By the time you read this, I'll have sat my first set of university exams - immunology, pharmacology, cells, ethics, physiology, anatomy and all sorts of other stuff that I can't even remember learning but will hopefully have recalled when I turned over that exam paper.
Cramming all those facts into my tiny mind hasn't left me with an awful lot of time for being creative in the kitchen, especially when I'm just cooking for myself. In fact, I've been living off two lunches on repeat for the past two weeks. The first is this bowl of lentils:
It's basically the berbere paste from Teff Love with red lentils, garlic, ginger, paprika and tomato puree, with some frozen okra thrown in at the end. I can put the kettle on, chuck the rest of the ingredients in a pan, and ignore the lot for 25 minutes. After that, there's a steaming bowl of loveliness waiting for me. Shovel it down, back to the books.
The other meal is this endless adaptable okonomiyaki type recipe. To be perfectly clear, I've only ever eaten one 'proper' okonomiyaki in my life, and this recipe is not that. This recipe is the sort of thing a lazy student can whip up with minimal effort and time, and claim it's a bit like an okonomiyaki to passing blog readers.
Which veggies you use is up to you - just scatter them across the base of the 9-inch crepe pan you're going to fry the okonomiyaki in.
Student's friend adaptable okonomiyaki recipeIngredients
50g chick pea flour
25g wheat flour
1tsb soy sauce
1tsb rice vinegar
One clove of garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of baking powder
Small handful of nori sprinkles and sesame seeds
Vegetables of your choice
Sriracha-type hot sauce and vegan mayo as toppings
How you do it
Mix together the flours, sake, soy, vinegar, water and garlic until you have something that looks like paint or thick custard. Set to one side.
Fry some veggies - cabbage and carrot is traditional I think - in a crepe pan.
Once they're all but cooked, all some extra oil to the pan. Add the pinch of baking powder to the batter mixture, then pour it into the pan, spreading it around the pan with the back of a spoon until it's of even thickness. Sprinkle on the nori and sesame seeds.
Cook for five minutes, then turn over and cook for five minutes more on the other side.
Top with swirls of vegan mayo and hot sauce, if you fancy.