Showing posts with label vegetables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetables. Show all posts

Dec 7, 2016

Life and Love: Meet the Tarkari-wali!!!

Yes, it's my favorite local fruit and veg vendor! In Nepali, tarkari means vegetables and wali means a female worker. Every other day for the last 10 years I've meandered down the hill to buy local fresh produce from this delightful lady. Over the years I've watched her little business grow from a tiny rickety table about two foot square to a full size covered cart mounted on bicycle wheels!

So here's her fairly new cart complete with roof and extra storage underneath. As you can see she has quite the seasonal assortment of fresh fruit and veg. Those bananas are to die for! That variety is local and have the most incredible almost custard-like banana-y flavor. The greenish oranges are also local and are surprisingly quite ripe. Their peel slips off easily and they taste like a luscious tart-sweet clementine. In the white sleeves on the left are crisp apples packed for the journey from up high at Shimla. Cauliflower is available year round here as it is grown in the cooler, higher elevations during the Summer. (Those HUGE cauliflower heads you see on the right here are a real treat as they're grown just down the street and are delectably tender and fresh!)

Here you can see what's out front of the cart. The yellow bags on the right contain roasted peanuts in the shell, a popular Winter snack all over South Asia. In the bright green bag are taro roots which are called pidalu. Taro root is another Winter vegetable that is boiled, fried, steamed,  or combined with vegetables and lentils into a nutritious stew. The cabbages on the far left are another Winter staple in Nepal and are often stir-fried or used in tasty steamed dumplings called momos. And of course there's more oranges as always starting late November through January.

And my lovely tarkari-wali weighs out my purchase of those yummy oranges on the same rusty balance she's used for the past 10 years. She's never overcharged me nor shortchanged me like some other fruit and veg vendors I could name. My husband used to insist on driving 45 minutes across town to the big tarkari bazaar (fruit and veg market). Then some very esteemed guests of ours wanted to know where I bought the beautiful fruits we served them after dinner and I said, "From the cart right down the street!" They marveled at the quality and thought I'd bought them at one of the fancy shops downtown. Ever since we've bought all our fruits from my tarkari-wali

I finally got her to smile! This is a very rare occurrence. She's a widow whom I've watched send her children to private school and grow her business from a wobbly little table over the years. Life hasn't been too kind to her (a widow's almost the worst thing you can be here), but she's certainly made the best of it!

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