Have you lost your Dhokla?


Do you ever get the feeling that some things are just Now or Never? Well…this post is one of those. I started writing (by which I mean the title) this particular one, over two weeks ago, and finally I’ve had to get to grips with the fact that I have been procrastinating from actually procrastinating (a vicious cycle for the seasoned procrastinator). I should probably add that it’s taken a good 14 hours from start to finish with this post. Procrastination is not always your friend.

So what has been keeping me away, you ask? Deadline, deadlines and more deadlines, with a splash of stress and reality check (will also be the title for my next post…can’t let such a title go to waste!). August is crowning and with that, the countdown to the end of my PhD is only days away. In theory. I need to finish, I want to finish…but…(there’s always a but). There is still some way to go before I can actually submit and dust my hands of the laborious work that is a PhD (see what I did there!). So those PCR plates, you ask? From Bio-Rad? Still non-existent I’m afraid, to an extent where I think that after around 4-5 months, I’m throwing in the towel. Instead I’m now thinking of an alternative which…actually doesn’t even existent, but let’s see if the companies I’ve contacted can be more satisfactory with regards to customer service.

Right, let’s deviate from PhD related drama, and let’s talk about what is always on everyone’s mind. Food. As I mentioned earlier in a previous post…or two, I’ve found that cooking and baking are perfect to distract me from the chaotic levels of stress that spike high on a daily basis. One thing that I have a slight obsession with is experimentation, which of course as a “scientist” is no surprise. And of these experiments, avocado brownies has definitely stood out; my normal brownies (regardless of Oreos, marshmallow fluff or other ingredients) go down very well, in fact they go down too well, so I thought why not try an avocado or two. And of course, in true scientist-style, I did my research and found that the drawback to the nutritionally superior version of a brownie is a somewhat swampy taste. So how do I get rid of that taste? Simple, add strawberry jam to the concoction…except there certainly is such a thing as too much jam! I didn’t actually follow a specific recipe, I just substituted avocado straight for butter, and although the taste was actually quite nice…I don’t think I’d leave my full fat version, probably because I’m very odd in the sense that I can’t stand stodgy brownies…and avocado will give you a very dense and stodgy brownie. I suppose if I really had to bake them again, I’d definitely only add about half the amount the flour I normally use.

That was a few weeks ago, today however, I’ve made what I was craving since last week…Halwa Poori and Chana Masala (although I’ve haven’t made the pooris yet, it’s for dinner so I’ve got a bit of time). I’d been craving halwa poori, like the one we have when we go to a Pakistani restaurant in Makkah or Madinah, but the fact that I was in Hamburg all week meant today was the only chance I’ve had to make it happen (more on Hamburg in the next post). Halwa poori is traditionally a breakfast dish, pooris are eaten with chana masala and then with sweet halwa; but to be honest you could eat it at any time because it’s so good!

 

Can just about see the very dense, stodgy texture of the brownies.

Chana Masala…one word…Yum! Even without the coriander!

Semolina halwa…mango flavoured with pineapple chunks, raisins and nuts!

 

PS. I love khaman dhokla! You’ve got to mad not to like it! Gujarati food rocks!

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