Monday, September 22, 2008

Kachya Kelyachi Bhaaji

and Trips to Vapi


Today for our lunch I made Kachya Kelyachi Bhaaji or raw banana stir fry. This is a simple stir fry not really so complex to put down a recipe here on the blog. Yet this blog is not just about recipes it logs my memories of things big and small. This bhaaji to me reminds me of my trips to Vapi and yet again proves how the memories of food are so strong.

This was way back in 1998. I was then working for a company that dealt in water treatment for industrial applications. My job was to provide consultation on the treatment process and sell equipments required for it. Since at that time the area we covered was between Churchgate to Ankleshwar many a times I travelled by the passenger train to Vapi, Silvassa, Daman, Bhilad, Boisar etc.

It was the time when I was one of the few girl Engineers working in the area. These were hostile areas not so safe for travel but I did it. It made me proud. Many a times a certain Marwadi Chairman of a company hosted lunches and showered me with gifts for just doing my job. He felt I represented the new age woman. Bah! On one such occasion the owner of my company was thoroughly impressed.

Whenever I travelled that route I had to take the Firozepur Express or Saurashtra Janata Mail at 7.15 am or the other at 7.45 am from Dadar. The time many not be correct or I may be goofing on the names of the trains.

People know about the pains of travel in Mumbai but the pains of travelling on the western Industrial route is less talked about. There are many who go daily to work across the border to Gujarat. Businessman, Consultants, Engineers, factory workers all travel anything between 2hrs to 5 hrs one way to be able to work. Getting into a passenger train is a horrifying experience. It is not just people going to work but also are full of long distance travelers with their luggage. The lingo to be able to grab a seat is "we are pass holders." Railways has not made separate arrangements for daily commuters. The trick to avoid fights and enjoy the long distance commute to your work place is to climb on to the luggage racks above the seats. Yes! you read it right! Luggage racks, these are not sleepers. So as soon as we regulars would get into the compartments we would climb up and adjust ourselves among the luggage. Once settled and beyond Virar station we would bring out our breakfast boxes and share it. There was this girl who started from home at 5.00 am with hot poli bhaaji packed by her working mother. She would atleast once a week have the Kachya Kelyachi Bhaaji in her box. She would tell me 2 polis for breakfast and 4 for lunch all in the same box while I would carry some sort of a sandwich. She would always share it with me. I traveled thrice a week whereas these people traveled everyday. Inspite of all the problems there were bonds made and stories shared.

I remember once the overhead wire of the train broke at Vasai so my train friends and me went on a picnic to Wajreshwari that day. Even otherwise when I went to these Industrial areas for work I always managed to enjoy the beauty of dense green Silvassa or the beaches of Daman. I loved the drives between Nani Daman and Moti Daman and from Bhilad to Silvassa or Vapi to Silvassa. In the rains I'd play in the canals and float paper boats. I always made the most of my trips else I would have remembered those days as the days of hardships.

Kachya Kelyachi Bhaaji brought back memories of those commutes.

Ingredients

3 Raw bananas
2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
2 green chilies chopped fine
1 cup water
1/4 cup grated coconut
salt to taste

Peel the raw bananas remove the green skin completely. Dice them and save. In a wok heat coconut oil on high. Season with mustard seeds and asafoetida. Reduce heat and add the dice bananas and chopped green chilies. Mix well to coat with oil. Add water and salt then mix well. Cover and cook till soft. Put off the heat and mix in the grated coconut.

If this bhaaji is made with cumin seeds seasoning and asafoetida skipped it can be eaten as fasting food.


7 comments:

  1. very nicely written and a recipe which i luv

    ReplyDelete
  2. HII read your comment on ayi's recipe abt jayfal lonche(pickle)
    can you share it with me

    manasi

    ReplyDelete
  3. Trying your recipe out tonight :) love how simple it is. I love raw bananans

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the recipe... Nice and simple. Love raw bananas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laxmi, yes its super easy yet very staisfying with the simple flavors! Let me know how it turns out for you.

      Delete

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