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Cream Engraving Scientific Illustrations

Image Credit: Wikimedia/Sarmaya Arts Foundation

Gond painting by artist: Durgabai Vyam

#HistoryOnAPlate Classroom


The Mahua Trail with Aparna Pallavi



In our midst there are amazing scholars and experts who have spent their whole lives passionately putting together a meticulously researched a body of work that is breath-taking.

As with Aparna Pallavi, who has lived, worked, and broken bread with the indigenous communities of central India for a number of years.

Aparna is eager to share with us what she has learnt from her explorations. We have had many conversations over the last four months, to put together this very unique History On A Plate Classroom series, in which Aparna will employ the Mahua tree, flower, and fruit - as a symbolic lens - with which to give us an insight into the cuisine, culture, and other conversations girdling the indigenous communities of central India.

Here’s what to expect:

Session 1 (2nd January, 2021)


Introduction to the Mahua Tree - its habitat, life cycle and produce: flowers, fruits, and seeds, and their uses. We will study the role of Mahua in Nutrition (a comparative look at what science says vs what the tribal communities have believed for generations), as well as its Cultural Significance in Tribal life. We will also study the Ecological Significance of the Mahua, and Aparna will share her insights on the importance of working on Conservation and why working with Tribal communities is key.

Session 2 (9th January, 2021)


Mahua as food – the focus of this session will be on the various indigenous Culinary Traditions around Mahua – as Food and the various ways in which Mahua is cooked and eaten, as Drink, as well as a Medium of Cooking.
Aparna will also shine the spotlight on how and when it is consumed, and the significance of the how and when, as well as share stories and learnings from her own experience cooking and eating Mahua with the tribal communities.

Session 3 (16th January, 2021)


Why is the Mahua disappearing? – in this session we will examine how the pressures of Development and Modernity have impacted the consumption of the Mahua, and discuss the element of Shame around the utilization of Mahua as a food.

Aparna will also take us through how various Policies have impacted the eating of Mahua, as well as the differences in perception between Adivasis and Governing Authorities.

Session 4 (23rd January, 2021)

The Future, and Conversations around what is required for a Sustainable Holistic Revival. What can one do, what part can one play?
Aparna will also share with us learnings from her journey, efforts, and mistakes – in the hope we may find this useful in our own research and studies.

There’s More:

As always, the History On A Plate classroom is an experimental online classroom – where we try new things. And this lecture-series gives us the opportunity to run a basic Research Module by Shubhra alongside the main lecture-series, for participants who may be interested.

*The lectures shall be on the Google Meets platform

*Sign-in with any Gmail ID

*Recordings for all sessions shall be provided
*After registration participants will be added to a
WhatsApp Group for easy communication



2, 9, 16 & 23, January 2021


4 pm to 6 pm IST



Rs 2967 per participant


Confirmed Participants:




JANUARY 01, 2021

If you want to register for this workshop from outside India, please click the link below and fill out the form. A payment link will be issued to you. There is a 5% extra fee to cover transaction charges for foreign payments.

The proceeds from organising this event will be used to pay the resource person and remainder will be used to support Kalap Trust (, a non-profit organization working on rural healthcare, education and livelihood generation in the remote upper Tons Valley of Uttarakhand, India.
Kalap Trust is founded and run by Anand Sankar, (husband of Shubhra aka Historywali)

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