Simple Kobi Gajar Khichdi | Vegan Recipe |Moong Dal Khichdi | Simple Arua Khichudi | Sadha Odia Phula Kobi Gajar Khichudi| Non Onion Garlic Vegan Khichdi

January 7, 2016 by Snigdha

Simple Moong Dal Khichdi with Cauliflower and Carrots| Simple Kobi-Gajar Khichdi ( Arua, No Onion-Garlic)

2-3 serves

In the body of a pressure cooker, heat pure ghee ( 1 tsp). Splutter jeera( 1 tsp). Add hing( 1/4 tsp), haldi( 1/2 tsp) , salt to taste, chopped cauliflower( 5-6 florets), carrot( 1 medium), moong dal( 3/4 th cup), rice( 1 cup) and water( 3 1/2 – 4 cups). Just give it a stir and close the lid. Cook for one whistle on high flame. Open after 1 minute or so, by cooling under running tap. Finish with some more pure ghee and chopped fresh coriander.

Optional: Red chilli powder may be added while adding turmeric etc.

A super- quick, tasty, wholesome dish!

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Not Just a Thought | Inspiring Thoughts

January 4, 2016 by Snigdha

Walk the right path, ALWAYS!

Derive your goals from your purpose;not the other way round.That will ensure you end up doing the right things the right way!

Think about it. What do you value? Achieving the goal at any cost, or walking the right path? If walking the right path is not likely to lead you to the “goal”, pause and introspect. Perhaps, it is not a worthy one that serves your true purpose. Have the courage to abandon or modify that specific goal.

We do not really ‘win’ merely by achieving a goal that does not ultimately serve our purest higher purpose. Be absolutely clear: Serving lowly selfish interest at the expense of others/ other good causes is never a higher purpose. Look beyond self; clarity automatically dawns.

Many a times, our minds get bogged down by a severe doubt: “Will walking the right path, i.e. the path of truth, honesty and ethics, make me win always?” These type of doubts are common especially in the present day scenario replete with umpteen examples of corrupt and morally bankrupt people ‘raising the cups’. But  remember, the very fact that you are walking the right path in itself contains your “win”. And there are umpteen number of examples as well that bear out the ultimate success of perseverance by honest people ; but somehow we tend to look more at the negative examples, as that gives us much “justifications” to give up easily.  On the other hand, if you actually ‘win” in the ordinary parlance of having reached the number one position, or having achieved some material goal, by walking the wrong path, i.e. adopting unfair means and walking all over others, then your very “win” contains your true failure. Think again: what do you value personally? Winning in public eye, or feeling a winner within??

The choice is yours; always!

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Not Just a Thought | Food for Thought | Motivational Thought

January 1, 2016 by Snigdha



Keep calm, make a list and start doing!

If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.

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A true sense of community service can achieve wonders

October 15, 2015 by Snigdha

I always had very high regards for Sardarjies for here is one community who knows jokes are all the time cracked in their name, but never complain because of their pure hearts and simplicity. But after my  recent trip to The Golden Temple at Amritsar, my respect for them has become manifold – especially after experiencing Langar… a 24 hr free offering of food and tea to whosoever comes, that too with voluntary seva by whosoever wants to offer. Truly a phenomenal concept of huge order in execution. Hats off.

This reminds me of the following I read somewhere. Do not get entangled in figures – just look at the core facts. YES! I too have never seen a Sardarji beggar. Is n’t it something to ponder over ?

We all love Sardarji jokes. But do you know that Sikhs are one of the hardest working, prosperous and diversified communities in the world!
My friend told me about the following incident which I wish to share with you. It has had a deep impact on my thinking…

During the last vacation, a few friends came to Delhi . They rented a taxi for local sight-seeing. The driver was an old Sardar and boys being boys, these pals began cracking Sardarji jokes, just to tease the old man. But to their surprise, the fellow remained unperturbed..

At the end of the sight-seeing, they paid the cab hire charges. The Sardar returned the change, but he gave each one of them one rupee extra and said,”Sons, since morning you have been telling Sardarji jokes. I listened to them all and let me tell you, some of them were in bad taste. Still, I don’t mind coz I know that you are young blood and are yet to see the world. But I have one request. I am giving you one rupee each. Give it to the first Sardar beggar that you come across in this or any other city !!!”

My friend continued, “That one rupee coin is still with me. I couldn’t find a single Sardar begging anywhere.”

The secret behind their universal success is their willingness to do any job with utmost dedication and pride. A Sardar will drive a truck or set up a roadside garage or a dhaba, run a fruit juice stall, take up small time carpentry, … but he will never beg on the streets,

Because Sikhs contribute:

* 33% of total income tax
* 67% of total charities
* 45% of Indian Army

* 59,000++ Gurudwaras serve LANGAR to 5,900,000+ people everyday!

& All this when THEY make only 1.4% of the total INDIAN POPULATION…

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Passing through a STORM

May 7, 2015 by Snigdha

                     WHO WALKED IN.
                                                                              –  HARUKI MURAKAMI
Now it’s up to you, and none else, to decide how you would like to come out of the storm- battered or better, fragmented or fortified, demolished or determined !!

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Habisa Dalma | Vegan Recipe | Authentic Odia Food

May 14, 2014 by Snigdha


Habisa Dalma


 Habisha or Habisa Dalma is typically prepared in the month of ‘Kartik’ in Odisha, especially in Puri- the land of Lord Jagannath, when many Odias observe “habisha” in which only satwik( veg without onion –garlic-mustard oil) and humble food is consumed. The specific dish for this month is  Habisha Dalma made out of moong dal(skinned & split green gram) with only kadali/kaccha kela (raw banana), saru/arbi(colocasia),  oou( elephant pear), ginger, grated coconut and pure ghee.

 *Oou is a typical vegetable available in Orissa/Odisha and it tastes tangy               (khatta). 


OOU  ( perhaps called Elephant Pear ) . 


      Oou when halved. The slimy interior          oou is a layered vegetable. Layers

     needs to be taken out & discarded             need be separated & skinned before




Procedure  ( traditional type)


For 3-4 serves

Place a deep bottomed pot on fire with enough water( 4-5 cups) in it. Add  ( 1 cup or a little more) and bring it to the boiling point. Lower the flame and let it boil. Take out the scum (white foam) as they come up.  After 2-3 mins, add salt, diced arbi (saru/colocasia – 7-8 nos). After 3-4 mins of cooking, add diced kachha kela ( kadali/raw banana – about 1 large or a little more), 1 slit green chilli, generous amount of crushed ginger ( 1-2 inch) and sliced Oou*( 6-7 slices). Cook on sim, half-covered, till dal is tender and each grain splits ( say for 12-15 mins after adding kela. Do not overcook, otherwise moong dal turns slimy. By that time, both raw banana and colocasia would have got cooked right also. Adjust consistency by adding some more water, if necessary. Keep the consistency of dal a little running- not thick at all.Add grated coconut ( 5-6 tbsp, or more if you like). Switch off.


Heat refined oil/dalda. Splutter jeera ( 1 tsp) and dry red chilli pieces.

 When jeera turns fragrant, add this seasoning to the dal and cover immediately for the flavour to get absorbed. Add 1 tsp of pure ghee ( or a little more). Serve hot with plain rice.


Usually, the platter contains plain rice flavoured with pure ghee, habisha dalma, baigan bhaja, kankana bhaja, arua saaga, tomato khajuri khata/oau khata etc. accompanied by slices of tender cucumber, lemon, green chilli and salt on the side!! Tastes divine.

Must eat freshly made and hot. Smash-n-grind a bit of green chilli with your fingers into the dalma while eating.

Do not want such an elaborate platter ? Just go for rice, habisha dalma, one simple fry and cucumber+green chilli+lemon+salt on the side. Soul-satisfying.

Habisha Dalma, with kela ( which blackens the dish) and without haldi, looks a bit uninviting – but taste it and you will promise never to go by the appearance ever again.



1. if you do not have Oou ( which is seasonal & mostly not available elsewhere), add a bit of amchoor ( mango powder) instead of OOU towards the end.  Follow rest of the procedure.

2.Avoid seasoning and just add pure ghee to the dalma after adding coconut and serve.

3. Avoid tanginess altogether by not using oou or aamchur. Just use lots of crushed ginger and coconut. Add pure ghee without /with seasoning.

 4. Use dry-roasted moong dal, instead of raw dal, follow the full procedure and garnish with chopped dhania patta( coriander leaves).

Some people also add other vegetables like brinjal and pumpkin. But I stick to only colocasia and raw banana(plantain) for this recipe. And guess what! I love the aamchur version without seasoning, but with a generous dollop of pure ghee !! So, now-a-days, I do not miss oou , though I am a great fan of Habisha Dalma J

 ………………………………………………………..Jay Jagannath……………………………………………………………………………………


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A Must Read by all men and women “Lean in : Women, Work, and The Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook

August 9, 2013 by Snigdha


It was one of those rare occasions when I felt very happy and relieved on being proved incorrect!

When I first got to know about this book by Sheryl Sandberg, the famous COO of Facebook, from reviews in some newspapers, my first kneejerk reaction, was to scoff at it. One more bragging from one more “Female Achiever”; I thought, who thinks that the others who do not eventually make it to the top are the lot “scared” of the top slots and/or those who do not have” what it takes”, or who just are not willing enough to take the plunge – happy n secure within their comfort zone!!  I thought, it is easy on the part of a woman executive, that too from a background of rather liberal & facilitative western culture, who has already seen so much of success, for reasons whatsoever, to say things like, “ Lean in”, “sit at the table” and exhort other women to dream big and reach for them without holding back themselves; as if it is the fault of the women only that they are not dreaming big or reaching for their goals.

But as I said, those were only my first reaction based on the reviews in some newspapers. At the same time, I was also getting sucked into another strong reaction-almost off-guard! And it was guilt!! I had thought in so many years after quitting my job that I really don’t regret or feel guilty that I quit my job. I have my reasons, so far I thought I am convinced of those reasons. But here comes a book, whose reviews focus on only one part: wherein a powerful woman proclaims: women are not in ‘power’, as they do not aspire to be there and hold themselves back even when opportunities come their way. The book shouts: Lean in to power! we need more  women in ‘power” to correct the centuries long discrimination and injustice against women. Need more women in power? Yes, I think so, too. But women do not aspire to power? No, I do not think that is the whole truth!

Suddenly, I start feeling guilty. Have I “pulled back” from “power”, instead of leaning in? And thereby, have I betrayed my forerunners of feminists as well as the coming generations of women?? Have I deprived my fellow women from the impact that I could have made towards bridging the gender gap  by hanging on to my corporate job and moving up in the corridors of power?

I was truly keen to read the book myself to know firsthand, in detail, what Sheryl has actually tried to argue and advocate.  Thank God, page after page, as I intently went through the book, my joy and relief knew no bounds.

Yes! I can not agree more with each and every aspect of the gender issues that Sheryl has candidly brought out ( happens quite rarely with me). And NO! it is not about exhorting each and every woman to necessarily join the rat race of power in the corporate sector/decision-making Government organizations.

The book is all about “ true freedom” and “ an equal world”  !

I found it way too courageous on part of Sheryle to have brought up to focus various real  issues – not only the big, but also the so-called small issues ( that actually build up to big issues when unattended to for ages)-  that “hold back”  talented women from breaking the traditional female stereotypes and /or to display their professional ambition or to reach their potential. As she correctly analyses, some of these factors are external, some institutional and some internal ( almost of a self-perpetuating nature due to which the victim- read woman- becomes the worst perpetrator of the victimization!).

Yes, feminism was about freedom of choice, and not to make us feel guilty, or constantly worry about “ did I get it wrong?”

Yes, leaning in is about giving your best and demanding /extracting the best as you deserve, without allowing to be scuttled due to your gender,  and being your best in whatever area you are passionate about – be it raising the next generation, or volunteering for society, or making laws and strategies sitting in the leadership positions of power that can impact the world at large ; OR  a mix of all these! However, it makes immense sense when the author says that the need for more women in power is  being felt more than ever before, given the degree of gender discrimination against women that has already got deeply entrenched in the social psyche world over !!

At times, all it takes to make you move to your next level is someone else’s opinion that resonates with your own. And after reading the book till the end, I felt very reassured.

Let me introduce myself. I am the 4th of the 5 siblings in order of age & the younger of the two sisters, born to parents from humble background, who taught us very early in our lives: “ Let us agree to disagree !” a mindset, which, I now fully understand, is actually the bedrock of true freedom. If you, as a child, are not free to disagree with your parents in the first place, or conversely, if you, as a parent, do not allow your children the freedom to disagree with you, you can never expect a society with individuals having a thinking mind in the first place, let alone a ‘free’ mind. Minus the emotions, disagreement is just a difference of opinion and so long as we are not entitled to our opinion, or do not learn to hold an opinion of our own (reasonableness or otherwise of that opinion is altogether a different issue which can only be established through a free debate), we can not call ourselves free!!

Yes, I have quit my service in the corporate sector after more than 25 years for some reasons important to me and my values, although I always put my best foot forward valuing excellence over other rewards  in doing things I am responsible for, or passionate about. It was equally to stand up against what I was convinced was injustice, as also to pursue other passions in life to give back something to the society by using my gifts/talents/insights from long and varied experience. Yes, I have not yet entered the elite club of the Super-achievers, perhaps I am not as worldly-wise to be there, or perhaps because the time is yet to come. But no regrets, as I have continued to hold my head high with a free mind and have continued to exercise my free will in making reasoned choices of my own in critical situations in life – both professional and personal. And this is precious enough to me to keep my batteries charged, come what may, and make a difference to at least a few other lives.

Can not thank Sheryl enough for what she has been doing through this book and other modes of communication to lead a movement, standing up for the cause of half the people on this planet!!   

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