Who says Sunday lunch has to be traditional? I recreated one of my favourite dishes from Mother India in Glasgow, Raan Mussalam. A centrepiece to wow your guests, this can be prepared 24hrs in advance and is perfect served simply with rice and a tomato, cucumber and red onion salad.

When the weekend comes around in my house, its finally time that I spend time trying new recipes, developing and re-creating. Frankly, I’ve been bored lately with the “standard” Sunday lunch offerings and when my boyfriend, Ross, bought a reduced whole leg of lamb from the supermarket, I was adamant I wasn’t going to eat just any old roast lamb. 

When I decided that I wanted to make Raan Mussalam, I wanted to do it justice and contacted Mother India for some tips. Be patient, cook nice and slow. Simple, right? Time is your friend. If you want more sauce, double the ingredients. Don’t want rice? Chapati would be a great substitution.

And now I’m drooling all over again!

So if you’re looking for something different to cook this weekend, why don’t you try this? The beauty of it is that you can prep the day before and leave it to cook in the oven when you’re having a well deserved Sunday snooze before dinner. Weekend perfection.

Raan Mussalam- Marinade

Raan Mussalam- Foil

Raan Mussalam- Shiraz Salad

Raan Mussalam
Serves 4
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2.6kg whole leg of lamb
  2. 250ml natural yoghurt
  3. 100g almonds, grounded
  4. 500g shallots
  5. 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  6. 1 tsp black peppercorns
  7. 6 cardamom pod seeds
  8. 4 bay leaves
  9. 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  10. 2 tsp cumin seeds
  11. 2 tsp chilli powder
  12. 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  13. 2 inches ginger, grated
  14. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Toast the peppercorns, cardamom seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds in a small frying pan for just under a minute, ensuring they do not stick to the pan. Once toasted, grind the spices finely, either in a mortar and pestle or a food processor. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Roughly chop ginger and garlic and then add ground almonds, chilli powder, yoghurt and into the bowl with the spices, mixing throughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Transfer to a roasting tray, slice slots into the leg of lamb, before covering the entire leg in the marinade and bay leaves. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge overnight.
  4. On the day of cooking, pre-heat your oven to 160c, remove cling film and leave lamb to rest in room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. Cover the roasting tray in foil, transferring to the middle of the oven and roast for 3 hours.
  5. After 3 hours, remove foil and baste lamb with juices in the bottom of the pan. Increase the oven temperature to 200c and roast the oven for an extra 20-30 minutes until brown.
  6. Once ready, leave to rest for 20 minutes, covering with foil, while you fry shallots in oil until crispy brown.
  7. Pour curry sauce from the roasting tray on top of the lamb, along with crispy onion and almond flakes. Serve alongside some Basmati rice and a simple tomato, cucumber and red onion salad.
  8. You are guaranteed to have leftovers which help make superb shawarma, but I’ll save that recipe for another day!
Ananyah https://ananyah.com/

Tucked away in the rural village of Minster Lovell, The Old Swan and Minster Mill is a delightful boutique hotel, not only charming but the perfect place to relax after a hard days work.

With a new job and promotion, the past six months have been hectic. My life has resolved around catching flights, packing suitcases, hotel living, dinners for one and doing laundry on the one day I was back in Glasgow before jumping on another flight back down to south. Thankfully, the amount of travelling has calmed down enough for me to enjoy Glasgow living again.

The first of my travels took me to the rural countryside and the village of Minster Lovell which was 15 minutes away from Brize Norton, where I was going to be spending a few days with work.

Old Swan and Minster Mill Hotel- River Windrush

I found The Old Swan and Minster Mill by chance and I certainly don’t regret it. All our work travel has to be booked on a centralised system and the “preferred hotel” was a little too far away for a daily commute. I chose The Old Swan & Minster Mill out of sheer laziness and ease. The location meant I could get an extra hour in bed in the mornings. Win win.

Old Swan and Minster Mill Hotel- Old Swan Bar Restaurant

Set in 65 acres of gardens, woodlands and orchards on the banks of the River Windrush, The Old Swan & Minster Mill is over 600 years old and combines a Victorian mill with stylish, modern rooms and a late medieval inn, both bursting with traditional charm and period features.

Old Swan and Minster Mill Hotel- Minster Mill

With a 5-star rating, rooms are stylishly decorated and most rooms also have the added addition of a scenic garden or river view. An on-site gym, spa and tennis court ensures there’s plenty of opportunity to explore and relax. Sadly, I was unable to visit the spa during my stay, but I loved walking around the estate during sunset with nature as my backdrop. There is something so therapeutic with walking around the countryside, inhaling fresh air and listening to the water flowing down the river. 

I stayed in the Windrush room for two nights, costing approximately £175 per night, and was impressed by how beautiful the room was. A wooden four poster bed was the focal point of the room and set the theme for the entire stay. Small touches such as bottles of water, nespresso machine, biscuits, a whisky decanter, magazines and high quality toiletries were also a welcome addition. My room had patio door access to part of the hotel grounds so if you fancied playing lawn chess a short stroll from your room or even sit and have a coffee during sunrise or sunset, you could.

Old Swan and Minster Mill Hotel- Hotel Grounds

Throughout my stay, I dined alone at their cosy bar and dining room within the Old Swan, first having the rib eye steak for main and sticky date pudding for dessert and then chicken and black pudding press for starter and lamb cutlets for main the next. I’m normally a little intimidated dining alone in new surroundings, however, staff were very welcoming and I was soon at ease after spotting a few other guests dining alone. 

Food was cooked beautifully and from chatting with staff discovered that on-site vegetable gardens supply the chef with fruit, vegetables and herbs as well as fresh eggs from chickens and honey from hives. Great for sustainability. Breakfast each day was also served within the Old Swan; buffet style. I enjoyed fresh fruit salad with yoghurt then scrambled eggs with a mountain of toast. Great to set me up for a busy day ahead. 

I throughly enjoyed my stay at The Old Swan & Minster Mill, my own little slice of the Cotswolds and cannot wait to return to try out their new garden spa and escape from the world, this time with a plus one. 

Have you ever stayed in the Cotswolds before? Ever wanted to escape to the countryside? Let me know your favourite escape destinations in the comments below.

Can you even call yourself Scottish if you’ve never been to a Burns Supper in your whole adult life? I’m one of those people. So if you can’t join one, do it yourself! That is what I did this weekend. I hosted my own early Burns Supper, as I’m traveling with work next week, with my mom and boyfriend.

In conjunction with Expedia, to support their 2017 UK food map, The map shows top picks for food festivals and events throughout the year, and I’m kicking it off with Burns Night in January. If you aren’t aware of this Scottish holiday, the day commemorates the life of the poet, Robert Burns. Us Scots are rather sentimental.  

I wanted to create a Burns Supper that moved away from the traditional and incorporated a more modern touch. I set myself the hard task of then figuring out what on earth I was going to cook and more importantly, how I wanted it to look on the plate, for the photographs. Can’t take the food blogger out of me! After a few days of deliberation, I decided on my menu, with the focus on my main course. Taking inspiration from some amazing dishes I’ve had the pleasure of eating- I’m looking at you, The Gannet.

Below are recipes for my Ultimate Burns Supper, easy enough for the novice cook to prepare and you’re guaranteed to impress your guests. I picked up the lamb used in the main course from my local butcher who my family have used for over 30 years. They trimmed the fat off the meat and de-boned it for me which meant less faffing around- win win!

No sooner was it New Year than I found myself in the middle of Glasgow Airport ready to fly down to Bristol on another extended work trip. This time? Staying in Bath for a week and commuting to Corsham daily. This has been my second trip to the area and I keep kicking myself that I don’t try and squeeze in some time to explore the city in all its glory.

Luckily, I was able to finish up work early one day, head to my favourite coffee shop, Colonna & Small’s to pick up more Nespresso® capsules and a much needed Flat White before heading to The Roman Baths, the one place I’ve been dying to visit.

Exploring The Roman Baths- Terrace

I have to admit something. I detest smoked salmon, in the traditional sense. The texture. How it feels when I hold it. It’s just not for me. So here I am talking about smoked salmon from Inverawe Smokehouses. Alarms bells ringing yet? Not quite. 

Situated in Argyll, on the West Coast of Scotland, Inverawe Smokehouses is a family run business since 1974 who prefer the traditional slow smoking method. This time-honoured method allows the fish to gently take up the gorgeous smoky aroma in its own unhurried time, giving the most delicious full-bodied oak-smoked flavour that is distinctively Inverawe. Committed to reducing its environment impact and sustainable production, the farms are located in areas with strong tidal flows in either the coastal waters off Argyll or the Shetland Isles.

Whilst I may not be a complete lover of the Scottish delicacy, every one around me adores it. Whether it be mixed within scrambled eggs, on sushi or in a salad, my family and boyfriend lap it up. It is a staple in my house during the holiday season and I predict, most throughout the UK!

The strange thing is, while I run as far away from traditional smoked salmon as possible, I adore smoked salmon pâté. My love for it started when my great aunt’s Swiss-Italian husband Joseph used to pop over from Geneva and whipped some up for us all to eat at family gatherings on toast. It was delicious and I’ve yet to taste anything like it since.

I was sent a parcel of Inverawe Classic Smoked Salmon, along with Trout P̢t̩ & a Mini Triple Salmon TerrineРsmoked salmon, roast smoked salmon flakes and smoked salmon mousse to sample and from that, create a recipe.

The latest season of that BBC One Baking Show has ended and Selasi wasn’t crowned the winner, much to the dismay of half the UK population. The show as we know it will be no more as it up sticks to Channel 4 from next year. Goodbye Mary and the comedic duo Mel and Sue. Hello to a plethora of adverts right at the crucial moment we found out who is going home. Boo. 

Alas, cake always makes things better and what better way to commiserate by getting your bake on.

I’m not the biggest chocolate cake fan, however, I have all the time in the world for Gâteau Fondant au Chocolat. I first came across it in a little pâtisserie near my dad’s apartment in Paris. It was love at first bite and is a cake I can never resist. 

It is a dense gooey cake in the middle with a crispy top, perfect warm with some ice cream on top. Even better, with limited ingredients and effort, you don’t need to be Mary Berry in the kitchen.

I’ve made this cake at home numerous times and now you can too, just save me a slice!

I regularly have pizza cravings. I wanted pizza. I needed to have pizza. To be fair, who wouldn’t want pizza? Pizza is the greatest food group there is. So I was on a mission to feed my desire with the best pizza I could find. Not an easy task when there are only a handful of places in Glasgow that serve half decent pizza.

And then Paesano Pizza popped up in Glasgow at the tale end of 2015.  

A mystical labyrinth in the heart of Marrakech, the Souks of Medina are a sensory explosion. From bric-à-brac to freshly ground spices, this is one location you don’t want to miss.

Before jetting off to Marrakech, I knew that I couldn’t resist a spot of shopping while I was in the city. I mean, where better than in the blazing sun, in a souk, bargaining for your purchases.

I mentally drew up a list of things I wanted to get my hands on; some beautiful crockery, fresh spices for cooking with back home, kaftans and some good quality sweets that I’ve been missing so much. Would I succeed?  

Ananyah- Marrakech Souk- Alley

With 1000 MAD (approx £65) tucked away in my handbag, I found myself in Jemaa El-Fnaa, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. The square was swarming with people- tourists and locals alike.

By day, Jemaa El-Fnaa is full of vendors with dancing monkeys in t-shirts and diapers, snake charmers and women offering you henna. My advice? Steer clear of them. By night, it transforms into a vibrant street food market. Sadly, I didn’t get to visit the square at night but it is a place I definitely need to go back again to experience in all its glory.

Heading to Marrakech soon? Nervous about going to the souks for the first time? Here are my top tips for tackling the souks of Marrakech which will make you a pro in no time! 

The souks are crazy!

Keep your wits about you. As I said above, it’s a sensory overload. From the intense smell of petrol, dodging motorbikes whizzing past you, men with fruit carts and mules making their way through the maze of the souk to the sound of stall holders shouting at each other, it can be overwhelming. People will barge past you to get to their destination. They aren’t being rude, it’s just the way of life.

Ananyah- Marrakech Souk- Koutoubia Mosque

Can you afford it?

If you see something you like, think about what maximum price you are willing to pay before asking how much it is. Once you have a figure in your head, ask, then haggle like your life depends on it. If you’re told the item is 100 MAD, divide it in half and start from there. I got a lot of great purchases using this calculation. Of course, this only works on items that do not have a set price. Although, when I spotted an amazing tea-cup set for 20 MAD and I only had 12 left, they gave me it. Happy bunny. Bartering is all about luck. Just keep at it and you’ll find your mojo.

Bad at maths like me?

Download a currency converter app onto your phone. I used Currency Converter Plus to quickly convert between MAD and Pounds. It was a lifesaver all over Marrakech and as it’s a free app within the AppStore, I would highly recommend you all download it no matter where you are travelling to. I know I’m going to use it when I jet off to Germany at the end of the month. 

Be prepared to walk away

Say what? You want to shop, yes, but sometimes walking away from a purchase right in front of you will work out to be the best move you’ve made. If you keep the points above in your head, it will all make sense. Say you’ve found a stall selling amazing crockery but the price is a little steep, you’ve tried bartering like your life depended on it and the owner still will not budge, walk away. The outcome will be one of two things, the owner will chase after you and agree to the price you want to pay or another stall a few doors down will have a similar piece (if not the exact same) for sale, potentially at a lower price. If all else fails, go back to the original stall again if you really want the item.

Ananyah- Marrakech Souk- Spices

Think before you buy

That’s rich coming from someone like me but you are in a foreign country. That means you have to take a plane back home (unless you are on some insane road trip!). You can get carried away in the souk but you have to think sensibly. Can it fit in your suit case? How heavy is it? Will it get damaged?

I bought a rather large pouf, bowls, plates, kaftans, delicate tea glasses, spices and rose buds. Luckily, my case was under the max weight when I arrived to Marrakech. I made sure that I wrapped all the breakable items in clothes a good few times and then stuffed them within the pouf. Extra padding to ensure my money wasn’t wasted.

In all honesty, I wasn’t sure if everything would fit within my suitcase, but I was lucky. Make sure you have enough room before you buy and if all else fails, purchase a bigger bag for your hand luggage! 

Ananyah- Marrakech Souk- Bathtub

Ananyah- Marrakech Souk- Rose Buds

These top tips for tackling the souks of Marrakech will ensure you are a master of the souks in no time. Don’t be intimidated in your surroundings.. Enjoy yourself and soak up the atmosphere around you. It is an unforgettable experience. 

Have you ever been to Marrakech? Hit up the sinks? What did you buy? What are your own top tips? Let me know in the comments below!

Street food from around the world will come to Glasgow city centre throughout April and May with Good Food Glasgow

This street food event will take place each Saturday in the Merchant City’s Brunswick Street for six weeks from 16 April and on each Friday in the Broomielaw for six weeks from 22 April.

Colourful street food vehicles from operators in central Scotland will offer everything from burgers, curries, American baking and gourmet sausage rolls to shellfish, fried chicken and vegan baking between 12am – 7pm to bring a taste of the exotic to the streets of Glasgow.

Other culinary delights at Good Food Glasgow include Indian, Korean, Mexican and Scottish street food, as well as home baking, seafood, ice cream, crepes and gluten & dairy-free food.

It’s quite frankly, about time Glasgow had a  street food market and I for one truly welcome this new initiative. We can say goodbye to dodgy burger vans and hello to gourmet trucks providing good quality, healthy food on par with places such as Edinburgh, Manchester and London.

Last summer, Glasgow City Council published a survey asking the people of Glasgow if they wanted to see a dedicated street food area come to the city. After over 2000 responses, Good Food Glasgow has been established in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, City Markets (Glasgow) and the Community Food Fund.

As this is the first of its kind in the city, to begin with, 12 trucks will operate from Brunswick St and 14 at the Broomielaw, and if successful, street food events such as this will return regularly.

Hopefully this will be the beginning of a permanent fixture in the city. There is a demand after all. Now all that is left is to find out what trucks will be appearing and grab my cutlery!

Hungry anyone? Do you welcome this new fixture to the Glasgow dining scene? Do you have a favourite Scottish food truck? Will you be checking it out? Let me know in the comments below!

I remember the first time I ever cooked meat on a hot stone, it was at Jimmy’s Bulgogi Barbecue in Singapore, circa 1992. You picked what meat and vegetables you wanted, paid, then went back to your table to start cooking your picks. So much fun! 

More recently and closer to home, you can enjoy a Dolsot Bibimbap at Kimchi Cult in the West End of Glasgow. What is this you say? A dolsot is a stone bowl which is heated until extremely hot and then your bibimbap (mixed rice) ingredients are popped in alongside a raw egg which is then cooked against the sides of the bowl. Not as fun as cooking a big bowl of meat on your own little individual barbecue, but equally as delicious. On the subject of Kimchi Cult, the Ox Cheek Bulgogi is literally one of the best things in the city at the moment. 

When Thomas Cook Airlines contacted me to ask if I wanted to take part in a #LanzaroteCookOff cooking competition (alongside other bloggers) whereby I have to cook a traditional dish from Lanzarote using a lava stone, I was naturally up for the challenge (and not just because I’m rather competitive!). Little did I realise, it would being back all those childhood memories from back in the day. The prize? An all-inclusive holiday for two to Lanzarote. A place that has always been on my “must visit” list but have yet had the chance to visit. 

LanzaroteCookOff- Lava Rock

Food in this jewel of an island within the Mediterranean is taken rather seriously and it is no wonder with the rich fresh ingredients at their door. From fresh seafood to vegetables grown in black volcanic soil, the natural larder is full of goodness. Grilling seafood as well as steak on hot lava rocks not only makes the food taste great, but is much healthier than frying too due to the lack of oil. 

& I was about to put it to the test.

All too often, when people think of the Canary Islands, they think of the kinds of drink-fuelled holidays for teenagers that are regularly documented on ITV2. But there is so much more to this stunning archipelago than booze cruises and horrendous sunburn.

Blessed with a rich diversity of landscapes and activity options, the destinations dotted all around Tenerife’s party places are rich in holiday potential. So, if you’re thinking to go and see a Canary Island or two by plane or on a cruise ship, here’s a list of the 7 top reasons why a visit to the Canaries will make your heart sing!

When I was younger, my mom attempted to teach me how to cook. She’d try to show me how to do certain things, try to get me to recreate them and generally just involve me as much as possible. I was having none of it. I wasn’t interested in the slightest.

This clearly disappointed the Home Economics teacher side of her. Her own daughter didn’t want to learn from her.

I remember my first kitchen disaster when I was around 10 years old, I wanted cake but there was none at home. My mom was out (I wasn’t home alone- our maid at the time was with me) so I thought I’d make a chocolate cake using a box mix that I found. How hard could it be? Very. I didn’t know how long to cook the cake for… this resulted in a very gooey uncooked sunken cake but it was mine. My first creation.

Don’t get me wrong, there were times where I helped my mom. Jam thumb cookies were my favourite, a recipe from my middle school cookbook. Favourite in the sense that I got to eat them all afterwards!

When I moved away to boarding school age 17, I shocked my mom by revealing that I willingly decided to enrol myself into a Home Economics class for some extra credit. Her response? “I’ve been trying to teach you to cook for years and you were never interested!”

I did an entire two-year course in less than 9 months, whizzing through all the set cooking assignments. From making Eve’s pudding to the more savoury feta cheese sambousek, which made me pass my exams with flying colours. A flame was slowly lit.