Ashraya Initiative for Childen

This is not about food but about a good cause which needs support. Please do what you can to help.

The Ashraya Initiative for Children (AIC). AIC is a 5 year old, completely secular non-profit organization that works in Pune with street children, orphans, denotified tribes and slum communities in the areas of health, education, microfinance, community development and advocacy. More information about what they do can be found at their website -

  AIC is in the running for $250,000 through the Summer 2010 edition of the Chase Community Giving contest via Facebook. They have currently  dropped to #19 from an alltime high of #12 in the list of more than 500,000 organizations (!), and are trying to secure more votes to move up to be within the top 5. Only American organizations are eligible to compete, so there are very few other organizations that work in India participating in the contest (AIC is the only organization working in India that has placed in the top 40).
  They are about as grassroots as they come - run exclusively by unpaid Directors and 100% of their funding comes from donations.
  Voting is completely free and takes only a minute (literally!). Please help them stay in the top 200, and maybe even work oheir way up to the top 5 by spreading the word! It will make a huge difference in the lives of the children and families that they work with in Pune.

AIC on Chase Community Giving: or

Ashraya Initiative for Children (AIC)

Other relevant links:
Official AIC video - slightly dated (2006)
2007 CBC documentary on AIC - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
YouTube - Videos from this email

Maha Chicken

Today we had a good meal. I made a chicken curry which turned out Ggoood ( in the tone of Harsha Bhogle whom I loved -when he had no hair. Now he has added hair and how ordinary he has become. People can ruin their own fortunes by trying to be like "the rest ".!)

So, that chicken......


4 legs.i.e. drumsticks and thighs. Cut in two. No skin

1 large onion sliced in the length.

6 pcs of garlic chopped fine

2 green chillies chopped

1.5 " ginger grated

1 tsp fenugreek/methi seeds

1 tsp cumin/jeera whole

 2 tbsp veg oil

1/2 tsp haldi

2 x 3 "  piece of fresh coconut, grated and then ground in a blender.

 4 large tomatoes, chopped and pureed in a  blender

200 gms sliced mushrooms

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garam masala/ baharat kebse

Heat oil and fry the jeera and fenugreek along with the green chilli and the garlic. Add chopped  onion s  fry some more. Add ginger and  haldi and fry for 4 minutes more till onions are soft. Remove from kadhai.

Fry chicken pieces in left over oil till they change colour.  Return onion mixture back to pan, add 1/2 tsp red chilli and fry all together for a minute. Add the tomato puree along with 1/2 cup water.Mix well. Cook covered on medium to low fire for  twenty minutes. 

Add the sliced mushrooms , garam masala/ or baharat kebse and a little water and continue to cook for 5 minutes more.-Add ground coconut and salt and cook for 10 minutes more until the gravy is thick and well blended.

This chicken curry  it s not like "the rest". Its got character.Its Ggood!

Pearl Barley and Banana Brekker- Breakfast Day 2

I am already feeling a little invigorated after some weeks of healthy stodge or very little anyhow. Lots of vegetables and  plenty of water.The best thing is I am not hungry or deprived.

The  following is going to be a good start to DAY 2 of the Delicious Diet:


25 gms pearl barley

1 banana

1- 2 dried figs

Cook the barley in 1 glass of water for 8 minutes till almost dry. Slice the banana into a bowl and top with the cooked pearl barley . Sprinkle the chopped figs on top.

This is sweet enough without sugar due to the figs and the pearl barley takes some dedicated chewing ( I love the texture of PB)  so you feel you've had a big breakfast after this.