced potatoes with a good drizzle or dare I say, buttery soak?  Flavoured with fresh thyme and black pepper….these are particularly hard to resist!

 

These garlic potato stacks will work like a charm with the Roast Turkey…click here for the recipe…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/12/12/turkey-time-recipes-for-the-festive-season/

 

 

Garlic Potato Stacks

 

Makes 12

 

Ingredients

 

750g peeled potatoes

100g butter

4 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt, to season

Black pepper, to season

25ml fresh thyme leaves

 

 

Here’s how:

 

 

Thinly slice the potatoes and place them in a mixing bowl.

Heat the butter in an AMC pan with the crushed garlic and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Pour the butter through a strainer and discard the garlic.

Season the potatoes with salt and black pepper.

Add the thyme leaves and toss to coat.

Pour the butter over the potatoes and mix lightly.

Stack the potato slices into a 12 hole cupcake pan, starting with large slices and finishing with little ones.

Pour the remaining butter over the stacks.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190°C for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and golden. They should also have a few crispy sections.

Gently remove the stacks with a spatula.

Garnish with fresh thyme.