Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Few of the Foods Travelers Must Try While in Barbados


Outside of her professional responsibilities, Asha Pabla enjoys traveling and exploring new cuisines. One of the countries Asha Pabla has recently visited is Barbados, which has a very distinctive style of cooking. Some of the must-try dishes while visiting Barbados include the following:

- Cutters. A sandwich served on a Barbados baked good known as salt bread, a cutter typically contains fish, ham, or egg. Dressed-up versions will sometimes also include lettuce, tomato, or cucumber.

- Fish cakes. These fried fritters are made of salt fish and various traditional herbs and spices. The cakes may come in small balls or disks and are typically served with a dipping sauce made of hot peppers.

- Cou cou. While not a dish on its own, cou cou is a popular accompaniment to meals that is similar to polenta or grits. The dish is made of cornmeal with okra for additional texture and flavor.

- Flying fish. Called the national dish of Barbados, flying fish can come either fried or steamed and is often accompanied by cherry tomatoes and sliced onion. Cou cou is the traditional side for the dish.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Impact of AIF’s Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative


A former fashion designer, Asha Pabla remains actively involved with a number of nonprofit organizations, including the American India Foundation (AIF). Asha Pabla serves on AIF’s Board of Directors and is particularly interested in the organization’s Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative (MANSI).

Through MANSI, AIF provides individuals in rural and impoverished parts of India with the tools they need to identify and manage illnesses related to maternal and infant health. The program also equips villages with sahiyas, or trained health care workers. High-risk cases are deferred to nearby health care facilities while other illnesses are treated in the community to teach individuals how to deal with similar problems in the future.

Since its inception, MANSI has had a major impact on the communities it serves. Newborn weight at birth has increased by nearly 100 percent and both infant and child mortality rates have decreased by more than 26 percent. The neonatal mortality rate is down by nearly one-third, and the number of pregnant women receiving medical attention has nearly doubled. 

The states currently being served by MANSI include Uttarakhand, Odisha, and Jharkhand.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fashion Trends at 2017 Spring/Summer London Fashion Week




Asha Pabla established a career in fashion design, working her way up from the position of a sourcer at a textile manufacturer to that of a fashion designer for a popular women’s brand. So as to remain apprised of the latest fashion trends, Asha Pabla follows major fashion events such as London Fashion Week.

The 2017 Spring/Summer London Fashion Week featured several trends that are expected to make their way through the fashion line. Having made their first appearance in the 1980s, puffy sleeves were reintroduced this season. Designer brands Burberry, Simone Rocha, and Ashley Williams incorporated the inflated sleeves into their party frocks, making a major throwback statement.

Unique cutouts have also surfaced on the spring runway, balancing feminine ruffles with edgy necklines. Designer Erdem Moralioglu adopted this trend, while Christopher Kane opted for subtle slivers in his finale dresses, allowing the skin to peek through at strategic places. Distressed denims are also making a comeback, pushing denim fabric into an alternative direction. During the 2017 Spring/Summer London Fashion Week, brands such as Marques’Almeida and Versus made a statement with frayed denims.