Tuesday, October 25, 2011
On a boring Sunday evening, that’s two days ago, I had a brainwave. I wasn’t very hungry but wanted to eat a snack before I turned in for the night with a nice book to read. I wanted something somewhat spicy. There were four old eggs in my refrigerator. I suddenly started craving a bullseye with crisp edges and cracked pepper. I’ve already forgotten whether I thought of it then or at the moment I poured the first spoon of oil into the pan, but I got the jar of mango pickle, took a spoon of oil from it and added it to the pan. It couldn’t be any worse than an omelette with some pickle smeared on it, and that’s not such a bad idea, try it if you haven’t already!
So here’s an idea for a different version of fried eggs. I don’t like it sunny side up and always like mine fried on both sides.
The oil traditionally used in the mango pickle (mamidikaya pachadi/avakaya) I have is gingelly (made from sesame seed). A mixture of mustard, fenugreek, red chilli powders and salt goes into it. So do tiny black chickpeas and skinned garlic.
I don’t know the procedure or the proportions but all these are mixed with the mango and heated and cooled oil is poured over the pickle. It takes about 4-5 days to mature, for the spices to go from salty and bitter (from the mustard and fenugreek) to mellow. All the same, steaming hot rice, butter or ghee, and a small bowl of the new pickle are set out to be enjoyed right on the first day.
As the spices steep in the oil, which has to be a few inches above the rest of the pickle so that it can provide a protective medium against contamination, it gets flavoured with them, not to mention the mango and other ingredients.
So you don’t need anything except a little salt, in my opinion, to get the eggs to taste great!
What you need:
Oil from the pickle: 2-3 tsp (or it could be a mix of regular and this)
Salt: To taste
Heat the pan and spread the oil around.
Break the eggs into the pan, sprinkle the salt over them and let the whites set.
Turn over and let the yolks set.
Turn off the heat, slip it into a plate and enjoy!
Here's another idea for the pickle oil