Ruth Van Hala: Stint in India yields recipes, a husband

Peace Corps Online: Directory: India: Peace Corps India: The Peace Corps in India: Ruth Van Hala: Stint in India yields recipes, a husband

By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 11:07 am: Edit Post

Stint in India yields recipes, a husband

Stint in India yields recipes, a husband ; TRAVEL; Her Peace Corps trip some 35 years ago now benefi...

Dec 6, 2001 - Press-Enterprise Riverside CA Author(s): Melissa Eiselein


Ruth Van Hala slowly sauteed a mixture of butter, onions, coconut and spices, filling her kitchen with a pungent aroma. Then she added chopped tomatoes and sour cream, creating the base for her eggs curry entree.

Van Hala perfected the recipe while working in the Peace Corps in India.

And 10 years ago, she submitted the recipe for publication in the Moreno Valley Centennial Cookbook. Now, the Moreno Valley Historical Society is re-releasing the cookbook.

Profits from the sales will go toward renovation of the old Red Cross building at March Air Reserve Base. The building will be the home of the Moreno Valley Museum.

The cookbook contains recipes, history about the Moreno Valley area and photos of citrus labels that had been used by local growers. Some of the recipes also tell a little history of the people who submitted them.

Beneath Van Hala's submission for rice pulao side dish she wrote, "This is an Indian recipe which I learned as a Peace Corps volunteer in India."

Van Hala, a second-grade teacher at Northridge Elementary School in Moreno Valley, went to India in 1965. She lived there three years.

During that time, she learned to love the spicy local dishes. And she also fell in love with Marcus, her husband of 35 years. The couple met and married in India.

The Van Halas were part of a team sent to India to teach people in a village how to raise chickens for their eggs. The villagers ate the eggs laid by the hens and sold the roosters for meat.

"It was a way to get protein into the diet and money into their pockets," Ruth Van Hala said.

Even with their busy schedule, which includes working days and singing several nights a week in Inland choirs, the Van Halas still find time to whip together an Indian meal.

And sometimes, Ruth Van Hala makes other recipes she's found in the centennial cookbook.

"There's a really good pumpkin bread recipe in here," she said.

* * *


What: Moreno Valley Centennial Cookbook

Where to buy: Bradley's Florist, 24548 Sunnymead Blvd., Moreno Valley

Cost: $15

Information: (909) 242-1519

By Tondalaya Gillespie on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 11:48 am: Edit Post

Ruth and Mark:
Was looking at slides last night and came across
a marvelous one of Mark on the elephant on the
way to meet his bride!
Wpuld love to hear from you.
Ronbabu and I are off to Bangladesh, then retire-
ment to the Big island (Hawaii)
Our e-mail:

Ram Ram, Tondalaya Gillespie
aka Tondabai

By Tondalaya Gillespie ( on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 4:41 am: Edit Post

Trying to reconnect via e-mail with Tom Carter (India 13) and wife Romola.
Our e-mails are or

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