Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mung with Spinach, Fenugreek Greens: Methi Palak Mung Sabzi

One person I have admired forever is Tarla Dalal. The news of her passing, last year, was an utter shock. I have spent many years of my childhood reading her cookbooks, watching Cook It Up With Tarla Dalal and later, after the ease of Internet usage, learnt so many eggless bakes from her site. To know that the soft, happy, butterball of a genius isn't around anymore was, for me, a devastating blow.

And it is on her site, that I found a recipe, close to what I wanted to make. R & I have been trying to eat healthy, protein rich and iron rich foods. In between 9 hour workdays, 3 hours in transit, frequent business trips and the sheer volume of double cheese pizzas we eat while watching Frozen on the computer, our diet is severely compromised in the health department. This needed to be done.

Presenting my adaptation, and my tribute to Tarla Dalal, Methi Palak Mung Sabzi.

This is essentially soaked and boiled split mung dal, stewed with fresh torn spinach, fresh methi leaves, cooked with ginger, garlic, turmeric and cumin. It's like an Incredible India ad eh? :D Have it with rice, have it with rotis, or have it like a stew/salad with a squeeze of lime. It's super healthy, very little oil, and full of proteins, iron and fibre. Plus it's mad delicious!

Methi Palak Mung Sabzi
Adapted from Tarla Dalal

You need:

  • 1/4 cup of yellow split mung dal
  • 1 bunch of spinach leaves
  • 1 bunch of methi leaves
  • 1/2 tsp jeera or cumin
  • 1 large potato, diced into medium to small cubes,
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped/bruised
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
  • 1 large dry chilli
  • 2-3 tsp oil
  • A bit of ginger, julienned
  • Salt to taste

The How:

  • Wash the dal till the water runs clear and soak in salted hot water for 30 minutes. They should get significantly bigger at the end of the soaking.
  • Pluck the spinach leaves. Try to avoid the torn leaves or those that have holes in it. Take it in a large bowl and fill it with tap water. Make sure all the leaves are submerged. Let it stand for 30 minutes. Rinse the leaves. Repeat the submerge-stand-rinse twice more. The last time, don't throw out the water, just rub the leaves in the water and place in a colander. Wash that under running water. Set aside to drain.
  • Do the same with the methi leaves, except you can't rub each individual leaf in water (because they're too small!). So rinse them very very well in the standing water and running water.
  • Chop up both the spinach as well as the methi.
  • Meanwhile, while the soaking thing is happening, fry the potato cubes till they're crispy.
  • Once your leaves are chopped, let's get down to business. In a kadhai, heat the oil.
  • Once hot, reduce heat and add the jeera. Once it begins to splutter, add the garlic and green chillies. Fry but don't let it burn.
  • Break the dry chilli into 2, and add into the oil.
  • Add the haldi into this.
  • Add the soaked mung dal. Stir well to combine.
  • Tip in the greens one fistful at a time. After each fistful, stir it around to mix with the oil, then add the next fistful. The flavour gets better distributed this way.
  • Now increase the heat and add warm water according to how soupy you want it. Remember the water will boil and dry so add accordingly. Add the salt into this as well.
  • Now if you want the potatoes a little melty (like I did in the photo), add the potato now. Else, add it 5 minutes before you switch off the heat.
  • If you feel the gravy is a little too thin, add a teaspoon of besan and mix well. Else, ignore.
  • Turn off the heat, turn it out into a bowl, garnish with the julienned ginger and serve.

And that's it. It's simple, albeit a little time consuming, but seriously healthy. Try it, I'm sure you'll love it.

Till the next time!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Omelette Curry and Home.

This is the weirdest thing I've ever taught you, and I'll ever teach you. This is also one of the utterly tastiest things I've ever taught you, and will ever teach you.

Omelette Curry.

Process that. I'll say it again.

Omelette Curry. The most eclectic mix of ingredients, comes together to form a dish of fluffy cubes of omelettes, soaking up an  almost juicy tomato-ginger-onion-garlic based gravy. It goes well with rice, rotis, parathas anything. It has barely 4-5 minutes of prep time. I don think I need to say more do I?

Now this was taught to me by my Mum. In fact, it was one of the first things I learnt from her post-marriage. I didn't know how to cook real home food, every day food prior to marriage. Like every single time, it was her hand I figuratively held to stepping into the kitchen of our place, R and my place here in Mumbai. Made food that was actually good and healthy. Food that was daily food, not just a celebratory cake. My Mum is My First Expert, and for that I'm grateful! This post is a part of this contest I'm taking part in, but half way through writing this, I realized that it's not just a line I'm using, I actually mean it! The link is below :)

So anyway, back to the recipe.

Omelette Curry
Original recipe
You Need:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 sachet of Maggi Masala (ALWAYS retain those Maggi Masala packs, they come in very handy!)
  • 2 onions, make a paste out of it. If you don't own a mixie, chop it up real fine.
  • 1 inch ginger, make a paste out of it
  • about 6-7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium/large tomato, cut into eighths.
  • 2 potatoes, cut into eighths.
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cumin/jeera powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi powder
  • 3/4 tsp deghi mirch powder for heat
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri mirch powder for color
  • Salt and sugar, to taste
  • 2 tbsp Maida. Or 2 tbsp besan if you go gluten-free.
  • Water, warmed
  • Mustard oil
  • Milk, about 3 tbsp

The How:
  • Okay first make the omelette. Whip the eggs well, making sure it gains some volume. Add the maida (1 tbsp at a time, mixing well after each addition, making sure no lumps remain), the Maggi Masala, salt, a little bit of the ginger paste, the baking powder and the milk. Whip well.
  • Now grease a square microwave safe dish and pour the mix into it. Microwave on high for about 4-5 minutes, but keep a check, since every oven is different. The egg will swell up like a cloud, but will collapse as soon as you switch off the oven. Cut it into whatever shape you want and leave it there.
  • If you don't own a microwave or are averse to using one, please make an omelette as you usually do in the pan. Just that it won't be as fluffy as the microwave one. But if you have whipped it well, it should still be fluffy. In that case reduce the amount of maida to 1 tbsp only. Cut it into whatever shape you want.
  • Now in a kadhai, heat mustard oil till it smokes. Fry the potato cubes till crispy on the outside. Take out onto a plate.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add more oil if need be, let it heat and add the onion paste. Let it fry for some time on medium, then go back to high heat and fry till pink.
  • Till then, in a small bowl, take the tomatoes, cumin, chili powders and ginger paste and add about 1/2 tbsp water.
  • Add the garlic paste into the kadhai, fry well but don't let it burn.
  • Add the contents of the bowl in one go and stir well. Fry it.
  • Reduce heat to medium high, add a tiny sprinkling of salt and sugar, stir and put the cover on, leaving a little space.
  • After some time, the tomatoes should have become melty. Crank the heat back to high. Stir vigorously and mix up the tomato pulp. Fry this for a while till the raw ginger smell goes away.
  • Add the potato cubes and mi to coat well.
  • Next, add the omelette pieces, and coat well. Fry it.
  • Add the warmed water, a little more than you want your gravy. Add salt and sugar. Stir.
  • Now leave it to simmer on medium-high. Keep tasting and adjusting.
  • Take out into a bowl and serve with any breads or any rice.
  • That's it!

Trust me on this, this is one of the most easy ways to feed kids eggs if that's a problem. It tastes magical, just like home. And Mum.

Till the next time!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Moti Pulao: Pilaf with Spiced Ricotta Marbles


There's a huge problem which I have no idea how to tackle. Picture this. There are two people living in the house. Neither of them have any idea of quantity. So a pan of rice either lasts them a week, or is just about enough for one meal, if supplemented with a slice of bread each.

Do you see the problem?

Sometimes there's just SO much rice left over, that I can't make enough things to go with rice that's steadily growing staler. It is at such a point, that this recipe of mine steps in. It makes use of leftover rice, adds yummy things into it, spices it up a bit and converts it into a whole new dish that you won't even need a side for. Just pick a fork (or spoon, I won't judge) and dig in.

Presenting, my Moti Pulao. Prepared rice, spiced with onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes, studded with crisp fried tiny marbles of fresh paneer, melting like mozzarella on the inside. Slightly heavy on the prep work, but man is it one impressive dish!

Moti Pulao

You need:
  • Prepared rice, 1-2 cups. It can white or brown, as you have.
  • 1 L milk, if you're making fresh paneer.
  • 3-4 tbsp of vinegar, if you're making fresh paneer.
  • If you're not making fresh paneer, then about 250-300 gms of paneer should do it.
  • 1 large ripe tomato, chopped.
  • 1 large onion, chopped.
  • 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste, fresh and not from the packet. (That stuff is yuck!)
  • Oil, enough to deep-fry the marbles and then for the pulao.
  • 1 capsicum chopped into smallish cubes, optional, though it tastes pretty killer.
  • 1 tbsp chana sattu (or if you can't find that, maida is fine)
  • 2-3 pinches amchoor (dried mango) powder
  • Chopped coriander leaves, about 1 fistful
  • Salt, sugar to taste
  • Jeera or cumin powder 1tsp.
  • Turmeric or haldi powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder, kashmiri (for the colour) and deghi (for the heat), about 1/2 to 1 tsp, to taste.

The How:
  • If you're making fresh rice for this, make sure you make it well in advance and lay it out under the fan, so that the grains are dry and don't stick to each other.
  • Make the paneer first. Bring the milk to a rolling boil, add the vinegar 1 tbsp at a time, and stir. Soon the milk will completely curdle, leaving behind greyish-green whey and the milk solids. Don't add more vinegar than necessary. Strain the paneer, and retain the water. That stuff is gold for making rotis. Rinse it with drinking water once. Strain the paneer for a while, enough for most of the water to drain, but not so much that the paneer completely dries out. We need some moisture in there. Once that's done, crumble it up.
  • If you're using ready paneer, then completely ignore whatever I wrote above, and just crumble it up.
  • Using a hand blender or a mixie, blend the paneer crumbles till it's completely smooth. This was why we needed moisture in the paneer. If you thing it's turning into powder and not paste, add water 1 teaspoon at a time. Turn this paste out into a bowl.
  • Add a bit of salt, just enough to cut the blandness. Add the sattu, a pinch of the deghi mirch and the amchoor. Add 3/4 of the coriander leaves. Now knead this till completely combined and smooth to touch. You should be able to make balls with it that don't fall apart. Try one, if it does, add just 1 teaspoon or so more of sattu. The ball should under no circumstance be doughy.

  • Make marble sized balls of this mix and lay it out on the plate, like so.

  • Now heat the oil till it smokes. Reduce heat to medium, and very VERY carefully, lower 2-3 balls of paneer at a time int the oil. They will splutter and threaten to fall part, but hang on. Very very gently, push around the balls, turning them in the oil. They will turn brown on the outside very quickly, and even crusty. But don't be fooled, it's like melted cheese on the inside. It doesn't take more than 1 minute for it to be done. Take out very carefully onto a plate lined with paper towels. Finish the rest.

  • Most of your oil should be finished from the frying. If you think you need more, add some more oil. Heat it on high. It should be just about 2-3 tbsp of oil in there.
  • In one small bowl, take the tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, cumin powder, chilli powders. Add a little bit of water, maybe just 1 tbsp.
  • Fry the onions till about pink.
  • Add the capsicum pieces if you're using it.
  • Fry well, then add the contents of the small bowl. Stir around well to fry.
  • Add a tiny pinch of salt and sugar into the tomato. Cover the kadhai for a bit. This helps the tomatoes get all melty.
  • When that happens, stir it vigourously. The add about half a cup of warm water into it to make a smallish gravy. Season it well with salt and sugar. Remember there's a load of rice that'll come into this and neutralise the salt, so add accordingly. 
  • Stir it well, and gently add the paneer balls. Reserve a few. Very delicately, stir it around so that the balls incorporate into the gravy.
  • Next, reduce heat to medium and add the rice, one ladle at a time. After each addition, stir it VERY gently, so that the balls and the gravy get distributed but don't break.
  • Once all the rice is added, mix carefully.
  • Turn off the heat and take out into the serving bowl. Stud with the remaining balls and coriander.
  • Dig in!

This is a stunning dish, and seriously easy, if a little time-consuming. Try it, and I'm telling you, it just won't disappoint!

Till the next time!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dark Knight Cupcakes: Double Dark Chocolate Eggless Whole Wheat Walnut Cupcakes

Okay, mums who are reading this. Do you or do you not have a baby who drives you crazy, up the wall and back, wanting something to eat every single hour of the summer vacation?

Fruit? No.
Chiwda? No.
Anything that doesn't cause obesity or diabetes in the first 10 years of life? No.
Chocolate cupcakes? OMG Yes you're the best.

I too have one of these in my home. Except this child here, is not a child. But a fully grown man. More specifically, he's the brand new permanent roommate of mine, R. 

When an extended weekend comes a-knocking, I literally panic. I need to have something ready at home, that will be a ready munch. Something healthy, but enough to soothe that sweet tooth at 11:30 am and 4 pm (and 4:30 pm and 6 pm and 7 pm). Something with texture. Something that may just satiate for the next 15 minutes.

Look no further than these. What I have titled Dark Knight Cupcakes. Eggless Whole Wheat Double Dark Chocolate Walnut Cupcakes. They're chocolatey, depending on two sources of chocolatey goodness. Hershey's Cocoa and half a bar of dark cooking chocolate melted. I had to stop myself from licking that bowl clean, chucking the idea of Double Chocolate and just making Single Chocolate Cupcakes. Ya know what I mean?

These are stuffed with chopped walnuts. I prefer walnuts for multiple reasons. Firstly, I think lightly toasted walnuts are a fantastic complement for dark chocolate. Toasting the walnuts gets a slight woodsy aroma out that just gels with the dark chocolate. Secondly, walnuts are healthy. Like healthy healthy. One ounce, that's 28g of walnuts provides a solid 18g of good fats for the body, that's 2.5g of Monounsaturated fats (MUFA), 2.5g of alpha-linolenic acid, which is a plant-based omega-3 and 13g of Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). Usually omega-3 fats are abundant in fish etc. But what of vegetarians? Yeah, this! I try to add walnuts in as many things as I can, maybe a chicken salad, maybe granola bars, and maybe this. Walnuts are also very much effective in curbing and receding diabetes, what with risk factors going through the roof for all ages.

Eggless Whole Wheat Double Dark Chocolate Walnut "Dark Knight" Cupcakes
(Adapted from Fun and Food Cafe)
Makes 15 regular sized cupcakes

You need:
  • 1 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup dark compound chocolate OR 3/4 dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp Hershey's chocolate
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup + 2tbsp milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • A handful of walnuts, chopped.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp instant coffee

The How:
  • Preheat your convection oven to 180 celsius. Keep your cupcake pan prepared with liners ready, or grease the cups if not using liners.
  • Chop the chocolate into small bits. Please don't be like me and take it out of the fridge 3 minutes before you have to chop it. It will be hell! Keep it out for a while before you have to chop it. In the end you should have 3/4 cup chocolate.
  • Melt the chocolate with 2 tbsp milk in the microwave, in short 10 sec intervals. Mix well when melted. Keep aside.
  • Lightly toast the walnuts if you want. You can definitely keep it raw too.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients.
  • Mix the milk + vanilla with the chocolate first. Add the oil into this. Blend it well.
  • Add half the dry mix into this 2 tbsp at a time. 
  • Half way through, add the walnuts. Spare some if you want to top the cupcakes off.
  • Add the rest of the dry mix. Mix enough to avoid lumps, but DO NOT over mix.
  • Spoon the mix into the liners, just 3/4 of the way. Top with the remaining walnuts.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 180 celsius. Or it depends from oven to oven. Basically bake till 15 minutes, test with a toothpick and complete accordingly.
And that's it!

Super chocolatey cupcakes, that actually have stuff that's good for you. Such a great snack, or something to chuck into the lunch box as a treat.

Till the next time!

This post has been sponsored by the California Walnut Commission.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Heeng Jeera Aloo

Okay so it's 12pm, you've just binge watched all 3 seasons of Sherlock, save one episode, (thinking it's 10:30am), and just realized that while you were supposed to look for a job and make lunch, you've spent the whole morning doing VERY productive stuff. At that point, you realize you only have potatoes, and a cupboard full of spices to work your magic. A bowl of rice and dal fry aside. So you look online and come upon a recipe, simple and bloody quick, that can allow you to return to John and Sherlock as they find out the culprit basis which way the wind blows.

This happened to a friend of mine. Not me. Totally not me. 

So my friend made this Heeng Jeera Aloo, and her husband, also named R (coincidence I know right), licked the bowl clean, sans regard for civility. It was exactly that good. Have it with a couple of misshapen and burnt rotis, or underboiled rice and an unparalleled dal, and your lunch/dinner will be sorted. It stays well in the fridge, so take it for your office lunch as well. Roll it in a paratha maybe. Turn it into a stuffing for a nice sandwich. Simple, quick, bursting at the seams with flavour, multipurpose and frankly, pretty damn good. Just the way friend likes it.

Heeng Jeera Aloo
Adapted from Veg Recipes of India

You need:
  • 3 medium-large potatoes
  • 1/2 inch ginger, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp jeera or cumin
  • 3-4 pinches of heeng or asafoetida, or how much you like.
  • 1 green chilli
  • pinches each of turmeric powder, Kashmiri chilli powder and Kuti chilli powder
  • 1 heaping tsp of coriander or dhania powder
  • 1 tsp of amchur or dry mango powder
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • salt
  • chopped coriander

The How:
  • Boil the potatoes, whole with skin on. Make sure a knife passes through the thickest part of it easily. (This is for all my readers who too are learning to cook, and can use a few tips that make our life easier!) Try to do this: after the pressure cooker whistles sufficient number of times, don't open it. Keep it shut for another 15 min. This result in the residual heat cooking it further, without wastage of gas. Test it with a knife. If it feel resistant in the centre, put it back in the cooker. Repeat till done. It should not fall apart, buit should be easy to stab!
  • Once done, soak the potatoes in ice water. This cools it down rapidly. Change the ice water if need be. Once cooled enough to handle, peel the skin, and chop into dices.
  • In a pan or kadhai, heat the oil.
  • When hot, add the ginger.
  • Add the jeera/cumin. It will splutter.
  • Add the green chilli.
  • Before it gets burnt but is a nice brown colour, add the turmeric, chilli powders, salt and heeng.
  • Stir it well but take care that it doesn't get burnt.
  • Tip in the potatoes, and gently combine the spices with the potatoes, taking care it doesn't get all mashed up.
  • Once combined, add the coriander powder and amchur. Stir well to combine.
  • Taste, and add salt if need be.
  • There would be a nice crust at the bottom of the pan owing to the powdered spices. Scrape it up with your ladle. This is the crispiest, tastiest bit of all!
  • All in all, once all your spices are in, fry it for 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off, sprinkle with half the chopped coriander leaves, take out in your serving bowl, sprinkle the rest of the coriander and cover till ready to be eaten.
  • That's it!
So my friend says she is very much excited for you to try it out, and to let her know how much you like it. I...she is looking forward to your comments!

Till the next time!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dal Fry and Life.

So hey! Welcome back to the brand new me. New? Me? How's that? Oh wait I'll tell you how..


To R, yes yes. After 8 beautiful years, we finally decided to take the step. Look!

Marriage changes you. Believe me it really does. I've shifted to another city, with R, in our home. It's something we always spoke about, but now that it has happened, you can't believe it has. I've gone on a short sabbatical, enjoying domesticity for a few days before I jump into the workforce once again. It's been a mega hectic last few months, what with preparations for the wedding, and preparations of me leaving town. Learning new things. Shopping till my shoulders break off. Skin treatments. Some more shopping. Packing. Oh god the packing. The wedding itself. Rituals pre and post that. The amazing fun honeymoon to Spain. Coming back to Delhi and then shifting to Mumbai, bidding farewell to what was home for the last 12 years. Turning R's bachelor pad to a home here. So I'm more than entitled to a bit of a break.

And what else would I do in a break, than cook and experiment? Oh but there's a catch. You see, when Mum used to cook regular dal rice fish vegetables at home, I was free to do cakes and cookies and what not. Now that I'm on my own, the responsibilities of a household is on me.


So yes, I now make regular home food. With my twist and experimentation. Dal. Different kinds of rice. Chicken. Fish. A myriad varieties of sabzis. And the cakes and sweets of course, just lesser. So here goes: this blog will now also feature food to feed people in real life. Daily stuff that you make quickly, for you know I hate slow food. Stuff that you can whip up for lunch. Simple easy home style food. The cakes etc will always be there. But as of right now, Aishwarya Eats has grown up.

So the first thing I thought I can share with you is a dal. It's healthy, quick and one-pot. Using stuff you ALWAYS have in your kitchen. I make this almost daily! Presenting the Yellow Dal Fry, homey and comforting.

Yellow Dal Fry

You need:
  • 1 cup arhar/toor dal or pigeon peas
  • Water
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped. You can adjust the amount of garlic according to your liking.
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped fine
  • couple of pinches of hing or asafoetida
  • Salt
For the tempering:
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin or jeera
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • a pinch of hing or asafoetida
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • A handful of coriander, chopped

The How:
  • In a pressure cooker, add the thoroughly washed pulses. Fill with enough water, the level should be about half an inch (more or less) above the level of pulses.
  • Add in the ginger, garlic, onion, tomato, green chilli, hing, and salt. Don't worry about the salt now, you can adjust it later. Keep it on the low side though.
  • Pressure cook this till about 8-9 whistles. Please be careful with the cooker! Make sure the release vent has nothing stuck in it. 
  • Let all the pressure go out. Once you open it (open it only when all the steam is gone), stir it with a whisk or wooden spoon to mash all the pulses.
  • At this point, add water if need be to liquify the dal in case its too thick. In case it's too thin, turn the heat back on high but don't put the lid back. Let it boil for some time, the appropriate thickness will come.
  • Adjust the salt once your thickness is achieved.
  • Now for the tempering. Keep every single ingredient ready. 
  • In a tadka pan or a small pan, heat the ghee.
  • When the ghee is hot, add the jeera. When it starts to splutter, add the whole red chilli, broken into two halves.
  • Next, fry the garlic in the ghee, I like it a bit brown and crispy.
  • Once it's fried, add the hing.
  • Turn the gas off. Add the red chilli powder, stir and add the kasuri methi.
  • Immediately add this into the dal in the cooker. It should splutter wildly! In case you think the ghee has cooled, heat it back up and then add it.
  • Stir to mix.
  • Dump in the coriander. Mix.
  • Immediately turn out into the serving bowl. Cover till you're ready to eat it.
  • Preferably, before eating, add a little bit more coriander, and a squeeze of lemon if you want.
Serve with rice, roti, phulkas, parathas, anything!

And that's it. I'm telling you. If I, the one who only knew cakes and pannacottas, can make this, anyone can!

Till the next time!

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Wish to Banish World Hunger- 1000 Voices for Compassion #1000Speak

Today, more than a 1000 bloggers are flooding the blogosphere, the internet and timelines with stories about compassion and sentiments about kindness. Today, 20th February 2015, is 1000 Voices for Compassion Day.

I feel very strongly in issues like racism, sexism, ageism, ableism and discriminations that take away the basic right of a human being to live with dignity. But one issue I feel for even more, is the issue of hunger. No man, no woman, no child should go to bed hungry. Nobody should have to live by scrounging waste out of trashcans. Especially when in India, so many thousands of kilograms of food grains are going waste, and rotting in silos where nobody can reach them. So many litres of milk go to waste on worships and rituals, when a child on the street grows up malnourished. So much money goes into donations to houses of worship to no end, whereas a family starves to death in the villages.

It's a promise I've made to myself, that in my capacity, I will never let anyone go hungry. As and when I do have children, this is a teaching that they too will get. Giveaway that packet of cereal you have extra. Someone needs it so much more than you do. To those who have the means, it is a negligible cost we bear. But for those who have next to nothing, it means a meal. Those with means will never be able to understand the pain of going hungry, the pain of seeing your family go hungry to sleep.

And I will not allow it. as much as my capacity is, I promise to never let anyone go hungry again. Which is why, I have a plan that I wish to implement. Many kilograms of delicious food go to waste in restaurants, small, mid-size or large. I wish to implement a mechanism, that collects these extra food items, and deliver it to those who need it. I will do it, I can do it. Food should not be a privilege. In my own way, I wish to eliminate world hunger, a little spoonful at a time.

And the day I bring this dream to reality, I will have achieved that one dream I've always had: never to see anyone go to sleep hungry.

It can be anything.
A child feeding the pups that live in her colony.
A man buying an ice-cream for that child on the road.
An office making a collection drive for a flood affected area.
A husband making parathas for his wife, before he goes out for a meeting, because she'll be alone and may not want to cook only for herself.
Spreading out a few grains of rice for the birds.
Someone lending me a phone charger in my time of need.
A school selling UNICEF cards to raise money.

It's not about the money.
It's not about the strength.
It's not the size of the problem, nor the size of your plan.
It's not about who else is with you.
It's about what you want to do.
It's about how much you want to do.
It's about you.

I don't see it anymore.
Wars. Injustice. Tears. Greed. Lust. Corruption of the soul. Wickedness. An astounding loss of humanity.
I see it everywhere.
Spoons of food from a nurse to a patient. A cat defending another in front of a dog. A star dressing up as the superhero on screen,visiting a children's hospital to make a sick child laugh. A humble auto driver in Mumbai who is the most selfless man I have ever read about.

Compassion is not sympathy.
Compassion is not doing good for someone, and feeling good about oneself.
Compassion should be like breathing. Do you give yourself credit for breathing? It should be the way you live. It should be how you live.


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