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Mystery of Argan Oil

24 Apr


When I was cooking for a Moroccan theme dinner, I was fascinated with their use of argan oil. This oil is extracted from the kernels of the argan fruits. Argan oil is one of the primary ingredients and is  extensively used in Moroccan cuisine.

Historically, this
oil blends with the North African culture. Pure argan oil is a rare commodity in the world but I try using it in all Moroccan dishes I cook to give an authentic flavour to the dish. The taste of their dips and salads is augmented with the use of argan oil.

Argan oil is very popular for its outstanding nutritive values. Constituted with 80% unsaturated fat, when consumed internally it helps control cardio vascular diseases,
cancer and blood sugar streams. When applied externally, it enhances skin and hair care.

Argan oil is good news for people who want to reduce their saturated food intake. It is rich in Vitamin A and E, and is also packed with Omega fatty acids 3 and 6 and Linoleic acid. Due to its rich Vitamin content, this oil can be used both in culinary and cosmetic application. Argan oil has phytochemicals and sterol molecules that no other plant oil has.

Diners benefit its complete nutritional value when taken in food, salads or dips. 1 or 2 teaspoons of argon oil per day is recommended for moderate consumption. It is not advisable to use argan oil as a cooking medium as the heat depletes it of its nutritional value. No other beauty product of recent times can match the anti-aging
properties for skin and hair. So, you can start consuming argon oil to benefit internally and externally than search the cosmetic store racks. Of course, it tilts to the expensive side of the price scale. I last remember picking up a litre of argon oil 3 months back for a whopping Rs. 2500 per litre.


What food you consume during fasting time of Navrathri ?

19 Mar


According to Aurveda every food item falls in one of the three categories.

1. Tamsik 2. Sattwik 3 Rajsik

Normally during Navrathri we avoid Rajsik and Tamsik food items

During the Navrathri fasts, we turn to Sattwik bhojan and adopt a simple lifestyle. Generally bitter, sour, pungent, salty or dry should be avoided as they are known to induce negativity, dullness and restlessness.

Fruits to be taken during Navrathri are  Banana , coconut , pomegranate , mangoes, jack fruit , pears and chickoo etc


Dry fruits : Almost all dry fruits are allowed

As per the custom the following vegetables we  can consume 

Potatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin, colocassia, raw banana, raw papaya, bottle gourd, tomatoes , ginger, lemons, yam or suran, cucumber and carrots. These vegetables are Sattwik in nature, provide lots of energy, keep you hydrated and have mild flavours.


Vegetables you should avoid

Leeks , shallots, Onions and garlic as they are Tamsik in nature.

Cabbage has strong flavour to be avoided, Capsicum to be avoided as it is pungent and cauliflower is also salty to be avoided

Flours and Grains – Amaranth flour, Millets, Buckwheat flour, water chestnut flour, Sago/tapioca pearls, Foxnuts (Makhana) .

Milk Products & Dry Fruits – Milk, Curd, Paneer, Butter, Ghee, Khoya, Condensed milk, all milk products are allowed , avoid cheese

Foods to be avoided , refined cereals , Heavy food , Non vegetarian food , Hot & spicy food.

Note – I have tried to include important items only to the best of my knowledge, but customs differs in each household so treat this as general guidelines

Dr. Chef Soundararajan

Salmon Teriyaki

21 Oct

zOld - Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for "It's Delicious")

Salmon Teriyaki

Writing this blog post still make me drool because when I made this at home it was perfectly cooked one of the best simple meals I ever made, sweet and savoury sauce on a lightly browned and crispy salmon skin while retaining its moisture. The layers of salmon fat is not melted but cooked to the proper temperature giving it a nice flavour and texture on every bite.

I hope you can recreate this at the comfort of your own kitchen and experience the taste and flavour like we did.

Ingredients (Salmon)

3 pcs salmon fillets
toasted sesame seeds

Ingredients (Teriyaki Sauce)

1 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp Mirin
1 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp brown sugar (adjust sweetness according to your liking)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 thin slices of ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion…

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Vietnamese Style Soba Noodle Salad

21 Oct

Pininyahang Manok

21 Oct

zOld - Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for "It's Delicious")

Pininyahang Manok

Pininyahang Manok (Tagalog), Gang Ped Gai Sapparot (Thai), or Chicken with Pineapple is a dish made out of chicken that is marinated in pineapple juice then cooked together with pineapple and other vegetables such as capsicum, carrots and onions. In Philippines there are 3 main variations of this dish and they vary on the sauce used, one is using chicken stock as a base, another variation is using coconut milk and the last one is using evaporated milk.

Regardless of the version this dish one of Philippines and Thailand’s wonderful casserole dishes (can be cooked also sans casserole) and it is best enjoyed with steaming hot rice. Try it now!


1 kg chicken legs and/or thighs
2 pcs red capsicum, sliced
1 1/2 cups pineapple chunks
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 thumb sized ginger, minced

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Flemish Stew

17 Oct

zOld - Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for "It's Delicious")

Flemish Stew

Belgium might be famous for waffles, chocolates and beer but there are some other delicious food items that this country have to offer, one of them is this Flemish stew or Carbonade Flamande. This national dish of Belgium is made out of beef and onions slowly stewed in dark Belgian beer like Oud Bruin, Brune Abbey Beer or Flanders which gives it a distinct sour and bitter taste. Herbs like thyme, bay leaf and mustard are commonly used to enhance flavour and give a nice aroma.

A really simple and hearty dish which is good to serve with bread, potatoes or even rice.


1 kg stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 pcs carrots, sliced
250g button mushrooms
330ml Dark Belgian Beer
1 cup Beef Stock
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp dried parsley
2 pcs bay leaf

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Dessert debate: cake vs pie

17 Oct


Each autumn, some of the world’s most prominent food scholars, chefs, journalists and enthusiasts gather together on the campus of the University of Mississippi for a symposium on the state of Southern food. Overarching themes covered by the Southern Foodways Alliance in the previous 15 years have included the role of farmers, a study of global influences, the undercurrents of music and booze, just to name a few. The subject at the core of 2013’s installment: Women at Work.

For two days, featured presenters and honorees like Diane Roberts, Vertamae Grosvenor, Emily Wallace, Candacy Taylor, Charlotte Druckman, among many others, spoke eloquently and enthusiastically of the essential roles that women have played in the creation of Southern food culture past and present.

Then it was time for dessert. Eatocracy’s managing editor Kat Kinsman and New York Times Atlanta bureau chief Kim Severson faced off in…

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