We envision a delectable world — a world wherein women and girls have achieved their human rights; a world wherein women and girls live empowered lives; a world wherein women and girls have equal access to the time, tools, resources, opportunities, and choices required to move beyond adversities and achieve well-being.  We work to see that delectable world realized, one meal at a time.  And we invite you to join us.  Together, we will transform global eats into opportunities for women and girls worldwide!


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Recipes for Change began as a personal project in the summer of 2013 when Rob flew to Sri Lanka with SOS Lanka Action, a small nonprofit working in the outskirts of Colombo. Soon after his visit to Sri Lanka the founders of SOS Lanka Action, Bernie and George Deden, experienced a family emergency.  The emergency ultimately derailed their organization; in 2014, SOS Lanka Action was officially shuttered. The result of their work, however, is still felt in St. John’s Road Village today. And we here at Recipes for Change celebrate the grit and resiliency of the women Rob worked with to this day.  Following are the recipes contributed by the women in St. John’s Road Village. As we seek out more women, more girls, and more organizations to partner with, this collection of recipes will give you a taste of what is to come. For more information regarding our pilot project, please read our blogs: SOS Lanka Action and the Women of St. John’s Road Village and Sri Lankan Eats.

Also known as “lady fingers,” okra is a “love it” or “hate it” veggie. That said, it’s a nutrient-packed powerhouse and well worth a try if you’ve never had it. Moreover, you can’t ask for a better recipe to give okra a test drive! Served with rice, Sudarshani’s bandakkakra maluwa makes for a full meal.

Creamy, sweet, savory and spicy all at once, wattakka maluwa is Fall comfort food at its best! A vibrantly colored pumpkin dish with cinnamon overtones, it’s a meal by and of itself. That said, it’s traditionally served with rice.

This dish begins with a cruciferous head wedged, shredded, and heated until it mellows and sweetens. Sri Lanka’s famed cinnamon permeates this dish, and the pungent curry leaf comes to the fore. Served with rice, gova hodi is easily made into a meal. That said, it pairs beautifully with Shamanthi’s seeni sambol.

Sri Lankan curry frequently implies coconut milk. But Dinusha’s ala tel dala had none. It’s a dry curry composed of potatoes swimming only in their skins, covered in a limey tang, and rendered spicy by chili. Scrumptious by and of itself, ala tel dala also pairs well with a wet curry.

For reasons that have everything to do with personal taste, no two Sri Lankan curries are exactly alike — so I was told by members of the cooking cohort. Be it pumpkin, dhal, or beetroot curry, flavors of everyday favorites vary by household — and nowhere was that preference more noticeable than in a home cook’s blend of atrophied herbs and spices.

A mild dish that adds contrast to an otherwise spicy Sri Lankan meal, kiri hodi is little more than coconut milk cooked together with curry leaves and a few other spices. According to Sudarshani, Sri Lankan mothers wean their infants with this curry. Served over rice, kiri hodi is a healthy transition to solids, and it provides the foundational flavors on which a child’s traditional diet is built.

Unlike the variety of peninsular Indian dhal we in the West are more familiar with, parippu hodi is infused with coconut milk. Deepika identified the dish as a Sinhalese staple and her daughter’s favorite. Served with rice, you can’t go wrong; it’s a legume lover's dream come true!

SOS Lanka Action has shuttered operations in Sri Lanka and is no longer accepting support. This recipe is posted in honor of our culinary teachers in Ragama, Sri Lanka and SOS Lanka Action, each of whom invited us into St. John's Road village to advocate for the community.