My Beautiful Gift from Indigo Artisans

Salams and Hello everyone. Hope you’re all well. I think it’s become a kind of tradition for me to write a blog post in Ramadhan.

Well this time round it’s not a recipe for you however it’s something that I am excited and grateful to have been gifted by a beautiful soul. I’m not one of those people who asks for things but Alhumdulillah when least expected I receive messages from lovely people.

When I received a message from Kausar of Indigo Artisans that she wanted to create a bespoke recipe journal for me I was so overwhelmed that she wanted to do this for me, this was because I knew after having followed her page for quite a while it’s something that is such hard work to make but I also knew that it’s something she’s very passionate about and she also knew that with my passion for cooking it’s something that I would cherish and utilize for years to come aswell as the book becoming somewhat of an heirloom that I can pass down to generations after me.

If anyone who knows me I am very organised but when it comes to cooking I am somewhat a ‘messy cook’ I have spoons flying about, sink overloaded, scrappy bits of paper with half written recipes or trying to read from my notes or screenshots on my phone. Oh and another thing is I am very forgetful, ask me for a recipe and it will never just roll off my tongue so this beautiful recipe book is going to be a lifesaver as I’ll be able to write all my recipes in there and like I said earlier I can pass it onto my daughters and their children inshallah.

I just wanted to share a bit about the background of Indigo Artisans in Kausar’s own word so you can all understand how she started her business. Please do read it so you can also understand her passion for what she does;

‘My business is called Indigo Artisans and you can find me at http://www.indigo-artisans.com/

I have a background in fashion and was a globetrotting designer for many years before switching careers and taking up the mindful art of bookbinding. I have a little home studio in Leicester and make bespoke books (journals, sketchbooks, recipe books, wedding guestbooks, travel journals and more) all made entirely by hand. Hand cut leather, hand folded paper, all stitched by hand without the use of machinery, only a needle and thread, to form a bespoke book. I’ve also just recently added complimentary products to do with calligraphy and hand writing like inks and dip pens.

Most of my work is custom made to order so if you have a dream book, I will do my best to work with you to bring it to life. I work predominantly with leather (its all cow hide (but I do have a small line of faux leather too) and have about 15 different leather colours and 25 different thread colours that you can choose from to create your customised book. I have a whole selection of styles on my website but I also work with clients to create totally bespoke books which I love to do.

I offer a very bespoke and personalised service and most of my items can be personalised with custom printed title pages, monograms or names stitched onto the cover, little envelope pages to slip in loose notes, charms, lined and grid printed pages, maps and more.

The recipe books especially, are lovely heirloom pieces that you can pass down to your daughters or make gorgeous gifts for a bride to be. I know they may seem a little pricey, but I use the most gorgeous pull up leather that just gets better with use and wear and develops a character of its own the more you use it. The paper is a beautiful heavy weight cartridge paper that is a joy to write on. Everything is also totally bespoke, custom made and entirely hand made so it’s a labour intensive process but a really artisan product that you won’t get anywhere else that really is made with love and passion.’

So there you go in Kausar’s own words she’s beautifully explained how much work and passion goes in to what she creates.

I personally am totally happy with Kausar’s service and would highly recommend her if you are looking for something meaningful to gift to a loved one that they will adore and love for the rest of their lives. With Kausar she offers that personal one to one service as she asked me what I wanted every step of the way, she consulted with me in regards to all the finer details, from the colour/cut of the leather and thread to what kind of pages I wanted she also offered her professional advice and opinion on what would look good or not. With her knowing that I have millions of recipes she recommended I go for the maximum pages in the book so I know that I will literally get all my recipes in there. As you will be able to see from the photos of the book the neatness of the stitching and binding is second to none (I just about manage to sew on a shirt button)

Kausar also created a contents page for me, although she did suggest whether I wanted sections I thought I’d just have a contents page so I can write the recipes in no particular order. One of my fave parts of the book is the title page which Kausar personalised with my caption from my blog. The book was delivered beautifully wrapped firstly in tissue paper and placed in a sturdy gift box with a ribbon bow so you know the recipient of this gift like I was is going to be excited as soon as they receive it. I was actually nervous to see it, not in a bad way but nervous that I am going to damage it as it’s hand stitched but the stitching on it is so well done and the book looks strongly held together.

OMG one more thing guys how can I forget one of the main features of the book, as you can see from the pictures Kausar has beautifully hand stitched ‘Hajra’s Kitchen’ on the front of the book. That is surely one of my fave parts of it.

I have always had ugly notebooks that I have written my recipes but I am now absolutely in awe and love with this book and can’t wait to start writing in it. All I need to do now is find some beautiful pens to write in ‘MY’ gorgeous book.

Please do check out and follow Indigo Artisans on Instagram by clicking https://www.instagram.com/indigo.artisans/ and the link to her website is above and will also be on her Instagram bio. She has kindly given a discount code for all my followers so please check out my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/hajras_kitchen/ there will be more details on there.

Once again thank you so much Kausar. My Duas will be with you everytime I open those beautiful pages 💙

Tandoori Lamb Sliders Mango and Passionfruit Cheesecake (Aldi)

Hello People, yes yes Hajra’s Kitchen is still alive and kicking. Lack of blogging and recipes is due to a number of personal reasons. Thanks for understanding ❤️

So recently the amazing Aldi contacted me and asked if I wanted to do a feature on their products. They very kindly sent me some vouchers to use in their store. I am a huge Aldi fan as I shop their regularly and I think their products are great value for money, the quality is brilliant and the fact they now do certain branded items its even better.

These are some of the lovely items I purchased today!

Anyways after racking my brain I thought as we are still in kind of a Summer I’d make a main…the Lamb Sliders and dessert was a mango & Passionfruit cheesecake and also added on a refreshing Passion fruit mocktail.

I’ve tried to take some step by step pics but any questions please feel free to message me.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 KG Lamb Mince

1 and half tsp Chilli powder

1 TBS Tandoori powder

2 TBS Tandoori Paste

1 tsp Salt (add more of needed)

1 tsp Peri Peri Seasoning

1 TBS Lemon Juice

2 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp Coarse black pepper

Aldi Brand brioche sliders

Cheese Slices

METHOD:

Wash and Drain the Lamb mince. Add the rest of the ingredients and marinate overnight or at least 2 hours.

Make into small patties and bake for 15 minutes. Once par baked grill in a griddle pan or George Foreman Grill.

To assemble: Slice a slider in half and then layer the Salad in and then add the patty, add some yoghurt mint chutney, add a slice of cheese. Put a skewer through the middle with a cherry tomato.

Mint chutney: Aldi Greek yoghurt, Aldi mint sauce, salt to taste, fresh lemon juice.

Served with a side of Aldi Curly Fries.

Add all the spices to the lamb mince

Mix well and leave to marinate overnight or at least a couple of hoursShape into pattiesGrill in a griddle pan or George Foreman grill Layer Salad into the buns, add the lamb patties and top with a slice of cheese and mint yoghurt chutney.

Now onto the dessert…one of my fave Cheesecakes!

Mango & Passionfruit cheesecake

INGREDIENTS:

For the base:

300g Milk Chocolates digestives

50g melted butter

Blitz some chocolate digestives, add the melted butter to the digestives and mix well. Layer on the bottom of a springform cake tin and press well. Chill for half an hour.

For the topping:

600g soft cheese (Aldi)

150 ml elmlea double cream (whipped separately till soft peaks)

60g icing sugar

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Mango & Passionfruit Coulis (from Aldi)

Whip all the of the above topping ingredients together and then spread on top of the biscuits base. Spread the Aldi Mango & Passionfruit coulis on top.

Chill for a few hours.

All ingredients except the butter are from Aldi

Add the digestives to the chopper and blitz

Blitz until they resemble breadcrumbs

Add the melted butter to the crushed digestives and mix and then press into a springform cake tin and then put in the fridge to chill

Whip the elmlea cream until soft peaks

Add 600g (3 tubs Aldi soft cheese) into a bowl

Add the icing sugar and whisk the cream cheese and sugar

Add the whipped elmlea and lemon juice and whisk well until nicely combined and smooth. Taste for sugar and sourness.

Add the creamy mixture on top of the chilled biscuit base

Spread the mix evenly onto the biscuit base and then add the mango & passionfruit coulis on top

Chill for a few hours until ready to serve

Kheema Pulao (or Peas Pulao)

Salams and Hello all! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods…over here winter is well and truly on its way…I am so not a winter person at all, I’m one of those who can feel the cold going right through my bones 😭😭 during winter I just want to be wrapped up all cosy and don’t want to leave the house, if only I was a hedgehog hey? (Why isn’t there a hedgehog emoji 🤔) Lol sorry for all the waffling I just needed to let that out. 

So I recently made this kheema pulao after a long time, as I don’t make it too often I tend to forget about this dish. I hadn’t written it down so had to give my mummy a quick call to run me through it again. Mum was like chuck that in and throw that in. So this time I thought I’d better write everything down as I go along. I have used chicken mince in this recipe but have previously made with lamb mince too, if you do like beef you can make it with that too.  Hope you enjoy making and eating it if you do decide to give it a go. Any questions as always just contact me…lots of love 

Let’s begin Bismillah….

INGREDIENTS:

1 KG or 2lb Chicken Mince (washed and drained completely)

1 1/2 Cup Sunflower Oil

5 onions (slice thinly)

2 tsp Ginger/Garlic Paste

3 TBS Green chillies (blended)

3 TBS Coriander cumin powder 

1/2 tsp Turmeric 

2 1/2 tsp Salt (add more or less according to taste) 

1 TBS Whole Cumin

2 TBS Lemon juice 

1/2 Coriander (chopped fine)

4 Tomatoes (small cubes)

5 Potatoes (large chunks)

1 Cup frozen Petit Pois

1/4 Cup Natural Yoghurt (whisk lightly)

3 Mugs Basmati Rice

3 tsp Salt

1 TBS Whole Cumin Seeds

1 Cinnamon Stick 
3 Cardamon Pods

METHOD:

In a large pot heat the oil and add the slice onions, fry till lightly golden, add the washed mince and also to that add the green chillies, the coriander/cumin powder, turmeric, whole cumin, ginger/garlic paste and salt, keep the flame on medium heat stir well, keep breaking up with a wooden spoon so that the mince does not form lumps.

As the mince changes colour add the chopped tomatoes and yoghurt and let this all cook, when the water is mostly burned off add the frozen petit pois and the potatoes, after around 5 minutes add coriander and allow to cook further until all moisture has burned off. Keep stirring every so often to ensure it’s not sticking to bottom of pot. Turn of once you can see that all moisture has burned off and the mince is nicely cooked.

While the mince mixture is cooking boil the rice by boiling a pot of water, when water comes to boil add the drained rice with the salt and 1 TBS whole Cumin . Cook the rice until it’s par boiled. Drain out into a colander. Run some cold water over the rice to remove the starch.

Once the mince has cooked you will need layer it all. So in another separate large pot, line a sheet of foil at the bottom and layer 1/3 of the rice, then layer the mince mix on top and then the remaining 2/3 of rice. Add some blobs of butter on top and sprinkle some more chopped coriander. 
Cover the pot with another sheet of foil and cover with lid.
Put the pot on the stove again on low to medium heat and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to gas Mark 3 or 170 electric…place pot in oven and allow to finish cooking for around 30-40 minutes. 

Check that potatoes are tender. 

Serve with yoghurt gravy, raita and poppadoms! 

Enjoy 😇

PS: sorry for the pic quality 🙈

Thinly slice onions 

Heat the oil and add the sliced onions 

Fry until lightly golden

Add the mince with all the spices 

Give it all a stir and cook

Add the chopped tomatoes 

Also add the yogurt 

Next goes in the petit pois and potatoes 

And the Coriander 

Give it all a stir slowly

Parboil the rice and layer 1/3 on bottom of a large pot 


Layer the mince mix on top and then another layer of the remaining rice 

Add blobs of butter and Coriander on top of the final layer of rice

Serve the Kheema Pulao with a yoghurt gravy (chaas) and cucumber raita 

0

Kasuri Methi Chicken Masala

Salams all…hope all’s well and life is treating you well! I’ve had a few weeks of sickness (seriously this old age is killing me…although I still believe I’m #Forever21 😬) but insha’allah I’ll be ok and on the mend soon.  Seeing as I’ve had a weekend with having my feet up and being pampered (plus how many non stop episodes of Friends can one watch) I thought I’d quickly post this recipe for Kasuri Methi Chicken.  This is such a lovely quick dish, flavoursome and colorful! I like to make this on a Monday cos I usually have the Monday blues and cba doing anything! One of the main ingredients is Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) which is readily available in most Asian grocery shops.

Here goes…Bismillah…

INGREDIENTS:

1 Chicken (cut into 8/12 pieces, cleaned and drained)

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp Salt

1 and 1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 large or 2 small onions (sliced thinly)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes (fresh can also be used)

2 medium potatoes (peeled and large cubes)

3 TBS Tandoori Powder

2 TBS of Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek)

2 tsp coriander/cumin powder

Chopped fresh coriander 

METHOD:

Marinate the chicken with the ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric..leave aside for around half and hour.

Meanwhile in a separate pot add some oil and cook onions until soft and slightly pink. Add the marinated chicken and cook on medium heat until the colour changes on the chicken.

Now add 3 tbs of Tandoori powder, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (you can blend it if u want first) mix, cover with a lid and cook on medium heat, after a while stir again, check if oil has separated and add the cubed potatoes also add a bit of boiled kettle water to loosen the masala and so that the potatoes can cook…now add 2 tbsp of Kasuri Methi and 2 tsp of coriander/cumin powder and mix again and let this cook further. 

Check if potatoes are tender and also taste for salt and Chillies (add if needed) Garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

Serve with home made rotlis (chappatis) or tandoori naan.

Enjoy 😍

Marinate the chicken with the ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt

Mix the spices well and keep aside for around half an hour

In a separate add the oil and soften the onions (let them go slightly pink)

Add the marinated chicken 

Mix gently, cover with a lid and let the chicken cook until colour changes 

Now you can see the colour has changed 

Add the chopped tomatoes and the tandoori powder 

Mix well and cook further on low to medium heat until the oil starts to separate 

Add potatoes and let it cook further 

Now add the kasuri Methi and the coriander cumin powder, mix gently 

Cook further until the chicken and potatoes have cooked through 

Garnish with fresh chopped coriander 

Serve with fresh home made rotlis (rotis, chappatis)

2

Tantalising Lamb Chops

Salams all….hope all those who celebrated had a wonderful Eid ul Adha…our Islamic new year will be starting soon…now Eid Ul Adha is a time when everyone seems to gorge on the meat…be it beef or lamb…I love my steak but I’m one of those who prefers to eat out when I fancy steak…I feel the best places to have steak is those that specialize in just that…I’m mentioning steak here but this recipe is actually for lamb chops (got a bit carried away lol) I do have a nice steak recipe which I will post soon Insha’allah.  You can use lamb chops or back chops, I prefer a mix as I feel back chops have a bit more meat on them.
Here goes…Bismillah…

INGREDIENTS:

12 Lamb Chops (cleaned and fat trimmed)

1 tsp Salt
Half tsp turmeric

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste 

2 Tbs oil 

2 tsp Green chillies

METHOD:

Marinate the chops in the above for at least 2 hours. Bring to the boil and then simmer on medium heat for around 35 minutes until half cooked.

INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE:

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste 

1 tsp Salt
2 tsp red chili powder

Half tsp turmeric 

1 Tbs cumin & coriander powder 

1 tsp coarse black pepper 

1 cup tomato ketchup 

2 Tbs oil

2 tsp lemon juice 

2 tsp vinegar

1 tin chopped tomatoes 

METHOD FOR SAUCE:

Heat the oil in a pot and add the chopped tomatoes, also add all the rest of the ingredients except the tomato ketchup. Bring to the boil, whilst stirring constantly and then simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Add the tomato ketchup and simmer for further 5 minutes. Remove from heat and then add the par cooked Lamb chops to the sauce.

Layer the chops in a Pyrex or any ovenproof dish and cover with foil. Bake in oven until the chops have cooked through.

Serve with chips or roast potatoes. 
Enjoy 🍖🍖
Add the marinade ingredients to the lamb chops

Marinate the Lamb chops for minimum of 2 hours in the ingredients mentioned 

Cook the lamb chops for around 35 minutes until par cooked

In the meantime prepare the sauce by heating oil and add all the sauce ingredients except the tomato ketchup 

Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes and then add the tomato ketchup and cook for further 5 minutes 

Place the Lamb chops into the sauce and gently mix until they’re covered in the sauce 

 Mix the lamb chops and cover with foil and bake until chops are tender.

I served the chops with these masala potatoes.  Boil the baby potatoes till tender and drain.  In a pot add a couple of 4 TBS of oil and heat.  Turn off the heat and add 2 TBS of Paprika, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp crushed red chillies and half cup (can add more later) tomato ketchup, salt to taste. Mix and cook for a while on low heat.  Mix the boiled potatoes into the sauce and heat through again. Sprinkle with oregano.

Serve the Lamb Chops with masala potatoes, spicy beans and tomato pasta.