Last weekend, while Brian and I were relaxing at Basho, a “couple” friend of ours was doing something equally fun. Bekxy and Rohan were at a Tribal Sit-Down Lunch Experience organised by WWH (We Will Help) Charitable Foundation. Attended by about a 100 people, including them, the event that was all about experiencing the food cooked by the tribals living in and around the jungles of Aarey Milk Colony and is part of the tribal women empowerment programme. The whole idea seemed rather intriguing, so I probed further.
Turns out Bekxy discovered the event while browsing on BookMyShow for fun foodie things to do on the weekend. Of course, it sounded interesting, so she booked it, and voila!
“The dishes included both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian items. Some of the unique stuff on the menu was a spicy tangy chutney called Mirchi Thecha and Ragi Bhakris that you are not likely to find in a restaurant in Mumbai. We also enjoyed dishes like Stuffed Brinjals, Drumstick and Potato Sabzi, Rawa Fried Bombay Duck, Chicken Curry and Dal with Rice and Rice Bhakri because of their authentic, earthy flavours. Another dish I especially loved was Small Dry Prawn Sabzi, which happens to be a staple item in their cuisine. For dessert, we had a special Rice Laddoo filled with grated coconut. The food was just delicious.”
Tribal women cooking a traditional meal
Bekxy and Rohan said that witnessing these women cook the meal and having it in a tribal setting – the meal was served in one of their homes with mats laid out outside – was the more unique part. They sat on these mats, ate with their hands the freshly cooked meal as soon as it was ready and even learnt about the ingredients that went into the dishes and how they were made. Now that really is something!
“Finally, and most importantly, we got to express our appreciation for the meal to the ladies directly.”
They also had the opportunity to buy freshly picked organic vegetables like jackfruit, papaya, onions as well as certain other handmade items tat they’ve been taught to make as art of the skill training programme by WWH.
All proceeds from the event went to the tribals directly and any surplus will be invested in the various skill development programmes.
Photo credit (except last one): Rohan D’Souza