Vanapurna Retreat June 12th – 17th, 2019

Vanapurna – a word that combines Vana with Annapurna, the goddess of nourishment – encompasses our culinary ideology and practice. Traditional Indian wisdom lies at the core of Vanapurna, and through our everyday experiences of cooking, eating, and working with farmers, we believe we have developed a unique and historically informed point of view. This retreat is one way in which we can share this knowledge, which also underpins the ‘special’ touch that many express Vana’s food is blessed with.

Through Vanapurna, we seek to go ‘back,’ to a more traditional idea of wellness, sans nostalgia: more than revive the ‘old,’ we aim to revive an interest in cooking for health on a daily basis, by not only showing what good food looks like, but by sharing the knowledge around what makes it ‘good.’ Eating whole ingredients, using spices with both flavour and healing in mind, cooking simply, and always thinking about balance – whether in recipes or in presentation – are sacred to us, no matter where in the world the recipe is drawn from. We are also shaped by the principles that Ayurveda has lent to cooking, and where possible, we turn to vegetarian recipes for both health and consciousness of food miles.

It is with this effort that we have planned this retreat: We seek to not just share recipes, but to re-introduce our Vanavasis to an India-centric history where presently trendy terms like ‘farm to table,’ were lived and practiced with simplicity.


Through practical and theoretical classes that will span five days, we have crafted each day of the retreat so that ‘healthy eating,’ — with an Indian, and particularly Vegetarian focus – transforms from being an empty word to a feasible, daily reality. By cooking and eating the Vana way, we will share how body, mind, and the natural world, can be brought together.

The retreat aims to be comprehensive, informative, and fun: each day, Vanavasis will learn how to cook food from an Indian region, and understand the importance and usefulness of these recipes. These classes will be supplemented by lectures, demonstrations, and lessons that shed light on other skills, which may be applicable to any cuisine. Examples include lessons in making delicious deserts or understanding your kitchen as an apothecary.

Some of the workshops and classes we have planned are listed below:

  • A discussion on the role of ayurvedic doshas and bio-energies, and how to reinstate their strength.

  • Insights in to plant based nutrition and how to use this knowledge in fun, innovate way.

  • Learning recipes that are all natural, time-tested, and helpful in treating ailments

  • Exploring mindful snacking for an urban lifestyle

  • A lesson on Indian spices, and their healing powers.

  • A session on incompatible food combinations.

  • A focused lesson on healthy ingredient replacements.

Retreat Dates

This 5-night retreat will be held every month from May through October, on the following dates:-

May 26th – 31st, 2019 June 12th – 17th, 2019 July 24th – 29th, 2019 August 21st – 26th, 2019 September 18th – 23rd, 2019 October 16th – 21st, 2019

  • While every retreat will make use of our expertise in Vegetarian and Ayurvedic cooking, we will draw attention to different regions in India each time. This will allow for Vanavasis who wish to attend multiple retreats to learn something new and practice their developing skills.

  • The retreats will begin on the afternoon of day 1, and will conclude by lunch on the last day.

  • No previous culinary knowledge or expertise is required.

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