Monday, 8 August 2016

Oriental Eggscitement. (No, really.)

NAME: _Oriental Eggscitement.

3 - 4 eggs per person
1/2 cup besan flour per person
1/2 cup atta or other wholemeal flour per person
around 1/2 a brown onion per person
peanut or olive oil around 1/4c per person (but see Method)
chilli powder
cumin powder
cumin seeds
chilli flakes with seeds (if you like a bit of zing)
garlic powder
lemon juice (preferably fresh squezed)
fresh green coriander
around 1/4 to 1/2 cup of uncooked rice per person
Handful of boiled peanuts per person (See NOTES)

Boil the eggs to hardboiled (starting from cold water, about 25 - 30 minutes) then drain and place in cold water. Peel, and carefully remove the complete yolk from each egg. Chop the egg whites roughly the size of dried peas, put whole yolks in one bowl and egg whites in the other.

I'll go ahead and describe a meal for two here just as I made it for us, but just multiply everything up for more guests.

Put a cupful of rice, a teaspoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of peanut or olive oil, and two cupfuls of water in a saucepan with a good lid,

While waiting for it to boil start making a batter in a suitably sized bowl - take one cupful of besan flour, half a teaspoon of chilli powder, a teaspoon of cumin powder, a teaspoon of powdered turmeric, and a teaspoon of salt, the juice of about one lemon, then slowly add water until you have a thick to medium batter. Roll the egg yolks in the batter.

Start the wok with about a cupful of your chosen oil and when hot enough, gently place the batter coated yolks in the oil and to begin with roll them around a few times so they don't develop a crck in the batter. Drain the egg pakodas (which is what they actually are) on a paper towel or slice of bread/ Remove the wok from the flame or turn off.

Cover the rice pot once it's boiling and reduce heat to a simmer.

Now add half a teaspoon of garlic powder and about a cup of atta (or wholemeal flour) to the batter, and add water to make a medium - loose batter. Drain the oil from the wok to a heatproof container and turn the heat back on, when hot, mix a scant half teaspoon of bicarb to the refreshed batter mix, stir through, and pour about two tablespoons of the mixture at a time into the wok, allow to brown on one side, flip over and allow the other side to brown, remove, and also drain on paper towel or a slice of bread.

While the last few of these savoury pikelets are cooking, peel and finely chop a medium brown onion, add that to the wok as soon as the last pikelet is made, also add the cumin seeds and peanuts, and fry until the onions are a bit limp.

The rice should be cooked by now (water mostly absorbed into the rice) so turn it off and leave to sit with the lid firmly on to allow moisture to even out.

Add the egg whites, about a teaspoonful of cumin powder, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of turmeric powder to the wok and fry everything, tossing often to stop burning. When onions have golden bits, turn off the heat and toss about a tablespoonful of chopped fresh coriander through the mix. You can also toss a bit of yoghurt through at this stage or allow people to add what they want on their own plate.

Serve a bed of rice with stir fried egg whites in the centre and pakoda egg yolks and pikelets arranged around the edges. Allow guests to choose between chutneys, chilli sauces, tomato sauces, yoghurt, curry sauces, or similar. Think about perhaps setting up a masala tin. (See NOTES)

Oil. changes the flavour profile but use what you prefer, I often re-use frying oils from a previous session (allow to cool and store in fridge in between time) and add enough to fulfil the needs at hand.

Peanuts. You can buy boiled peanuts which you then have to shell and skin and set aside to get  dry pellicle form on the outside (just a dry layer that will brown and crisp nicely) or you can use raw or roasted peanuts, matter of preference, I like a crispy outside with  slightly soft centre so I simmer mine for a few hours the day before, slip the skins off, and then let them dry on the outside overnight.

Masala tins: look up "masalla dabba" online you'll get the idea, A common one to serve with curries has fine chopped raw onion, sultanas, grated coconut, salt, crushed peanuts, pickled ginger, pickled garlic, chutney, and/or other various garnishes and is generally adjusted to suit the meal.



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