My parents moved down to Bangalore from Bombay in the sixties. Almost every summer vacation in the seventies and eighties were spent in Bombay. Summer is not exactly the ideal time to spend holidays in Bombay, but the Appus (Alphonso) mangoes more than made up for the heat! We had to initially change trains in Miraj and then later on in Guntkal. Finally with the introduction of the Udyan express we no longer had to change trains. The train journeys were something else and I ate some interesting food on those journeys but an omelette I ate at Bangalore station is still fresh in my mind.
One evening in 1991, I had gone to drop my relatives off at the Bangalore Railway Station. There had been a mishap a couple of days earlier and so the trains were running late. I decided to wait at the station till the train had left for Bombay. My relatives had eaten an early dinner in anticipation of the journey, I hadn’t and as the hours ticked by, my stomach started growling. I had just recovered from a bad malarial attack and I was a little wary of eating anything outside. It did not help that a vendor had set up a push cart nearby and the aroma of omelettes wafting over, kept tempting me. I finally gave in and ordered a “double egg” omelette.
He whisked the eggs with a practiced hand, mixed in some chopped onions, cilantro and green chillies. A dash of salt and pepper and the omelette was cooking on his tawa. He then buttered 4 slices of bread and toasted them and in what seemed to be a blur to my famished eyes, the slices of toast were on the pan and a layered omelette sandwich was on my plate. I devoured the omelette and maybe it was the hunger but I swear that is the best omelette I have eaten so far. I’ve often wondered how the omelette was layered on the bread, so I actually played with 4 coasters and a hand kerchief till I came up with the combination of moves that I think works. So without further ado, I present my “Railway Platform” omelette!
Cook an omelette as usual, flip it once it has cooked on one side.
Toast 4 slices of bread, fold the omelette in half and place two slices of toast on the griddle
Unfold the omelette so it now covering the two slices of toast, place the other two slices of toast on the unfolded half.
Now fold the other half over the omelette over the upper two slices of toast. Slice the omelette along the gap between the two toasts.
Now flip the two slices of toast on the right to the left so they cover the two slices on the left.
Now cut the resulting sandwich diagonally, sit back and enjoy the omelette. You could perhaps hear the cries “Kaapi, kaapi, chaiiiye, chaiiiye” in the background!
Here’s a nod to those food vendors who ply their trade on Indian trains and platforms, they are the unsung heroes of many a journey!
anoo pieFebruary 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm
mmmm,luv this omelette…also reminds of the omlette pav,bun maska pav & chai in quaint irani resturants in mumbai ,sighsigh these cafes r facing extinction 🙁
RadhikaMarch 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm
nostalgic:) it reminds me of the days when I used to travel a lot by trains and that aroma of the omelette which dominated every other food that was sold on the platform.
NavdeepApril 4, 2013 at 1:17 am
While frequently travelling by rail between Pune and Delhi, many many years ago, I became addicted to the omelette that a food cart vendor used to make and serve, exactly as described above, at the Bhusaval railway station. In contrast, Airport food has never tasted so good to me. I wonder why ?
RajeshApril 6, 2013 at 7:07 am
A very valid observation Navdeep! I guess the good thing with train travel is that if you don’t like the food in one station, chances are that you could be in luck at the next one! It probably has also to do with free-enterprise, airports have limited space and the restaurants pretty much have a monopoly once you enter the airport. With the Indian railways, you have the official railway food and then you have “independent contractors” who also hawk their wares!
PreetiAugust 23, 2017 at 6:03 am
Traveling by train was the best time to catch up on reading undisturbed on the upper berth because no one else wanted to climb those tricky metal ladders. What was more fun was hopping down again at every station to check if there was something to chow on. My personal favorite was the piping hot vada pavs with green chillis at Khadki station…..
RajeshApril 27, 2018 at 7:43 am
Yes, those train journeys were something else! I particularly loved the stretch through Lonavala and Khandala while traveling to Bombay. The co-passengers were always interesting and we would strike up friendships, though there were few ways to keep in touch later.