Clam Chowder & Calamari #winter_comfort_food

The first time i went to Pier 39 of San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf,
 i learned that sour dough it 'the' signature dish of the town. However, it took
me couple of visits or winter to really try this delicacy. And it was just
delicious. By the sea side when the temperature hits zero degree, there is this nip in the air all
you look out for is a warm cuppa of creamy soup with crispy calamari fish fries. It's supposed
to be the cheap meal for sailors and fisherman's during ancient times. There are many outlets, but
we tried it at Tarantino at Jefferson's Street. Amazing, amazing, amazing.
They say its Boston style ! 


Gajar Ka Halwa #winter_comfort_food

Winters are incomplete without it.
Ideally, a layer of ghee should float on it. I look forward to attend
winter weddings back home and queue up to hog only gajar or moong daal
halwa. Shayad hi koi sardi aisi ho jab mummy ke haath ka halwa
na khaya ho - haan kambakht yeh waali, so ab khudi banao !


Paav Bhaaji #winter_comfort_food

Best Paav Bhaaji that i have had was in Ahmedabad at Honest and
Mumbai Juhu Chopati. We were frequent at Juhu after our late night wanderings
in down town and then you are super hungry. Here is a plate to those
memories and no one can cook it better than me with help of MDH
pav bhaji masala. 


Garma Garam Samosa #winter_comfort_food

Indian chaat scene is incomplete without the mention of samosa. We have carefully mapped an awesome place at Mowry Avenue that makes delicious samosas and you have to literally wait for it. And in the meantime, i too have made Samosa for the very first time this year and guess what - wooohooo - its very much doable. The only tricky part is to learn how to knead soft dough well and get set go. Can try any variation, peas / onions / potatoes / cheese...obviously with spicy coriander chutney.


#मुंगेरी के सपने #देसी स्वाद #सर्दी ‪

मथुरा की मिठाई बेस्ट है, जनहित में जारी। यहाँ तो हलवाई भी हम खुद ही हैं,
बनाएंगे घर पे. यार कोई हलवाई का वीसा लगवा दो नहीं तो वोह दिन दूर नहीं
जब बृजवासी की दुकान बे एरिया में तहलका मचाएगी , हाहहह !
यार कोई कुल्लड़ वाली चाय बना के दे दो ना प्लीज। ऑफिस में शान से सबको दिखा दिखा के पीयेंगे।स्टारबकस की कॉफ़ी भूल जायेंगे ये लोग, और साथ में जरा मूंगफली और गुड, गजक रेवाड़ी, जोधपुर की घी हल्दी की सब्ज़ी, पटना का लिट्टी चोखा, मथुरा का मलाई दूध।  मस्त ठण्ड पड़ रही है, मस्त खाना भी तो होना चाहिए ना... सही में... हैं न और मायके में वेकेशन, टीवी का रिमोट और सरोजिनी का मार्केट हहहहहा !


Paneer Tikka #Winter_Comfort_Food

Slowly, i am warming up to the wonders of marination. Its such a
time saving hack specially, when friends are coming over or you are
kinda of lazy to cook a full meal by itself. Paneer tikka it is, can make
the marination paste at home or simply buy ready made. Just make
sure to use hung or greek curd to make delicious tikkas with mint
coriander chutney.


Chinese Style Fried Idli #Winter_Comfort_Food

Chinese condiments are perfect recipe to keep you warm in winters with sizzling
chilli flakes, green onion and garlic-ginger. The trick is to store surplus batch of idlis
in your fridge. You will find this as one of the easiest snack as you come back home all
hungry and bone-tired. 
Recently, i tried using the Rava Idli Flour instead of buying the whole
batter container. And it also works out just fine. Do remember to add
add a dash of fruit salt or soda to make puffier idlies. 
Let them cool and store in fridge to relish as fried evening snack .
Kids love it too. 


Why Count the White Elephant Called Disability

Disability is the pet white elephant in the
development sector zoo, if i may call it so.

#DisabilityCount #IDPD2015  #disabilityday2015. Today, I am going to share a slice of my work with you all. Well, all my work is not play, but yes it has been quite intriguing in the sense that it really compels you to think how best you can design development programs at the community level that reaches to all those who need them the most, include those who are left behind, address their unmet needs and hopefully continue or spur a momentum systemically, even after you exit as a donor agency. It is easier to capture the sentiments here in a blog, but, to really conceptualize a program that is cost-effective, inclusive, efficient, pertinent, promises to bring a long term impact with sustainability is no easy task even for some brilliant people working together as the variables in a social scene are subtle, intangible, interwoven and attribution to a specific welfare program or social innovation is slower than we want to. Unfolding of plans and demonstrating even the minimum viable product (or its forecast) takes couple or revisions and continuous flow of funds. 

A typical grant making circus goes like this. Okay, so we are launching a targeted intervention to reach the poorest of the poor people in xyz geographical area with tribal population this percentage, alarmingly low health indicators, no formal education, unbelievably low per capita income (if at all), women living in depravity and we intend to bring wonders by X% in Y years. And then we devise some SMART indicators, strategies, logic model and theory of change, monitoring and evaluation framework and on winning the grant assume to prove our development hypothesis right.

Wow, job well done.

No. Not really.

While gender has been a 'trending' buzzword for which data collection, analysis and disaggregation takes place at every step of the way, disability is by far most excluded. 

Disability is like that white elephant standing tall in a room, but no one can see it.


Naan Khatai (Maida) #winter_comfort_food

Mix maida (all purpose flour), sugar, pink of salt with butter (salted/unsalted) and a dash of baking soda (pinch). For extra flavour may add either elaichi powered or vanilla essence. The proportion of maida : butter: sugar is most important followed by moderate temperature baking.  For details you can watch Nisha Madhulika's or Majula's kitchen youtube videos. I tried this first time this year and it turned out to be  simply awesome. Can be made with besan too (gram flour).
Enjoy and let me know how it turned out to be. 


We Make Access to Education and Sanitation Possible as Basic Human Right

#WorldsAIDSDay #GivingTuesday  #IndiChange #WeCantWait

World Toilet Day 2015

Today, I am going to write about one of the program that i am totally passionate about and have been involved through Asante Africa Foundation team based out of Oakland, US. Though i can speak hours and hours on digital divide and how important it is, but, being a woman i think i hold myself responsible for strengthening 'gender specific targeted interventions' too, that brings social changes to address basic human/child/ reproductive rights of girls in East Africa or in future in India. By going to such places you realize how much India has progressed and being in US you make your wishlist even longer and think so how much more our country has to still achieve. We will do it, we are moving in right direction albeit slower than we want to.

Nevertheless, today is world's AIDS Day and Giving Tuesday, for you to pick a charity of your choice and support its mission. So, i thought why not write about our Girls Advancement Program - Wizesha Vijana - on how a very cost-effective simple intervention which includes infrastructure upgradation such as building sanitary toilets in school have the power to impact education in some of the most rural marginalized areas of East Africa. And how these interventions directly supports in realizing sustainable development goals, holistically.