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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Scrambling For My Life!


Well, the truth is, folks that I don’t like breakfast.

I know, I know. It’s a terrible thing to say. And just by saying it, I know I’ve offered up my name to be added to the hit list of every Nutritionist out there.

Well, I’m sorry – don’t shoot please. Because while I believe you when you say that eating breakfast is a matter of national importance, I still don’t like it.

I’ve thought about this. A lot. Because face it, it’s not very often that I put anything to do with food and the words “not like” in the same sentence.  So, I have thought about it. And come to the conclusion that I don’t like breakfast because breakfast (to me) is mind-numbingly boring.  I’m talking about breakfast at home, mind you. Not brunch. Now, brunch, I adore. Brunch like the kind you get at a New York City diner on a glorious Sunday morning, with plates of Eggs Royale and endless glasses of Bellini and a jazz band and a view of the Park. Now, that stuff is good enough to actually make waking up on weekends worth it. Nah, I’m talking about the everyday, normal (read: boring) breakfast one eats at home.

Take, for instance, the following common breakfast foods:

Toast: boring

Cereal: boring (although they make something called Cranberry Nut Crunch in the Land where George Bush lives.  Which more than compensates.)

Porridge: (oh-so) boring

Fruit and yogurt: Very virtuous, but every day? Ho hum.

Croissants etc: can be (highly) interesting, but unless you’re French (or my Mother-in-law), you’ll rapidly outgrow your clothes if you make a habit of routinely consuming these innocent looking, butter-laden monsters.

Muffins/Bagels/Pancakes/Waffles: as above - just replace “French” with “American.” Who it turns out, are actually quite happy to routinely outgrow their clothes. And (based on my limited understanding of the financial hole we’re all in right now) replace them with new ones by spending money they think they have.

(Yikes. Given how high my readership is from the North American continent, I think I may have just killed the goose that lays the golden eggs - and effectively put myself on plenty more hit lists...)

Right. Moving swiftly on.

Eggs.

Now, I love eggs. Eggs are not boring. Eggs are amazing.

But it takes time and effort (and tlc) to make eggs.

And most mornings, I’m usually running thin on all of the above.

Which is why, as you know from my post here, breakfast is usually always Sid’s domain. He’s got more tlc than you can imagine. In fact he’s brimming over with tlc. That’s why I married him. That, and because he brings me Snoopy-slippers from Hongkong. Ears sticking out from the sides and all. Adorable (the slippers, I mean...)

Anyhow, today is one of those oh-so-rare mornings, where I’ve thrown my hands up in the air and succumbed. To time, and effort, and, argh - tlc.

Because my child has turned his nose up at most everything else I’ve offered him: toast, cereal, porridge, fruit & yogurt, (boring, all boring) and being neither French, nor American, and nor, for that matter, my mother-in law – I don’t stock the rest at home.

And because my heinous habit of skipping breakfast notwithstanding, he must eat breakfast.

And because if I make something sufficiently yummy, maybe I can eat some too.

There.  You can all nod approvingly and strike my name off your hit lists now. Well, at least all the Nutritionists can. The Americans can keep me on their most-wanted. Since it takes them, oh about 10 years, to hunt down the really scary ones anyway, I think I have enough time to scope out a neat little hideaway somewhere in the Afghan mountains.

More pressingly however, in the here and now, I’m left with no choice but to make eggs.

And while I’m at it (and because I’m worth it J) I decide to go the whole hog and make Indian style scrambled eggs. Tomatoes, chillies, and all. Which of course, simply by virtue of being Indian, takes even more time, effort (and tlc) than normal. But then, simply by virtue of being Indian, is utterly and totally delicious.

This is the stuff I grew up with, see. You ask for scrambled eggs in India, and this is usually the stuff you get. The cooks there have gotten so used to chopping up onions and tomatoes and chillies all the time that the idea of a meal without them – the very idea that you can make and actually consume eggs cooked in a splash of milk and a little bit of butter, that’s all, – is unfathomable.

So when you’re in India and you want scrambled eggs, whether at a road side food stall (my favourite kind of establishment) or a restaurant, or the train station or on the dining table at home on a lazy Sunday morning – in your pyjamas and glasses, coffee mug in your hands, dog at your feet – odds are, this is the stuff you’ll be served.

Here’s what you need

- 4 eggs
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 green chilly (Id have used more if it was just for me)
- ¾ inch ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp oil
- Salt, to taste

Here’s how you do it:

Heat oil and add chopped onions and fry them until they turn translucent. Now add in the chopped chillies and ginger and stir well at medium heat. Add the tomatoes, and salt and stir well.

Separately, beat the eggs in a bowl and add to the onion-chilly-tomato mixture and cook evenly. You are done once the eggs have set. You don’t want the eggs to be runny, but you don’t want them to be dry either. Hence the constant allusion to tlc. This dish does need one to pay attention. Anyhow, when all ready, top with coriander leaves (that truly magical stuff) and serve immediately!

I’m loath to admit it, but this is one of the most scrumptious and elaborate breakfasts I have had in ages. That is, excluding eating breadomlate on the street at 4am, Sunday breakfasts with my family, and that one time – long, long ago, in a Kingdom Far Away – that my husband made me breakfast.

And...it would seem that I’m now on yet another most-wanted. And my husband’s far deadlier than any other special-interest group! The snowy peaks of the Afghan mountains beckon – so I’d better scramble for my life, while I let you scramble those eggs. 

Happy Scrambling!

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