Saturday, May 02, 2015

Spotted: Alibaug Che Gaavti Kadve Vaal

- By Deepa Krishnan

I was walking in BB Dadar today, when I spotted this stall opposite Girgaon Panche Depot. A temporary shop had been set up for the evening, using an upturned fruit crate.
The board says: Alibaug che gaavti kadwe vaal yethey milteel. Bitter field beans, from Alibaug, sold here. The word 'gavti' means rustic. Alibaug is known for these beans.

Vaal are soaked overnight, sprouted, and then the brown covering is peeled to reveal a white inner bean that is slightly bitter. A long-winded process, but there are whole armies of Maharashtrian people who love vaal and think nothing of the effort.

Vaal is used to make various dishes, but one of the most popular ones is valache birde. It's a sort of gravy curry with garlic, chillies, coconut, kokum and spices. Super yummy with hot chappatis. The CKP-style vaalache birde is well known; so if you know someone who is from the CKP community, try and get an invitation for a home-cooked meal :)

My friend Shekhar owns a farm, and they have a tradition of "popti", which is a sort of village style barbecue in an earthern pot. A fire is made with dry coconut fronds, placed upside down. Vaal and various other leguminous pods, pieces of chicken or meat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and special edible leaves are placed in an earthern pot. The mouth of the pot is blocked with a set of leaves, from the almond tree, and the pot is placed upside down on the fire. Shekhar says "Its a heady meal goes down very well with beer deep into the cold night on a farm" :)


Haddock said...

One of the pulses I like is Vaal, and if its properly cooked (with enough soaking) its a pleasure to eat it.
Have never been to a popti. Must try one in one of my Maharashtrian friend's house.

Aadil Desai said...

Is that vaal what we call teetori vaal. It is slightly bitter but when cooked with a bit of jaggery added to it, it becomes delicious and you don't get that bitter taste.

alibaug hotels said...

Nice Post, Me too in Love with alibaugche Waal and used to to arrange popati in every season