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

Menu for Hope (Fund Drive for World Food Programme)

For the past 3 years, every year during December, food bloggers from all around the world would get together and offer raffle prizes to support a good cause. Fellow food bloggers, readers/fans of food blogs and interested people bid on these prizes and the generated money is used for the cause.

Last year the fund drive was for UNICEF, to help earthquake victims of Kashmir. The effort generated about 17,000 dollars. Great, isn’t it? This year to benefit ‘World Food Programme’ - a UN’s branch, which has been providing food to people all over the world since 1962 whenever, wherever needed. The driving force behind all this effort is a generous, fellow food blogger Pim of Chez Pim. She is organizing and coordinating this fund drive through several co-hosts and reputable

From my side, I am offering 3 prizes for this fund drive. Middle eastern cookies - Mamouls, traditional Andhra sweets - Sunnundalu (both are made by me) and an Indian cookbook. Each item will be sent to the winning bidder neatly packed and shipping expenses paid. The cookies, sweets and the book are among the best in their class.

1. Mamouls: 12 count. Prize Code: UW29

Ma'amouls (Delicate date Cookies) Exquisite, one of a kind, delicious date cookies from Middle-east

Rosewater flavored cookies - Sweetly crisp, grainy covering on the outside and insides are sweet moist filling of honeyed dates. Homemade and styled using a wooden mamoul mold.
Dough - semolina, all purpose flour, yeast, ghee, organic turbinado sugar and rose water
Filling - honeyed Tunisian dates, organic turbinado sugar and rose water
You can see the similar preparation using wooden mamoul mold - here.

2. Sunnundalu (Urad Dal Laddu): 20 count. Prize Code: UW30

Traditional sweet from Andhra Pradesh, India

Using an old world style grain mill, roasted urad dal is ground with sugar into fine sand like powder. Pure ghee along with cardamom powder is added and the mixture is shaped into perfect rounds. Prepared by following centuries-old traditional method, this sweet from my home state is a sheer delight and much beloved because of its unique taste and nutritional value. A must for celebrations and I am proud to offer this prize.
Whole Urad dal, Ghee prepared from bovine hormone-free butter and organic turbinado raw cane sugar and cardamom powder.
For detail recipe and photos of preparation - click here.

3. Cooking at Home with Pedatha - by Jigyasa Giri, Pratibha Jain.
First edition and brand-new. Prize Code: UW33

Front Cover of Cookbook ~ Cooking at home with Pedatha
Cookbook ~ Indian (Andhra) Cuisine

“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.”
Kindly offered by the authors for this fund drive. Thanks Jigyasa and Pratibha!
Cookbook Details:
Authors website:
Market price and Reviews at:

There are several neat prizes offered by fellow food bloggers from all around the world - from homemade goodies to cookbooks to dinner at fabulous restaurants. Click here for the complete list.

The site - First Giving, that Pim set up is secure and safe, accepts both Visa and Master Card (I’ve donated through it last year, no problems and very easy to do). I strongly believe that the money we generate 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. Thanks!

How to Contribute:

Go to

Contribute. Each $10 will give you one raffle ticket towards a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize or prizes you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. Do mention how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code -for example, a donation of $20 will buy you 2 tickets for UW29 (Mamouls).

Please include and also check the box to allow organizers to see your email address, so that they could contact incase you win the prize.

The event will be closed on 22nd December and raffle prize winners will be announced on January 15 at Chez Pim and respective blogs. (The drawing will be done electronically).

Not into prizes, the whole hungama-you just want to donate(like I did last year). You can do that also.

If you need more information about the prizes, please contact me using the comments form below. Thanks.

Cynicism is fine but compassion rocks! Choose rocking choice. Go bid and have fun!

To all the contributors and to:

Nupur, SaltShaker, Gita, Hyma, Roopa, Siri, Aparna T, Prava, Indybear, Nina, Gini, Boranam, ok, Aparna T and Stephanie

Thank You!

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Monday December 11, 2006 at 7:40 am- permalink)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

21 comments for Menu for Hope (Fund Drive for World Food Programme) »

  1. Good luck Indira.

    Comment by Raveena — December 11, 2006 @ 11:22 am

  2. these prizes literally make my mouth water.
    thanks for your participation, Indira.

    Comment by sam — December 11, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

  3. Wonderful to have you participate Indira. It sure is going to open a whole new bunch of contributors for this campaign.
    And a lot more confusion as to what to bid on too :-)

    Comment by Priya — December 11, 2006 @ 12:29 pm

  4. Those cookies look wonderful, Indira! What a great way to bring Mahanandi into one’s home!

    And what a great idea to have the Cooking with Pedatha cookbook as a prize!!

    Comment by Manisha — December 11, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  5. Thanks Raveena!

    You are doing an awesome job of coordinating this event, Sam. Thanks for all your effort and energy.

    Priya: I wanted to participate this year through prize offering. These humble prizes is all I’d offer/think of at this time.

    Manisha: Thanks for your support!
    Jigyasa and Pratibha are really good people, they readily agreed to contribute to this project. I agree, their cookbook make a good gift that’d keep on giving.

    Comment by Indira — December 11, 2006 @ 11:46 pm

  6. This is a great event for such a wonderful cause Indira. Good luck and I’ll head on over to Firstgiving to see how I can contribute. Thanks!
    - Roopa

    Comment by RD — December 12, 2006 @ 9:39 am

  7. Indira, these all sound wonderful. I don’t know how I’ll decide which item to bid on (although I know my wife would adore the laddu). The cookbook sounds good too. You’re so generous.

    Comment by Brett — December 12, 2006 @ 7:27 pm

  8. Roopa, You Rock! Thank you. :)

    Brett, you and N look adorable in the new sidebar photo. I always wondered about you guys, particularly about N. She looks like an exceptional person.

    Comment by Indira — December 12, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

  9. Dear Indira,
    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute for a great cause.
    Take care.

    Comment by Hyma — December 14, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  10. BTW I am really happy to see my name on Mahanandi ;)

    Comment by Hyma — December 14, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

  11. Dear Indira,

    Thanks for supporting Menu for Hope and for the awesome prizes you are offering!

    By the way, the 2006 Food Blog Awards are on at

    I nominated your blog in two categories:
    Best Food Blog - Recipes
    Best Overall Food Blog

    Happy Holidays! :-)

    Comment by Gita — December 15, 2006 @ 2:57 pm

  12. These recipes look so delicious.

    Comment by Rose Water — December 18, 2006 @ 5:01 pm

  13. Hi Indira ,
    Hope u are doing well.
    Has The power restored in ur place in Seattle

    Comment by Anu — December 19, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  14. Hi Indira,

    How are u? Why no new posts in your blog from a week? Is everything ok?Happy holidays and Happy new year.


    Comment by laxmi — December 24, 2006 @ 5:58 pm

  15. Thanks very much for participating in this fundraising Hyma. I greatly appreciate your support!

    Iam humbled and honored. Thanks Gita!
    Happy Holidays.

    Hi Anu: Windstorm wrecked a havoc on the city, wasn’t it? We didn’t had power for half day. But our apartment building has generators, so didn’t had any problems during power outage. How about you? Hope everything was alright at your neighbourhood.
    Happy New Year!

    Hi Laxmi: Everything is fine, thanks for asking. Just taking a mini break from blogging for the holidays. Will return to blogging from the 1 st.
    Happy New Year!

    Comment by Indira — December 26, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

  16. Nice pics of those tender coconuts..Happy New year to you and your family,Indira.

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Annita! Happy New Year greetings to you and your lovely family!

    Comment by Annita — January 2, 2007 @ 7:19 am

  17. Dear Indira i am feeling sad that you are hurt by some comments,I was trying to comment on your blog from so many days…firstly wanted to say that i made your peanut chutney and mango dal I loved them both….then I tried the okra fry recipe I loved it so much decided to start the New year too again making it and eating along with chapathi for breakfast.
    I told my hubby…im starting this new year with Indiras recipe hope I can become like her….:)

    Indira wishing you and Vijay a peaceful and joyous new year!

    Indira I also have a request can you blog the recipe of Vangi baath if you can…Thanks Indira!

    Comment by Sumitha — January 2, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

  18. Hello Indiraji,

    Wish you a very happy and peaceful new year! Wondered why your comments form got closed but got the reply today:)

    Comment by Latha — January 3, 2007 @ 2:15 am

  19. Hi Indira,
    I have enjoyed your recipes and your thoughtful comments.I have used your recipes and I am impressed with the time and effort you put into it.I am a foodie.In fact I love Ava pettina Kura.My mother used to make cabbage ava kura as well.Arati Ava Kura reminds me of my childhood and many happy memories of my grandparents house in Eluru.
    Rameshwari from Pittsburgh

    Comment by Rameshwari — January 4, 2007 @ 9:32 am

  20. […] Yes folks, it's that time of year again, when even the most reluctant bakers (like me!) dust off their aprons and head for the kitchen clutching blocks of shortening, cartons of eggs and bags of sugar. There's just something about Christmas that brings out the latent baker in all of us.  I remember that when I was still living at home, my mom and I would set aside a Saturday shortly before Christmas for a big bake-in.  We would plan to go nowhere that day and do nothing except bake.When she wasn't working full-time and had some spare time, my mom was always keen on making edible Christmas presents for friends.  The old favourites that always made an appearance at Christmas time were coconut ice (hey – this tradition goes back to the 1970's and coconut ice was considered cool at that stage ;-) ) and chocolate fudge.  For some reason, despite making fudge pretty regularly all through my childhood, my mom never had a sugar thermometer.  This meant that, to test whether the boiling sugar mixture was hot enough, she had to drop a blob of it into a waiting jug of water and test the consistency once it had cooled in the water a little:  if you could not form a ball, it was not ready yet; if you could form a soft ball, it was ready; and it it became brittle and crackly you had gone too far and would have rock-hard caramel!!  I was totally fascinated by this process and would always eagerly scoop all the remains of these experiments out of the water and pop them in my mouth. As I got older, I took a more hands-on approach.  My mom had a proper cookie press set (another object of total fascination to a kid!) with various discs for making intricately-shaped cookies.  I was eventually allowed access to this piece of machinery and I used to love making the shapes and possibly decorating them with cherries or sprinkles before they went into the oven.  And even later, my mom would mostly sit and chat to me while I baked endless fruit mince pies.  She always marvelled at how I wasn't interested in fiddly or time-consuming cooking at all – until it came to mince pies for Christmas.   And I guess little has changed:  I never bake… until Christmas time!I am actually fibbing a teensy little bit – I did make this recipe earlier this year for my EBBP#5 parcel.  But in the recent flurry of Christmas baking I have made it again – these little bars are just so moreish you can't resist them.  As my astute readers will notice in the picture above, I was attempting to multi-task (as usual!) and somewhere between rearranging the bookshelf, hanging the laundry, watering the plants and rememebreing exactly when the shortbread went into the oven, something was momentarily forgotten.  Yes, you guessed – that slightly over-browned appearance is not my oven's fault, it's entirely MINE!  This made the shortbread a little too brown at the edges and sometimes a little too brittle to get out of the baking dish cleanly – not recommended.  But it was still tasty… Next time I may add some chopped macadamia nuts too, for extra crunch (and just because I thought a little more fat wouldn't hurt Be warned – these are very moreish and you'll never be able to stop after just one…LEMON SHORTBREAD FINGERS (yields about 25-30) – adapted from www.cooksrecipes.comIngredients 1 cup butter, softened1/2 cup granulated sugar2Tbsp lemon juice2tsp finely grated lemon peel2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour(Optional – 1 cup roughly chopped roasted macadamia huts)Method1.  Heat the oven to 350F (180C).  Lightly grease a 20cm square baking tin.2.  Cream together the butter, sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel in a large bowl.  Beat at medium speed, scraping often, until smooth and creamy.  Add the flour and continue to beat until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add macadamia nuts (if using) and knead the dough by hand until smooth.3.  Press the dough evenly into the greased baking tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.  (Watch carefully as the 35 minute mark approaches – after then it becomes overbrowned very quickly! – Ed.)4.  Sprinkle with granulated sugar, allow to cool slightly and cut into fingers in the baking tin.  Allow to cool completely before removing. (Optional – instead of sprinkling with sugar, you can glaze the strips when they are completely cool.  Combine 1/2 a cup of icing sugar, 1 Tbsp softened butter and 1Tbsp lemon juice in a bowl, whisking till creamy.  Spread on the shortbread, allow to stand for 30 minutes before removing from baking tin and serving.)And if you like cookies, why not make a donation to the Menu for Hope campaign and put yourself in line to win one of a number of cookie-related prizes for only $10?  So far we have raised an astonishing $14,000 for the UN World Food Programme – let's see if we can beat last year's record $17,000!More delicious adventures you may like…South African Soetkoekies for IMBB #10Double peanut butter cookies – ‘Tis the season for baking #2Triple ginger layer cakeBron’s chocolate oat & sesame cookies – Christmas baking IIISinful dark chocolate & raspberry cupcakes Get Free Email UpdatesNever miss an update by subscribing to the blog now! […]

    Pingback by Lemon shortbread - 'Tis the season for baking #1 - Cooksister | Food, Travel, Photography — February 24, 2015 @ 1:49 pm

  21. […] As I mentioned, for eleven months of the year, I'm not much of a baker.  Then suddenly December arrives and stirs all these wonderful memories of afternoons spent in a fragrant kitchen with my mom, and I develop an atavistic yearning to bake cookies.  Of course, recently I've also had a perfect excuse – the London food bloggers' annual cookie swap which seems to have become a bit of an institution, and a wonderful one at that.  Last year I only made one kind of cookie, but this year I had two in mind – one old and one new.  The old one was something I used to help my mom make as a kid (by pressing the nut on top of each!) and I had recently developed a huge craving for them:  peanut butter cookies! This plan was aided and abetted by Moira in the form of authentic American supplies.  When Moira came to London for the bloggers' salt and butter tasting, she stepped off the train with a goodie bag for me, full of post-modern, ironically witty (I hope!!) culinary gifts like Hostess Twinkies,  Cupcakes, Ho ho's and Suzy Q's.  More of those in another post.  But at the bottom of the bag were a few things that fascinated me far more. Firstly, there was a seemingly inexhaustible supply of Hershey's peanut butter kisses (a little obsession I developed on our recent trip to the USA…), and packets of Hershey's chocolate chips and Reese's peanut butter chips.  I didn't even know the latter existed up until that point! They are curiously compelling – shaped like little miniature Hershey's kisses with  decidedly firm texture, but defintely the taste of peanut butter.  Fascinating and, I'm sure, nothing like nature intended.  But then there's nothing like the lure of the exotic and forbidden I know my mom's recipe for grondboontjiebotterkoekies is written by hand in a dog-eared index book back home in Port Elizabeth – sadly completely out of my reach.  So I was a little stuck for a recipe.  As I was pondering this problem and idly fiddling with the peanut butter chips packet, my eye alighted on… a recipe on the back.  Hurrah!  Because although my mom may not have taught me to remember her peanut butter cookie recipe by heart, she did teach me that companies only put their most fabulous and foolproof recipes on their packaging ;-)   Thanks Mamma!All I will add is that because we don't have an electric mixer in the house (a side-effect of living abroad and owning a houseful of stuff locked away in storage on another continent – and having a husband who treats this as an excuse never to buy another kitchen gadget again…), these cookies took a serious amount of effort to mix.  I mean – picture creaming together butter, vegetable shortening, peanut butter and flour – armed with nothing but a wooden spoon!  More like Hershey's double-arms-of-steel-cookies.  But otherwise ridiculously easy and ridiculously popular with my family and friends.  Enjoy!HERSHEY'S DOUBLE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES (makes about 48 cookies)Ingredients1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda1/2 tsp baking powder1/4 tsp salt1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 62.5g) butter, softened1/4 cup (62.5g) shortening (I used vegetable shortening)1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)1/2 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup packed light brown sugar1 egg1 2/3 cups (one 10 0z. package) Reese's peanut butter chips (optional – if you leave them out the cookies just won't be "double" peanut butter.  Instead, press a single roasted peanut onto the top of each cookie before baking)MethodHeat oven to 375F.  Combine flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt.  Beat butter, shortening, peanut butter, sugars and egg in a large bowl on blender's medium speed until well blended.  Gradually add the flour mixture, beating well.  Stir in peanut butter chips.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Place 2 inches apart (they spread!) on an ungreased cookie sheet (I lined mine with baking paper). Using a fork dipped in addititional granulated sugar, flatten balls to about a 1/4 inch thickness by pressing tines of fork in 2 different directions to make a criss-cross pattern.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set.  Cool slightly, remove from baking sheet to wire rack to cool completely.  Pour a glass of milk or a mug of coffee, sit back and snack!And if you like cookies, why not make a donation to the Menu for Hope campaign and put yourself in line to win one of a number of cookie-related prizes for only $10?  So far we have raised an astonishing $29,630 for the UN World Food Programme – way in excess of last year's $17,000!  Well done.  Now let's see if we can get to $34,000 and double last year's total.  Please?  Just one little bid?Related posts:'Tis the season to be baking #1 – lemon shortbreadMore delicious adventures you may like…Bron’s chocolate oat & sesame cookies – Christmas baking IIISouth African Soetkoekies for IMBB #10Lemon shortbread – ‘Tis the season for baking #1Chocolate peanut butter chip browniesCranberry-ginger caramel pudding Get Free Email UpdatesNever miss an update by subscribing to the blog now! […]

    Pingback by Double peanut butter cookies - 'Tis the season for baking #2 - Cooksister | Food, Travel, Photography — February 24, 2015 @ 1:50 pm

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