Eggs: How Do I Cook Thee?

Posted: May 1, 2011

Poached eggs for breakfast, egg curry for lunch and chocolate mousse for dessert – there’s an egg recipe for every occasion here!

I am sure I am showing my age but does anyone remember the old ad that promoted eating eggs? The jingle went something like this:

“Meri jaan, meri jaan, murgi ke ande!(x 2)
Omelette khilaoon, fried khilaoon, boiled khilaoon!
Khilaoon murgi ke, murgi ke, ande hi ande!
Sunday ho ya Monday, roj khaayein ande!!”

Happy, catchy and set to the tune of an old Hindi number, this ad was played often on the telly and I remember it perfectly till date, even thought it might have been 20 years since I last saw it. Whenever I make eggs for my children, this is the ad that runs through my mind!

This isn’t a nostalgia trip, but more for the benefit of our readers who might not subscribe to the vegetarian school of thought. I suddenly realised that in every edition of Eatopia until now, I have just talked about vegetarian food and recipes and I am sure there are many meat-eaters out there left feeling a mite side-lined. Being a true-blue vegetarian, I cannot do much to actually help you carnivores devour your meat. Except – meet you half-way and talk about eggs and some interesting ways of adding them to your diet.

As that old advertisement extolled, an egg is the perfect protein. Containing negligible amounts of carbohydrates to a whopping dose of proteins, the humble egg is a versatile little thing. If you are rushed, then you can scramble it with some butter, season with salt and pepper and have a filling and nutritious dish in minutes. Or boil it for as long as you want, based on how runny you want it. Beat it, season it and add some veg to it like mushrooms, peppers, or tomatoes and make a very filling omelette that will do very nicely for dinner. And of course, you can jazz up it up by grilling it and calling it a frittata or baking it and calling it a quiche.

As you can see, a simple egg can go a long way in filling that hole in your tummy and keep you satisfied for a good while.

Of course, it’s got some bad press in the past thanks to its association with cholesterol but as long as you don’t overdo it, there is no need to fret. Many mums I know do not give the yolks to their children, worried that it might contain too much of cholesterol. But there have been many studies conducted on eggs that have pooh-poohed these claims and proved without a shadow of a doubt how good these innocuous things are.

Eggs are the perfect food item – they are suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner, entrees, main or dessert. You can even get tipsy on eggs! If you are still unconvinced, here are my top 5 dishes that feature eggs as the star ingredient, just to prove how versatile they are.

1. Breakfast with poached eggs – Poaching is one of the healthiest ways of cooking an egg, not to mention the quickest. It needs a bit of practice to get it right but the perfect poached egg is a thing of beauty, well worth the effort.

2. Lunch with a mushroom frittata – if you are one that loves hot spicy food, then a frittata is for you.

3. Make them into an unusual anda raita to go with your carb main dishes, to give a good dose of protein to your meal.

4. Egg curry for Indian curry lovers- Boil it and add it to a coconut milk-tomato gravy if you like it curried.

5. Finish off a sumptuous meal with a rich chocolate mousse

So you see, having an egg in your pantry can make it very easy for you to whip up something healthy and tasty in minutes. If that doesn’t fit the brief of the perfect food item, I don’t know what does!

If you are looking for a new egg dish to try out this evening, why not make this simple quiche? You bake it in the oven, which reduces the time spent slaving over a hot stove; it is full of protein and you can add some boiled potatoes as a side if you want some carbohydrates and as it transports very well, it is the perfect dish to make for a picnic.

Crustless Cheese and Broccoli Quiche

Ingredients

  •  250 gms Broccoli florets, steamed (if not available, you could substitute this with mushrooms or bell peppers)
  • 6 eggs, whisked with salt and pepper
  • 175 gms grated cheese (Gruyere is best for this but I have made it with cheddar too, with perfect results)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F / 180 C. Place the steamed broccoli florets evenly in a quiche dish; sprinkle with half the cheese.

Pour the beaten eggs over this and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until set. The quiche would have risen and browned.

Serve hot or cold, with a salad for a simple supper. Serves 4.

Mother, writer, foodie, margarita lover, Lavanya is the exception to the rule that women are

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