Kerala's Kozhikode is drawing visitors with the blooming of pink Forked Fanwort flowers in a river
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How has the transition been from the world of corporate finance and marketing to the culinary world?
It was quite easy because I was going back to my roots. When I moved to Asia I accepted corporate positions to help with my visa requirements and paycheck. Given how big a travel hub Asia is, I was able to have more adventures. If I was craving noodles, I could head to Thailand for the weekend. If I wanted dim sums, Hong Kong was a few hours away. Going back to the culinary world felt like my creativity was back. I still consult in marketing though, and own an India-based company, Mariko Communications.
What made you take the leap from Hollywood to Bollywood?
It was actually part of a grand love story! I was living in Vietnam and working on PR for a travel-tech conference and he was the keynote speaker brought in from Mumbai. We started chatting and a month later, I came to visit! It was my first trip to India and it instantly felt like home. A few months later, I packed up everything and here I am. This month actually is my two- year anniversary of living in Mumbai! \
Tell us a little about your tryst with Ayurveda?
It was completely unexpected! It’s funny, I think most foreigners either subscribe to Ayurveda or Yoga while in India. Initially, when I had moved here, I used to fall sick quite frequently. Someone referred me to an Ayurveda clinic. I began studying it more. For me it was not just a fad diet. I was able to blend international cuisines with Ayurvedic recipes. Most Ayurvedic experts and followers stick to traditional diets like khichdi, chaas, and dal. I incorporate the same principles but create unique recipes from around the world. This is what makes people more excited and committed to the Ayurvedic lifestyle and food.
An Indian dish that you can’t get enough of?
It has to be either street dosa (sada or chilli cheese) or anything tandoori.
An iconic LA dish that you miss having in Mumbai?
I miss the street tacos and maple bacon doughnuts. I’ve tried them in other places, but it’s never the same.
Chef Reccommends: Mariko’s signature dishes that you can’t miss
Pineapple Fried Rice
It is one of the most requested recipes in my ‘Flavors of southeast Asia’ virtual culinary class. The recipe also works well with cauliflower rice and other grains like quinoa.
These tiny treats will tide you over until dinner and prevent extra snacking. Add your favorite chopped nuts for an extra protein kick.
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