Monday, February 22, 2021

Samyang Spicy Hot Chicken Noodles

5:30 PM 0

I may be writing a review today, for the sake of adding it to my noodle blogs series, but I have had these noodles a few years ago when the entire Spicy Noodles challenge actually started. Samyang noodles at that time were not available in Pakistan and most people were unaware of them here, so I used to ask my family coming from USA to get me some because unfortunately, I don't know anyone in South Korea, yet!

Samyang is a Korean food brand that makes many instant ramen variants, amongst other things, but are most known for the Hot Chicken Ramen range that went viral with the spicy noodle challenge a few years ago. I did the challenge too and that was the very first time I tried the Samyang Spicy Hot Chicken noodles. The very first time was killer, I was on fire, inside out and you can watch me cry in the video below. Fast forward to today, its nothing intense for me and I can easily consume the entire bowl without even a sniffle. However, be cautious when trying this for the first time. I have always had a considerably high tolerance for spicy food (thanks to my desi roots) so it was never too crazy for me. If you are sensitive towards spicy food you will not enjoy these.

 

The Samyang noodles come with a thick brick of noodles along with a packet of not so generous garnish of sesame seeds and seaweed flakes along with a packet of liquid spicy seasoning. This was the first time I had come across liquid seasoning when eating instant ramen. Also would like to point out for those who are super careful about the food they eat (unlike me, I just avoid pork) this is Halal certified by the HACCP.

Ingredients: noodles(76.7%): wheat flour (52%), tapioca starch (12%), palm oil (11%), wheat gluten, salt, soybean oil, water, E501, E500, E339, E452, E330, E412, E322, E101.


Cooking instructions are similar to most instant noodles and as always I eyeball it because of experience. You basically need enough water to just cook the noodles till they are nice and firm which is how I like it. Some people prefer gooey, not my bowl of noods. After the noodles are done. Drain water and just keep one tablespoon to make it easier to mix in the sauce, this is also why they call it "stir-fried noodles". Many people make this soupier which is not really the way it is eaten but then there are no restrictions either so you do you. After the noodles are done you add the sauce, mix it well and then top it with the garnish and it is ready to burn your mouth and tummy.

Do you know why these noodles are so hot and spicy? This particular range has mixed capsaicin in its liquid seasoning. Capsaicin is the extract of the chemical found in chillies that creates the burning, numbing sensation. The chemical itself has zero flavours. Therefore, the added heat and numbness we feel when eating these noodles is thanks to capsaicin.

The overall experience is full of heat but I really do enjoy the actual flavour of the noodles. They are definitely spicy but also have a great umami flavour. The noodles are chewy which I like and you can add some chopped green onions and fried or boiled egg to enjoy it further. I simply love it and it has become one of my favourites and always available in my noodle cupboard.

These are now easily available in Pakistan in many superstores as well as Online and you can also get it from Amazon here.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Digital Emotions and Fading Feelings

8:37 PM 0
Intimacy is dead. I am not talking about sex. People always confuse intimacy with sex when it is much more than that. The warmth and comfort we feel when we are with the people that matter, the physical contact of holding hands, a warm wholesome hug or even a meaningful conversation, these intimate moments define us as humans. The bond was damaged before the Pandemic hit us. Many blame the internet but it is just a big digital ocean. What you choose to do within that ocean is what matters. Addiction to social media platforms is making us lose touch with ourselves, making us less thoughtful and insensitive. We are drowning in this ocean and humanity is fading away.


Emotions make us human. Empathy requires us to feel and experience what others are experiencing as well as to see things from their perspective which further helps us build an understanding of our own emotions. The most important thing about experiencing anything is to be there but now we don't need to be. The bond is imaginary so how can the feelings be real? The way we express our emotions, the way we feel through the net is making us cold, less empathetic, less human.

The sense of understanding, awareness and connection of the surrounding is diminishing. Even when travelling the focus is on capturing instaworthy content versus enjoying the experience. Information overload as well as desensitizing through graphic visuals, harsh interactions and cyberbullying is actually leading to us being less attentive, impulsive, restless and also witnessing an increase of mental disorders and even suicide. Many argue that communication is made easier thanks to the internet, yet people are getting even more lonely and falling into depression. There was a study published in the October 2014 issues of Computers in Human Behavior that stated that digital media is decreasing children's ability to read emotions and I completely agree with it. You cannot read emotions through face time, text or emojis because it is easier to fake them when you are not there in person. So, you never really know if it is genuine or just a facade.

Wall-E depicted the perfect future, maybe we are even closer to it than expected. People hovering in private shuttles, side by side yet still apart, not moving, communicating through what seems like the future of the current smartphone. Even though it may look like a happy future and wow you at a glance, a deeper look will make you understand how depressing it is as you realize we will not be living like humans but rather meat robots. Wall-E was more empathetic and human as a robot in this movie. What are we even doing with our existence on this planet?

 

Social skills are very important for human communication and learning to understand non-verbal cues strengthen relationships. The rise of digital media has led to "Empathy Apps". How absurd, re-learning what was once an essential part of human social skills development through daily interaction since you are a child is now being taught through apps?

Empathy is important for the human race to grow together as a species as well as a society. Disconnecting from the internet may not be an option but saving yourself from drowning in it is. Stay afloat, detox from the net whenever possible, get out and breathe some fresh (hopefully less-polluted) air, meet people, live. Don't abuse technology and get abused in return. Getting sucked into the dark hole of the web will strip you from your most precious asset, empathy. Hold on to it, you need it to save the world.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

JAYA Instant Beef Flavour Noodles

5:40 PM 0

I am not a big fan of beef flavoured instant noodles because most can't get the taste right and it mostly tastes artificial. That never stopped me from still trying them again, I am a sucker for instant noodles. I got the Jaya Instant Noodles Beef Flavour along with Mama Salted Egg flavoured noodles from my friend. Have already reviewed Mama's, let talk about the Jaya beef flavoured one now.

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Looks like a simply designed packaging though I was not instantly able to read the name JAYA and it took a few seconds to register. I was happy to see readable instructions on the back though so that is a plus point. Contains noodles and three seasoning packets, one powder and two liquid. I am assuming one liquid sachet is for the beef flavour.

JAYA Instant Beef Flavour Noodles review, Noodle blog, noodles review, top food blog pakistan, top food blog, maliha rao, food bloggers, best food blog, beef instant ramen

JAYA Instant Beef Flavour Noodles review, Noodle blog, noodles review, top food blog pakistan, top food blog, maliha rao, food bloggers, best food blog, beef instant ramen

Ingredients:
Wheat Flour 68.5%, Palm Oil 12%, Onion Oil 5% Sugar 4.85%, Salt 2.64%, Beef Seasoning 0.70%, Soy Sauce 0.55%, Spices 0.5%, Seasoning Pack includes Monosodium Glutamate 0.65%, Disodium 5' Inosinate, Disodium 5'- Guanylate.

The process, as always is quite simple. You boil noodles in 320ml boiling water for 3 minutes (or as per your preference). Drain half (or not if you want soupy). Add all the seasoning and stir till mixed properly. Serve hot with or without a choice of topping and garnish. I chose to add chopped spring onions and some leftover chicken roulette.

JAYA Instant Beef Flavour Noodles review, Noodle blog, noodles review, top food blog pakistan, top food blog, maliha rao, food bloggers, best food blog, beef instant ramen

JAYA Instant Beef Flavour Noodles review, Noodle blog, noodles review, top food blog pakistan, top food blog, maliha rao, food bloggers, best food blog, beef instant ramen


I have to admit that the flavours were not what I expected. The beefy broth actually tasted good, umami. It had a lot of richness of the meat and did not have any artificial after taste. The oil added depth to the flavours and there was a hint of heat through spices as well that enhanced the flavour profile. The noodles were firm and springy, the portion size overall is also decent though still small. You can add meat and veggies to make if a meal like I did. Overall a very comforting experience.

I was not able to find JAYA Instant Beef Flavour Noodleseasily online in case you want to purchase. took me some searching. Not available in Pakistan but if you can get it through a private seller or family then you can get them from Asian Snacks. Easily available in Thailand though.

Till the next nood, have a nice day!

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Pixi Skintreats Rose Oil Blend

6:00 PM 0

Well, considering the number of blogs I have for Pixi Beauty products it is evident that it is a favorite. However, I do talk about pros and cons so the love is not blind, trust me, please. Today I will introduce you to a face oil for every occasion, Pixi Skintreats Rose Oil Blend.

Pixi Skintreats Rose Oil Blend, slincare review, skincare blog, pixi beauty, pixi beauty in pakistan, top skincare blog, skincare for dry skin, Face Oil, Rose oil

I love face oils because they are infused with a multitude of skincare benefits. I do keep changing and trying new face oils and even make my own as I know aromatherapy myself. The current favorite is Pixi Skintreats Rose Oil blend. I have been using it for a few months actually and just can't get enough though you cannot use this extensively. A drop goes a long way.

Pixi Skintreats Rose Oil Blend, slincare review, skincare blog, pixi beauty, pixi beauty in pakistan, top skincare blog, skincare for dry skin, Face Oil, Rose oil

Pixi Skintreats Rose Oil Blend, slincare review, skincare blog, pixi beauty, pixi beauty in pakistan, top skincare blog, skincare for dry skin, Face Oil, Rose oil

Pixi Skintreats Rose Oil Blend comes in a pretty minty bottle with a gold top and dropper. It follows the same aesthetics as the brand colors, mint and soft pink, a very pretty combination and now everything in those colors reminds me of Pixi Beauty. The product quantity is 30ml which is a good amount and will last you for months unless you pour it on yourself like those extreme beauty Instagrammers which is totally unnecessary as well as a waste of such a good product!

This face oil can be used in any season as it absorbs easily without leaving any greasy film on your skin surface. The botanical infusions have amazing benefits for your skin. Even though it is called rose oil blend the main oils are sweet almond, rosehip, rose geranium, jojoba (a personal favorite), and pomegranate seed oil. That is a powerful and magical blend for your skin, each with its own amazing properties.

Rosehip is known for its skin-nourishing properties and so is Jojoba. Jojoba oil is also great for sensitive skin and absorbs well into the skin. Sweet Almond not only nourishes but evens out and balances skin tone along with Rose Geranium and Pomegranate seed oil is an antioxidant. Despite being a blend of rich oils it's light in texture and feels and smells sweet and floral. The oil helps restore, improves the elasticity, and improves the overall health of your skin while adding glow.

You can use this oil in the morning or night but I prefer using this at night so it works on my skin while I sleep. Always do a patch test with any new skincare product you get as the product works differently on each individual. A 30ml bottle will cost you £26.00 but totally worth it and will last you for a couple of months. I am almost ready to move on to my next bottle!

Full Ingredient List:
Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil.

Friday, February 5, 2021

My Lips - an affair to remember

5:00 PM 3
My Lips.

My first ever memory of my lips started with rejection. I was disappointed with how full they were and a frown would form every time I saw my reflection in the mirror. I was barely 7 or 8 years old and felt insecure about the plump poofy pillows on my face so most of the time I just kept my lips pursed. There were moments filled with tears of despair as well. Now I look back and smile.
Lips, Self Love, Self Love Blog, Thoughts, Fiction, Pakistani blog,

We all go through a phase where at least one body part does not appeal to you and you wish you could trade it. For some it can be eyes, for most, it's their nose. A lot of people I personally know have gotten rhinoplasty done. I am not against getting a bit of feature enhancement but I do encourage you to at least try loving yourself with all your bits, big and small. I am glad my parents didn't have enough money for plastic surgery neither was it considered a common practice back then.

I have a short round nose, small eyes, round face, and big lips. I may sound or even look animated. Some even say I look like Betty Boop (minus the body!). I learned to love my body but it took time and conditioning of mind with positivity. I do feel I need to get more fit because my body deserves to be taken care of and trust me I am trying despite the eating disorder caused by anxiety but I still love everything about me.

Love obviously does not happen overnight, and self-love is hard. The change for the better certainly was not because of the family support or friends cheering you up. My family, despite being generally nice, has this unhealthy obsession with how skinny women look beautiful. For most of my life, I was called fat and by the time I realized I was not always big but rather curvy, it had already done the damage. Our culture teaches women to be conscious about their weight and appearance but they never teach you healthy eating habits or how to lead a more active lifestyle. They want you to learn cooking and then expect you to not eat. The flaw is not in you, it is much more spread out and mostly starts with the mindset of a society. The flaw is mostly not intentional, it has evolved into a norm. If confronted for feeling pressured the answer you mostly get is "but we meant well, never wanted to offend you" and they are not wrong either. This idealism is so deeply rooted in societies that just saying being plus size is ok never helps. You need to acknowledge everything, your own beliefs, and what others impose, and then start taking positive steps forward, with a sack full of patience. That is how the journey starts, with acceptance.

I started with acknowledging my lips. I have them, they are big, now what? Let's make the most of it. The very first makeup product I bought was Lipstick. I still remember the shade, cocoa, and even the brand which was Revlon colorstay matte lipstick. Then I started loving the rest of my body, and the love grew because it was mine to give and I didn't need anyone else. That epiphany changes everything. To love yourself you need only YOURSELF. Spreading awareness of normalizing all body types, different features, skin colors, and even a small button nose, starts with self. When you understand yourself, all of you, every inch and corner, then you are in a better place to make others understand as well.

I am grateful now that people actually think I get lip fillers, which I obviously don't, I am scared of needles anyways. If they knew how uncool I felt once of my big lips they would be surprised. Treat your body like you are in love with it and never let anyone, even your mind, bully it. We each have a story, a journey, but alls well if it ends well.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Mama Oriental Kitchen Salted Egg Noodles

8:39 PM 0

I will always accept noodles as gifts with open arms over chocolates and flowers any day. Hasina is a dear friend and a fellow foodie and she got me some noodles and ice tea (another love of mine) from her trip to Thailand. One of the instant noodles was Mama Oriental Kitchen Salted Egg Noodles. The unique choice of flavor caught my eye. My friend Hasina truly understands how I love noodles and also have a curiosity for trying new flavors and this was perfect in both ways. 

Mama Oriental Kitchen Salted Egg Noodles

I like the packaging. It's not crazy shiny like most and has a very sophisticated, fancy feel due to its matte finish. The design is also quite cool and the emphasis on OK from the Oriental Kitchen is notable. Mama Instant noodles have a variety of flavors but this one, in particular, seems to be unique. I also searched a little about it and apparently it is mostly available in Thailand. Must be du to demand I suppose. Every Country has its preferred variants. For instance, we have Masala or Chatpatta noodles which is what masses prefer in Pakistan.


Let's first dive into the origin of Salted Eggs so you have a better understanding of this dish. As per Wikipedia: "A salted duck egg is a Chinese preserved food product made by soaking duck eggs in brine, or packing each egg in damp, salted charcoal. In Asian supermarkets, these eggs are sometimes sold covered in a thick layer of salted charcoal paste. The eggs may also be sold with the salted paste removed, wrapped in plastic, and vacuum packed. From the salt curing process, the salted duck eggs have a briny aroma, a gelatin-like egg white, and a firm-textured, round yolk that is bright orange-red in color."


Mama Oriental Kitchen Salted Egg Noodles packet does not have any readable instructions so I had to search the net, lost in translation. These moments make me want to learn all Asian languages, someday maybe. The packet contains the instant noodles along with Seasoning chili oil and seasoning powder. The noodle's quality actually looks good too.

Mama Oriental Kitchen Salted Egg Noodles

Mama Oriental Kitchen Salted Egg Noodles

I boiled the noodles in 400ml boiling water for 4 minutes at which point they were nice and firm. Added the seasoning powder, chili oil, and some add ons of my own too like stir-fried mushrooms, boiled egg, and chopped green onions. The overall portion is good enough for a mid day light lunch but not recommended for dinner unless you eat light.

Mama Oriental Kitchen Salted Egg Noodles

Let's talk about flavors! I was actually nervous before taking my first bite but the burst of umami made me raise my eyebrows in the most delightful manner possible. The seasoning is very rich and has a great depth of flavors. The salted egg taste is definitely there, the chili oil adds richness though is not very spicy and does not overpower the actual egg flavor. I was doubtful how "salted egg" can be interpreted as a flavor in anything else but its original form but I was wrong and these noodles are proof. To explain the flavor a little further it tasted like cured egg yolks, salty, umami, rich in texture. A very different variant from the usual ramen noodles but definitely comforting, flavorful, and something I am willing to have again, yes. I am also tempted to make some salted eggs myself but perhaps with Chicken eggs as Ducks are not very common in our country, pfft.

Overall, I enjoyed Mama Oriental Kitchen Salted Egg Noodles and if I ever come across this variant I will be buying a few packs for myself. Currently, I was only able to find it on Amazon in case you are interested. Pack of three costs $15 so I was right I suppose when I said these were Fancy Instant noodles but totally worth it!



Tuesday, January 19, 2021

When Thoughts Become Words

1:06 AM 0

Why do you write? To record moments in life, to tell a tale, or merely letting loose some stray thoughts. What is that final thrust that spills, letting all of it flow, giving release and satisfaction?

There are moments when your mind is as blank as the surface you are embedding on. The initial push is the hardest. Once you get past the first couple of lines you can build; word by word, thought by thought, spewing out through your fingertips. But, how does one begin?


We overthink and expect too much from our brains which further goes into hyperdrive and eventually feels worn out and halts, thus leading to writer's block. The moment is nightmarish but can be dealt with by mastering the art of randomness. Yes, you certainly read it right. Your brains need a break mixed with a burst of energy to restart. To do so you can chose to start with a single word and just add on another, and another, and just keep on adding. Even if the words don't make sense together, don't stop. You are allowing your brain to let loose for a bit and that helps make some space. You can always re-edit and rearrange later. 

In short, we restrict ourselves while expecting too much. Writing should always go with the flow to allow the brains and a writer's soul to be nourished. The creativity is subdued with allowing yourself to be pressurized with overwhelming extra thoughts and above all, hesitation and doubt. 

Another big hurdle in writing is struggling with word counts and the insistence of having as many words as possible for the content to be legitimate. There is no shame in starting with less and then progress from there. The goal is to begin.

So dear readers, breathe and just think of an idea that you want to put down in words and let it flow. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, meanings, just let the letters come. You can always mold and fix it further later. Have fun, Rome wasn't built in a day.