Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

A special Recipe for the Ultimate Bliss ~ Semiya Payasam

Bhukthi means nourishment. While nutritious food is needed to sustain us for everyday activities and the maintenance of this physical body, a different kind of Bhukthi is necessary to satisfy our cravings to realize the true happiness in ourselves. Constant indulgence in the name of God (Bhakthi) provides the nourishment to realize the bliss of boundless divinity in the ego-limited humans.

This relation between Bhakthi and Bhukthi thus goes deep and this concept is brought to the people in beautiful poetry and song by many saint musicians of India.

Saint Purandara Dasa, the father of Carnatic music has created song and music the way to achieve the happiness which we all seek. He has composed innumerable songs called keerthana’s, full of wisdom and devotion eternalized in the hearts of people. His message of morals is handed out in easily understandable form, woven together with stories from the epics, along with beautiful expressions and analogies. No wonder his songs have pleased, inspired and guided people since more than four hundred years.

Stamp Commemorating Sri Purandara Dasa
Stamp Commemorating Sri Purandara Dasa

God is the source for infinite happiness and he has infinite names, infinite forms and is ubiquitous. For Purandara Dasa, God is Purandara Vittala in whose form he saw all other manifestations or avatars of God like Rama, Krishna, Shiva and Hanuma.

The spiritual song “Rama nama payasakke” is quite popular and sung by many in their own versions. It was written in the beautiful south Indian language of Kannada which is said to be as enchanting as the fragrance of kasturi. Saint Purandara Dasa elicits the great bliss in chanting the name of the God Vittala in “Rama Nama Payasakke“.

The keerthana explains with an easy analogy on how to obtain the spiritual bliss or Ananda with a recipe to make payasam.

The keerthana goes like this:

Pallavi: rAma nAma pAyasakke krSNa nAma sakkare viTTala nAma tuppava kalasi bAya capparisiro
Charana1: ommAna gOdiya tandu vairAgya kallali bIsi summane sajjige tegadu kammana shAvige hosedu
Charana2: hrdayavembo maDikeyalli bhAvavembo esaraniTTu buddhiyinda pAka mADi harivANake baDisikoNDu
Charana3: Ananda Anandavembo tEgu bandidu kaNIrO Ananda mUruti namma purandara viTTalana neneyiro

Purandara Dasa sings, “O people, indulge in the lip-smacking-good payasam called Rama nama, which is made sweet with the sugar called Krishna nama and is richly folded with the ghee called Vittala nama”.

Then he describes the meticulous details needed to make this special payasam from the scratch.

First obtain wheat flour of honor. Grind it in the mill of detachment. Make the dough called simplicity and draw thin semiya noodles from it.

In the pot called your heart, boil the noodles with the milk of feelings. Cook it then with the wisdom of worship.

Add the sweetness of Krishna’s name as sugar, and the nourishing richness of Vittala’s name as the ghee and lo you have your lip-smacking-delicious payasam.

Purandara Dasa even describes the proper method to enjoy the delicious payasam. He beckons us to serve it on a large platter and enjoy it. When burps emanate out of fulfillment, he asks us to remember the name of God Vittala who is the embodiment of immeasurable happiness and ecstasy.

Through this keerthana, purandara dasa gave us a recipe to live an ideal life. To live our life with honor, come through the grinds of materialistic attachments with austerity, and obtain the raw material for happiness using the simple method of devotion. Allow the feelings of joy and love boil in our heart wisely, and celebrate every moment of our life bit by bit contemplating God’s grace with gratitude. That is the ultimate sweet bliss!

Makara Sankranthi Shubhakankshalu!

Semiya, Sugar, Ghee, Milk, Cashews and Draksha ~ Ingredients for Payasam

Rakthi Raga for Bhukthi ~ Semiya Payasam

Article Contributed by Madhuri Akkenepalli (Friend of Mahanandi)
Photos by Indira Singari
Previously on Rakthi Raga for Bhukthi:
Of Being and Becoming ~ Ragi Idlies by Janani Srinivasan

Saint Purandara Dasa on Wiki.
Audio Links to “Rama Nama Payasakke”:
by Sreemathi Sudha Raghunathan and Vijayalakshmi Subrahmaniam

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Naivedyam(Festival Sweets), Sugar, Bhakthi~Bhukthi, Semiya, Madhuri Akkenepalli (Monday January 14, 2008 at 1:11 pm- permalink)
Comments (27)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Sugar Figurines for Sankranthi

Chakkara Achchulu (Sugar Art of India)

Chakkara Achchulu of India
Mother and Baby Pheasants in Early Morning Mist
(Panchadaara Chilakalu)

Sugar Art of India
Baby Peacock Exploring the Countryside

Sugar Figurines of India
Baby Peacock and Baby Elephant at a Water Pool

The beautiful sugar figurines of India are prepared for Sankranthi and during Dasera-Deepavali festival season. They are Pooja ornaments, and also sweeten the saare (gifts) in functions like marriages and baby-shower etc. These delightful, melt in mouth treats are prepared by pouring the pure and concentrated sugar syrup into carved wooden molds. Little bit of care and patience, viola, the tiny decorative candy items are ready to enjoy.

The sugar figurines photographed here came all the way from India… survived the tiresome travel conditions halfway across the globe. Thank you dear Janani for sending these delectable delicate delights for us.

Sugar Figurines that Holds Sweet Memories ~ Photo Essay
Sugar-Khoya Figurines for Rukhwat



Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mitai, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Sugar, Indian Sweets 101, Traditions (Friday January 11, 2008 at 4:41 pm- permalink)
Comments (18)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Of Being and Becoming~ Ragi Idlis

by Janani Srinivasan

Students and Rasikas of Karnatic classical music who fondly (or not :) ) recall their first tentative forays into “Sarali” and “Janta Varisais” might also remember that the credit for a creating a pedagogy of Karnatic classical music goes to Sri. Purandaradasa. And if your mother was a particularly determined woman, you may even have dutifully trotted out works from his corpus to bored admiring relatives come socio-religious occasions like Navarathri and Varamahalakshmi Vratha gatherings.

Whether it is Ratnakara the bandit turned into the Adikavi Sri.Valmiki Muni, or Angulimala the grisly finger-slicing highway terrorist turned Buddhist monk, tales of what can fairly be called instantaneous and extreme spiritual makeovers have captured the imaginations of generations of Indian story tellers and their listeners for centuries. The narrative arc usually progresses along the lines of hopelessly-and-diabolically-evil-person reaches the apogee of his (supported usually by a silently long-suffering her) evilness when a chance encounter; usually in the form of divine grace; completely awakens and transforms said individual. They then attain a sort of mythic stature and are held up as role models for future generations to emulate. Indeed, the story of the rapaciously greedy miser-turned musician-mystic Sri Purandaradasa is a familiar and inspiring one to many of us who grew up listening to these tales. Wiki weighs in with a more complete history of Sri Purandaradasa.

Stamp Commemorating Sri Purandaradasa
Stamp Commemorating Sri Purandaradasa

In our family, one of our all-time personal favourites from his oeuvre remains the haunting “Ragi Tandira”. Kannada speakers will identify with the clever punning on the word “Ragi”. Much like a Zen koan, the lyrics here have layers of meaning couched in seemingly quotidian references.

Indeed it is not hard to surmise that Purandhara dasa, once he became a wandering minstrel after giving up his former materialistic life, must have still been intimately familiar with the kind of people that once made up his close family and friends circle. Hence, his desire to show them the path to a more richer inner life must have been tempered with the practical consideration that they might reject his message if he was too heavy handed or preachy.

This composition opens with the poet singing, “Have you brought Ragi for alms?” He then goes on to describe Ragi in glowing adjectives “Yogyaragi , Bhogyaragi” and so on… While in one sense, it can be read as an extolling of Ragi, the staple local grain, the sustainer of life itself with various adjectives: Yogya (worthy) + Ragi, Bhogya (enjoyable) + Ragi ; on another level, it is a veiled injunction to the householders themselves to become “worthy”, “Yogyaragi” as one word.

Here the notion of “Yogyatha” like many words in the vernacular, defies simplistic translation. It is a conflation of many shades of meaning conveying a sense of worthiness, deservingness, etc. The rest of the song progress in the same vein exhorting us to various acts of goodness like offering food to the needy (anna chatrava nittavarAgi), attaining fame for the right reasons (kyathiyali migilAdavarAgi) and cautioning us to stay away from inethical practices (anya varthegaLa bittavarAgi) and so on.

So as homage to Sri Purandharadasa, his beloved Vittala and the ancient grain sustaining generations of his people; here is my mother’s recipe for Ragi Idlis. What a song and dance over a simple grain you say? Well, just try these. Like a mother’s love, these are earthy and wholesome. In a word, Perfect!

Ragi Grains Ragi Batter for Idlies
Ragi Grains ……………………. Sprouted Ragi and Rice Batter for Idlies

(Makes atleast 2 dozen of the standard sized Idlis- but quantity yielded depends on the Idli mould size.)

Whole Ragi Grain- 1 cup
(I sprouted these for added nutritional benefits. But it’s not strictly necessary)
Idli rice (parboiled) – 1 cup
Whole skinned Urad dal – ¾ cup
Methi seeds -1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Sesame oil- to grease idli moulds (I used “Idhayam” brand)

After multiple washes, soak the Ragi for a day. Drain and let it rest for another day till you see tiny white sprouts. Alternatively, you can skip the sprouting and just soak the ragi for 3-4 hours longer than you soak the rice. Soak rice, whole urad and methi seeds in separate containers for 4-6 hours or overnight.

In a wet grinder or a mixie /blender, grind the urad dal till light and fluffy. A test for fluffiness is to keep a bowl of water and drop a tiny pinch of batter. If it floats, it is light enough. Then add and grind the Ragi grains and Methi and finally the rice. Take care that the rice should not be ground too smooth. It should be of rice Rava consistency. Alternatively, you can use rice Rava instead. Take the batter in a vessel, fold in some salt to taste and leave it overnight to ferment. I found that the dough fermented really well, doubling up and overflowing the vessel. So take adequate precautions.

Next morning, lightly stir the well fermented batter. Grease Idli moulds and steam in a pressure cooker for 12-15 minutes till done. Ragi idlis can be served with a dollop of butter or ghee on top, along with the usual fixings on the side: sambar, coconut chutney and/or Milagai Podi.

~ Article by Janani Srinivasan

Light and Soft Ragi Idlies

Audio of Ragi Tandira sung by the late Sri. Maharajapuram Santhanam in Raga Kalyanavasantham - Link.
Ragi pronounced with “Ra” as “raa”, “G” as in God not as in gentle, “i” pronounced “ee”.
Tandira pronounced Thundheera with the “h” NOT aspirated. “T” and “d” sounds softened not sharp as in the common American/English usage and the “an” is pronounced “un”.
Janani Srinivasan’s articles on Mahanandi: It’s Chakalaka, Baby!, The Arisiupma Trilogy.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Ragi, Millet, Sprouts (Molakalu), Janani Srinivasan (Thursday November 1, 2007 at 4:44 pm- permalink)
Comments (32)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Subscribe to Smiles ~ A Fund-drive for FAHC From October 15 - 23

In many countries, particularly in rural areas, the people’s resources are very less and so are their needs. The lack of resources and parents’ inability to earn money always affects the little ones in the family. Due to this, children do not get food to eat, do not have proper education or are forced to go to work at a very young age. What I have also noticed is, a very little amount of money could bring a tremendous change in a child’s and in a family’s life. For example, the money we’d usually spend on one meal in a restaurant (about US$25) could feed an entire family for several days in India. Not having a meal in a restaurant will not make any difference in our lives, but having proper food for several days in a month would definitely bring great change in a family in need.

We all might have recognized this fact and have thought about it at some point of time, but we could not do anything directly. Individually we would not be able bring a sustainable change, but collectively we could. This is what exactly FAHC is trying to do - mobilizing similarly thinking people to contribute small amounts of money and make it use where it is greatly needed. What greater cause is there in this world than giving proper food, clothing and reading materials to a needy child?


FAHC is a non-profit organization. Started by Vijay K Narayanan, a fellow food blogger from India. Here is how FAHC is making a difference:

FAHC began its pilot operation of feeding program on April 17, 2007, at Palakkad district of Kerala in India. The event was a full-day affair involving all the FAHC-supported children, their caretakers, and a few well-wishers from the neighborhood. We gathered at the chairperson’s house where we organized a lunch with children followed by the distribution of the first monthly feeding kits and gifts. The program was implemented correctly for well-identified 10 families to support a total of 14 children in the pilot feeding project. Our visits to their houses were so inspiring; at times we literally had tears in our eyes seeing their tragic living conditions. They have very meager support systems and have no fathers. Some of them do not have both parents. The children face so many hurdles that it becomes even more important to lend them a helping hand early in life. Now they have a hope. FAHC is aiming to make a tangible difference in the lives of these chosen children.

FAHC will provide support to the children and their families by providing better food via feeding kits, education, healthcare, and welfare.

Educationally, FAHC will henceforth take care of the costs of their textbooks, notebooks, school bag, umbrella, uniforms, school fees, tuition fees, etc. We will also conduct study classes, camps, and games during vacation holidays for the children.”

To generate funds for this effort, FAHC has set forth a modest goal of raising 3,360 dollars. I am keen on this cause and together with fellow food bloggers, we have come up with few exciting prizes for a raffle fundraiser. I thank Anjali, Bee and Jai, and Suvir Saran for their support, effort and contributions.

The following prizes make great gifts, and each item will be sent to the raffle winner neatly packed and shipping expenses paid.

I strongly believe that the money we generate through this raffle fund-raising goes towards feeding at least few hungry mouths. Please see if you would be able to contribute by bidding on the items of your choice. Thank you!

The List of Raffle Prizes

1. Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts ~ by Ammini Ramachandran
(from Me)

“Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts is more than a cookbook-it is a collection of treasured memories and delicious family recipes presented against a backdrop of Indian culinary and cultural history. Familiar with Western cooking methods, Ramachandran shows how to integrate these recipes into a Western-style menu and suggests ways for home cooks to expand their repertoire without having to create an entire menu of dishes.”
Ammini Ramachandran’s website:
Reviews at

2. A Gift Box of Spice Extracts
(From Anjali Damerla of Supreme Spice)

With winter season upon us, the refreshing and powerful spice extracts offer a neat and easy way to boost the immune system. Also make a great addition to tea, coffee and sweet/savory recipes. The raffle winner will get gift box of 5-spice extracts:

Cardamom, Ginger, Kesar Milk masala, Tea Masala and Tulsi spice.

3. Complete Digital Photography ~ by Ben Long .
From Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi. (Two copies. Raffle winners get one copy each.)

Complete Digital Photography

“Complete Digital Photography has become a classic book for helping traditional photographers move to digital! It’s also the book of choice for many new digital photographers who want to learn how to take great digital photos. Now in its 4th edition, this bestseller has been fine-tuned and updated to provide the most current information available.”
Reviews at:

4. American Masala ~ by Suvir Saran
Autographed and shipped directly by the acclaimed chef and author Sri. Suvir Saran. (Two copies. Raffle winners will get one copy each.)

American Masala

“Suvir Saran’s American Masala is an exciting addition to American cooking. These recipes are simple without being simplistic and bring the vibrant traditions of Indian seasoning and spice to the increasingly diverse American repertoire. Perhaps most important, this book is filled with Saran’s huge and generous spirit.” - Michael Ruhlman, Author, The Soul of a Chef
Reviews at:

5. Indian Home Cooking ~ by Suvir Saran
Autographed and shipped directly by chef and author Sri. Suvir Saran.
(Two copies. Raffle winners will get one copy each.)

Indian Home Cooking

Indian Home Cooking is a celebration of the food Indians cook in American kitchens today, using ingredients found in most supermarkets. Filled with gorgeous photographs, fresh flavors, and practical advice, Indian Home Cooking is an illuminating guide to real Indian food. From slow-simmered curries with layered flavors to quickly sautéed dishes, these approachable recipes explore the wide world of Indian cuisine.”
Reviews at:

6. Dinner for Two, at Elegant “Dévi” Restaurant, New York City
Two Prizes and wine included. Generously contributed by owner and chef Sri. Suvir Saran.

Sri. Suvir Saran Devi Restaurant
NY Times on Devi
Location: 8 East 18th Street between 5th Ave and Broadway, New York City (Google Map)

(You can find detailed information about raffle prizes 3 to 6 at Jugalbandi.)

7. Two ready-to-wear children’s sarees with matching blouses
From Manisha of Indian Food Rocks

Children's Saree Dress with Matching Blouse in Red Children's Saree Dress with Matching Blouse in Green

In beautiful red-green colors with rich jari borders, these two brand-new, traditonal outfits for girls make a perfect wear for festival day celebrations. Size 28(Children’s), fits a 5/6 year old girl of average height.
Details and Photos at Indian Food Rocks.

8. Two Fair-Trade Goodies Bags from UK
From Padmaja of Spicy Andhra
Raffle winner will get a gift bag each.

Fair-Trade Goodies Bag from UK

Goodies Bag contains Fairtrade Products:

Christmas Rich Roast Coffee, Pure Origin Kenyan Teabags (80 teabags), Lemon Curd, Strawberry and Pink Champagne Conserve, Chilean Clear Honey, Organic Milk Chocolate Bar, Organic Dark Chocolate Bar, Organic Milk Chocolate With Roasted Almonds Bar

Details and photos at Spicy Andhra.

9. Mountain Valley - Oil on Canvas Painting (16 X 20)
From Shilpa of Aayi’s Recipes

Oil on Canvas, an Original Art Work by Shilpa
Spectacular yet so serene, this oil on canvas is an original art work by talented artist Srimati. Shilpa. Details and photos at Aayi’s Recipes.

10. A Personalized Ceramic “Vindu” Plate
From Mythili of Vindu

Vindu Ceramic Plate
In traditional village art style or customized to your liking, from creative ceramic artist Mythili. Details and photos at Vindu

11. 30-Minute Meals ~ by Rachel Ray
From Siri of Siri’s Corner

Who can resist the allure of 30-minute meals?
Read Reviews at - Amazon. Prize details at Siri’s Corner

12. Dark Chocolate Made With Icewine
From Richa of As Dear As Salt

Dark Chocolate Made With Icewine

Rare kind of chocolate in which grapes are naturally frozen on the vine in Canada’s frigid winters and then harvested and pressed. The wine from the juice adds a luxurious flavor and this dark chocolate is a speciality from Canada.
Details and Photos at As Dear As Salt.

13. Cooking at Home with Pedatha by Jigyasa Giri, Pratibha Jain
From Shruthi, a Friend of Mahanandi

Front Cover of Cookbook ~ Cooking at home with Pedatha

“Rendered in stunning aesthetics, here is a traditional fare from Andhra Pradesh, the rice-bowl of India which boasts of one of the sweetest of languages and spiciest of foods. Fluffy, steaming rice with spicy chutneys, piquant powders, wholesome dals and mouth-watering vegetables. In easy-to-do-steps, learn these traditional vegetarian recipes as taught by an 85-year-young grandmother.”
Authors website:
Reviews at:

14. Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India by Chandra Padmanabhan
From Shruthi, a Friend of Mahanandi

Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India by Chandra Padmanabhan

“Dakshin” is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “south.” It symbolizes what this Cookingbook is all about - the best and most delicious of South Indian vegetarian cuisine. Filled with tempting recipes and evocative photographs, Dakshin takes you through the elements of South Indian meals, including chutneys and pickles, rice dishes, pakoras, payasams, poriyals, kootus, bondas, and vadais. With its use of fresh produce and a Healthy, balanced approach to eating, Dakshin is an ideal Cookingbook for today’s lifestyle.”
Reviews at: Amazon

15. Essential Andhra Cookbook with Hyderbadi & Telangana Specialities ~ by Latif I Bilkees
From Shruthi, a Friend of Mahanandi

Essential Andhra Cookbook with Hyderbadi & Telangana Specialities ~ by Latif I Bilkees

This book includes more than 200 recipes from Andhra, one of India’s largest and culturally most diverse state. Along with the recipes the author recounts the traditions and rituals associated with food such as the right order in which to serve the dishes. While Hyderabadi cuisine with its distinctive Mughlai flavor is famous around the world, food from the other parts of Andhra, one of India’s largest and culturally most diverse states, remains relatively unknown. In this edition, the author brings together for the first time the different tastes of Andhra cooking from the humble Idli-sambhar to spicy seafood delicacies.

16. Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian
From Shruthi, a Friend of Mahanandi

Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian

“In her most comprehensive volume yet, Madhur Jaffrey draws on more than four decades of culinary adventures, travels, and experimentation for a diverse collection that both intrigues and delights the palate. Dishes from five continents touch on virtually all the world’s best loved flavors, for a unsurpassed selection of vegetarian fare. More than 650 recipes exemplify Madhur’s unsurpassed ability to create simple, flavorful homecooking that is well within the reach of every cook.”
Reviews at: Amazon

17. Indian Cooking ~ by Madhur Jaffrey
From Maria, a Foodie + Techie Friend

Indian Cooking ~ by Madhur Jaffrey

“One of the world’s foremost authorities on Indian cooking presents more than 100 authentic yet surprisinghly simple recipes for the best-loved delicacies of India. There are helpful chapters on equipment, techniques, seasonings, and menu planning as well. Color photographs.”
Reviews at

18. One Year Subscription to “The Red Chilli”

From Madhuli of My Food Court

The Red Chilli ~ Online Food Magazine

With “The Red Chilli” online food magazine subscription, you can access more than 1000 recipes, besides many other sections at beloved celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s website. A culinary treat to any food lover.
Details at My Food Court


How to Contribute:

Click on Chip-in. (It takes few seconds to load.)

Contribute: Via Paypal or credit. You can donate any amount. Each $25 donation will give you one raffle ticket towards a prize of your choice.

After you donate, please forward your payment confirmation message to, clearly specifying which prize you are interested in. Do mention how many tickets per prize, for example, a donation of $50 will buy you 2 raffle tickets for a cookbook.

For all correspondence by email, please use the same email address that you have used for your Chip-in contribution. This helps us validate your entry to the raffle and to contact you should you win a prize.

The event will close on 23rd October and raffle prize winners will be announced on 25th here at Mahanandi and at respective blogs. (The drawing will be done manually).

If you need more information about the prizes, please contact me using the comments form below or mail me at

Cynicism may be cool, but compassion always rocks. Make a rocking choice!

Thank you.


Fund Drive Supporters
Name Contribution Raffle
Singari Vijay $ 25 Supreme Spice Gift Box
Srivalli Jetti $ 25 Indian Home Cooking
Linda $ 25 American Masala
Manisha Pandit $ 25 American Masala
Shilpa $ 25 Complete Digital Photography
Padmaja Kochera $ 25 Complete Digital Photography
Sharmi Komali $ 25 Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts
Siri at Siri’s Corner $ 25 Cooking at Home with Pedatha
Mythili & N of Vindu $ 50 2 for Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts
Ashwini Gopinath $ 25 Supreme Spice Gift Box
Madhuri Annam $ 25 Ceramic “Vindu” Plate
Shruthi Reddy $ 1,000 5 for American Masala
5 for Indian Home Cooking
Sunita Bhuyan $ 25 Complete Digital Photography
Swarna Turaka $ 25 Supreme Spice Gift Box
Ashwini of Food for Thought $ 101 2 for Fair-Trade Goodies Bag
2 for Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts
Mandira of Ahaar $ 25 Supreme Spice Gift Box
Anitha Medichetti $ 50
Jyostana Bhatt $ 20
Sangeeta Dhawan $ 100
Vijayakumar Narayanan $ 50
Sridhar Kudaravalli $ 15
Archana Bhat $ 30 Indian Home Cooking
Manikandan Subramanian $ 101
Madhavi Kadaba
(Madhu’s Vantalu)
$ 30 Essential Andhra Cookbook
Anonymous(per request) $ 25
John Darnielle $ 30
Sigma Sreedharan $ 25 American Masala
Madhuli(My Food Court) $ 50 1 for Complete Digital Photography
1 for Mountain Valley
Indhu Balasubramaniam $ 25
Roopa Anantharamu $ 10
Amanda Waddell $ 25
Laavanya Dheenadayalan $ 30 Supreme Spice Gift Box
Priya Ramamurthy $ 25 Supreme Spice Gift Box
Balaji Srinivasan $ 100
Ramya Panchangam $ 25
Happy Birthday Megha Abburu!
$ 50 1 for Children’s Saree Dress
1 for Complete Digital Photography
Sowmya $ 25 Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts
Aarthi Thoppae $ 25 Mountain Valley, Oil on Canvas
Sasi Bannuru $ 10
Chandrarekha $ 75 2 for Mountain Valley
1 for Ceramic Plate with “VUYYURUS” written on it
Rajitha(Hunger Pangs) $ 25 Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts
Mohtashim Shaikh $ 25
Vasantha Vemula
$ 50 1 for Supreme Spice Gift Box
1 for Ceramic Plate with “Vemulavari Vindu” written on it
Sonal Tailor $ 25 Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts
Chandana Pandrangi $ 25 30-Minute Meals
Sia & Krish
(Monsoon Spice)
$ 25 Cooking at Home with Pedatha
Ranjini Rajeevan $ 25 World Vegetarian
Kavitha Guruswamy $ 50 1 for Complete Digital Photography
1 for Mountain Valley
Krithika Sukumaran $ 50 2 for Complete Digital Photography
Radhika Bhandarkar $ 50 2 for G, G and Grated Coconuts
Kala Narayan $ 50 1 for G, G and Grated Coconuts
1 for Cooking at Home with Pedatha
Sarvani K Akkanapragada $ 25 Cooking at Home with Pedatha
Dee and K $ 50 2 for Essential Andhra Cookbook
Suneetha Yerneni $ 25
Madhuri $ 25 Essential Andhra Cookbook
Shobana $ 25 Ceramic Vindu Plate
Madhavi Penmetcha $ 25 Complete Digital Photography
Sreelu of Sreelus Tasty Travels $ 50 1 for G, G and Grated Coconuts
1 for The Red Chilli
Karuna $ 20 Supreme Spice Gift Box
Hemantkumar Naik $ 25 Cooking at Home with Pedatha
A B $ 51 1 for Indian Home Cooking
1 for American Masala
(Cinnamon Trail)
$ 50 1 for Madhur’s Indian Cooking
1 for Cooking at Home with Pedatha
Deepa Gumpeni $ 25 Icewine Dark Chocolate
Bhargavi Karri
Thank you my friend!
$ 25 Mountain Valley
Gururajan $ 50 1 for Dakshin
1 for Supreme Spice Gift Box
Sujatha Narayan $ 25 Supreme Spice Gift Box
Yeggi Easwaran $ 25 Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts
Anjali Damerla $ 25 Icewine Dark Chocolate
Mitesh Damana $ 20
Srivats Hariharan $ 35
Lisa Johnson $ 10
Akhila Rajan $ 25
Suyog Kulkarni $ 11
Madhu $ 25 World Vegetarian
Rachna Madhavan
(Soul Food)
$ 25 Complete Digital Photography
(Bong Mom’s Cookbook)
$ 15
Amaravathy $ 25 Mountain Valley
Suganthi $ 25 Dinner at Devi Restaurant
Swapna and Prasad $ 15
Seema Vasagiri $ 25 Cooking at home with Pedatha
Lee and Friends $ 75 2 for American Masala
1 for Icewine Dark Chocolate
Shoba Prabhakaran $ 25 Essential Andhra Cookbook
Anu Chandrasekhar $ 11
Priya Sivaraman $ 25 American Masala
Charu Menon $ 25 American Masala
Asha Arvind
(Foodie’s Hope)
$ 30
T D $ 25 Cooking at Home with Pedatha
Deepika Gadiparthi $ 25 Children’s Saree Dress
Sudhir Padmaja $ 50 Cooking at Home with Pedatha
Mini Narayanan $ 25 Dakshin
Shub $ 30 Supreme Spice Gift Box
Sunanda Gudi $ 25 Essential Andhra Cookbook
Aditya $ 50 2 for American Masala
Vijay Jayabalan $ 25 Essential Andhra Cookbook
Swati Thorat $ 25 Fairtrade Goodies Bag
M M $ 180 3 for Cooking at Home with Pedatha
-2 for World Vegetarian
-1 for G, G and Grated Coconuts
-1 for the Fairtrade Goodies Bag
PK Mohan $ 30
Madhu Kolla $ 10
Nalini Tamanna $ 10
Veera Mylapore $ 15
Pratibha Bhagwat $ 15
Kavitha Mangalagiri $ 180
V K $ 25
Menu Today $ 50
Senthil $ 10
Venugopal Rao $ 10
Mrugesh Desai $ 25
Aruna Gollamudi $ 25
Ulle Koolmar $ 50
Donors to Date = 109 $ 4,735 Thank you!
Raffle Results on Oct 25

Update on October 18th, 2007:

Thanks to your generous contributions and goodwill shown towards “FAHC-Subscribe to Smiles”, we have reached the fund-drive goal of raising 3,360 dollars in a short time. Great achievement I must say. My sincere thanks to all the contributors!

This event will continue until Oct 23, 2007. All funds received from now on are bonus achievements for the “ (FAHC)”. Thanks again for your generous support!

For full financial details about this fund-raising, please visit “ (FAHC)” after October 23rd.

Update on October 23rd, 2007:

Thank you for your support! The “FAHC-Subscribe to Smiles” Raffle Fund-Raising has successfully concluded. Raffle results will be announced on Thursday, October 25th.

Update on October 25th, 07: Raffle Results

Your passionate response to the “FAHC-Subscribe to Smiles fund-drive” is clearly indicative that all of us are determined to make a positive difference in the world. By being calmly active and actively calm, the encouragement, confidence and support you showed is heartwarming. It is truly an honor to receive such a response. I believe that we are helping ourselves, for a better tomorrow, by helping our future generations.

My thanks to the fellow bloggers and friends, who believed in this effort and readily donated time and offered amazing prizes:

Vijay K Narayanan, Anjali, Bee&Jai, Manisha, Padmaja, Shilpa, Mythili, Siri, Richa, Madhuli and Maria.

Special thanks to author and chef Suvir Saran and to Shruthi Reddy for their compassion, generous contribution and prize offers. It is a blessing to have such kind-hearted friends. I am also grateful to all who have written about this event and spread the word.

I sincerely thank all individual donors on behalf of fundraising team for their contributions. You are the people who made the goal accomplished. Your encouragement gave the FAHC team a great positive push to keep working continuously towards this mission. Thank you again for your generosity, which will make it possible for many children to have a quality life. You can find more details about the FAHC campaign, and the benefiting children at

For raffle-draw, I had taken the help of my friend’s daughter, three year old Manasa, to randomly pick the winners. For each prize, we have written down all the names and placed the folded paper slips in a jar. A vigorous shake and a pick. One prize at a time, the raffle-draw turned out to be a pleasant affair, all thanks to little cutie pie Manasa.

From Manasa’s hands, here are the raffle results:

FAHC Subscribe to Smiles: Raffle Fund-Drive Results
(Goal= $3,360, Duration= 9 days, Donors= 109, Money Raised = $4,735)
Went to
1. Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts
(14 raffle tickets)
Kala Narayan
2. Supreme Spice Gift Box
(11 raffle tickets)
Priya Ramamurthy
3. Complete Digital Photography (Two copies)
(10 raffle tickets)
Krithika Sukumaran
Padmaja Kochera
4. American Masala (Two Copies)
(15 raffle tickets)
Shruthi Reddy
5. Indian Home Cooking (Two Copies)
(8 raffle tickets)
Archana Bhat
6. Dinner for two at Devi (Two Prizes)
(1 raffle ticket)
7. Children’s Saree Dress (Two Prizes)
(2 raffle tickets)
Megha Abburu
Deepika Gadiparthi
8. Fair-trade Goodies Bag (Two Prizes)
(4 raffle tickets)
Swati Thorat
Ashwini of Food for Thought
9. Mountain Valley~ Oil on Canvas
(7 raffle tickets)
10. Ceramic Vindu Plate
(4 raffle tickets)
Vasantha Vemula (Rohini)
11. 30-Minute Meals
(1 raffle ticket)
Chandana Pandrangi
12. Dark Chocolate Made with Icewine
(3 raffle tickets)
Lee and Friends
13. Cooking at Home with Pedatha
(12 raffle tickets)
14. Dakshin
(2 raffle tickets)
15. Essential Andhra Cookbook
(7 raffle tickets)
Dee and K
16. World Vegetarian
(4 raffle tickets)
Ranjini Rajeevan
17. Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking
(1 raffle ticket)
Spandana and Jagadish
18. The Red Chilli
(1 raffle ticket)
Sreelu of Tasty Travels

All the winners will be notified via Email. The winners have to provide and confirm their shipping addresses. The prize sponsors will then send the gifts directly to the winners. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for the prizes to reach you. Thank you.

Update on April 13th, 2008

This is an update on FAHC fundraising conducted last October.

The money raised through the fund-drive on Mahanandi went directly to the parent organization, VK Narayanan’s (VKN) - “Feed A Hungry Child organization (FAHC)”.

During November 07, VKN emailed us enquiring about opening a new FAHC chapter, I replied with details about our Nandyala school and the work we are doing. My husband, Vijay who manages the school also showed interest. VKN and Vijay started talking. We also consulted our father-in-law who is a trustee of the Nandyala school. This is what happened next.

My father-in-law, Sri Venkata Subbaiah traveled to Kerala on November 16th, 07 to meet and see the good work FAHC doing. From Nandyala, he went to Palakkad and from there to Pattenchery village, FAHC location and VKN’s ancestral home.

My FIL, Sri Venkata Subbaiah with VKN’s guruji, Sri Vijayasekharan
at Pattenchery home, Kerala.

Greeting with gifts for FAHC-children, Pattenchery.

Sharing a meal with FAHC team, Pattenchery.

My Father-in-Law with FAHC Trustees and Team at Pattenchery.

Impressed with the FAHC work at Pattenchery, my father-in-law gave us a green signal. More talks about what, when, and how. Things started to come together. During December 2007, ten needy children were selected from our school. Met with their parents and consent was taken. On January 26th 2008, on the Republic Day weekend, VKN, his wife, three children and FAHC team from Kerala visited Nandyala. Here is what happened next:

VKN and FAHC Team with my father-in-law at Nandyala School.
(There are 10 children, but only 9 were present for the photo)

FAHC Kerala team, meeting with children and family members at Nandyala, Andhra.

Eggs, Chana dal, Moong dal, Toor dal, Rice, Wheat Flour and Cooking oil ~ Food to be given to FAHC children’s family members, along with milk, fruits and vegetables.

FAHC ~ Nandyala: A Foodblogs~Family Project
Sharing food and smiles with children and family members.

FAHC Nandyala unit is providing essential groceries and food grains every month, starting from January 2008 to a total of ten children. The children are also getting good education at our school via the scholarship program we sponsor. The plan is to support the children until they finish their high school education.

This was possible only because of community effort by the wonderful food bloggers and the food blog readers. We thank you all for your generous contributions and support shown. I also thank my family members for their unconditional and wholehearted support and efforts. We hope to do this on a larger scale next year.


The money raised through the fund-drive on Mahanandi went directly to the parent organization, FAHC. All the transactions and expenditures are properly accounted, monitored and audited by the trust board established by FAHC. Before starting the dedicated unit at Nandyala, the trust members had personally visited and met with the children and their families to identify the genuinely needy children. All the expenses, payments and distribution process are properly documented and transparently maintained. For further details, please contact VK Narayanan at FAHC.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Monday October 15, 2007 at 12:09 am- permalink)
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