Lamb & Okra Curry Recipe - National Curry Week UK

Lamb & Okra Curry Recipe

Talking of the National Curry Week, it brings a lot of excitement for me because I am myself really fond of curry, and I cook it quite often at home. This year, the 22nd annual curry week falls between the 5th - 11th of October. 

The first National Curry Week, that was founded by Peter Grove took place in October 1998 and the idea was not just to appreciate the Indian restaurant industry but also to raise funds for charity. Curry is one of the favourite takeaways in the UK, and people's love for curry is growing stronger which is increasing the importance of the curry week each year. 

You can also get involved in the National Curry Week - by hosting a curry night at home, by eating out or by simply getting some from a takeaway. Below, I am sharing a Pakistani classic curry recipe called Lamb and Okra curry that can be enjoyed as a main course with some Chapati (Indian flatbread) or Naan bread. It's quite a simple recipe that can be cooked without a fuss. The combination of cubed lamb pieces and vegetable makes it a hearty meal for all!

Lamb & Okra Curry Recipe

The Major Ingredient - The Lamb! 

Lamb is a versatile ingredient, lamb is loved by people from all cultures and walks of life. The numerous recipes that can be created by using different cuts of lamb make it a perfect ingredient for everyday meals or for special occasions.

Lamb Try it, Love it

The idea behind the EU funded Lamb Try it, Love it campaign is to encourage people to identify the unique flavours of lamb and to add more of it to their diet. Lamb and okra curry can definitely be one of the best midweek meals for the entire family especially because the premium lamb produced by the European farms using sustainable practices ensures a protein-rich diet. There is absolutely nothing like fresh lamb, and we should appreciate the contribution the farmers make to the local economies with all the hard work they do on their farms. 

Variety of Cuts of Lamb

Being quite a versatile ingredient, lamb can be used in various recipes, with curry being one of the most popular. Although lamb has various cuts which are used for different recipes, it is not necessary to use the premium cuts all the time. Even the economical cuts do justice to the curries and boneless lamb pieces are perfect, especially if one's cooking for a family meal. There are several other curries which can be conveniently cooked within 30 minutes for an affordable dish that is full of flavour!

Health Benefits of Lamb

High quality lamb produced by the European farmers is naturally rich in proteins and also contains several natural vitamins and minerals’ please refer to this blog post for the health benefits. If you haven't mixed lamb in your everyday diet, give it a go. Once you try it, you're definitely going to love it! For more information on lamb and the lamb try it, love it campaign, click here.

Lamb & Okra Curry Recipe


INGREDIENTS FOR LAMB & OKRA CURRY:

5 tbsp oil

2 medium sized, finely sliced onions

2 large, sliced tomatoes

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

500 grams lamb cubes (leg), cleaned & washed well

1 tsp turmeric powder 

1 tsp red chilli powder

Salt, as required 

4 whole cloves

½ tsp coriander powder

2 cups of water

300 grams whole okra (fresh or frozen)

2 slit green chillies

A pinch of garam masala powder


Lamb & Okra Curry Recipe


INSTRUCTIONS:

Use either a pressure cooker or a normal pot, turn on the stove and add 5 tbsp oil. 

Add sliced onions and sauté them until they turn brown.  

Once done, add the sliced tomatoes and sauté well. 

The next step is to add ginger and garlic paste.

Add cubed lamb pieces in the pot and cook until they turn from red to light brown.

Once the colour of the meat changes, add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, whole cloves, coriander powder and stir well.

Add 2  cups of water.

After the lamb is cooked, add okra in the pot.

Add 2 slit green chillies

Cover the lid and leave to cook on low heat until the okra is fully cooked (this should take 10-15 minutes, but do not close the lid tightly -  just place it on top of the cooker). 

Once both the lamb and okra are cooked, sprinkle a pinch of garam masala.

Turn off the stove and serve hot with roti, either Indian flatbread or naan bread).


Lamb & Okra Curry Recipe


QUICK COOKING TIP:

It is advised to fully cook a batch of lamb cubes (lamb cut: leg) and store it in small boxes in the freezer as this would greatly help in reducing the total cooking time. Perfect idea for quick midweek meals! 

The lamb will cook much quicker if a pressure cooker (15 minutes) is used instead of a normal pot (1-1.5 hours).


Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes in a pressure cooker 

& up to 2 hours in a normal pot

Serves: 4-6


Lamb & Okra Curry Recipe

If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Collaborative Post

Top Tips for Ensuring Your Child Gets Accepted Into University


As a parent, its your responsibility to guide your child in the right direction and offer your support and advice throughout their childhood. As they get older, they might not always accept your input, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should stop providing it, especially when it comes to something as important as university. I have teamed up with a  senior school in Bath to offer parents some top tips when it comes to helping their children secure a place at university.

Consider the Entry Requirements

Firstly, it’s worth noting that every university and each of their courses will have different entry requirements, which have huge variations. These requirements ensure that your child has the right skills to successfully complete the course, so it’s important to be realistic when it comes to the likelihood that your child will be accepted. In other words, don’t encourage them to apply to a university if it’s improbable that they will get the required grades, for example.

Of course, your child will need the relevant qualifications, but they will also have to demonstrate their interests and experience. Some universities require students to complete an admissions test and an interview, so help your child look into this so that they can prepare accordingly. 

Help with the Personal Statement

When applying to universities through UCAS, your son or daughter will need to fill out all of their personal details and submit a personal statement, which you can help with. This is an essay of no more than 4,000 characters that essentially lets the tutors know why your child thinks they would be an asset to the university.

From a young age, it’s important to encourage your child to pursue extra-curricular activities, such as clubs and classes, community work or even work experience. In doing so, your child will be able to demonstrate through their personal statement that they have the right personality to take on the challenges of a university course and the life that comes with it. 

Support Your Child Through their Exams

Securing a place at university relies heavily on your child achieving the relevant grades at a level. It’s important for your to encourage and support your child during exam period and avoid putting too much pressure on them. Ensure that they are taking regular rest breaks from their revision so that they don’t overdo it, as it’s important that they still get enough sleep and eat a healthy, balanced diet. 

Remind your child that you will be proud of them no matter what happens on results day and that there are other options if they don’t get the grades. If they know that they have your full support no matter what, they will likely feel less stressed.

Of course, there’s a lot more to it when it comes to getting a place on a university course, but the above tips should get you started. It might be that your child isn’t actually suited to university and an apprenticeship might be a more appropriate option. Do your research and figure out what’s best for them and their future.

If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post

A Parents’ Guide to A Levels


A Levels are qualifications taken by students between the ages of 16 and 19 (Year 12-13). If your child is planning to apply to university, A Levels are a crucial qualification, and they are also looked highly upon by many employers. They are usually graded through coursework and exams, but some subjects will involve a practical test as well (e.g. drama or art). Here’s some further information from a top A Level College in the UK

The A Level subject your child chooses will have a huge influence on the direction of the next few years of their life. For that reason, it can be a challenging experience for young people and they will need full support from their parents and other family and friends. It’s worth sitting down with your child and talking to them about their options. Encourage them to choose subjects that they both enjoy and are good at, otherwise they won’t achieve the best possible results. You should also take your child along to open evenings at their school so that they feel they are making an informed decision. They will be able to ask the teachers plenty of questions and get as much support as they feel they need. 

If your child does plan on attending university, it’s a good idea to have a look at some of the courses they’re interested in and what their entry requirements are. This might help your child come to a conclusion regarding which A Level subjects they would like to study. It’s worth noting that A Levels are quite a big jump from GCSEs, so the subjects they’re breezing through now might not seem as easy when they start Year 12. With that said, it’s worth looking into the type of work that will be expected of your child and if it’s appropriate for their skills.


If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post

Teaching Your Child to Give Back to the Community


Community involvement is a fantastic way to help your child with their personal development and there’s no time like the present to get started. Teaching them the importance of “giving back” will help them with various key skills and might even influence their decisions as they grow up. You might be wondering where to start, so I have teamed up with a private school in Essex to give you some advice. 

First of all, it’s important to bear in mind that your child may have different interests to you, so they might be drawn to different types of community work than what you are. For instance, they might have a friend at school who has Autism and therefore have an interest in companies and charities that help with special educational needs. Alternatively, they might have a relative who is battling cancer, which might draw them to charities like Cancer Research UK or Marie Curie. Try not to force your child into helping a cause that they have no connection with, as it will not have the desired effect. 

There are lots of ways they can get involved with the community and many of the options will depend on their skills. For instance, older children might be able to apply for a job volunteering in a charity shop. If they’re younger or you’d prefer them to stay at home, you could consider downloading an app that allows you to donate for meals and other basic necessities. 

Even encouraging your child to sort through their old toys and clothes and taking them down to the charity shop rather than throwing them out is a great way to teach your child about giving back, while also encouraging them to appreciate how lucky they are. It will allow them to understand that not everyone is as fortunate as they are, teaching them to be empathetic and more open-minded. 

Do some research into your local area and find out if there are any upcoming charity events or other activities that you and your family could get involved in. It might also be worth contacting your child’s school to see if they know of anything appropriate. It’s a great way to get your child to spend their time productively and learn some valuable lessons along the way.


If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post

Helping Your Child Connect with Friends During the Pandemic


Encouraging our children to socialise is a key part of their overall development. It can help them become more confident and allow them to develop their sense of self, but unfortunately social interactions must be kept to a minimum during the global pandemic. With that said, parents need to find other ways to help their children connect with their friends at this time, as explored below by a junior school in Blackpool

Virtual Play Dates 

There are so many options when it comes to video calling (Zoom, Skype, Facetime etc.) that you shouldn’t have a problem getting this set up. If they find it awkward and don’t chat as much as you’d hoped, maybe you could set up some sort of quiz or game for them to play, where they win a prize at the end. 

Movie Nights 

Netflix Party is a new system that allows people to watch movies with their friends. It involves a monthly subscription but essentially it will allow your child and their friends to synchronise the video playback and message one another in the group chat to discuss the film. 

Letters 

Encourage your child to work on their written communication skills by going old school and writing letters to their friends. Teach them how to write an envelope and work on their handwriting. They’ll probably find it really exciting waiting for a reply in the post and they can keep the letters to reminisce on when they’re older. 

Social Games 

There are lots of apps you can download onto a tablet or smartphone that allow social interaction, like Roblox, for example. While you may not want your child to spend extended periods of time playing on their technological devices, it will help them stay connected and socialise. Keep an eye on their screen time and be sure to balance it out with other activities. 

Now that schools have reopened, socialisation for children isn’t as big an issue, but many parents are wary of letting their children play with their friends outside of school hours. With that said, the above ideas might be a good way for you to counteract this problem and keep your child’s spirits high during this challenging time.

If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post


Is my Child Old Enough to be Home Alone?


It’s a rite of passage isn’t it? The first time you feel comfortable enough to leave your child unsupervised at home. Some children will be ready for this level of responsibility before others and it’s important to gauge your child’s feelings on the subject before actually leaving them alone.

The law is somewhat grey – it’s not legal to leave a child in a situation where they can encounter danger but there’s no specification on how old a child needs to be. The best way to look at this is to consider your home environment and your child’s skill levels. For example – most 14-year-old children are mature enough to be left alone for some time, but not in a situation where they’re responsible for smaller children and animals for a lengthy time period.

Most parents know that children under the age of about 12 are quite immature still. They lack common sense. But there are exceptions to the rule and some 11-year-old children would be perfectly capable of spending an hour at home alone and remain safe. Use your own judgement. It would be extremely careless to leave a very young child alone at home because under the age of about 11, children lack the confidence to make quick decisions or use their judgement.

Discuss the rules

Make sure your child knows how long you’re going to be away and when to expect you back. They should be informed of who to call in an emergency and have a list of safe adults to contact in addition to the emergency services. Good rules for children being left alone for the first time include the following. 

  1. No cooking 
  2. No leaving the property to visit friends or shops 
  3. No letting anyone into the house

Teach your child what to do if someone knocks on the door unexpectedly. It’s better to tell them not to answer. Let them know that you will be back at an agreed time and stick to it. Children who are trusted at home grow into confident and capable adults. This private school in London believes that responsibility helps children to become effective leaders. Once your child has the confidence to be left for longer periods of time, you and they will both relax more and it will become less of an event.

If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post

A Parent’s Guide to GCSE’s


GCSEs were first introduced in 1988. The new GCSE was thought to be an improvement on the old O Level system as there were more subjects available and the examination process was more child friendly. The grading system is cause for some confusion among parents today. Until 2016, GCSEs were graded on a letter scale – from A to G with a score of C being about equivalent to a C in the old O Level system.

Understanding the new GCSE grading system

Instead of being graded with A* or A, B, C, D etc, papers are now given numerical scores.

9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1. The highest grades being 9, 8 and 7. These replace A* and A. The top 20% of results are those grades 9. 

When do students make their GCSE choices?

This is done at the end of year 8 or 9. Schools generally hold options evenings at this time of year and your child will be able to learn more about the various choices and how each is assessed. This is also your chance to find out more about the various options.

When should my child start revising?

This is usually begun in January but there are a variety of factors to consider. How able is your child? How efficient are they at study? 

When do exams begin?

Usually from May the 14th to June 22nd in years 10 and 11. Your school will keep you informed but it doesn’t hurt to ask in advance so you’re prepared. Results are released in August; usually during the third week.

How can I help my child?

Educate your child on the process so that they feel empowered. Help them to revise by ensuring they have a quiet space in which to work. Ensure they eat a good diet and have a balance of work and play. Stress will not help them get the results they desire. A school with good pastoral care is important during the GCSE years; this independent school in Wellingborough ensures that their pupils feel supported and safe during their time at the school.


If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post

How to Raise a Science Lover


Helping your child to learn to love science should be a fun and fulfilling educational journey.

Science is all around us. In cooking, gardening, art and medicine. It’s found in animal care, music and even dance. The natural environment provides many opportunities for fostering a love of science. This nursery in Hampshire believes that children who are encouraged to spend time outdoors will thrive.

A good way to begin your child’s journey of scientific discovery is to enter via something which your child already loves. Whatever your child enjoys, there will be a route into science which is tied up within the pastime or hobby. Let’s look at some of the opportunities presented by the most common passions found among children of all ages.

Art and Science

Art is a wonderful place to begin fostering a love of science. Most children, especially younger ones, enjoy art. There are many ways in which science is intertwined with art and a number of projects which you could instigate so that younger children begin to understand some of the scientific processes involved. Try experimenting with marbling paper for example, this will help your child learn about viscosity and how different liquids react to one another. 

Sound and Science

Sound is another great place to begin looking at science. Teaching your child about vibration with the use of different objects is not only amusingly messy but also fun. Similarly, filling bottles with different amounts of liquid and showing your child how they will each produce a different note can be an absorbing and fun activity.

Cooking and Science

Cooking is a fun and rewarding activity which can easily be linked to science. Help your child learn all sorts of scientific facts via food. One fun example is making butter in a bottle. Simply half fill a plastic bottle with heavy cream and show your child how to shake it (with the lid screwed on tight!). The fats will separate and butter will form, teaching your child the rudiments of emulsification. Similarly, baking bread can begin to teach children about fermentation. 

Talk about it

Science infiltrates most of our lives – discuss the facts with your child and if they’re particularly interested in an aspect of it, foster that interest by providing books and other learning tools. When a child understands that science is only as complicated as you want it to be, they’ll always have an interest in it.


If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post

Helping Your Child with Social Skills


Social skills are at the top of most parents list when it comes to which areas they want their child to develop successfully. Social skills are vital when it comes to school and career success – but they don’t come naturally to all children. It’s important to acknowledge that for many reasons, some children struggle with social skills. They may be shy or lack in confidence but there are numerous ways in which to help and empower them. 

The Shy Child 

Shy children can struggle when it comes to the most basic of social interactions. Asking for help, expressing a preference or playing with their peers – it just doesn’t come easy. Children like this are often absolutely fine at home among their own family. So it’s important to talk to your child when they are at their most relaxed. Discuss their difficulties and strategies which can help them to develop more social skills. Encouraging children to ‘have a go’ is how this independent school in London fosters confidence in children – and it’s confidence that is at the core of social interaction. 

What are Social Skills? 

In a nutshell, social skills are the set of behaviours which allow us all to successfully navigate our way through life by relating to other people in the best way in any given situation. These behaviours range from the ability to engage in small talk as adults to the ability to tell a story and keep an entire room fascinated and of course, for children those abilities are different. Children with good social skills tend to be popular and sought after as playmates – something we all want for our child. Some people are naturals. They excel at relating to others and have no issues talking to strangers or to peers. If your child is shyer or simply gets tongue-tied when expected to speak, give them opportunities to practice. 

Role Playing 

Role playing is an important part of learning to get over social difficulties. Discuss your child’s weakest areas with them and practice playing out different scenarios. If your child finds it hard to instigate games in the playground or to join in with others, practice some openers with them. For example – it’s not usually a good idea to ask, “Can I play?” because that leaves an opening for a child to say “No”. Which is not what a shy child needs to hear. 

Teach your child to use open-ended conversation starters. So if we look at the playground as a potential setting for our scenario, you can suggest some open-ended conversation starters to help your child join in. Here are some examples: 

“What are you playing?” 

“Wow, that was fast!” 

“This game looks fun!” 

“Have you ever played X (insert game here) before?” 

You can practice this with your child; discuss the sorts of occasions the different phrases might be used. 

Out and About 

When you’re out and about with your child, shopping, eating in restaurants or even visiting the doctor, it’s important to let them try to interact with adults. Small challenges can be a great way to begin; for example, your child could pay for their own things in the shop. Teach them what to say and when to say it. 

Good Manners 

Good manners are the basis of good social skills. Please and thank you as well as consideration for others will all help your child to develop their social skills.


If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post

What are the Benefits of School Uniform?


How do your kids feel about school uniform? Lots of children aren’t particularly fond of it, but it is actually very beneficial for many reasons. It creates a sense of identity for the school, allowing children to feel like they belong to a place that they can be proud of. Uniform policies also allow the school to ensure their students are presented in a smart manner so that they can represent the school respectfully. A preschool in Surrey explore the additional benefit below. 

School uniform can be costly, but there tend to be systems in place to help you spread out the costs. What’s more, it probably works out cheaper than having to provide your child with a full wardrobe of different clothes for each day and keeping up with the latest trends. Unfortunately, bullying tends to be more prominent in schools that do not have a school uniform policy in place, so one of the main benefits of uniform is that it reduces bullying and peer pressure. After all, when everyone is dressed in the same way, there are limited opportunities to judge or be judged based on what you’re wearing. 

Students usually find school uniform less distracting than their own clothes, which allows them to focus on their schoolwork rather than what their friends are wearing. It helps them prepare for their future where they may be asked to dress in a certain way or wear a uniform when they start working. What’s more, uniform improves safety for the students. For instance, an intruder at the school will be easy to spot and if the students are out on a school trip, teachers will be able to easily identify who belongs with them.

Although children may feel like they’d prefer to wear their own clothes, they would soon start to find it a chore to plan their outfit every day, which might even start to interfere with their morning routine and make them late for school.


If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post

Exploring Mindfulness with Your Child

Practising mindfulness is a fantastic way to tune into moment-by-moment thoughts, feelings, and experiences, rather than focussing on things that have happened in the past or worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future. Studies have found that people who practise mindfulness tend to feel more accomplished and are able to enjoy life to a greater degree, because they appreciate every moment. Parents can help their children become more mindful with the following tips from an independent school in Hitchin, which will help them appreciate the little things in life.

As with anything new, practising mindfulness may seem quite daunting, but it’s actually pretty simple. You can practise mindfulness with everything you do, like taking a walk or hugging someone. The trick is to really tune into how the experience makes you feel. For instance, it might feel nice to stretch your legs and get some fresh air whilst you’re walking. Prompt your child to think about these things whenever they are doing something, until it starts to come naturally to them. Ask them about their thoughts and feelings on a regular basis so that they learn to tune into them.

When you’re out and about with your child, ask them to have a look at their surroundings and talk about some of the things they have observed. For instance, what can they see, hear, smell, feel or even taste? You don’t always have to focus on positives; it’s also important to recognise unpleasant sensations so that they can be avoided again in the future. Understanding how the mind and body responds to certain experiences will help your child to feel grateful for the good and prepare for the bad.

There is lots of information on the internet about mindfulness and how to practise with your child but try not to force it if it doesn’t come naturally to them. It would be better to try again in the future. You can always contact your child’s teachers if you would like some additional support, as the school are always very forthcoming when it comes to helping parents with their child’s wellbeing.


If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post

The Importance of Pastoral Care in Schools


The effectiveness of the pastoral care department within a school will determine the overall attitude and atmosphere amongst the pupils. Pastoral care basically describes the dedication the staff have to helping all students develop on a spiritual and emotional level, along with the genuine display of interest for their growth and wellbeing. I have teamed up with a private school in Surrey to explore the significance of pastoral care in further detail.

Pastoral care and parenting have many parallels. Both roles involve protecting children and resolving any issues they are faced with, from bullying and friendship troubles to problems with academic performance, and any other issues that might cause anguish. Unlike parenting, however, pastoral department is required to care for a whole school, not just a few children, which is what makes it so complicated. With that said, there has to be various policies and procedures in position to guarantee that the department is effective in achieving its goal. 

Effective pastoral care connects each and every child within a school so that they feel like part of a wider community, but while being a team member in a greater whole, their individual needs are always met. One of the leading pastoral carers at a school is the form teacher, who interacts with the students in their form group at least once daily. They provide a link between a child’s home life and school life and can observe every child’s overall development. After all, if something is going wrong in one aspect of a child’s life, it is likely to impinge on the other areas of their life. 

Ultimately, the real indication of terrific pastoral care is that pupils learn to intuitively care for themselves and for their friends and family. They will leave school with the ability to make sensible decisions and contribute to their community in helpful and supportive ways.


If you enjoyed reading this post, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE
subscribe blogsbyfa
All the images  are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: Sponsored Post