We eat more eggs, more omelets and scrambled eggs, traveling in the Subcontinent than we do at home. We’re not sure why, but part of it probably has to do with having different patterns of eating when we’re traveling. At home we can eat whenever we like, simply going to the kitchen and cooking something up or looking for leftovers. But when we’re on the road, we have to pay more attention to breakfast, lunch, and supper, to the hours of the day when food in restaurants and tea shops is being freshly made. As good as food can be in the Subcontinent, it’s also true it’s not always around when we want it to be. That’s where eggs come in: A local tea shop will often cook up an omelet at a moment’s notice. Eaten with a chapati or two and a cup of tea, it tastes so good.
Then after we come back home, we eat more eggs and omelets for a while than usual because we’re in the habit. Eggs are so easy, and scrambled eggs and omelets from the Subcontinent are full of flavor. These are like the eggs Jeffrey had at a small tea shop in rural Andhra Pradesh, about a day’s drive north of Chennai (Madras).
- 4 to 5 large or extra-large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons raw sesame oil or vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic or garlic mashed to a paste
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger mashed to a paste
- 2 green cayenne chiles, seeded and minced
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tomatoes, cut into ½-inch dice
- ½ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
Beat the eggs lightly in a bowl, and whisk or stir in the salt.
Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, and when it is hot, add the shallots, garlic, ginger, chiles, and turmeric and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes, until they are softened.
Add the eggs and swirl and tilt the skillet to distribute them. Using a flat wooden spoon or spatula, toss the eggs with the shallots and tomatoes, cooking the eggs while getting everything well mixed.
Then continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the eggs are well cooked.
Turn out onto a flat plate to serve, garnished with the fresh coriander.
Serve with a green salad and Chapatis.
This recipe serves 3 and uses 5 extra-large eggs.