Joy of Giving Week with Chef at Large

Natasha happened to mention meeting with volunteers from the India chapter of the Joy of Giving Week in Bangalore and thought we could do something around it. One thing led to another and with the help of a great idea by Vinita and follow through by Antara, we zeroed in on an NGO called Saksham, who work towards educating underprivileged children in sector 31, NOIDA.

It was a bit of a stretch, since my meeting with Nadira of Saksham happened on the 4th of October and the event was scheduled for 11am on the morning of the 6th. An appeal to help made Apeksha Jain of The Gourmet Jar and Rituparna Mukerji of Chocolates & Dreams to offer their help, without which we would have been hardpressed to be as prepared as we were the next morning.

The CaL JoGW Team was:
Antara Roy, Apeksha Jain, Cherie Khullar, Indu Singh, Karan Bhujbal, Rishab Suresh, Rituparna Mukerji, Sid Khullar.

The plan was the bring in ingredients for┬ábhel puri (onions, tomatoes, murmure, coriander, ginger, lemon…) and sandwiches (tomatoes, cucumber, butter, jam…) along with soft drinks and make it there. The elder kids and the teachers at Saksham threw themselves wholeheartedly into the effort, helping us guide people to the site, butter sandwiches, chop vegetables and what have you. By 1:00pm, we had chopped our way through hundreds of onions, tomatoes and cucumbers, spread hundreds of slices of bread with butter and jam that Apeksha made herself and prepared enough bhel puri and sandwiches for the target of a fun meal for 175 children.

We ended up serving more than 200 children and are going to try and do it again as often as possible. It takes so little to bring on a few smiles and perhaps even make a difference.

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Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at