Wednesday, October 7, 2009

GrassRoot Innovation in India

I was surfing the net to find out the grassroot level innovation in India, which helps rural people. I came across several examples of ordinary people innovating and making them accessable to rural poor.

When we look at the lives of rural population, the most important things which all need are: Food(Water), Housing, Energy, Health, Education in the order of priority. We need to use locally available resources which are sustainable and cost effective.

Here are few examples:

1. Use of Bio-Gas in rural India:
2. Solar Energy:
Also visit National Innovation Foundation @

On Twitter Now

Sorry guys... no posts from long time. You can follow me on Twitter @abinashpadhi now. Will do some blogging now..Bye

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Natural Way

Some one asked me on the name of the blog. Why did you name it "The Natural Way"? Well, I had to give it a name, which has some meaning and reflects my thoughts or writing. I did contemplate on it and here is what came out.

If you give time to nature, it will evolve and adapt itself. Be it humans, animals, plants, each and everything in this universe will adapt itself, survive and evolve or change according to the environment. The problem comes when we try to change the adaptation or evolution. Lets look at two most important issues facing the mankind: Nature of Human Mind and Natural World (Environment).

The human mind is one of the most complex system ever known. All that you touch, see, smell, hear is only possible because of this instrument. To control it or guide is the most difficult task. Most of the time we are controlled or guided by the mind and not vice-versa. However, the mind functions with the help of our memory which is part of the mind. All our actions or reactions are guided by our past experiences. The logical mind checks with the memory and acts. Take for instance a child touching the fire. First time, the child puts the finger out of curiosity. Naturally it will burn or intense heat can be felt. Next time the child sees a fire, the logical mind will check with memory and stop the hand from going there. Now imagine what all we have stored in our memory from years. There are millions of pictures, sounds, instructions stored in our memory. All our actions today are prompted by it. Now above it we have an intellect which is the true nature of our self. With our experience and time, the intellectual mind gains power to decide. Armed with this power of decision making we can take good or bad decisions. These have direct impact on our lives today and days to come.

What will happen if we allow the mind to function naturally and with out any disturbances? We force values, instruction, theories, religion and thousands of other things on a child that his/her mind does not act to its true nature. On the contrary, a child's mind becomes somewhat exact replica of the parents, teachers and so on. The child is told what to do, or not do for every independent actions. what is good or bad for the kid is decided by the parents and society. By the time the child grows up, it is too late. What happens when the child is not forced to do something? Most of the time chances are that, the child will grow up and become a matured person and successful in whatever work he/she is doing. This is proven time and again by the most successful people in all fields. The secret is that, they started doing what they loved early in their life. LOVE, PASSION, FULL OF ENERGY, CURIOSITY, CREATIVE, INNOVATIVE, COURAGE, HONESTY and I can go on to describe a successful person. What is the true nature of the child or human mind? If we ask this question, we will find the same words which we used to describe a successful person. All children by nature are curious, have lot of energy, creative. They love everyone including animals and plants. When faced with challenge while playing, they come up with innovative ways of solving it. If we observe a child we will find it very easily.

The challenge is to find the true nature of a child. Parents and elders should ask some basic questions before forcing anything on the child. The child sould be encouraged to do what he/she loves to do. We force certain value systems, education, religion, people, places, jobs, sports, music and I can go on and on. These things become barrier to the growth or evolution of human mind.

Now lets, apply the same theory to the environment. Mankind, has always been changing nature to suit itself. All other living beings in this world adapt to the environment and not change. In this way they evolve and nature helps them to grow. We have changed this world so much that, it is becoming a barrier to our survival in future. Our quest of changing and conquering nature has become the biggest threat to human beings and all other living beings.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spicy Eggplant/ Brinjal/ Baigan Chutney

Brinjal is bitter in taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. Lot of people don't like brinjal as its bitter. I remembered eating a brinjal chutney long back in Andhra Pradesh, India and today saw a posting in net about it. I decided to give it a go... and it came out really great.


Keep diced ginger, Green Chillis and Garlic ready. You need good quantity of ginger & garlic. Cut the brinjal into little cubes and clean them with turmeric water. Leave it till we need it. Now lets take a pan and heat it up. Then add 2 T-Spoon of oil. Add mustand seeds and later cumin seeds to it. Now add, ginger and garlic. Saute it for some time and add chillis. Now add 2-3 T Spoon of Tamarind pulp to it. Saute for few minutes and add the brinjal. Cover the pan and lower the heat. Cook till the brinjal is cooked and leave it to cool.

Now the next step is to add the cooked brinjal in a blender/ mixer. Add salt and little water and blend till it becomes paste like. You can store it in a fridge. Also you can temper it and eat it with Dosa, Idly, Parathas.

Sweet & Sour Prawn curry

Sweet & Sour Prawn curry

Last weekend I tried to do some experiment and cook Prawn curry in a different method. It was a risk worth taking, as it came out really great. I suggest you try to cook in this method and give me feedback. Cooking is an art like photography. You need to keep trying and suddenly unlock the secret of a great recipe. I take many photographs of the same subject/ object and one out of five comes great. Cooking is similar. If you like experimenting, you will surely become a great cook. So lets see, how to make this geat curry. My preperation is for two people, and you can increase the ingredients if you prepare the dish for more people.


Take 10/12 pieces of Cooked Prawns (I used cooked one which we get in the store, you can try with fresh ones also.) and mix with marination which we prepared.

For the marination, add the following ingredients and mix them well with the Prawn and leave it for 1-2 Hrs.

- 3 T-Spoon of Curd/ Yoghurt
- 1/2 T-Spoon of Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 T-Spoon of Chilli Powder (Optional if you want spicy)
- 1/2 T-Spoon of Oil
- 1 T-Spoon of Ginger Paste
- 1 T-Spoon of garlic Paste
- 1/2 T-Spoon Salt

Heat 1 T-Spoon of Oil in a pan in medium heat. Add 1/2 T-Spoon of Cumin Seeds. Add half finely chopped onion and saute. Ensure that, it cooked but not completely brown. Now add the marinated mix with prawns. Now add a T-Spoon of Cumin and Coriander Powder. Reduce the heat and cook it for few minutes. Now add 1 T-Spoon of Lime Juice or Tamarind Pulp. I prefer Tamarind for sourness. Also check if you need to add salt or not. Also add a pinch of sugar. Leave the pan covered for five minutes and allow the prawns to cook. Serve it with rice.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Earth from Above

In this image-filled talk, Yann Arthus-Bertrand displays his three most recent projects on humanity and our habitat -- stunning aerial photographs in his series "The Earth From Above," Yann Arthus-Bertrand is perhaps the best known aerial photographer on the planet. He has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide of his seminal photo essay Earth From Above, a decade-spanning attempt to photograph all the vistas of the planet from the sky, whether by helicopter, hot air balloon, or anything else that flies.

AMBIL - All time favourite recipe of Western Orissa

AMBIL or AMBILA is the favourite dish of Western Orissa. It is also unique to the region. This dish can be prepared very easily and good for health. It is one form of Soup or Sambar. Many variation of Ambil are prepared. However, I am writing about the most common form of this dish. I did not find the recipe anywhere in the net and decided to write about it for the benefit of everyone for easy access.


- Pumpkin (Makhan), Radishes (Mula), Brinjal/EggPlant (Baingan), Drumsticks (Munga), Lady Finger/Okra (Bhindi), Tomato (Tamatar).
- Gram Flour (Besan) and Yoghurt/Curd (Dahi)
- Mustard Seeds (Soriso), Cumin Seeds (Jeera) or PanchPhoran (Mix of Five whole spices).
- Dry Red Chillis
- Curry Leaves
- Garlic

So lets start the process:

1. Cut all the vegetables (except Tomato) in suqare sizes. In a large shallow pan boil them adding turmeric powder (haldi) and salt. In western orissa we call them Dekchi. You can also use pressure cooker, but you will not get the taste. You have to boil them in medium heat.

2. In a seperate pan, fry the tomatoes with a table spoon of oil and keep it ready.

3. Pour the fried tomatoes into the boiling veggies. Ensure that the veggies are half cooked before adding the tomatoes.

4. Get a bowl and mix the Yoghurt/Curd with Gram Flour (Besan) and add water to make it consistant. Add one table spoon of Besan for four table spoon of Curd. Make it watery like butter milk.

5. Now add the mix to the boiling veggies. You can also add little bit of Salt after checking the taste. You can also add tamarind water if you want it to be sour (khata) test. You need to add the mix before the veggies are cooked. Check the mix, turn off the gas if veggies are cooked.

6.Now its time for Parjha (Hindi: Chaunk, Eng: Tempering). Take a small pan, add one or two table spoon of oil. When the oil is hot add Mustand Seed and Cumin Seeds or Panch Phoran if you have which causes it to start popping immediately. Now add fine chopped garlic and dry red chillis and Curry Leaves (Mersingha Patar). Don't over cook it, it takes a min to cook or it will burn.

7. Pour the mix to the pan in which veggies are boiling. And your Ambil is ready. Serve when hot.

Ambil can be stored for few days in fridge and eaten after heating it up. Infact if you keep the ambil for 12-24 hrs and eat later it taste great. Also there is very less oil and spices used. This dish is full of vegetables and the boiling water is not thrown out. This makes the dish very nutritious and healthy.

So do try it out and give me the feedback. Happy Cooking... DO check out the photos.... I have added which is step by step process. Boil The Vegetables Add Fried/Cooked Tomato Add Mix of Curd and Besan The Final Step of Parjha

Saturday, May 9, 2009


What happens when you talk less and listen more...We normally don't do it, but its amazing what you can learn by listening more. We are always told to listen before speaking. This is right, but being silent or in a state of silence is mouch more than listening. When you listen, you want to understand what the other person is talking so that you can respond effictively. However, when you are silent, you are not only listening you are observing with out judgeing. That is a kind of meditation. You need to remember one thing: Do not judge any one or the situation...Just observe and enjoy the silence. It may look easy, but one of the most difficult thing to do....

Some times in order to be heard, you need to be silent. I found lot of people who silently passed on the message to thousands and the thought became a revolution. When you talk more, protest, argue you will not be heard. When you remain silent and carry on with your work, demonstrate by living your thoughts, you will touch thousands.

Enjoy the silence...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Prawn Biriyani - Quick and Tasty

I tried making Prawn Biriyani yesterday and it came out really good. It was quick and tasty as well. Though I love to cook, I am not a writer and you will not find the receipes written in a typical cook book way. I will describe the process of the way I cooked. I learned cooking by experimenting and looking at people cooking. Each time you try cooking a dish, it will come out differently. You will also find that with little change in process the taste differ. I encourage you to experiment and who knows, you will have your own receipe. My preparation is for two people and you can calculate your ingredients as per your requirements.

1. Marinate the prawns in Lime Juice or use Curd, Turmeric Powder, Chilli Powder, Salt. You may add little oil if you are not using Lime Juice or Curd. Keep it for some time.
2. Cut an large onion into thin long slices. Fry half of the cut onions till dark golden brown. This is used for dressing at the end.
3. Now cook the rice till its almost done. we need to cook it again for 5-10 mins in low heat with Prawns.
4. Now take a table spoon of oil in a pan. Add little cumin seeds, Piece of cinnnamon, few cloves and cardamom, one or two dry red chillis.
5. Then add the onions and start frying till golden brown.
6. Add a spoon of ginger/garlic paste if you have.
7. Add a spoon each of cumin and coriander powder.
8. Now add the marinated prawns and cook it for 3-4 mins till its cooked.

In the same pan, now add the rice which is almost cooked (I some times try with cooked rice also to make it quick) If you are cooking for more people, you can layer the rice and prawn. Garnish the fried onions, chopped coiander leaves, one or two sliced green chillies and fried cashew if you have. Now ensure the lid is closed tightly and keep the pan on low flame for 5 to 10 mins.

Thats all... now serve it hot with raita if you have. However, you can also eat only biriyani for the meal. Try it, make some mistakes and you will master the receipe. Take a look at the hot steaming biriyani....

Do schools kill creativity?

Why don't we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it's because we've been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies -- far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity -- are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. "We are educating people out of their creativity," Robinson says. Watch the talk on creativity in TED Talks:

You can also visit the site to check out details on the talk: