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Posts tagged ‘Family meals’

Cooking Basmati Rice for Babies, Toddlers and the Family

Basmati RiceCooking basmati rice sounds like a fairly simple task; it only has three ingredients after all – rice, water and oil. With just three ingredients how can cooking rice go wrong? Well… it can actually go VERY wrong!

I remember when I first started cooking rice I would either flood the rice with too much water which meant soggy, overcooked rice. Or wouldn’t add enough and half of the rice would be stuck to the bottom of the pan! But this rice was NOT going to get the better of me! So I persevered until I got the perfect balance of rice, water and oil to create beautifully white, soft, fluffy basmati rice. Little did I know the squishy, overcooked rice I was unintentionally cooking all those years ago, would actually be great for weaning!

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Masala Fish Curry

I’m fully aware of how tricky it can be to get fish into a child’s diet unless it’s in the form of a bright orange, bread crumbed fish finger; which is why I love this curry. I cooked it the other night and it went down a treat! Besides the fact Aaliyah thought it was chicken (because it was white), this is a tasty way to get some protein-rich fish into your family’s diet. I did make a point, however, to correct her by telling her it was fish, so she was aware that fish can be just as delicious as chicken. Her response to this was ‘yummy – I like fish’. My response was ‘woo-hoo’ – followed by a Michael Jackson moonwalk [well in my head anyway]. Previously when I’ve openly celebrated such a comment, Aaliyah would embarrass quickly and retract her statement. So I’ve learnt the art of a ‘silent win’.


Masala Fish 2

This is a delicious, tangy fish curry prepared using all natural ingredients – no curry pastes in my cupboard! It’s simple – using just a few ingredients and is great for the whole family. You can make this a salt-free meal if you wish by allowing the lemon to act as a substitute, as it provides a sharp taste to the fish. And combined with the tomatoes, is a superb source of antioxidant vitamin C. The fish is also a great source of B vitamins.

Total preparation and cooking time: 40mins
Serves family of 4

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ lemon — freshly squeezed
Salt to taste (optional)
4 x 100g (3½oz) white fish fillets (skinless, boneless)


3 tbsp olive oil
200g (7oz) tinned chopped tomatoes
Salt to taste (optional)
Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
Fresh coriander/ cilantro for garnish — washed

Marinade: Combine the oil, tomato puree, coriander, cumin, garlic, turmeric and lemon juice. Remove one tablespoon of marinade and set aside – this will be used for the curry sauce later. Then cover one fish fillet (one per child) with the marinade and also set aside. Add salt (if using) to the remaining marinade and cover the remaining fillets. Allow to marinate for 30mins.

Sauce: Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the tomatoes and the ‘saved’ tablespoon of marinade. Stir-fry on medium-low heat until it thickens then add the marinated fish fillets to the pan and simmer on medium-low heat for 6-8mins or until the fish is flaky. Turn over halfway. Once cooked, remove the kid’s fish fillets and some curry sauce and set aside. Then add salt and red chilli powder to the pan (if using) and return to the heat for a further 1-2mins. Garnish the main serving (and your little ones) with fresh coriander/ cilantro and serve with roti or rice.

IMPORTANT: ensure there are no fish bones included within your children’s serving.


Hardcover front coverRecipe taken from Easy Indian SuperMeals for babies, toddlers and the family. Order today from Amazon UK.

Recommended by Prima Baby & Pregnancy Magazine and Mother & Baby


Thai Lamb Masala Curry


thai lamb masala curry

This curry was a bit of an experiment gone right! I was getting ready to cook one of my ‘bog-standard’ lamb curries and as I opened the cupboard to pull out my tinned tomatoes, some new ingredients were staring at me in the face and shone out like they had a halo around them. I think my subconscious was begging me to try something new!

I find that even for me, it is very easy to slip into the habit of cooking the same things again and again. Dinners can almost become formulaic. You find a recipe the family enjoys, you know how long it will take to prepare, and you stick to it. But I’m glad I didn’t ignore the halos because this is a fab curry!

It is also one of my favourite types of no-hassle curries as the meat ‘marinates on-the-job’ as I like to call it. The acid in the fresh lemon juice acts as a meat tenderiser and the delicious aromatic spices add masses of flavour to the meat, all whilst the meat is cooking. The best part is the lamb still continues to marinate even after the curry has finished cooking. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!

SuperFoods included – olive oil, red onion, garlic, ginger, lemon, green beans
SuperSpices included – cloves, cardamom, turmeric, coriander

This is an iron-rich and protein-rich curry, perfect for growing active children.

Total cooking and preparation time: 2 hours
Serves a family of 4

50ml (2fl oz/ ¼ cup) olive oil
1 medium red onion – peeled, chopped
4 whole cloves
2 whole cardamom pods – black
725g (1lb 10 oz) lamb – boneless, cubed, fat trimmed
3 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
Half a lemon – squeezed, no seeds
200ml (7fl oz/ just under 1 cup) water
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dark soft brown sugar
120g (1 ½ cup) green beans – frozen, washed
Salt/ red chilli powder to taste (optional)

Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat and add the onion, cloves, cardamom and layer the lamb cubes over the top.

Then throw in the garlic, ginger, and sprinkle the turmeric and fresh lemon evenly over the lamb. Cover and cook on low heat.

After 10 mins stir, pour in the water and leave to simmer for 1h 45 mins. If at any point the curry looks a little dry, add some extra water.

By the end of the cooking time the lamb will be beautifully tender and when it is, add the soy sauce, coriander, brown sugar and stir delicately to avoid breaking the meat chunks. Switch off the heat.

Steam the green beans in a steamer or in the microwave for 2 mins to preserve the nutrients. To steam in the microwave place the green beans in a microwavable dish, add 1 tablespoon of water, cover (leaving a small vent) and cook on full power.

Add the freshly steamed green beans to the curry, and stir coating them in the delicious spices.

Remove a serving for your little one ensuring there are NO cloves or cardamom pods included and set aside.

Add salt and chilli powder to the main pot and stir (if you wish).

Tastes delicious served with egg fried rice.


This curry is meant to be a little dry but you can vary it if you like. Try adding a little coconut milk to create a more saucy curry, or try substituting the lemon for lime instead.

Hardcover front coverYou can find more tasty recipes in Easy Indian SuperMeals for Babies, Toddlers and the Family.  Available to buy now from Amazon. 


Chicken (on the bone) Jalfrezi | National Curry Week Special


Chicken Jalfrezi, a flavoursome, spicy curry commonly found on the menu of virtually every Indian restaurant in the UK. So it is fitting that I decided to make this curry as our family meal tonight to celebrate National Curry Week, so even the little one’s can enjoy a good curry!

– SuperFoods included: olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, green bell peppers

– SuperSpices included: cardamom, cloves, mustard seeds, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, black pepper

Abundant in health promoting ingredients, this curry contains the protein goodness of chicken, necessary for healthy growth and development; tomatoes, rich in antioxidant lycopene; and green bell peppers.

Green bell peppers are bursting with antioxidant vitamin C, necessary for a healthy immune system; they are a source of folate, required for the production of red blood cells, and are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, helping to keep eyes healthy. Just be sure not to overcook the bell peppers to ensure these health benefits remain.

Also, feel free to give your little one a drum stick (leg) or thigh piece, as dark meat is richer in iron content.

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Mum’s Chicken Karahi


My mum’s chicken karahi is a favourite meal of mine. My mouth waters at the mere thought of eating it, yummy! So, needless to say it had to make an appearance on my blog!

– SuperFoods included: onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes

– SuperSpices included: turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika,

Contains the powerful antioxidant lycopene (found in tomatoes) which helps to prevent cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Tomatoes are too rich in vitamin C, along with onions, helping to build strong immune systems. The SuperSpices are anti-inflammatory helping to keep infections and allergies at bay; and the chicken provides the protein necessary for healthy growth and development and the anti-cancer mineral selenium.

Total preparation and cooking time: 40mins
Serves family of 4
Suitable for freezing

75ml (3fl oz) vegetable oil
1 onion – peeled, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1½ tsp minced ginger
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground paprika
300g (11oz) tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 chicken breast fillets (skinless) – cubed
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder to taste
Fresh coriander/ cilantro for garnish– washed

Heat the oil in a pot, add the onions and stir-fry for 5mins until soft and golden. Add the garlic, ginger and stir-fry for 30secs-1min, followed by the turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika and stir-fry for a further minute.

Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, stir and simmer (uncovered) on low heat for 10mins until all of the water from the tomatoes has burnt away and the sauce is thick.

Pop in the chicken and simmer (covered) on low heat for 15-20mins until the chicken is tender.

Once cooked, remove a serving for your little one and set aside.

Add salt and red chilli powder to the main pot and stir. Return to the heat for a further 1-2mins to lightly cook the chilli if you wish.

Garnish the main serving (and your little one’s) with fresh coriander/ cilantro and serve with rice or roti.

Recipe from Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook

Image and recipe © Zainab Jagot Ahmed and Zainab Jagot Ahmed Indian Baby Food. 2012.

Lamb, Saag (Spinach) and Aloo (Potato) Curry


A traditional scrummy meat curry containing the nutritional Superhero spinach!

– SuperFoods included: olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, white potato, spinach

– SuperSpices included: cloves, cardamom, black peppercorns, cumin, turmeric, paprika, coriander

Rich in vitamin A (for a healthy immune system, skin and eyes); vitamin K (for healthy nervous system and strong bones), it is also anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and rich in iron. Lamb being the best source of iron and is also bursting with essential amino acids, necessary to keep our entire bodies in excellent working condition.

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