Discovering annatto/achiote


This is achiote (annatto) cod with a mango salsa thing. My cousin told me about achiote. I’d never heard of it before, but she said I should try and find it in London. I was searching for months for it and finally found it at Borough Market! Anyway, I wanted to use it, but I didn’t know how to. I haven’t even searched online about the spice, I want it to remain a mystery to me, so I can get my creative brain thinking. I sat down for ten minutes just smelling the spice, so I could figure out how to marry it with other flavours. This was a success! I wanted the mango to remain fresh and not overcomplicated, so I added lime juice, chilli, salt and pepper to it.

Now, what else shall I create with achiote?


A serious post – being sad sucks!



Recently, I’ve had to deal with a few issues. Nothing too serious, but it had a huge impact on me. I started to feel very alone, even though there were so many people around me, and tried to distance myself from everyone. Kind of like a room-full-of-people-yet-feel-so-alone feeling. I can’t explain it properly, but it wasn’t nice. I realised that as the days went on, I started to become quiet and depressed. And that isn’t me – at all! Why was I quiet? I was thinking…way too much. About possibilities and outcomes of things that hadn’t even happened yet. And I really shouldn’t have…

I find that when you are generally a happy person, sometimes it’s good to feel a little sad. Sounds weird, but everyone has their moments. Without sadness, there would be no happiness, right?

I remember as a teen, the smallest, insignificant matter would arise – and I thought the world was going to end. Now, I face real issues and my reaction is nada. Just a big sigh.

Right now, a few of my close friends are on placement all over the world, but the majority are revising for their final year exams. It’s so surreal. I remember my first day at university – so hopeful for the four years to come. And then life got real. Jobs, student loan, rent, food. Plus usual university drama. It isn’t quite over for me yet, but some of my friends are dead scared for the future. Whatever career plans we came into university with, most of ours (including mine) flew out of the window.

So, the message in this post isn’t just for my reassurance. It goes out to those friends and anyone who feels lost, confused and sad.

I read somewhere about the findings of an interesting study by Dr. Masaru Emoto. If you are interested, you can read his book:Β The Messages Hidden in Water. He claimed that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water and held different experiments to prove his hypothesis. There were various aspects in his experiments, but in a nutshell this is what he did (i.e. what fascinated me). He took pure distilled water, observed the unaltered water molecules under a microscope and took pictures of them. He then did several things, some of which include:

1) Sticking words onto each bottle of distilled water; just written words on paper, like truth, eternal, evil, thank you, you disgust me etc.

2) Giving a bottle of the distilled water to those practising different religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam etc, and asking them to keep the bottle near them when they pray.

3) Playing music and speeches next to the bottles of distilled water.

The results were what took me back. The water molecules had changed. They were beautiful, almost the picture of innocence and pure.

Before a prayer ceremony at lake Biwa in 1999.Source:

Before a prayer ceremony at Lake Biwa in 1999.

After a prayer ceremony at Lake Biwa in 1999.Source:

After a prayer ceremony at Lake Biwa in 1999.

With the word "Eternal" stuck to it.Source:

With the word “Eternal” stuck to it.

With the word "Evil" stuck to it.Source:

With the word “Evil” stuck to it.

With the words "Love" and "Gratitude" stuck to it.Source:

With the words “Love” and “Gratitude” stuck to it.

After the MLK speech was played next to it.Source:

After the MLK Jnr. speech was played next to it.

After Symphony No. 4 by mozart was played next to it.Souce:

After Symphony No. 4 by Mozart was played next to it.

There are so many more pictures, but you get the point. Obviously, his research gained some criticism because it’s very controversial blah blah. It makes perfect sense to me though. It is also good to remember that 90% of our body is water. Imagine what our thoughts are doing to us, inside? (You get 10 ninja points if you know what film that’s from!) STAY HAPPY! I’ll give you a tiny allowance for the sad times πŸ˜‰

I know that in a decade, we’ll look back at our lives and laugh about how serious we were. Just like we do now, thinking about our teen years. But I genuinely believe that everything happens for a reason.

When I was six-years old, I had to make the biggest decision of my life, to date. I don’t really want to say what it was, for personal reasons, but if I chose the other option, I would probably be in India struggling to find my way. Or I could be in London; I don’t really know. But either way, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t have met the incredible people I have, in my life, or found my passion for cooking, amongst many other things!

No matter how lost, lonely or helpless you feel – hang on! It can only get better. My mind tends to be relatively solution-based, rather than problem-based. So, when things get bad, I will think and dwell (unfortunately) about the issue at first – and then I start looking for positives. I look for either the solutions or positive outcomes of the situation, obviously depending on what the issue is at hand. When things get even worse, you’re the only one who is going to benefit from it. Whatever the situation, one way or another, you will overcome it and you will become stronger, more wise, experienced and more insightful. It’s all in your mindset.

So, switch off the pessimistic inside you and start nurturing the optimistic. There is nothing you can’t handle that the universe throws at you. Except a meteorite…that might be painful.

But seriously, wake up happy and seize the day. Life becomes so much more beautiful and worth living.

Never lost faith! Persevere, and you’ll realise just how strong you really are.

I hope you all have a brilliant day, and remember – smile πŸ™‚