The Foodie Scientist.

I’ve been absent, I get it. My hands are up in surrender. But I’m here now and shouldn’t that count? And as a little bit of an apology, this post is going to be inundated with yours and mine’s favourite, food.

I’ve loved cooking and baking and it goes without saying…experimenting. Mind you, this love affair only began once I realised that cooking wasn’t a chore and onerous task. The first mess up I made, I don’t even remember the dish, my mum simply said start again and don’t worry about the mess. That made me see that the kitchen was much more like my lab. You don’t give up after a single failed experiment, you change parameters, you optimise and you try again. You start off following protocols, but you adapt to make it work for you and your conditions. And that’s exactly like cooking, you start with a recipe and you adjust it to your taste and what you have available. Except please don’t taste your Ringer’s buffer and your SDS-PAGE gel!

I’m really not embellishing when I say ‘inundated’ with food…take a look for yourself! I won’t lie, I’ve found much easier to post my foodie exploits on my Instagram page (I know! Nazra has moved into the 21st Century with social media!) @q.nazra 🙂


Khaman Dhokla

Chicken Jalfrezi with rice

Butter chicken with naan

Steak and Chips from Toro’s steakhouse, Manchester

Quarter peri peri chicken from Toro’s steakhouse, Manchester

Refreshing mocktails from Toro’s steakhouse, Manchester

Halal full English breakfast from Millie’s tearoom, Hayfield

The Indian inspired Veggie breakfast from Millie’s tearoom (and B&B), Hayfield

Rose, Lemon and Pistachio drizzle cake

Oven roasted Salmon fillet with herb roasted potatoes and mint salsa verde!

Spinach pesto and chilli pasta

Salt and pepper chicken with veg noodles from Oodles chinese, Coventry (my fav takeout!)

Cake Box (can never say no to cake!)

Fruit scone from Rising cafe, Coventry

Smoked salmon and poached egg breakfast from Cosy club

Veggie breakfast from Cosy club

Garlic mushroom from The Farmhouse, Coventry

Passionfruit Daiquiri (mocktail of course!), The Farmhouse, Coventry

Steak! From The Farmhouse, Coventry

Indian fish and chips from The Farmhouse, Coventry

Cardamom panna cotta with a strawberry coulis

Chana daal with gourd (dudhi/kaddu)

Palak paneer, made with tandoori spiced paneer! It’s soo good!

Brownies! Recipe inspired by Roojie The Foodie #RTF

Curried cauliflower


Veggie Hot Pizza from Pizza Hut

Rava idli with sambhaar!

Oodles chinese! Kung pao and crispy chicken

Egg fried rice

BBC Good Food recipe – nutty chocolate bread!

Chicken and green bean curry

Chicken 65 – recipe from Fauzia’s Kitchen Fun (FKF)

Mixed veggie curry (aubergine, potato and pigeon peas)

Creme caramel

Cheesy pasta

My famous ‘Flaounas’

Achaari chicken!

Semolina pudding (sooji)

Chicken khao suey

Veggie pasta

Fudgy Oreo brownie cake

Las Iguanas dessert

Mac n cheese @ Las Iguanas

Masoor gosht with rice (brown lentil and lamb curry)

Fish curry – Sea bass

Egg and kebab curry

Creamy Philadelphia tagliatelle


Why does ‘procrastinating’ have to be so easy?

Now I could’ve quite easily have finished off the penultimate section of the first chapter of “my thesis” (in speech marks because I have no doubt that it’ll take tooth and nail to fight to keep it mine!), especially considering that I have all the papers that I need up on one side of my screen and my write up on the other. Instead, I’ve spent the last hour on BuzzFeed, shamelessly taking inkblot tests (it guessed my age…correctly…AWESOME!) and reading the silliest articles imaginable (there is no dearth in those sorts of articles). And of course, that leads to me to my number one procrastinating activity…blogging (although this is actually something which I find…somewhat motivating)!

I must admit though, I had a back up plan for ‘procrastinating’…the very fact that I had/have (?) a back up plan clearly goes to show that procrastinating is routine for me. I was supposed to get some ‘other’ writing done; I only have 3 chapters of my ‘novel’ left to complete…but I’m still a little freaked by it! Oh, did I mention that I played dress up games today…that’s right, dress up games (squints eyes and laughs awkwardly).


(Nazra needs a new hobby…I should go back to reading)

A View from Above

It’s nice to have distractions…occasionally. And as I’ve said before, posting on this blog often serves as a means of procrastination for me. I have a short and spurious 10 minute presentation due tomorrow morning and other than labelling 5/7 of my slides and putting an image on one of those, I haven’t done much else. It’s not even as though I’m being asked to do a presentation on a topic I have no control over, in fact we have to choose a subject ourselves (which often feels worse than being set a task); and I’ve chosen to introduce my research topic…it’s only to a couple of my peers in a new class that I’m taking, but something just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know if it’s because I’m still a little under the weather or because I still feel odd having had an amazing trip abroad and coming back home…but, something just makes me feel a little out of sorts, like I’m forcing myself to act like myself. That just sounds odd and I currently have no other words to describe things any other way.

So back to the procrastination, I thought I’d share a couple of photos I took. Now, I’m not a big fan of taking photos of people, mainly because they’re often posed and therefore meaningless. I find taking photos of scenery far more satisfying, so I hope that you enjoy them just as much as I do.


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So April huh? Crap, I don’t even have a week!

I figured that I post something quickly…no I’m not procrastinating, even though I’ve been stuck on the same thing for the last three days. You know when you were a kid and you heard the saying ‘Time flies’…did you ever picture ‘Time’ as some sort of superhero in a cape flying through the air? No? Well, I guess it was just me then! Strangely enough, it does fly…but it most certainly is no superhero dressed in some fancy lycra suit with a wicked cape…nope, it’s more like a supervillian with the power of procrastination! Yes procrastination is an evil power…in the wrong hands…OK, I feel like this post is becoming a little too weird, even for me! Back to normality. Basically, what I’m trying to say, is that yes I’m procrastinating (drops head). But it’s not my fault (I can just hear ‘that’s what everyone says’)! I have honestly been stuck going back and forth on one topic, it’s a good thing that I got everything else out of the way! And in this rocking ‘back and forth’…I’d totally lost track of time and it’s almost the end of April! I have less than a week before my first set of deadlines, I’ve yet to do anything about my future, I have my lab project starting soon and there is no way that I’m prepared for that (doesn’t help that my supervisor has cancelled my last three meetings!), and the dude sitting opposite me keeps coughing…anyone remotely familiar with ‘Sheldon’ from The Big Bang Theory, will know how I’m feeling! And the worst thing is that…I’ve not been able to read my book or carry on with my writing for months!

It doesn’t help that every time I want to distract myself, I come up with an awesome new chapter plot for my book…which I then forget, because I haven’t written it down! So basically, I’m screwed if I don’t write stuff down. But I honestly need to get my head down and finish EVERYTHING, because then I can move onto THE WORLD (referencing my boredom during my final year undergrad project)…I wanna write about Chelsea and her life!!!!

I just realised that this was supposed to be quick…whoops!