Thursday, December 22, 2016
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
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.