Friday, 29 November 2013

Chicken and Spinach Curry

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

This recipe is for Chicken and Spinach Curry. It is a very quick, easy and tasty dish, and can be served with rice or roti. This curry is one of the classic Pakistani dishes, and can be found on menu rotations in many Pakistani households.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Vegetable Oil
2. Onions
3. Whole Chicken Pieces
4. Fresh Ginger
5. Fresh Garlic
6. Green Chillies
7. Tomatoes
8. Salt
9. Ground Cumin
10. Ground Coriander
11. Red Chilli Powder
12. Ground Turmeric
13. Fresh Spinach Leaves
14. Water

Bismillah, let's begin!

So, to make this curry, I heated a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pan - as always!

To the hot oil, I added two onions which had been peeled and sliced.

Once the onions were soft and lightly golden brown ..

.. I added one whole chicken, cut into pieces.

I browned the chicken on a high heat until it was golden brown.

Once most of the chicken was browned, I added a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, crushed and 5 garlic cloves, crushed.

Four chopped green chillies

And, one chopped tomato. I stir fried everything for a few minutes.

Then, I added one teaspoon of salt.

1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric

One teaspoon of red chilli powder

One teaspoon of ground coriander and one teaspoon of ground cumin. I cooked all the spices for a few minutes.

Next, I took two bunches of spinach leaves which had been chopped and washed. You could also use the bagged spinach too or even frozen or tinned.

I added in the spinach ..

.. and stirred it in.

At this point, I poured in 1/2 cup of water

And, brought everything to the boil. Then covered the pan and simmered it on low for 30 minutes until the chicken was cooked through and the water had all dried out.

After simmering, my curry was ready to serve!

Serve with rice, roti or naan - whatever you're in the mood for really!


Chicken and Spinach Curry


·     Few tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
·     2 Onions, peeled and sliced
·     1 Whole Chicken, cut into pieces
·     2 inch piece Fresh Ginger, crushed
·     5 Garlic Cloves, crushed
·     4 Green Chillies, sliced
·     1 Tomato, chopped
·     1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
·     1 teaspoon Salt
·     1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
·     ¼ teaspoon Ground Turmeric
·     1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
·     2 bunches or bags Fresh Spinach Leaves, chopped
·     ½ cup Water


1.  Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and fry until soft and golden brown.

2.  Then, add the chicken pieces and cook until the chicken goes brown.

3. Next, add the crushed ginger and garlic, chillies and tomato. Fry for a few minutes.

4.  Then, add all the spices and salt. Cook for a minute or two.

5.  Throw in the chopped spinach and the water. Stir well, and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and most of the water has dried out.

6.  Serve immediately with roti or rice!

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Besan Laddoo

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

This recipe is for Besan Laddoo. A laddoo is a type of Pakistani sweet which is usually made or served at special occasions such as the Muslim festival of Eid. This particular laddoo is made with gram flour (besan), enriched with butter and sweetened with sugar. 

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Gram Flour 

2. Semolina
3. Cardamom Powder
4. Unsalted Butter
5. Sugar
6. Whole Almonds

Bismillah, let's begin!

The measurement that I used for this recipe was a simple tea cup. 

To begin, I placed two cups of gram flour (besan) into a karahi, but you could use a large saucepan.

I also added in five tablespoons of semolina.

And, one teaspoon of cardamom powder.

I mixed everything together on a low heat.

I cooked it on a low heat for 3 minutes until the gram flour was golden brown in colour.

Then, I added 3/4 cup of melted butter.

I mixed the butter in.

And, mixed it constantly for 5 minutes on a low heat.

Then, I turned the heat to medium, and cooked it for around 7 minutes, constantly stirring, until it turned a dark brown colour.

I removed the mixture from the heat and allowed it to cool for 10 minutes. Then, I added one cup of sugar.

I mixed in the sugar, and then left it to stand for 1 hour.

Finally, I shaped the mixture into little balls, and decorated with the whole almonds.

These laddoo are great served in paper cases with hot tea!


Besan Laddoo


·      2 cups Gram Flour (Besan)
·      5 tablespoons Semolina
·      1 cup Sugar
·    3/4 cup Melted Butter
·     1 teaspoon Cardamom powder
·      Whole Almonds, to decorate


1.  Place the gram flour, semolina and cardamom powder into a karahi or a large saucepan.

2.  Mix well on a low heat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the gram flour is golden brown.

3.  Add the melted butter and mix constantly on a low heat for 5 minutes.

4.  Turn to a medium heat for 7 minutes until its goes a bit darker.

5.  Allow the mixture to cool slightly for 10 minutes.

6.  Add the sugar. Mix well and then leave to stand for an hour.

7.  Shape the mixture into balls, by rolling in the palm of your hand. Decorate with the whole almonds and serve!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Creamy Veggie Pasta Bake

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

This recipe is for my Creamy Veggie Pasta Bake. It is a selection of vegetables baked with pasta and a creamy white sauce. Even the biggest meat and chicken lover will enjoy this veggie comfort food special! And, to be honest, it is good to have an all vegetarian meal for a change.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Butter

2. Plain Flour
3. Milk
4. Salt
5. White Pepper
6. Ground Nutmeg
7. Any Dried Pasta
8. Potatoes
9. Bell Peppers
10. Peas
11. Sweetcorn
12. Carrots
13. Fresh Garlic
14. Black Pepper
15. Cheddar Cheese
16. Vegetable Oil
17. Vegetable Stock Cubes

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, I made the Bechamel sauce which is just a creamy white sauce. I melted three tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan.

Once the butter had melted, I added in three tablespoons of plain flour.

I stirred the butter and flour together, and cooked it over a low to medium heat for two minutes.

Then, I warmed 1 and 1/2 pints of milk in the microwave.

I poured in the warm milk, little by little, stirring after each addition - until all the milk was combined.

Next, I seasoned the white sauce well with salt and white pepper.

Finally, I added a pinch of ground nutmeg

Then, I kept the sauce over a low heat until it had thickened. Make sure you taste it for seasoning at this point too.

Next, it was time to prepare the vegetables. Now, you can use any veggies you like, but I used ..

A large tin of sweetcorn, and a few handfuls of frozen peas

Four peeled and diced carrots and two chopped bell peppers

Three large peeled and diced potatoes

So, once I had prepared all my veggies, I heated a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large saucepan.

Next, I took three garlic cloves.

I peeled and finely chopped them, and added them to the hot oil.

Allow them to fry for a few seconds or until the smell of garlic hits you.

Next, I added all the veggies.

And gave them a good stir.

At this point, I seasoned well with salt, to taste.

Along with black pepper, to taste.

I mixed well, and then allowed the vegetables to soften slightly over a medium heat.

Next, I crumbled in two vegetable stock cubes.

Next, I added in some water. Follow the instructions of the stock cubes as to how much water to add. 

Then, bring the mixture to the boil then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until everything is cooked.

Next, I took ten ounces (283 grams) of dried pasta. I used a mixture of different pastas (spaghetti, rigatoni and farfelle) because I had them all left over. But it's better to use one type of pasta.

Cook the pasta in boiling water according to packet instructions.

Once the vegetable mixture is cooked, it's time to assemble!

First, I placed all my cooked pasta into a large oven dish.

And, mixed in my cooked veggie mixture.

Then, I poured on some of the white sauce.

And, grated on some Cheddar cheese.

Mix that through the pasta mixture.

Finally, I topped it with the rest of the white sauce, and grated on more Cheddar cheese.

The pasta bake was now ready for the oven. I baked it in a preheated oven at Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes or until ..

.. golden brown and crispy on top!

Allow the pasta bake to sit for about ten minuted before digging in as it will be piping hot! Enjoy!


Creamy Veggie Pasta Bake


·      3 tablespoons Butter
·      3 tablespoons Plain Flour
·      1 and ½ pints Milk
·      Salt, to taste
·      White Pepper, to taste
·      Pinch of Ground Nutmeg
·      Large tin of Sweetcorn
·      Large handful of Frozen Peas
·      4 peeled and diced Carrots
·      2 chopped Bell Peppers
·      3 peeled and diced large Potatoes
·      Few tablespoons Vegetable Oil
·      3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped
·      Black Pepper, to taste
·      2 Vegetable Stock Cubes
·      Water
·      10 ounces (283 grams) Dried Pasta
·      Cheddar Cheese, grated


1.  First, to make the white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan. Then, add the plain flour and cook over a low to medium heat for 2 minutes.

2.  Warm the milk in the microwave, and pour into the pan, a little at a time, stirring after each addition until all the milk has been added.

3.  Season well with salt, white pepper and the ground nutmeg.

4.  Cook the sauce over a low heat until thickened, then set aside until needed.

5.  Prepare all the vegetables.

6.  Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.

7.  Throw in all the vegetables. Season well with salt and black pepper. Allow the veggies to soften slightly over a medium heat.

8.  Crumble in the stock cubes, and add water according to the package instructions. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes until everything is cooked.

9.  Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Set aside until needed.

10.   To assemble the dish, place all the cooked pasta into a large oven dish. Mix in the cooked veggies, and then pour on half of the white sauce along with some of the cheese.

11.   Mix well, and then cover with the rest of the sauce and top with more cheese.

12.   Bake the pasta in a preheated oven at Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top.

13.   Allow to cool slightly before serving!

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