Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco

When I was growing up, oiling your hair was the most uncool thing to do. My mum would beg me to oil my hair at least once a week, but I couldn’t be seen with my hair all sticky, even in the privacy of my own home. Then came the oil revolution and suddenly oiling your hair was the hip thing to do and all the rage.
Hair masks, hair oils and hair serums became the new old-age way to take care of your hair. Sesame oil, coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil and the new talk of the town, the argan oil, which by the looks of it, is here to stay..

So I decided to give it a go, specially after my hairdresser told me, my hair had been getting drier. So I popped straight in a pharmacy and got myself this beautiful baby, Reneweing Argan Oil of Morocco, by Ogx…and here are my comments about it.

The product has the consistency of a serum, with a translucent oil-like colour and the scent is sweet but almost unnoticeable.

I have medium length hair and I needed just a large drop of it. Rub it lightly in your hand and massage onto wet hair, and voila…your hair suddenly look nourished and considerably tame.

The product is somewhat frizz-resistant but it is non-sticky, and doesnt weigh your hair down, so you can keep your volume, and style, all with the benefits of the argan oil.

I regularly use hair serums, but this one takes the cake as its effects dont wash away with shampoo but with regular use, your hair does look better, softer and calmer in the long run. So that is my kind of product to say the least.

Time to visit the hairdresser to show my renewed mane 😉


Finding a friend in death.. 

(Warning: This post can seriously ruin your party mood and bring you face to face with death, albeit on paper, or a screen)
My loving aunt passed away this week, leaving a gaping hole in my life that I can not ever fulfill. I had not met her or called her in a long time, I couldnt get, or should I say avail the chance of asking her for forgiveness, in whatever way I might have hurt her loving and kind heart. It feels so heavy on my chest. I could not even make it to her funeral because of geographic issues but I kept calling my mom and my aunt’s family again and again and shared stories of a life spent in serving others.
And then it struck me. Today I am telling someone’s stories and tomorrow, someone will be telling my stories. If there is one thing that could render all my successes and failures worthless, all happiness and sorrows, relations and belongings, all that I ever had, or have or will have, or could have appear meaningless is death. The house that I live in, the clothes I wear, the jewels I adore, the food I enjoy, all is but temporary. Even the love that sustains me and the family I love apparently more than myself, is not for me forever. This world, and everything and everyone in this world will be dust. I will be dust. 

The enormity of death belittles the vastness of this earth and the severity of issues that right now, right this second, plagues our thoughts. The thoughts of future in this world, the plans of tomorrow as I lay in my bed, the hopes and attempts of making it more fun, and comfortable, and successful, day after day, and in long run; everything looks so small and a meaningless fleeting thought. 
And it makes every failure, every heartbreak, every downfall, every betrayal, and every let down infinitesimal. The person who hurt me and the pain it caused, both die if I am to die. The jealousy of a peer, the apathy and indifference of a loved one, the ignorance of that person who tries to dictate you, the possessiveness or the carelessness, the competition by people call our own, the cruel judgement of our very existence, the invisibility in someone’s eyes, the dependence or the independence, the respect and the privileges, everything is dust. 
You can only hurt me if I were to live here. If this world were to confine me and define me in the permanent. It can not and you can not. Death may look like a captivity in eternity, but it in fact frees us in this world. The mere thoughy of death makes all the woes and worries that burden our soul disappear. Nothing in this world hurts us then and that is a truly delightful moment to be in. It makes us focus directly on what matters. And we realize this world is very simple, where we are nothing but to love, and we are to take with us nothing but love. 
We may fear death as being dark and depressing. But it is in fact enlightening. It is not an enemy that will eventually engulf us, but a friend that is here to guide us in this life, to liberate us from the shackles of issues that let down our soul, till it eventually embraces us. My friend, death is our friend. 

Almond Cookies

There is something about going on a diet that makes me think about food. Fattening, sugar loaded, deep fried, saucy, cheesy food. Read: delicious, lip-smacking, comforting meals and desserts. And while eating a chocolate fudge cake while on a diet would be too ironic, you can always eat a cookie or two. And so I started my diet plan today and I baked some cookies. Yes, I am crazy like that. 
I skipped my breakfast, thinking I can do better without it, ended up having a mug full of milky-sugary tea with some jam sandwich biscuits. And my thoughts drifted towards cookies and their recipes and there are these almond cookies that I had not baked in a while, so I gave it a go today. These cookies are so easy to make. Takes just about 5minutes to make. And 15 to bake. So within 20minutes, you have some really crunchy on the top, soft in the middle, earthy, nutty almond cookies, that I can eat a whole batch of. 




It takes just a couple of ingredients too. And chances are if you are into baking, you will already have them in your pantry. 


  • Unsalted butter at room temperature – 250grams
  • Caster sugar – 140grams
  • Plain flour – 270grams
  • Almond flour (or ground almonds) – 30grams
  • Egg – 1large
  • Almonds – a handful
  • Vanilla extract – 1teaspoon


  1. Mix butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. You dont want to beat the butter and make it runny and oily, but just enough to incorporate the sugar. A wooden spoon is best for it as it will fold in the sugar instead of beating or whisking the butter.  See how it holds texture here, despite the fact that the butter has been out of fridge since yesterday.    
  2. Add in the egg and vanilla essence and fold. Again, go soft and slow. It will be a bit mushy, but not runny. Here it is after I added the egg and vanilla extract.  
  3. Sift the flour and add in the mixture along with the almond powder. Now its time to get messy. Use your hands to work the mix and incorporate it well. Do not knead the flour, keep it nice gentle pats and folds to make it come together evenly. Over-kneading will work the gluten and make the cookies hard.  Sorry I couldnt take the picture of how the dough looks like. I had got a call, and I was, well…single handedly mixing it all together. The dough looks greasy and sticky but that’s fine. That’s how we want it.  
  4. Chop up those almonds and mix in the dough. As much or as little, as chunky or as fine as you like.   
  5. Make small balls of the batter, a little bigger than your average Ferrero Rocher balls and lay on the baking tray. Its important to make the ball shape as it expands on baking. And keep them well apart as they expand a lot. Just a handful on a singlr tray. Top with crushed almonds, and just slightly press in for almonds to stick. Sorry, no pictures again as I was still on phone. 
  6. Put them in a preheated oven at 180C, or 160C for fan assisted oven, or gas mark 4 for 15minutes. The recipe says 15 but honestly, I baked them for 17minutes. And done.   
  7. Do not touch or move them fresh out of the oven for a few minutes. Let them cool down on their own. They’ll crisp up and get a soft, textury middle. And the taste is so earthy and comforting. Ummm…divine!       

Keep them in an air tight container if you manage to have any leftover cookies. I hardly had any and ate most of them. Did I mention I started dieting today!? Well, looks like I will start it tomorrow.  

 Tip: You can keep the dough in fridge for a day or two and bake fresh as you like.

Paprika Chicken

Tasty, juicy and easy! I love marinated recipes that you can make ahead and just pop in the oven when its dinner time.. And this one is so mouth-watering, you’ll be saving a piece or two for yourself in the end!

Cooking Up The Pantry


This chicken sits quite happily in the fridge for 24 hours to deepen the marinade flavour and darken the outside of the meat. I cook in a preheated oven or it is excellent cooked on the BBQ.

I like to buy a whole chicken and then cut it into 8-10 pieces, that way, everyone gets a bit that they like and everyone gets some crispy skin which is part of the pleasure of this chicken.

Serves 6.


1 x 2kg chicken, jointed into 8-10 pieces

60mls olive oil

2 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 tablespoon salt

Freshly ground pepper


Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, cover and leave to marinade for at least 12 hours if you can.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment…

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Easiest Ever Chocolate Fudge Cake

My husband has an excellent choice.. (Duhh… he chose me!), except that he doesn’t like chocolate and that works really well for me, because that means there is more for me whenever I buy a chocolate cake, or bake one. I usually try not to bake anything with chocolate in it, because even though I am a big time foodie and would love to dig my teeth in my sweet fruits or cakes of labour, it is my man I usually bake for. But I happen to have another, much smaller and much cuter man in my life…and he thankfully shares the love of all things chocolate with his mum. So it was for my son’s first birthday that I decided to bake a full blown chocolate fudge cake.

We had a big birthday party for our baby’s very first but that happened to be on the day following the actual birthday, because Saturday was more convenient for all our guests coming from far and wide. But I couldn’t let my baby’s actual birthday happen without a cake, and I baked his and my favourite fudge cake.

Now, even though I really like to cook and bake and impress people with how skilled I am (and most of the time, when doing it on a daily basis leaves me short of sleep and in excess of dark circles with a load of fatigue, I end up thinking is it really worth it? A good old bowl of boiled rice and daal (South Asian lentil curry) is just as good to fill up their tummies and keep them going, and I swear never to fancy some exotic named roast with a zillion ingredient salad again, and repeat the same very routine, thought and resolution after every dinner party), what was I saying? Yeah, so even though I am not bad at cooking, I still like to find out the easiest way to do things around. And thanks to internet, I found the easiest ever recipe of Chocolate Fudge Cake.

This recipe has a secret ingredient that makes the cake so moist, dense and fudgy, while at the same time keeping it light and fluffy for that out of this world texture and flavour. And the whole cake takes around just 5 minutes to put together, plus extra for frosting and decor, and trust me it is hard resisting it fresh out of the oven. But once you are done with the frosting, a slice of this marvellous fudgy cake with a big dollop of whipped cream and some vanilla icecream is pure bliss. I am not boasting, try it for yourself, but I stopped ordering fudge cake with cream & icecream at restaurants after making this at home because for one, those restaurant ones are usually dry at that hour of the night, and two, I can get a whole 9 inch cake for less than the price of a single slice… Yaayyy, more cake for me to eat.

See, doesn’t it look awesome?    


For the Cake:
Self Raising Flour 260 grams
Cocoa Powder 4 tablespoons
Bicarbonate of Soda 2 teaspoons
Caster Sugar 225 grams
Eggs 3
Vegetable oil 225 mls
Whole milk 225mls
Vanilla extract 2 teaspoons
And now, the magic ingredient:
Nestle Carnation Caramel 4 tablespoons
For the Frosting:
Nestle Carnation Caramel 400 grams or more as required, (or one can of 397 grams of the tin, you will need two cans to cover for the cake recipe as well.)
70% Dark chocolate 300 grams
Icing Sugar 2-3 tablespoons
Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon

The recipe is dead simple:

Preheat oven, mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, mix them both and bake!

Yes, it is that simple actually. But I would just write it all spread out for you here.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (for fan assisted oven, 160C).
  2. Take a large bowl and sieve the flour with cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda and mix with caster sugar. It’s a good thing to sieve your fine dry ingredients, it’s good for the flour to sieve, specially from a bit of height. It helps avoid any lumps and adds in air, and makes the cake lighter.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with caramel. If you cannot find caramel in your local supermarket, you can make your own by boiling an unopened can on condensed milk in a pot full of water for 3 hours on medium high heat. Keep adding hot water as it evaporates and carefully drain the can after 3 hours, but do not touch and do not put cold water on it or less it will burst. Let it cool down slowly on its own, and there, you have a can of caramel.
  4. Mix in the oil, milk and vanilla essence and whisk a little.
  5. Fold this mixture into the dry mixture. When we say fold, it means soft slow motions circling the bowl from top to down, not like you would beat an egg with a folk. The lesser strokes you use to fold in the flour mix, the better it is. Harder or whisking for longer means the flour develops gluten and makes the cake more chewy and harder. So less is more here.
  6. Put your batter into a 9 inch cake tin and bake. Please this recipe is for 9 inch cake. If you are using an 8 inch or a 7 inch cake tin, reduce the recipe by 1.5 times, means divide each quantity provided by 1.5 and then use the resultant measurements otherwise the cake will overflow.
  7. Bake for around 35 minutes until springy to touch, and a dry toothpick comes out clean. I would add a couple of tips here as well. Never open your oven in the first half of the baking time. It makes the cake sink in the middle when it cools down after baking. Secondly, never overbake your cake. Do the toothpick test after suggested time, if it comes out very wet, check after every 5 minutes, or lesser and take it out of oven as soon as it comes dry. Let your cake sit in the tin for 10 minutes and then let it cool down on a wire rack.
  8. For the frosting, melt the chocolate on the double boiler. Add in the caramel and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add in the icing sugar and whisk again until it gets all shiny and glossy.
  9. Cut your cake in half and spread big spoonfuls of your frosting on it. No need to be neat in this step. Sandwich the cake on top. Put dollops of warm frosting on the cake top and put it on corners as well, allowing it to run down a bit. Its nicer this way and you don’t need to be exact in your cake decor. See, easier, nicer and just as delicious. I decorated it with some fresh strawberries but I would suggest glazed cherries as the strawberries become a bit soggy with time.
  10. Eat the cake. Be happy.

Words She Said….


And words are not what she wanted but words are what she asked for. 


What she wanted was the subtelty in his actions that would speak for him everytime he would act. In the way he would look at her on waking up, or in that smile he would give her just randomly, or in the way he would sit close to her, or in the way he would greet her on coming back home, or in the way he would eat with her at dinner, or just a tiny snuggle before he went on with his snoring slumber… In all these ways, or just one of them. In all these days, or just one of them.


There was something about him that would make her sixteen again. The crazy think-about-him-all-the-time love. She would wait for him like a new-in-love school girl. Tiny little things about him would make her immensely happy. And all she would strive for were those tiny little things. 


The tiny things she would hope to happen. The tiny things that wouldnt. The little gestures she would look out for all day. The little gestures that werent. And she will try to fill her empty heart with words. Her words. His words. Their words. Said and unsaid. Written and spoken. Blurted out and asked for. 


That’s when she would ask him about himself, and herself and love and how it makes the world go round. That’s when she would look to make a big show of tiny things. She would have pompous celebrations over nothing and would pour her fervour in everything she would do. And she would look for the same from him. Big words. Big show. He thought she was being superficial. But words arent what she wanted from him. But words are all she could ask for. To mend what was broken. To fill what was empty.