Does eating spicy food lead to longer life?

An intriguing question, don’t you think so? According to an article published on Aug 4, 2015 by Harvard School Of Public Health, “People who eat spicy foods nearly every day have a 14% chance of living longer than those who consume spicy foods less than once a week, according to a new study. Regular spicy food eaters also are less likely to die from cancer and heart and respiratory diseases than those who eat spicy foods infrequently.” The large-scale study found that people who had more spicy food – generally in the form of chili peppers – more than once a week had a reduced overall risk of death over the seven-year study period.

Chili peppers, healthimpactnews.com
Chili peppers, healthimpactnews.com

Fresh chili peppers are high in vitamins C, A, K, B6, and potassium. The active ingredient in chili peppers, capsaicin, has been linked to a number of biological benefits in earlier studies. Capsaicin and other bio-active ingredients in chili peppers have been found in previous studies to have anti-obesity, antioxidant, anti-inflammation, and anticancer properties.

Malay cuisine uses a lot of chili peppers (fresh and dried) in dishes such as Rendang, Assam Pedas and fresh and cooked sambals. The Minangkabau people of Sumatra, Indonesia, take this affinity one step higher; raw bird chili peppers are eaten daily with meals!

Bird chili, www.capitalfm.co.ke
Bird chili, http://www.capitalfm.co.ke

There you have it. Chili peppers are good for you and Raguan™ is happy to provide you with six delicious items: Sos Pedas Bijan/Hot Sesame Sauce,  Sambal Goreng Cili/Fried Chili Sambal, Rendang Daging/Beef Rendang, Rendang Panggang/Roast Beef Rendang, Rendang Ayam/Chicken Rendang and Sambal Goreng Cili Daging/Fried Chili Sambal With Beef for your indulgence. Long live chili!

Raguan™'s Sos Pedas Bijan/Hot Sesame Sauce
Raguan™’s Sos Pedas Bijan/Hot Sesame Sauce
Raguan™’s Sambal Goreng Cili/Fried Chili Sambal
Raguan™’s Sambal Goreng Cili/Fried Chili Sambal

Eat your veggies!

spots the snail 1
Artwork by Nisyah Raguan

“Look at all those lovely red tomatoes. Why don’t you give it a little bite?” I said to my daughter. “Yuck, I don’t like tomatoes cause they taste funny,” she replied. I’m sure a lot of you have experienced difficulty in getting small children to eat their veggies. Well, this is a story about a snail named Spots and how I finally managed to get my youngest daughter to try some vegetables.

Spots the snail grew up in a vegetable farm way up in Cameron Highlands. He was different from other snails because he had spots all over his shell. You see, Spots has a sweet tooth. He loves candy.

Spots’ taste for sweets started when he was a baby. Kids would visit the farm and drop bits and pieces of candy at the farm. Spots had spots because of all the sugar he eats. And because of Spots’ sweet tooth, he doesn’t eat his veggies.

His parents tried everything to get Spots to eat his veggies but without success. One day his parents were surprised to see Spots eating some lettuce. They were amazed and couldn’t figure out what happened. Apparently, some candy was dropped on the lettuce and because of unusually hot weather had melted and coated the lettuce leaves. Spots was actually eating the lettuce leaves without realizing it was vegetables.

The same thing happened to my youngest daughter. She doesn’t particularly enjoy veggies and I had cooked them in many different ways to try and get her to eat them, but to no avail. One day we prepared some Malay Rojak (salad) together with our family salad dressing, Raguan’s Sos Pedas Bijan. I coaxed my daughter to try the Rojak and to our surprise, ate all of it and asked for more. My other children also tried the Rojak and liked it. My only problem now is to have enough Sos Pedas Bijan to serve with Rojak. And oh yes, Spots still has his spots and now loves his veggies!

Malay salad or also called Rojak
Malay salad or also called Rojak

Here are some nutritional benefits of Malay Rojak:

Lettuce
Lettuce. Photo courtesy of worldcommunitycookbook.org.

Low in calories but high in water volume. Lettuce are a good source of Vitamin A with lots of dietary fiber.

Tomato.
Tomato. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Is actually a fruit. Tomatoes provide sweetness together with bitter and acidic qualities to the taste of our Rojak. It is rich in Vitamin C and has been widely studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties.

800px-Cucumber_and_cross_section
Cucumber. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Provides a moist and cooling taste (its more than 90% water) nicely complimenting our Sos Pedas Bijan‘s hotness. A rich natural source of fibre, Silica, and hydrates the skin.

Sengkuang. Photo courtesy of www.trymasak.com
Sengkuang. Photo courtesy of http://www.trymasak.com

Jicama or Yam Bean in English. Provides excellent crunch and moisture for the Rojak. It is high in Vitamin C, low in Sodium and has no fat.

Tauhu/Tofu. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Tauhu/Tofu. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Provides the “meat” for the Rojak. Made by coagulating soybean milk. Rich in proteins and iron and is a good source of Omega – 3 fatty acids. Regular intake of soy protein also helps to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

Egg. Photo courtesy of authoritynutrition.com
Egg. Photo courtesy of authoritynutrition.com

Eggs are a good source of protein and contains selenium, vitamins D, B6, B12, A, E, and K, and lecithin.

Eat healthy!

Raguan™’s Sos Pedas Bijan/Hot Sesame Sauce

It’s a sauce, it’s a salad dressing, it’s a marinade; it’s Raguan™’s Sos Pedas Bijan/Hot Sesame Sauce!

A truly versatile, multi-purpose condiment for your food dishes, Raguan’s Sos Pedas Bijan’s combination of sweet, sour, hot and nutty flavors is perfect for Malaysia’s varied and exciting multi-cultural cuisines.

Sos Pedas Bijan can be used as a dipping sauce for such varied dishes as Nasi Ayam, fried Wantans and Spring Rolls, Cucur Udang, the ever popular Keropok, and even fried chicken. It is arguably the only true Malay salad dressing, being our family’s preferred dressing for the Malay salad served with Nasi Minyak at “kenduris” and weddings. Chili sauce, normally used to dress Malay salads would never even be considered by our family. Do you love grilled dishes? Use Sos Pedas Bijan as a marinade and get exciting grilled chicken wings, prawns and squid.

Need an alternative chili sauce for Yong Tau Foo and Chinese Steamboat? Just add desired amount of Raguan’s Sos Pedas Bijan to black bean paste or Hoisin sauce; a twist of lime juice and voila! Raguan’s adaptation is a worthy adversary to the Chinese version.

Mamak restaurants’ Mee Goreng leans towards salty and spicy flavours. Add a dash of Sos Pedas Bijan to balance out the flavors for a more enjoyable dish.

Sos Pedas Bijan-a