Akshaya Photos
the feeding program

Restoring dignity 

Several of the Akshaya residents who were till just 6 months ago on the street without hope or dignity today are able to lead a life that has some semblance of normalcy. One of our residents is seen here cutting 300 lemons that will then be used in the preparation of lemon rice. Other residents have been trained to clean the dining hall, set the tables and clean up after the meals.



Cooking three meals a day for 450 people would be a major task for a well staffed restaurant with the best of equipment. For Krishnan and the volunteers at Akshaya Trust it is a routine done three times a day in the beautiful kitchen of the Akshaya home.

All meals are prepared using ingredients from local markets that are selected for freshness, nutritional value and taste. They are then combined according to local recipes with spices, rice, lentils and other appropriate ingredients. The recipes are also selected to ensure a healthy balance to help our resident recover from mental and physical agony that they have suffered from living on the streets of Madurai. 

Krishnan gathering food

Head cook putting the finishing touches on a meal

Meals that heal at the Akshaya home

In 2002 when Narayanan Krishnan started feeding the helpless on the steets of Madurai, he envisioned that some day he would be able to give them shelter and be able to serve them meals under the roof of the Akshaya home. Akshaya home, inaugurated on May 9th, 2013 has a beautiful kitchen and dining.  The once destitue men and women reside at the Akshaya home and eat their meals in dignity and under the loving care of the Akshaya team. All three meals are prepared fresh every day and served to the 450 residents of the Akshaya home.


The Menu

The food prepared by Akshaya Trust follows recipes that are traditional in Madurai as well as many other parts of India. They include:

  • Idli — A tasty cake usually about 9 cm in diameter and made by steaming fluffy dough of fermented rice and lentils. It is a traditional and healthy morning meal, especially in southern India.
  • Pongal — Lentils are dry-roasted and steam cooked with rice. Fat, including cooking oil, and clarified butter are heated. Curry leaves, chopped ginger bits, pepper, cumin seed, and salt are added. The cooked rice lentil mixture is added and thoroughly mixed.
  • Upma — Cooked semolina seasoned with green chili, curry leaves and ginger. Vegetables may be added.
  • Oothappam — Made with an idli-like dough but instead of steaming it is oil roasted. Vegetables may be added.
  • Dosai — A crepe made from fermented rice and lentils. A typical south Indian dish served for breakfast or dinner.
  • Biryani — A dish of great variety, often rice cooked with a lot of vegetables.
  • Parotta — A layered flatbread of India cooked in a frying pan using edible oils.
  • Roti — A flatbread often made with wheat flour.
  • Sambar — A sauce prepared with tamarind, lentil, chili powder and fenugreek powder. Vegetables are cooked in the sauce.

Roti preparation

Narayanan Krishnan won global recognition when he stood on the stage of the CNN Heroes and won the honor of one of the top ten CNN Heroes of the year 2010. This recognition brought to Akshaya the much needed help form several supporters world wide. This support helped Akshaya get good equipment for its kitchen. One of the equipment that was acquired was the chapathi maker. To spread 450 chapathis by hand is an ardous task but the machine that was purchased today makes that task a breeze.