Soul Cocina

Eco Chef Roger Feely

Cashew Harvest in Sindhudurg



SOUL COCINA MOTION PICTURE Cashew Harvest in Mutt

I was lucky to visit Mutt in Sindudurg, Maharashtra (home of Malvani Cuisine) with Sachen, one of the students from ACE during cashew season last year. The cashew fruit is a great treat when it is ripe. You can't eat too much though because they make your mouth tingle and sting a little. There are many theories about cutting one end or the other first, or just adding salt to the fruit to take away the sneaky astringency, but I didn't find it to make much of a difference. A small price to pay for such a treat.

Where the real damage comes is from the shell of the nut. When you break the shell it lets off a bitter juice that can burn your finger... or as I found out the hard way, your mouth and tongue. There are people in the village who specialize in opening the shells of cashews. They grow their fingernails specifically for the annual process, and it leaves the fingers stained for weeks. You can see in the video above how hard it is to open a single nut.
The young greener nuts are soft and vegetablelike, almost like a fresh pea or bean. But if picked too young, the nut is bitter. These young green cashews would make a great salad. But it is the fully matured ripe nut that is highly prized. As soon as the fruit is harvested the nut is seperated from the fruit by hand and the fruit is sold to makers of Feni, while the nut is taken back to the village to be opened by hand. Everyone knows the going rate for cashews and mangoes in Sindhudurg.
Seperating the fruit from the nut is a family affair.
Tune: Family Affair by Doctor L and Antibalas from Mind Records 2006 7"


Sachen cuts the cashew fruit for an afternoon snack in the shade.
Cashew nuts, attached to the fruit at a market in Goa


Next to the cashew orchard, which has hundreds of trees, is a mango orchard just as vast. I was visiting just a month too early for mango season. These are the trees of the mighty Alphonso mango.

Tune: Wylin Out (Kutmaster Kurt Remix) by the Mighty Mos Def and Chitown's Diverse from the BBC 12" EP vol 2 from Bobby Friction and Nihal

Tune: Botallan Sharab Diyan by Bally Sagoo also from the BBC 12" EP vol 2 from Bobby Friction and Nihal

Here is a view of the well behind Sachen's family's home seen through a mango tree.

Talking a break from the heat, a cup of water from the well can't be beat.

Tune: Water No Get Enemy by Fela Kuti from the LP Expensive Shit

Tune: I Thirst by Dillinger from the album Cup of Tea

Exclusive Mix: Estoy Seco After 12:12AM Thirsty MIX in the Soul Cocina
This mix starts off with Estoy Seco by Conjunto Los Bucucos off the Salson LP then moves on to more salsa dura with La Reina Celia Cruz backed by La Sonora Poncena from the Lp La Ceiba released in 1979, the year of Chicago's great blizzard. Then the mix moves on to two modern cuts, the first is Mi Swing es Tropical by Nicodemus and Quantic then onto a song called Julieta by Oreja remixed by Seiji from Bugz in the Attic on a Candela label 12". From here we move on to the big song Magalehna by Sergio Mendes from the Brasileiro LP as the triangle takes us to the opening triangle from Willie Colon's Ghana E from the Gran Fuga LP. Then we drop a fun 7" from the glorious year of 1975. This '75 gem is a cover of Fela's Shakalao by Lizandro Meza y Su Conjunto from Colombia. The African vibe gets stronger and stronger as we cross the Atlantic to Ghana for a song from the Hedzoleh Soundz LP produced by the mighty Hugh Masakela. Then Back to Brasil for some beats from Marcelo D2's instrumental LP of A Procura Da Batida Perfeita. Next up- More beats with flavor.. this time from Spain with a little vibraphone action for all the newborns from Zeta, off of the 1999 LP Guateque. next a tune from Orishas Emigrante LP before we move into Mala Rodriguez chatting on Jota mayuscula's LP Hombre Negro Soltero Busca. Then we step into some heavy duty old school hipi hopi from Brasil by Filosofia de Rua and Duck Jam with nacao Hip Hop. The mix ends nicely with a tune from the Nia LP by Blackalicious
There are also jackfruit trees in Mutt.Jackfruit for sale in Mumbai above, and below in a market in Goa


They got chiku too!
Bells on the road back to Goa

Tune: Road to Goa from Vijay Raghav Rao's LP Festival Time
This song is typically Goan. It has that friendly childlike sound that I associate with a lot of Goan music. Similar to the instrumentation that backs Lorna or the music of Alfred Rose.


But pt Vijay Raghav Rao's music on Festival Time is not all so soft and simple.
Check out this tune from the record:
Tune: Sarod Dhun also from Vijay Raghav Rao's LP Festival Time