Akuri – the Parsi scrambled egg
I am scrambled egg Nazi. So critical am I of scrambled eggs that I hate it 98% of the times it is served to me, whether at home or out of 5 star kitchens. I also steer clear of the anda bhurji served by dhabas and restaurants because it is murder of the eggs! I can recall very few that I have actually relished. Most of the times, the eggs are overcooked and rubbery or undercooked. To make matters worse, I find the raw eggy smell utterly repulsive. The two put together, I am difficult person to please when it comes to any form of scrambles.
It that wasn’t bad enough, I recently found myself sharing a plate of akuri in a well known Parsi restaurant in Delhi with one egg phobic and one eggetarian! Both not only shared my repulsion of the egg-like smell but only liked eggs when they tasted “non-eggy” – yes, that according to them is a legit word! The akuri came with a lot of recommendations and we approached it cautiously, only to be very pleasantly surprised by it. It was almost perfectly scrambled eggs, tad spicy, creamy, hint of coriander, sitting neatly on top of a crisp toast. It took us five minutes to polish the plate, by the end of which I was asked to recreate the (near) perfection by the self proclaimed egg phobic.
As it happens, I pride myself on the scrambled eggs that I dish out. It is light, creamy and mild – every single time. Hence, the task and the mild hint of doubt in the voice turned this into a challenge for me. I was surely not losing, not this one.
P.S. The feedback after the weekend breakfast consisted of admiring gazes with intermittent admission that the akuri from my kitchen was so perfect that it bettered the restaurant one, a feat the critic had thought would be impossible for me to achieve!
Eggs – 4, , Milk – 2 tbsp, Onion – 1 large (chopped very finely), Tomato – 1 medium (finely chopped), Fresh coriander leaves – 1/4 cup (very finely chopped), Green chilli – 1 0r 2 (deseeded and very finely chopped), Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tsp, Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp, Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp, Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp, Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp, Salt to taste, Refined vegetable oil – 1 tbsp
1. Heat the oil in a small, deep, heavy bottomed pan;
2. Fry the onion till light brown and add the ginger-garlic paste;
3. Sauté till the raw smell evaporates and add the tomatoes. Stir till tomatoes are tender and add all the spice powders;
4. Sauté until the oil comes up and turn the heat to the lowest possible;
5. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork till lightly frothy. Do not over beat;
6. Take the pan off the heat and add the beaten eggs;
7. Very gently stir and scrape the lightly cooked eggs off the surface of the pan. Keep stirring and scraping till the eggs are the consistency of scrambled eggs;
8. Serve piled on top of crisp toasted bread.
Note: The key is to control the temperature, the beating of the eggs and cooking time. Eggs are temperamental beings and one ought to treat them with patience!