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Friday, 23 May 2014


So this post comes in the midst of the two most stressful weeks of my life; exams, research proposals, visa applications...I could go on. Back in December I didn't realise how much paperwork would be involved in my move to Canada. Anyhow, I at least found the time to bake, important stuff I know. I had a little jar of black olive tapenade in my fridge which I'd nicked from home and I was wondering what to do with it. BBC GoodFood of course gave me the incentive to make a cheats version of their Olive Rolls using my tapenade. This recipe is basically an olivey swiss roll. Firstly mix 500g of white bread flour, with a tsp of salt, 1 tbsp, a packet of fast action yeast and 300ml of warm water. Mix and knead with your hands until ready (10 mins or so). Put the dough in a clean bowl with oiled Clingfilm covering and leave to rise. Go and revise for an hour. OR whatever you normal people do. When doubled in size, roll out onto a well floured surface. Spread your olive paste (bought or homemade) all over the dough and then roll this up into a swiss roll-shaped thingy. Cut the dough into even slices (around 10-12) and place these on a lined baking sheet. Generously brush over with oil and, covering, leave to rise again for another 20mins. When ready, remove the Clingfilm and put in a pre-heated oven at 220/200C fan. Cook for 25 mins- they may squish into each other a little bit, don't worry about this. Take out, leave to cool and enjoy later on whist cramming for stats. 

Sunday, 11 May 2014


I will put this out there and say this may be the spiciest curry I ever had. So this week a friend of mine turned 21, bearing in mind that the birthday girl is vegan and we are just entering our pre-exam period, our choices for a relaxed, vegan-friendly meal were limited. Hansas, however, is a widely celebrated traditional Gujarati Indian restaurant, serving *no meat*. If you're looking for your average sweet and salty Saturday night chicken Korma...go somewhere else. Hansas food is traditional Gujarati cuisine, offering thali's with daal, chapati and sweet mango lassi's. Between us we ordered a huge range of dishes; the mixed platter came with a spicy stuffed pepper, vegetable koftas and a mini potato cake. For mains, I ordered a 'lightly spiced' Indian pumpkin dish. The pumpkin was something I'd never had before, light green in colour and tasting more like a pepper than pumpkin. 'Lightly spiced' was also an understatement. Everyone round the table was chugging water and wiping eye bag sweat whilst trying to remain cool and collected. In usual circumstances I am a fan of spice and as good as it tasted for the first couple of mouthfuls, the heat was a tad too much for me- next time I'll order a side of raita. The desserts were possibly the most interesting course. We shared a 'fudge pie', which from a Westernised point of view, was neither fudge nor pie. The 'Ghari' was a sweet pastry ball, filled with bright green pistachio and almond from what I can tell... The birthday girl ordered a sweet carrot dish, flavoured with almonds and sugar. Yes. It tasted like sweet carrots. Overall my dining experience at Hansas was unusual but a flavour experience. I arrived not really knowing what to expect and received just that. I would recommend this anyone who wants to try traditional Gujarati cuisine (but only if they like spice). I will hopefully return, next time armed with a pint of milk.