Got Meṇasinakayi! ‘Hot deals’ on ‘Hot Chillies’ come along with Dust & Pollution at No Extra Cost?

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Got Meṇasinakayi! ‘Hot deals’ on ‘Hot Chillies’ come along with Dust & Pollution at No Extra Cost?

Mangaluru: Seems like these days one doesn’t have to make a trip to a grocery store or a vegetable/fruit market to buy your commodities, fruits, vegetables etc-because you can find them all on the side of the roads, with businesses set up by the street vendors. From vegetables to fruits to crockery to plants to cane baskets/chairs to pottery to artificial jewellery to helmets etc etc-you name them, you find them all on the side of busy city streets or highways. And now you can even buy your important ingredient to make Indian curry items-that is dry red chillies on the roadside. And to be on the lighter side of the vein, all these roadside items come with added dust, soil, pieces of tiny rocks, and other foreign particles – with no extra charge, all for one price? I am not joking, it’s a fact!

And if you are buying these chillies from the roadside, please make sure you wash them before using them in your food preparation. Because I tried soaking a few of these Byadgi chillies in a glass container, the water turned yellowish/blackish, and at the bottom soil/dust particles had settled. With a huge traffic passing by this area where these sellers have put up their stalls, there are excellent chances of smoke from the vehicle’s exhaust pipes settling on the chillies and other ingredients kept open. Is anyone from the local health department concerned about the health and safety of their citizens? Guess not! And if someone gets sick from these polluted chillies, God is only your help since it is learnt that Mangaluru does not have a food testing lab. And you call this a Smart City and a booming Education hub, putting students’ health at risk.

Banni Banni Meṇasinakāyi Thegoli !Guess where you can find these “Hot Deals” on “Hot Red Chillies” during “Hot Summer Days” on the roadside? If you happen to travel in the maddening bustle of traffic near Karnataka Poly-Technic (KPT) Circle, chances are that you may catch the strong aroma of Dry red Chillies – that’s because huge piles of loose dry red chillies and also gunny bags of them are stacked up and for sale at the corner of KPT circle and adjacent to Kadri East police station. A few families all hailing from a little village in and around Bagalkot are making brisk business by selling dry red chillies, way cheaper than the store price, and people are flocking to avail the “Hot and Spicy deals”.

Although these vendors had a hard time listening to my broken Kannada, it was also hard for me to understand the Bagalkot kind of Kannada- but I managed to grab as much information on these chillies. There are two varieties of chillies. The same kind of chillies is sold in the Mangalore market for slightly higher prices. When asked why they were selling the best and spicier chillies for less than medium spicier ones, the reply was that the spicier ones are slow sellers in Mangaluru since people here don’t like too spicy chillies, instead, they prefer milder ones- so to get rid of spicier chillies fast, they were selling it cheaper. These chillies sell for more price at grocery or supermarkets. Since this is the ideal season for a few varieties of chillies to find their way into the market, and even many pickle jars, many people buy these chillies in large quantities when the prices are cheaper with street vendors.

The kind of dry chilli these vendors sell is Bedgi or Byadgi Menasu/Mirchi/Chilli which is grown extensively in the northern part of Karnataka, these chillies look very similar to Kashmiri Chillies, but are far spicier. They’re named after the town of Byadagi in a district in Karnataka. They’re a crucial ingredient in cooking a variety of South Indian food and are most often used in tanks. This spicy chilli is what gives a lot of regional cuisines, including Konkan food, its unique flavour, spicy zing and red colour. Used in the powdered form in fish preparations, assorted gravies and sambhar, this chilli is popularly used by many South Indian communities.

Chaitramma, one of the chilly sellers speaking to Team Mangalorean said” The business has been brisk, and the customers have been very nice since the past few days. I want to sell all my stock as soon as possible because I am scared of being chased away by cops for setting up my business on city property. God is my only protector and help- I have to feed my family and bear other expenses. I thank all the people who bought the spices from me. We will be here for one more week”.

She also said that Byadagi chillies are primarily sold at the Byadgi chilli market and that she and her relatives buy them at auction prices. “This market attracts traders from all over Karnataka and from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh because of favourable conditions for a business like a fair price, immediate payment and accurate measurement of the chillis. The recent up-rise of sales of low-priced, more-pungent chilli varieties into the market has caused a dent in the price of Byadagi chillies as well. Because of this, the farmers involved in its cultivation may not be able to make the required profits on their yield.” she added.

So all you spice lovers, if you are looking for a cheap price on Dry Red Chillies,( and don’t care for hygiene since these chillies day and night are exposed to dust, soil, pollution and whatnot?) then head on quickly to this spot near KPT/Kadri Police Station, where and the rest will offer you the best prices on these products. And if you are good at bargaining, I bet you will still get a better price. Best of luck.

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1 Comment

  1. This is the final stage of giving a coat of pollutants, if you are happen to see the primary stage, go and have a look near the farms wher these chillies cultivated, which is also by the side of wide highways, where freshly harvested red chillies being spread on incomplete concrete bed roads for drying purpose for months long. Astonishing matter is , sometimes you can even find stray dogs resting comfortably on this bed of chillies…

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