Tag Archives: eggs

Indian cooking – Egg Bhurji

On my first morning in India I ate a spicy scrambled egg dish that I loved very much. It had been cooked the day before by the housekeeper Kareena. Eggs that are delicious and cooked 24 hours ahead? That’s a recipe I need. I asked if she would show me how to make those “breakfast eggs” sometime, and she said she’d be happy to. Yesterday was my lucky day.

When I noticed how her kurta was the same color as the onions,
I knew I must take pictures.

And I took notes on the process, and the approximate amount of ingredients. It’s essentially a spicy Indian version of a vegetable scramble, with variations as many as there are cooks, as you can see for yourself if you want to browse recipes online.

My teacher went to the refrigerator to get one of the slender green Indian chilis, and was disappointed to find them all gone. She said she could make the dish with dried chili powder for us, but if she were making it at home she’d just wait until she went to the market again; because fresh is best.

 

This is the powder she substituted>>

I read that if you want to approximate this dried chili powder you can blend 3 parts paprika to one part cayenne.

 

 

This morning Tom went shopping and resupplied us with chilis, which are here drying after being soaked in a disinfecting bath.

It is amazing how many vegetables are in this dish. Kareena’s style is to make sure all the vegetables are in very small pieces by the time you mix the eggs in. The bright red color comes from the chili powder; what I ate that first morning had been made with a fresh green chili and it wasn’t red at all.

Kareena’s EGG BHURJI

3 small onions, diced small
1 tablespoon fresh curry leaves
2-3 tablespoons oil
1-2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 small tomatoes, diced small
1 long thin hot chili, minced (or 1-2 teaspoons Kashmiri chili powder)
½-1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
6 eggs

In a large broad skillet heat the oil, then throw in the whole curry leaves and stir them a few seconds to sizzle before adding the onions. Cook the onions over medium heat until golden brown. You may add the fresh chili pepper at this point, or wait.

Add the tomatoes, turmeric, (chili powder if you didn’t have fresh chili, fresh chili if you waited), and salt. Stir and cook together for a few minutes, then put a lid on and cook for another 10 minutes or so to break down the tomatoes. Mash them some more with the back of the wooden spoon.

Break the eggs into the pan and scramble with all the vegetables until partially cooked; add most of the cilantro, saving some for garnish. Scramble until all cooked and crumbly. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Serve, sprinkling with remaining cilantro.

The best way to eat these eggs is with one of Kareena’s chapatis fresh off the griddle, but a pile of Bhurji is great all by itself, too.

When I return home, I’d like to have a tablecloth after the fashion of Kareena’s kurta for my dining table, so that when I sit down to eat my Anda Bhurji it would all add up to the perfect and colorful Indian breakfast.

What streams and shines.

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hellebore

 
The abundant rain made January of 2017 less depressing than average for that dark and cold month of the year. It looks likely that my town will have received 40 inches for the season-to-date before the end of the week. Usually we get 20+ inches. When it rains the air is cleared of pollutants and the burn restrictions are lifted – so we had lots of wood fires which are always cheering!

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Christmas joy and lightness always carry me through Theophany on January 6th, but then I have the reality of a Christmas tree that needs taking down eventually. I strained my shoulder slightly a few weeks ago, which slowed me down, but it gave me time to read five books in just the first month of the year, often sitting in front of that woodstove. I started drinking coffee, which is a mood-elevator for sure… and now suddenly, it’s February, and the weather has been 20 degrees milder.

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manzanita

Flocks of goldfinches and juncos have returned to the garden, swooping down from the bare branches of the snowball bush. The juncos peck around on the ground, and the finches hang all over the nyger seed feeder, even in the rain.

And flowersgl-asparagus-2-8-17-standing-water are coming on dear Margarita Manzanita, buds on the currant bushes and calla lilies. I went out and took pictures just now under the umbrella, so everything is too wet to be optimal, revealing how one of my asparagus beds is less than optimal – we didn’t dig down deep enough into the adobe clay, and now there is standing water. That may not portend good for the future of that planting.

I made several gallons total of various soups in January, including Barley Buttermilk Soup, which I decided to try incorporating into bread yesterday. Here you have it, Barley Buttermilk Bread. It was enough dough that I ought to have made three loaves of it, but what I did was bake one oval loaf on my pizza stone, with butter brushed on top toward the end, and a round one in the Dutch oven. I added some oat flour which made it soft, but by this morning its crumb is very nice, and I like it very much… even too much.

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It’s been a long time since I had eggs from hens who ate lots of greens. My fellow communion bread-baker James brought some pale blue-green eggs from his Americaunas to our last baking session, and I was the lucky one to take them home, just as he had brought them, in the bottom of a paper shopping bag. They are so wonderfully orange-yolked, I had to take their picture, too. They go well with Barley-Buttermilk Bread. 🙂

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Every week the peas and the poppies have been beaten down by the rain…

gl-poppies-p1060639But they keep growing and blooming. Overall, they appear to thrive in it. I am reminded of this verse from the hymn “O Worship the King,” which likens God’s provision for us generally to the moisture that falls.

Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Sometimes, it is not only a metaphor.

Double Dark Chocolate Pudding

chocolate pud & whiskMany months ago I wrote the draft of this post, when I was making pudding frequently for my husband. In the last week of his life he ate little else. Cancer and chemo had made meals a challenge, and toward the end, this was the best solution to the various food-related problems.

He needed the extra-extra nourishment that is in this rich chocolate confection. For him I added additional egg yolks, which you might do, too, if you are cooking for someone who is anemic, or who can’t eat much at one time, and needs the mega-nutrition that is in each bite. Unless someone doesn’t like chocolate, they will probably find it easy to eat.

chocolate pud Lindt

Though it is a truly delicious dessert to serve to anyone — even the healthiest people! — I myself surely do not need super rich nutrition, and after my husband died I couldn’t imagine what might move me to cook it again.

I found my motivator recently when a friend was in the rehab hospital after a painfully tedious ordeal. On the phone  I arranged to go visit her and asked, knowing that the institutional meals were likely to fall short of fully satisfying to the whole person, if I might bring her anything. She requested chocolate pudding, having in mind a prepared version from the grocery store. I wasn’t familiar with that sort anyway, but since I had become such an expert at this version, I immediately knew that I would make it for her.

It really is not difficult, and you don’t have to practice as much as I did to find that out. I had a good system going for laying out my ingredients and working through the steps quickly. One day I even produced two batches, one in the morning and one in the evening! Any other dessert I’ve ever made has been rare enough that I wasn’t comfortable and familiar with the process in a way that let me experience that flow. At the time, I might add, I was consoled and cheered by being able to create something that was pleasing and and useful, even though I knew that its powers were limited.

Chocolate Pud eggs

This recipe is special because of the dark chocolate bar that is mixed in at the end. Before that addition it is more of a milk chocolate experience. Considering the amount of chocolate in the final product, the sugar is at a minimum. For that reason I just at this moment decided to add “Dark” to the name. You might find similar recipes that have more butterfat and no egg yolk — I reject those in favor of versions that include that lovely and elegant food, the egg, which has such a vast nutritional gift to give.

Double Dark Chocolate Pudding 

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa (I like Ghirardelli)
1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks (or more)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped, plus shavings (85% or 90% Lindt is nice)

Place a fine-mechocolate pud dry ingredsh sieve over a medium bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually whisk in milk, taking care to dissolve cornstarch. Whisk in egg yolks.

Whisking constantly, heat over medium until you notice some thickening at the bottom of the pan, 5-10 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Remove from heat; immediately pour through sieve into bowl. Add butter, vanilla, and chocolate; stir until smooth.chocolate pud doubling

Divide among 4-6 small bowls and smooth the surface of each one with a swirl. Garnish with more dark chocolate shavings. Eat warm or cover and chill.

Other than adding more egg yolks for my husband, and using arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch, I didn’t make any changes to this recipe I found on Martha Stewart’s website.

My friend was quite happy with my gift. I brought enough for two servings, in a bag with some ice on the bottom, so she could eat half later. It was very comforting.

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