Monday, July 11, 2016

30-31July2016, 'Mahua and Malhaar' at Vanvadi (Neral, Maharashtra)

The event: Two day residential retreat on Mahua and Music in the pristine green forests of the Vanvadi community. Taste and learn to cook a variety of tribal heirloom mahua dishes from all over India, which are on the verge of disappearance, collected and demonstrated by Aparna Pallavi.

About Mahua:
Mahua is one of the primal foods of the Indian subcontinent. This highly nutritious, sweet tasting and delicious flower, now known mostly for its liquor, has had an interesting and vastly varied tradition as a food staple among the indigenous peoples all across India. It has long been seen as a strength-giving, immunity building and illness-preventing food. Some of these claims have been corroborated by modern science in recent years. Because of its high food value and productivity, the long-lived mahua tree is also believed to be sacred, and is part of the cultural traditions of many tribes.
Sadly, due to the pressures of modernity, the food traditions around this indigenous and zero carbon footprint super-food are now disappearing fast.

About Aparna Pallavi:
An environment journalist for the past two decades, Aparna gave up her job as senior special correspondent with Down to Earth Magazine last year to work on her passion – forest foods and indigenous knowledge of India’s forest dwelling populations. Since March this year, Aparna is travelling across the country on a journey she calls Mahua Yatra, collecting fast disappearing food traditions, recipes and knowledge around the mahua tree. 
DATE : Sat,30 and Sun,31 July 2016  

VENUE : at Vanvadi near Neral, Karjat in Maharashtra. It is a 21 year old collectively owned and regenerated forest and farm (more forest), in the Sahyadri foothills, about 100 km from Mumbai, going towards Pune. It aspires to evolve as an ecological forest community and learning alliance. Directions to reach Vanvadi:

About Workshop:
> Find healthy, mahua- based alternatives for curing health issues created by nutrient deficient food practices.
> Buy mahua at an earth-care price directly from tribals.
> Enjoy music and tribal dance performed by Ambibai and her team of tribal women. Join in and sing and dance yourself against the backdrop of gentle rain.
> Learn to connect with the forest, which is our primal, spiritual home, for a more balanced and healthy inner... life.
> Dishes you get to learn:
Mahua Sondhoga: A tonic prepared by the Ho tribe of Jharkhand that builds up body mass, cures anemia and enhances immunity.

Sargi-Konda : A dish prepared from mahua and saal seeds by tribals across Jharkhand, Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Madhyapradesh. This dish, consumed regularly, builds up rock solid immunity, stamina and strength.

Mahua Laata : Another filling and highly nutritious long shelf -life dish that can be consumed in many different ways to build up your immunity and strength.
Mahua Teke : A dish of mahua and tamarind seed from Santhal tribals of Jharkhand and Bengal, known to build rock solid immunity and strength.
Several other easy to prepare mahua dishes like mahua roti, mahua chutney, tangy mahua rasam, mahua subzi, mahua sattu and so on, which can easily be incorporated into your daily diet.
Learn to extract zero-carbon footprint mahua and saal oils.

The event is being organized in the spirit of gift culture.
You are requested to make a purely voluntary donation Rs.1000 for two days - to the Vanvadi community for food & shared accommodation and Rs.1000 to Aparna Pallavi for the continuation of her work in forest foods and indigenous knowledge. So a total voluntary contribution of Rs.2000 is expected (more or less is equally welcome and helpful to meet various expenses!)
Advance registration is required by filling this form and making payment;
Participants are requested to bring with them a sleeping mat, 2 sheets, notepad, pen, torch, plate, glass, mosquito repellent/ mosquito net (optional), umbrella/raincoat, and anything you would like to swim/bathe in. (The rock-pool is very deep, and should be used by swimmers only; shallower stream zones are available for non-swimmers and beginners.) There is no piped water or electricity.

For any more details, email to or contact ;
Bharat : +91 9967371183, |
Zui/Vinita: 022-23542420   
Tejal : +91 9833707598 | Aparna Pallavi : 9422559833,
We look forward to see you! Please also pass the word, use following links widely to inform others who may be interested.

Friends of Vanvadi



  1. All those interested to participate in the mahua workshop are requested to fill this form to register and make payment ; (an early payment will help us reserve a place for you as well as get the preparatory stuff ready.)