With the start of March, I thought I would take the month to explore all things Asian from the Indian subcontinent to Japan, Korea and China, as well as a culinary ‘tour’ around Southeast Asia. Many of these dishes I’ve made over the years, others are a new culinary exploration. I hope you enjoy the tour as well.
Between growing up in Western Canada, spending time in England and now in New York, I’ve had an early introduction to Indian food and the type of spices and flavors typically associated with Indian cuisine. However, it wasn’t until later in life that I began to understand or glimpse the nuances in flavors from the different regions. Northern Indian cuisine typically uses more dairy products (milk, paneer, yogurt, ghee) and savory spices such as cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Mustard seeds feature predominantly in many eastern Indian dishes, while some western Indian cuisine tends to favor adding sugar to spices in cooking. In the southern Indian state of Kerala, coconut is a frequent ingredient found in a number of dishes.
Egg Bhurji, or Indian-style scrambled eggs is a common Indian breakfast, and as varied as the regions in India are, so will the ingredients be for this breakfast dish. The version of Indian-style scrambled eggs found below borrows from Kerala cuisine with the addition of coconut oil and grated coconut, but with the addition of mustard seeds inspired by Bengali cuisine. Kripyā bhojan kā ānnaṅd lijīyai (enjoy your meal)
Indian Scrambled Eggs (Egg Bhurji, Kerala style)
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, (or if you’re feeling adventurous, thai or bird’s eye chili) finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. ginger, peeled and finely diced
- 1/2 tsp. mild chili powder (or crushed red pepper flakes)
- 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 2 small tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup freshly grated coconut (or flakes)
- 6-7 large eggs
- Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop add onions and saute for about 2 minutes, or just until the onions begin to soften.
- Add chilies, ginger, turmeric, chili powder, salt and pepper, saute for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chopped tomatoes, saute for about 2 minutes, then add grated coconut and stir briefly.
- Turn heat to medium low, add in beaten eggs, stir constantly until curds form similar to scrambled eggs.
- Serve with roti or naan.