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Saima Baig

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We have a plum tree in our garden and every summer we get a lot of plums. This year I decided to make plum jam. It is very easy recipe, only four ingredients: plums, water, lemon and sugar. I had 4kg of plums, if you are using a lesser amount adjust the other ingredients accordingly. I used less sugar and added 1 1/2 kg of sugar to 4 kg of plums. However, generally recipes call for 1 1/2 kg of sugar for 2kg of plums (3/4 amount of sugar for the amount of plums if your plums are ripe and sweet). This is entirely up to you. 

It is important to sterlise your jars. Use glass jars with airtight lids. You can use recycled or new jars. Wash the jars thoroughly with soap and warm water. Then place the jars on a baking tray and place the tray in a 130 Degrees C (270F) pre-heated oven. Heat for at least 20 minutes. Let them cool. If the jars have rubber in the lids, do not put that in the oven. Boil the lids and/or rubber seals separately.

Plum Jam

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Equipment

  • Large and wide Saucepan or pot
  • 2 saucers
  • Glass jars
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 4 kg plums (remove stones )
  • kg granulated sugar
  • 1/2 lemon (juice)
  • 250 ml water

Instructions 

  • Place two saucers in the freezer to test the jam later.
  • Use ripe, jucy and undamaged plums. Wash them thoroughly.
    Ripe plums in a blue bowl. Wise Women Recipes
  • Cut the plums in half and remove the stone/pits. Leave the skin because it has pectin that is useful for the jam to set.
  • Place the halved/pitted plums in a wide saucepan or pot. Add water. Bring them to a simmer over a low heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir occasionally.
    Simmering plums in a saucepan to make plum jam. Wise Women Recipes
  • Cover the pot and cook for 20-30 minutes until the plums are soft and start breaking down. The time will depend on the amount of plums and pan.
  • If you want to have a smooth jam, take the pot off the heat and then blend with a hand blender. Put the pot back on the stove. (I like chunky jam so I did not do this.)
  • Add the sugar and lemon juice. Keep stirring till the sugar dissolves.
  • Increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Keep stirring. Keep on the rolling boil for about 10 minutes. The plums should have broken down and your jam should be thicker now. Take it off the heat once it looks like it has reached the setting point (this also depends on the amount of plums, the pan and the heat applied - could be 5- 10 minutes)
  • If there is scum on the jam, add a knob of butter and mix. This will remove the scum.
  • Take the saucer out of the freezer and put some jam on it. Once it cools down push it gently with your finger. If it wrinkles (even a little bit), the jam is ready. If it doesn't wrinkle and remains liquid, put the pot back on the heat and cook for another 5-10 minutes or so. Check it on the second saucer.
    You can also use a sugar thermometer to check if the jam is done, which should be at 104C or 220F.
  • Let it the jam stand in the pan for about 10 minutes to allow the fruit to settle. Then stir the jam, mixing thoroughly and then ladle it into the sterilised jars. It will be hot so be careful.
  • Close the lids and keep the jars aside for at least 24 hours to allow the jam to set.
    Homemade plum jam in glass jars. Wise Women Recipes
  • Keep the jars in a cool dark place. When you open a jar to use the jam, store it in the refrigerator afterwards.
    Homemade Plum Jam in Glass Jars.

Notes

The best suggestion I can give you is to use your intuition as far as the timing is concerned. If jam is too liquidy, cook it for longer. I also cheated and did not remove the stones since I don't mind picking out the stones when using the jam. 
I have stored the jam in large jars and will dish it out into smaller jars for use. 
Author: Saima Baig
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Keyword: condiment, jam, plums, preserves

 

Chicken and Chicpeas Curry

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people

Equipment

  • Large Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 kg chicken (pieces )
  • 500 gms chickpeas ((approximately 2 tins))
  • 1 onion (medium sized, chopped )
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • ½ tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp coriander poweder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • salt (to taste)
  • vegetable oil (for cooking)
  • fresh coriander (for garnish)
  • whole green chillies (for garnish)

Instructions 

  • Heat up oil, add chopped onions and fry till they are golden brown
  • Add garlic and ginger paste and fry together for a couple of minutes
    Garlic and Ginger Paste - Wise Women Recipes
  • Drain the chickpeas from the tin and run them through water
  • Add chicken and fry for a few minutes
  • Add chilli, salt, and coriander powder. Add some water and cook together till oil is released.
    Chilli powder and coriander powder- Wise Women Recipes
  • Add the tinned chickpeas to the mixture and some water. Cook for a about 5 minutes or so. Make sure to add enough water so that you end up with a gravy but not to much that the dish is watery.
  • Check to see that the chicken is completely cooked through
  • Dish out and garnish with fresh coriander leaves and whole chillies
    Coriander and Whole Green Chillies - Wise Women Recipes

Notes

  1. If using dry chickpeas and not tinned ones, make sure to soak them for 24 hours before cooking.
  2. If using dry chickpeas, add them when the chicken is only half cooked. Then add some water and cook the two together till the chicken is cooked and chickpeas are completely soft. Add enough water when cooking to end up with a gravy-like mixture.  
  3. Serve with rice or naan or roti (flat bread). 
Chicken and Chickpeas Curry by Wise Women Recipes
Chicken and Chickpeas Curry by Wise Women Recipes
Author: Saima Baig
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani, South Asian
Keyword: curry

I know this is becoming more of a Pakistani/Indian website but really that is not the case. It’s just that we have been cooking desi dishes more at the moment. I will definitely add dishes from other regions as well soon.

This is another quick one and one of my favourites because it’s got two of my favourite ingredients: eggs and potatoes. My mom used to make it as a quick dinner dish and we all loved it as children. And as adults!

Ingredients

Oil (for cooking)

Eggs (4)

Potatoes (500gms)

Nigella Seeds (one teaspoon)

Cumin seeds (1/2 teaspoon)

Chilli (one teaspoon)

Fresh coriander (stalks and leaves)

Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan and add nigella seeds and cumin seeds to it. Fry them till they start popping.

Finely chop up coriander stalks, add them to the oil and fry them for about half a minute.

Add potatoes, salt and chilli and fry them. Keep adding small amounts of water to prevent burning.

Keep cooking till potatoes are soft.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and add them to the potatoes while stirring, so the eggs don’t clump.

The eggs will not take very long to cook, so make sure you don’t over cook them.

Dish it out and sprinkle chopped coriander leaves.

This is a great dish for brunch, with parathas (fried flat bread) or for a quick evening meal. You can even have it with toast!.

Enjoy!

Eggs and potato Pakistani dish. Posted by Wise Women Recipes
Eggs and potato Pakistani dish. Posted by Wise Women Recipes

 

 

Lamb Fry

Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
A great lamb dish with very few spices

Equipment

  • Wok

Ingredients

  • 1 kg lamb
  • 1 tbsp chilli
  • 1 tbsp corriandar powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp corriandar seeds
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • salt (tp taste)
  • vegetable oil (for cooking)
  • ginger (cut in to matchsticks for garnish)
  • green chilli (for garnish)
  • fresh corriandar leaves (for garnish)

Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a wok and add cumin and corriandar seeds to the oil
  • Once the seeds start sputtering add lamb and fry for 20 minutes. Add drops of water if needed
  • Add salt and keep on frying, adding water when needed
  • Add all the spices, ginger and garlic paste and keep on frying
  • Add yogurt and keep on frying till the yogurt disappears, meat is tender and oil rises to the top
  • Your dish is ready. Serve with flat bread or rice

Notes

This is one of our favourite weekend dishes. Absolutely delicious and goes great with naan (flat bread) or even rice. Because it requires a lot of frying, we get the lamb cut into small pieces (with bones). You can of course make it with boneless lamb too and it works just as well.
Enjoy!
 
Author: Saima Baig
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani, South Asian
Keyword: curry, Indian, lamb, Pakistani, South Asian

This is an amazing and quick recipe and I love having this as a weekly option. It is very simple to make and the prawns/shrimp can be made in two different ways.

Marinade: Dark soy sauce, chilli flakes and garlic paste

Add the marinade to the prawns and set aside for an hour or so. I find the best prawns for this recipe are the Argentinian Tiger Prawns.

Raw jumbo prawns in spy sauce, chilli and garlic marinade.
Raw jumbo prawns in spy sauce, chilli and garlic marinade

You can either grill the prawns in a preheated 180 C oven for 4 minutes on each side (flip sides after 4 minutes and grill for another 4 minutes).

You can also stir fry the prawns in oil.

Rice:

Boil the rice in the normal way but with the sweetcorn added. This recipe works best if they rice are not freshly cooked but you can use freshly cooked rice as well. It is perfect for re-using a day old rice.

Put the boiled rice and sweetcorn in a wok with some vegetable oil and quickly stirfry with some soy sauce. You can optionally also had fish oil and a couple of drops of sesame oil.

Stir fried rice with sweetcorn
Stir fried rice with sweetcorn

Dish out the rice and place the prawns on top. Sprinkle some spring onions on top and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Prawns with Sweetcorn Rice
Prawns with Sweetcorn Rice

 

 

 

 

Potatoes and Cauliflower Curry

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Quick vegetarian dish made with potatoes and cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250 gms potatoes (3 medium to large, chopped into 1cm cubes)
  • 250 gms cauliflower (1 medium, florets thinly cut. I also added the leaves)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp corriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • tbsp tomato paste (or one large tomato)
  • salt (to taste)
  • corriander leaves (for garnish)
  • ginger (cut into matchstick size for garnish)

Instructions 

  • Add the oil to a medium sized pot and heat
  • Add cumin seeds, fry till golden on low heat
  • Add the chopped potatoes to the oil and cumin seeds and fry for 3 to 5 minutes on low heat
  • Add ginger, garlic, chilli, salt, turmeric, corriander and cumin powder to the potatoes and fry for 5 minutes on low heat
  • Add tomato paste and stir and then add the cauliflower. Fry together for a couple of minutes
  • Keep adding small amounts of water and stirring. There is no fixed quantity of water to add. Just keep adding small amounts to enable the potatoes and cauliflower to tenderize. Keep stirring till both the vegetables are soft to touch. Dish out and garnish with corriander leaves and ginger sticks
    Gobi aloo (potato and cauliflower curry). A Pakistani dish popular in the Punjab region. By Wise Women Recipes
  • Serve with flat bread (roti) and mango pickle.
    Aloo gobi dish (potato and cauliflower) on a plate. Wise women recipes
Author: Saima Baig
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Keyword: dinner recipe, easy, lentils, daal, vegetarian, rice, Pakistani

I love this daal! It is so simple and easy to make and it reminds me of travelling in Pakistan and eating at roadside cafes with lovely flat bread (naan).

Ingredients:

Urad daal (split and dehusked black gram lentils): 150g

Onion: 1 medium

Ginger and garlic paste: 1 tablespoon each

Tomato paste: 4 tablespoons (you can also use tomatoes)

Cumin and Corriander powder: One teaspoon each

Chilli: 1 teaspoon (use according to your taste)

Turmeric: 1/4 teaspoon

Salt: to taste

Oli: for cooking

Ginger and Fresh Corriander for garnish

Soak your daal for at least 2 hours. I tend to soak mine for longer, so that it is very soft and quick to make.

Dice your onion and fry it till golden brown (I also added whole corriander seeds but this is entirely optional).

Onions being fried in oil

Mix you garlic/ginger paste, tomato paste and spices in a bowl. Add some water to make into a paste. Pour this mixture into your friend onions.

Cook till the oil has risen to the top.

Add your daal and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Add water, cover and cook on low heat till daal is soft and the water has mostly evaporated. It is entirely up to you what consistency you want. I like mine a little saucy but you can dry out the water completely as well.

Garnish with ginger cut into matchstick size, fresh corriander and lemon. Serve with flat bread (naan). Enjoy!

Daal cooked Pakistani style by Wise Women Recipes blog
Daal cooked Pakistani style by Wise Women Recipes blog

 

This recipe is all over the internet. Finish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen shared the baked feta pasta recipe back in 2019 and now everyone is making it. The original recipe uses tomatoes but this one has mushrooms and spinach and it is so easy to make.

Recipe:

Chop up mushrooms

Chopped Mushrooms

Add sliced red onions, whole garlic, thyme (fresh is good but dry if you don’t have fresh), and a quarter cup of olive oil (I used extre virgin). Put it all in a baking dish and mix it. Make space in the middle and add your block of feta cheese. Drizzle olice oil on top of the feta and sprinkle some dry oregano.

Chopped mushrooms and sliced onions in a baking dish

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile boil your pasta.

When the baking is done (mushrooms will be red, onions and garlic will be soft and feta will have melted), remove the garlic, peel and crush them and add them back. Mix it all together with a ladlefull of pasta water to bring it all together.

Add your spinach and pasta. Mix it and voila! There is you Baked Feta Pasta!

Baked Feta Pasta in a baking dish

Enjoy!

A popular Pakistani meat dish eaten with naan or roti. This is our own recipe and turns out to be a fantastic dish wih amazing flavour. This is an original recipe by Nadeem Ansari. Try it out!

  1. Chop up tomatoes and put them in a wok with vegetable oil
  2.  Add whole cumin seeds
  3. Crush corriander seeds and add them to the tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. In a bowl mix garlic and ginger paste with salt, red chilli (we also add degi mirch, a mild chilli used to add colour and taste rather than heat), cumin powder and corriander powder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Add chopped up fresh corriander stalks to the tomatoes and spices

6. Cook the tomatoes with all the ingredients till they break down and form into a paste

7. Add meat to the tomatoe mixture and cook. Then add water and leave to simmer

8. Once the water has reduced and meat has tenderized, stir the curry for another 5 minutes till the oil has risen to the surface

9. Garnish with fresh corriander leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serve with naan or roti. Enjoy!

 

I recently discovered this dish and it is a fantastic vegetarian winter warmer and a very easy recipe. You can have it on its own or serve with crusty bread.

pasta with broccoli sauce

Ingredients:

Pasta: 250 grams

Tender Stem Broccoli: 300 grams

Stock (chicken or vegatarian): 500 ml

Marscapone or Ricotta Cheese

Garlic: 4 cloves

Olive Oil

Oregano

Salt

Pepper

Method:

Cut the broccoli into florets (chop up the stems too they will get tender).

Tender Stem Broccoli

Chopped broccoli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slice the garlic cloves and fry them in the olive oil till they are golden brown. Add broccoli and stir fry.

Chopped garlic being fried in olive oil

Broccoli being stir-fried

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the stock, cover the dish and let simmer till all the broccoli has broken down into a sauce. Also add a ladle-full of pasta water to give it more depth.

Broccoli being cooked in stock

Broccoli sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add oregano, salt and pepper to taste.

Mix it with boiled pasta, add mascarpone/ricotta/pecorino cheese. Optional: Sprinkle chilli flakes and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

pasta with broccoli sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

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