In how many different ways can you make a humble omelette? Now that we have access to innumerable blogs, books, and food shows, what is for certain is that there is definitely more than ONE way to make an omelette. However, a few years ago when I was in college, this was the subject of an entertaining argument between two of my friends – Deepa from Kerala and Praachi from U.P. Tired with the snacks dished out by the mess, we all decided to treat ourselves to an omelette. The eggs were bought from a nearby tea stall and all other ingredients were sourced from the mess. And then the war of words began! Deepa insisted on putting grated coconut along with onions and chilli powder. The method, she claimed, was to fry the onions and coconut for a bit and then add the beaten eggs to them. Praachi rejected the addition of coconut as well as the method. As per her, the onions must be added to the beaten egg and then poured on the pan. With hardly any culinary experience of their own, they both exclaimed that this was how their respective mothers had been making omelettes for years!! There was no way in which either of them was going to win the argument now. I don’t remember what happened that day. I think we agreed that we would each get to make the egg our own way.
Now my mum also made an omelette the way Praachi’s mum did. But, I was excited to eat Deepa’s mum’s version as it was something I’ve never had before. The grated coconut in it added a bite which in the language of food show presenters is what you would call “texture” and “lifted” the humble dish to a whole new level. I also recall eating an omelette made in mustard oil during a village trip from college. Now, at that point in time I had a strong dislike for anything made in mustard oil. Anyway, that was not the time or place to be a fuss pot and I gulped the egg down in a few quick bites. Since then I’ve had frittatas, koothu parathas, and several other forms to know that there is lots that can be done with an egg. Pay a visit to The Egg Factory in Bangalore and you will know that this is not an eggsaggeration! My friend Megha treated me to a yummy alu-onion omelette during my stay with her in Pune. Not surprisingly, this was the way her parents had been making omelettes for years 🙂 The onions and potatoes were thinly sliced and fried till they softened and then a beaten egg was added to the pan. Not only did it look great, it tasted nice too.
My in-laws visited us in Delhi recently. Amma made a simple egg curry while she was here, which was very different from a Bengali version. For one, it had coconut in it. Here’s the recipe
7eggs + 1
5 sambhar onions
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
½ cup coconut pieces
1 inch stick of cinnamon
1 tsp fennel seeds
1½ tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1. Grind the coconut, sambhar onions, fennel seeds, cardamoms, cloves, and cinnamon into a fine paste with the help of a little water.
2. Heat the oil and add the curry leaves and onion. Fry till the onion browns. Then add ginger-garlic paste and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cover and cook till the tomato softens. Then add the coriander powder, chilli powder, and salt and cook for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add the coconut paste along with 2 cups and bring the gravy to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add the eggs in. Amma made slits in the egg so that the masala would seep in. She also did another interesting thing. She broke a raw egg into the gravy as according to her how else would you know that an egg curry is being made. Turn down the flame to medium and let the eggs soak the flavor of the curry for about 10 minutes.
You can have this gravy with rice, rotis, or even dosas.