Rajeli Banana Desert

Recipe by Lynn Hannah Perreira’s mom. Lynn Hannah Perreira is a resident of Vasai and follows Virar and West Page.
Rajeli Bananas -7-8; Jaggery -250gms; Coconut grated -2; Cardmom powdered -1 pinch; Nutmeg grated – 1 pinch; Ghee – 1/2 tbsp


Extract Coconut milk from grated coconut, approx 3 n half cups (200ml). Grate jaggery, chop bananas into roundels. In a heavy bottom vessel, add coconut milk and jaggery. Let it come to boil, switch flame to medium heat. Cook it to 7-8 minutes. Do stir it at regular intervals. Add banana roundels, cook till they turn soft.
Turn off the flame. Add ghee, pinch of Nutmeg and cardamom. Let it cool then refrigerate. Serve when it is cold.


Picture Credit – Lynn Hannah Perreira

Blooming Suran Flower

Lucky to get these pics of blooming Suran flower(Also called as stinky lily) in Saphala, Maharashtra, India (pic courtesy Mr.Milan Dharmadhikari) A blooming suran flower has a stinking odour and is not edible anymore. It can be cooked and eaten only in its bud stage. They are little hard to get because not every Suran flowers. The underground Suran tuber grows in 2-3 months. Not lucky this time to find the flower in the market and the season is almost gone. Still, if you find it in market we already have recipe for it on our website https://www.virarandwest.com/recipe-suran-flower-bud-masal…/#Suranflower#VirarandWest

Blooming Suran flower

A Random Dayout in Dahanu

Even though I’m somewhat acquainted with Dahanu since my childhood, I know very little about the city. Many  commute daily here from Virar and the two cities depend a lot on each other economically. Popular for  best quality chikoos, Dahanu has international market selling them making a brand of the city. Nowadays, the Maharashtra tourism industry is keenly promoting Neera, a natural health drink, which has its base distributors in Dahanu. In Virar, you see many Neera carts that get their supplies from Dahanu.

We were curious to know more about the drink. So I and my friend Dipali set out to visit the Neera Kendra just like that and explore Dahanu all we can in a day.

We took a shuttle train from Virar to Vapi and got down at Dahanu. It took approximately 1 hour 20 minutes to reach here. There was this Neera Centre right where we got down. Neera is an oyster white natural drink extracted from specific Palm trees growing in and around Dahanu. If you are acquainted with ice-apples, its the same tree.   In the noon hours of scorching heat, we couldn’t be more thankful for a pouch of Neera. We inquired about the base center and learned about Khadi Gramodyog at Parnaka in Dahanu. A share auto would drop us there…


But wait..Had to halt to admire these beauties first. The walls of Dahanu Railway Station are probably recently decorated with Warli Paintings. The forest regions of Dahanu and South of Gujarat are inhabited by Warli, a tribe who are reckoned internationally for their peculiar  mural paintings that they draw using  rice paste. This is a wonderful idea whoever has thought of it -a brilliant way to promote tourism industry as well as have a pleasant railway station.

Renovated Dahanu Station with Warli Paintings.

It is from here that the Neera is distributed throughout the Palghar district.

At the Khadi Gramodyog we were little disheartened that the head of the Neera department wasn’t available. Though we plan to visit again for it. It was here that we learned about Save Nursery, something not be missed when in Dahanu and so our rest of the day was saved and we finally had some fun place to go.

Save Nursery farm is situated on road from Dahanu to Gholvad. You get a shared auto from Dahanu for Rs. 20 a seat. The rikshaw seats are slightly broader that our usual 3 seater but certainly not for 4 people which is what the drivers expect to carry to make a productive trip to & fro. Not to mention the two passengers seating either side on the drivers seat which makes it an uncomfortable yet funny driving scenario to watch. You have to pay up for the extra person or pay for a fare without sharing. It is advisable to come here with a private vehicle.



We actually came here  looking  for range of chikoo products but discovered Save Nursery is more than that.

It is a farm- nursery with stay options for tourists. Unlike resorts, Save Farm-Nursery has a purpose; to acquaint tourists with rural life here. There are beautiful cottages to stay, well-furnished and air-conditioned. Your stay is planned with various activities designed for you to familiarize you with the local living here. This whole concept is very popular today known as  Agro-tourism. Roughly charges for the stay here are Rs. 2700 per person per day and inclusive of food charges. You can know more here http://savefarm.in/. Must say we quite enjoyed roaming around.

Machaan – Ye sidhi nichese upar jaati aur upar se niche bhi aati hai 🙂
Good Times


We were lucky to meet Mr. Prabhakar Save, the founder of  Save Farm & Nursery and who is actively leading the promoting of Agro tourism of Dahanu not limiting to his place alone. He told us about the yearly chikoo festivals held in Bordi and how it is now not limited to an yearly fair. You can plan it anytime of the year and visit local shops selling chikoo products, warli paintings, handicrafts, a tour arranged taking you through the tribal area of warlis, enjoy the Tarpa dance etc.


Awards & Accolades of Mr Save and the Agro project
Eco T-shirts and more
Delicious organic Chikoo


We did not leave before buying some chikoo products and organic chikoos. The chikoos were really good. While returning back we realized the farm is in proximity to Gholwad railway station than Dahanu. What we missed is a good eatery place here. We will be back in Dahanu for more. So please do write in the comment section if you have suggestions for places to visit in Dahanu along with good food places. 🙂

Gappa Goshti Deal – Food, Books & Conversations!

Gappa Goshti deal is a cozy and charming cafe to be with your friends. It is a cafe with a difference. Along with the menu of sumptuous food and lip-smacking coffees, you will find bookshelves that are decorated with books for varied tastes and they are available on rent. There are also paintings on the cafe wall which if you like you can buy. Cool, Nah??

The name of the cafe, Gappa Goshti Ani Deal, is a unique name assuring that non-stop chit-chat with your friends or deep discussions with your clients are more than welcome here. Especially, nowadays that the startups and individual entrepreneurs work from home, this is a good place for a meeting. And you have good food and coffees to go along to keep you cheered while your time here.

The cafe is located at the ground floor of the Prathamesh Plaza near Gopani Nagar. A share rikshaw from west side of Virar station to Bolinj Road can drop by the branch of ICICI bank. The cafe is located opposite to where you’re dropped. As you enter, you are welcomed like an expected guest which will want you to return to the cafe.

And of course  important reason to be here is the food. This has become a favorite place to hang around among youngsters especially, for their Kheema samosa and crab garlic bread (with rye bread). I liked Mushroom Pizza – really relished the quality and quantity of mushrooms in every bite. Do try Oreo shake and brownie with ice-cream. The food is fairly priced, approximately Rs.200 per person.You can order your food at home too. There is a mobile app now, going by the cafe name.

This is a place to be even if you don’t have a company. Surf through the books, read while you eat and take your book home if you haven’t finished reading. A multi-purpose cafe indeed!