Masala Mamas – A Special Cookbook Project

Just this weekend I posted an article about our favorite Indian cookbooks and today a friend shared a project that grabbed my heart. If there is one thing I love more than a great cookbook, it is a great cookbook project whose sole benefit is to make the lives of others better.

In the Kalwa slum in Mumbai, India, a place that 200,000 people call home, clean water and electricity are almost non-existent, harsh conditions often prevent little children from going to school and often children as young as 5 years old are sent to work – all to make a few rupees so they will have something to eat. 

A group of amazing women are doing everything in their power to change this. These women – the Masala Mamas – are sixteen women who live in the slum and every morning get together in a small kitchen and cook. They greet each other with blessings and bindis, and then they get to work. They cook hundreds of meals – hot nutritious meals from fresh ingredients and aromatic spices all for the children of Mumbai. The women deliver the food that they cook to the Love to Learn school run by Gabriel Project Mumbai, where children know that if they show up to learn, they will eat.

Most of all, they do all this while rebuilding what they lost when they left their villages: Connections. Friendship. Love. All through food! Help them tell the story of these incredible, Indian women making a difference. Some of my most treasured titles are books that share far more than recipes – and this promises to be one of those titles – this book shares hope.

To support the cookbook project go to the Masala Mamas: Stories and Recipes page – Indian women transforming their lives and their communities through fabulous food and friendship. The proceeds from this cookbook project will go to benefit the Gabriel Project Mumbai – more information about their work can be found at their site. 



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  • joyofcooking1931  on  August 1, 2017

    One important thing that is left out of this article and the fundraising page is where the proceeds of this cookbook will go. Do they go to the women or to the person putting the cookbook together?

  • Jenny  on  August 1, 2017

    I reached out to the project organizer – and the proceeds will go to the Gabriel Project Mumbai. More information here:

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