Blackberry Jam – Homemade summer treat

blackberry jam4

Now that the summer is at its peak, blackberries are bursting on every bush, basking in golden sunshine, looking plump and juicy, trailing along, arching to the paths .  On our daily walks on tiny paths running through shady woods, I cannot resist picking handfuls of  juicy blackberries  with my little son in tow; we both end up gobbling them up.  Afterwards, it is all giggles and sticking our tongues out to check whose is the more purplish!!

The other day, I picked a basket of blackberries from the brambles and made this beautiful jam. I mentioned ‘beautiful’ because of its rich blend of  purple and magenta colours.  You can either pick them yourself  for free or just buy a punnet or two from the supermarket to make this jam.

 Not much complications, not many ingredients and as easy as it sounds, this is a real treat for this summer!!

All you need are :

  • 350 g Plump and juicy blackberries
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 1/4 lemon

Let’s make it:

  • Place blackberries  in a heavy bottom pan so that they wont easily burn out.
  • On medium flame let them boil for 3-4 mins.  You will see all the juices from the fruits run out and bubbles foam on the top.

blackberry jam

  • Add 350 g caster sugar and lemon.  Stir through.
  • On medium flame, let them bubble away for 8  mins.  Keep stiring.
  • Switch the flame off and let the jam cool off in the pan itself.

blackberry jam2

  • Store in a glass bottle.
  • Enjoy on a buttered toast!!
  • Yummy !!

tip:

  • if you do not fancy the bits in it, mash the fruits with a wooden spoon while boiling.
  • store in the fridge.

blackberry4

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Lamb Stew Curry – Juicy, succulent spring lamb in a stew style gravy

lamb stew1

I make it a point to make this dish on special occasions as it always stands out in taste as well as in appearance.  Nothing couldn’t be easier to make something so pleasing to your family  or guests than this dish, as it has everything they always are fond of –  the delicious taste, mouthwatering aroma and the juicy appearance .

Kids love the silky and succulent lamb pieces that melts into their mouths and the gravy, which is not so spicy, but full of flavours.  The secret of bursting flavours in this dish is that it is boiled with all the spices first and then added to the fry-up with pieces and juices altogether.

You can substitute mutton with lamb and pressure cook until the meat is soft and tender.  If you boil mutton in a pot, it takes a longer, but eventually become tender.  However, remember to add two tbsp of papaya paste , as part of our beloved grandmothers’ wisdom to make the meat tender, while marinating.  Scientifically, papaya contains enzymes that acts on proteins.  Please note that Papaya paste  is available in local Asian grocery shops.  papaya What you need to make this:

 Spring lamb/mutton 300 g
Onion 1 large
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Cumin powder 2 tsp
Salt to taste 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 2 tsp
Tomato 1 large
Green chilies 2
Chili powder 2 tsp
 Ginger garlic paste  2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp Garam masala and chopped coriander leaves for sprinkling on top and  garnishing.
  • Papaya paste for marinating.

Let’s get started:

  • Cut the lamb  into medium size pieces and place in a pan/pressure cooker.
  • Half of all above listed ingredients must be added to the pan and massage thoroughly with meat.  Leave for 20 min to marinade.
  • Follow the list below for 1/2 of all the ingredients listed above:
 Onion 1/2 chopped finely
Salt 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste and papaya paste 2 tbsp each
Chili powder 1 tsp
Green chili 1 slit
Oil 1 tbsp
 Pepper powder  1 tsp
  • After 20 mins pour water a little above the lamb pieces, cover and cook until water drops down half way of lamb pieces.  If you prefer more gravy, pour a bit more water at the beginning.   But adding water afterwards will not give this dish the required taste.
  • Keep the cooked pot of lamb aside which will look like this:

lamb stew3

  • Now, in a wide wok, add 2 tbsp of oil.
  • Drop a clove, a stick of cinnamon, 2 cardamoms and a few curry leaves and fry.
  •  Now add the remaining half of the chopped onion.  Saute until golden.
  • Add a slit green chili.
  • Add ginger garlic paste. (you can add freshly grated ginger and garlic for more aroma and taste)
  • Add all the spices, chili powder, pepper powder and salt.  Fry.
  • Add the chopped tomato.

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  • Fry until all comes together and oil separates.
  • Now, add the lamb pieces with all it’s gravy into the wok.
  • Mix thoroughly, cover and simmer under  low flame.
  • After 5 mins, open the lid, give a good stir and raise the flame high for 2 mins to thicken the gravy and oil to float up.
  • Sprinkle garam masala and gently mix.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Cover and let the stew to rest.  This allows all the flavours to blend nicely.
  • Time to serve for all hungry mouths!!!
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Rulang/Sooji/Semolina pudding – A velvety pudding with sweet milky taste

Semolina pudding

This  sweet treat, so light and  velvety is a real winner on a balmy summer day to serve around after the main meal or as an afternoon snack.  If you serving this to kids, you can even mix colours to make it more inviting!

It is so simple to make this, because you might probably have all the neccessary ingredients in your pantry cupboard rather than having to run to the shops.

Semolina is a good source of vitamin E and B, both are essential for good immunity.  Zinc and magnesium found in semolina are beneficial for the health of your bones and nervous system. Also it is a nourishing source of energy for kids and adults alike.

It is important that you cook the pudding until it comes to a ball and no longer sticky.  This right consistency will give your pudding the velvety texture and firmer squares when  it comes to cutting.

What you need to make it:

Semolina (Rulang/Sooji) 75 g
Sugar (white) 150 g
Butter 50 g
Milk 500 ml
Salt 2 pinches
Raisins 2 tbsp

Let’s make :

Divide it

  • Divide 500ml of milk into two parts.
  • Soak semolina in one half of milk
  • Keep aside the other half

Melt it

  • In a wide pan add 50g of butter and melt under low flame
  • Add the plain half of  milk and 150g of sugar and 3 pinches of salt
  • Boil until bubbles form on top while stiring continuously

Add Semolina

  • Reduce heat and add the other half of milk soaked with semolina.
  • Add currents.

Stir it

  • Keep stiring until thick.
  • The mixture will come together as a ball after 10 – 15 mins.

Pour it

  • Immediately, switch off the flame and pour the mixture into a Pyrex dish rubbed all sides with butter
  • Let the pudding cool off and place in the fridge
  • Once properly chilled, you can cut it into perfectly dainty squares.
  • Serve in a pretty dessert cup

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