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!