Do you guys remember what is Keja? Humm I know I use too many Koli words. Well Keja is barter system if you missed it before. Why am I talking about barter here? Well this is a fresh pickle exchanged with dried fish in Thal. This pickle is eaten more like a lick snack in our village. It is made from raw mango or Kairi.
Kids take dry fish to the seller and in return get a generous helping of Kairi Lonche on a Bhendi leaf . The kids lap up the lonche and then pester their mothers for more at home. But licking it from the bhendi leaf is real fun. This bhendi leaf is a glossy one resembling pipal leaf. The bhendi tree is called Indian tulip and has yellow powdery flowers. It is was fun climbing bhendi trees too. They used to grow everywhere in Thal but have diminished now.
1 cup diced raw mango with the seed
1/2 cup jaggery
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 cup water
Heat oil in a saucepan, splutter mustard seeds, asafoetida,add the raw mango and stir. Add in jaggery, salt, turmeric and red chili powder. Pour the water and boil till it thickens to give a nice gravy.
We just lap it up as is. You go find a reason to have it for the first time later you won't even think of combinations forget about reasons. Try it out!