Poleko Anda- A True Local Treat Worth Traveling For
by Kashu Dhakhwa
Being an egg lover, I never pass up a chance to find my perfect boiled egg. I have had some perfectly timed boiled eggs, but I never thought a fire roasted one would stop my hunt to find my perfect egg. Four km from Balaju Bypass is the perfect egg just waiting for you too! The place is called Raniban and is a local joint that serves a delicacy called the poleko anda. When I was first introduced this dish, in my head, I thought it was just boiled eggs made in a pan like we usually do at home. But I was wrong! This had a whole new process.
Let me start with the ambiance of this place before I come to the main dish. The location is a bit hard to find however the local joint is so popular that anyone on the way will point you in the right direction. Moreover, the best places are always hidden and hard to find and poleko anda was worth it all. When I reached the local favorite eatery, I could see a handful of people gathered there. The open green area makes the joint even more beautiful and you feel like you have traveled a long way from the busy streets of Kathmandu.
An old woman was behind the kitchen and she welcomed us with a wide smile. She asked if we came from far, I smiled and said yes. With excitement I asked her if she could serve us some poleko anda and she happily asked us to make ourselves comfortable inside. Before she could prepare some eggs for us, I took the opportunity to ask some questions and also watched how these eggs were made. She wasn’t at all hesitant to welcome us into the area where they make the eggs and wasting no time I started to ask her some questions.
She shared how this place actually started with her just cooking for her family and her grandkids, and in no time the neighbors also started asking for her poleko anda. She then started a small egg business. It became to popular that people started coming there from all over and when I was there I could see local people and a majority of people from outside the area waiting for the special dish.
From what I saw, the raw eggs were covered with kharani (ash) and the coal heat is kept on top of it in order for the egg to heat and roast. When it is served on the plate, it is warm and because the egg is already cracked because of the coal heat, it is easy to break the shell. When we crack open the shell, we see a natural gold color instead of the normal egg white and that’s where all the difference lies. The egg has a smoky flavor and it is unusually tasty. I can guarantee that you will not have tasted such a delicacy even though its just as egg. But wait! the egg actually isn’t the only show stealer. It is the timbur pickle that makes the anda even more special. The perfectly spiced pickle makes you go for a third round of eggs. The woman mentioned that they get the timbur especially from Ason, which might just be the secret ingredient!
This place is the perfect escape to nature and food. The journey is short and is worth all the confusion in the middle of the road to reach the main destination. If you are a lover of eggs and if not too, you should definitely try this place. The local family joint also serves variety of Newari dishes but of course, don’t leave this place without trying their signature dish!