Saturday, June 28, 2014

Of Designing Courses And The 'Koli Yet Veg' Class.

I think this is the most creative phase of my life and closest to my heart, it being about the community that defines who I am, the Koli community.

It all started when Manisha of Indian Food Rocks visited India last November. We decided to meet at the Colaba Market as I wanted her to enjoy some great seafood while she was in Mumbai, she loves seafood and how. It was after some 30 yrs I was visiting there and so was she. The market has changed from being a large shed to a proper building that now houses the fish market on the ground floor and a Government school on the floors above it. Manisha was trying to catch up with as many friends and relatives as possible so though she bought a good variety of fish we were not able to cook together, so that is for another time until she returns. Totally unbeknownst, this was going to be a new journey for me!

You read about the wonderful day I spent with Meera Sodha. In just another few days her book 'Made in India' will be published, you can pre-order on Amazon right away too. It was at the time I decided to start such events for those who are truely interested in exploring my Koli food and culture because I simply loved doing it.

The most recent post covered the celebration food of the Kolis. Also during that session I mentioned that fishing was under regulation during the monsoon. It is the time when deep sea fishing is closed and Kolis as a community turn mostly vegetarian especially during Shravan when it is strictly followed. There were questions on what does a Koli eat during monsoons? This prodded me to design the menu and course which reflects the Monsoon cooking in Koli households. This is a representative vegetarian menu of all those fasting days like Somvathi amavasya or Surya poojan or some weekly fasts like Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays when people abstain from non veg or fish. Plus I am a vegetarian and so is majority of my family, we are an anomaly but no less Koli. We have grown up eating seafood until we turned vegetarian this is how we cook now in our kitchens therefore Koli yet Veg!

So here is what you can expect in the 'Koli Yet Veg' class

Our plan

1. Start at 10 am over snacks and tea/ coffee.
2. In the Kitchen cook up Koli yet vegetarian fare.
3. Lots of talk on Koli food and culture thru the 5hrs. 
Though we will cook veg food, talk on fish is not prohibited. Watch a slideshow on Koli Culture. Get the answers to questions like When do they eat veg? What is the significance of monsoon in the life of a Koli and their food? What are the Koli pantry staples?
4. Sit down to an authentic Koli Vegetarian meal.
5. Claim your packet of Taster Pack of my masalas and some goodies. Part with happy burps by 3pm 


1. Stuffed ladies fingers/ Bhendhya cha bharit
2. Sprouted field beans curry/ Valacha birda
3. Moong dal with ground masala / Hirva Masala Moog Dal
4. Rice roti/ Chavalachi roti
5. Steamed rice/ Dhaan
6. Light Indica garcinia curry/ Kokum saar
7. Raw mango pickle/ Kegyarcha loncha (seasonal)
8. Wet Garlic chutney/ Lasnachi chutney
9. Rice or poha papad/ Phenya
10. Fried brinjal/ Talela Vanga

Fee: Rs. 2000 per head

Open only for a table of 6 per session.

Pl. note this class does not include a visit to the market like the other Fresh Seafood workshops.

Encouraged by the surge in visitors on my FB page and the blog, the love of my patrons and friends. I have been thinking about several different ideas that will appeal to you all.

I have started a new series on the FB page and twitter called  Oh yes and I am twittering more now ‏@Annaparabrahma

Here are some more themes that I am still designing for the workshops.

  • Cooking with Dried Fish
  • A Crustacean Feast
  • Tastes from a Koli Wedding
  • An Everyday Koli Meal

See you around!


  1. I'd love to take this class! Maybe when I am visiting Mumbai this Nov or Dec. Will contact you once I have definite plans.

    1. Nupur it would be an honor to have you in my class and would be thrilling to meet you in person after knowing you online for so many years!

  2. this is wonderful. I have seen the pictures but could not comment because of my tight schedule. life's been very hectic these days but I love what you are doing. reviving lesser known or forgotten culture and tradition is very close to my heart. will post this on my page too. wish you great success dear.

    1. Sayantani hope there is some relief now as schools have reopened and R is back to school. You too have been doing good stuff, loved your posts on the Mango haat and on Grand master Imtiaz Qureshi. Thank you for cascading the link and your wishes! Love.


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