Achari Anda is not a traditional Bengali dish. Wonder how many of us have grown up having this?
As a Bengali, what are the different kinds of egg dishes you have had growing up? For a perfectly healthy bonny child, the introduction to eggs start with soft boiled eggs, moving on to hard boiled eggs, neatly cut into slices for better management and and least amount of wastage. A little older and this continued in the breakfast as well as the tiffin box. My conservative parents always thought that carrying eggs with books in the same bag will have a negative impact on my higher studies, hence I never got one in my lunch for tiffin but gladly shared, snatched and flicked from my friends’ lunch boxes for umpteen times.
Have you heard about skillet baked eggs ? We prepared that and here is the recipe (Link)
The runny yolk, Baba and me and the punishment
Till teenage, it used to boiled eggs or a poach (realised this way later that by poach, Bongs always meant the half fried egg) on a regular basis. The preference of runniness of the yolk used to vary from person to person. Ma hated a runny yolk herself, whereas Baba and I loved it. Just loved it. There is an art in managing the runny yolk and passing on the same to your mouth without breaking it. Like most art, this needs to be perfected over hours of practice. In our house, whenever either Baba or I would have accidentally messed up the same, Ma would go ballistic since the stink of the yolk would take several washes to go off from the plates. As a disciplinary action for the next seven days, we would only get boiled eggs.
The story of Boromami’s omelette
Omelette is a biggest saviour for many households. When there is nothing to offer to the guests, offer an omelette. Beaten up egg with chopped onions and green chilies is divine. It is almost impossible to miss when someone is making an omelette in the kitchen, even if you are seated far away, simply from the sound of the beating of the eggs. And they say not everyone can make an omelette. In the movie, The 100 Foot Journey, Madame Mallory (owner of a Michelin Star restaurant) hires chefs on the basis of their omelette making skills.
My boromami (aunt) is the omelette stalwart of the family. It is folklore in the family that no one has ever come back from her home without having an omelette. She brought in her own style of omelette to the family. And even now, after 36 years that she has been whiffing up the omelettes, it is still a mystery how she prepares it. Not overly fluffy, yet soft with evenly spread out onions and chilies in the entire circle and is a complete crowd pleaser.
Evenings in Kolkata means Dimer Devil. Is it really scotch egg ? Check out here (Link)
How can one forget the French toast? Slices of breads, doused in beaten eggs with chopped onions and spices and then fried, has been a favourite snack at home as well as at office para. Of course, the French would have a heart attack after having the Indian version of the sweet breakfast classic.
Dimer Jhol and Khichudi
When it comes to lunch or dinner, dimer jhol is second to none. Quick easy recipe with cubed potatoes and boiled eggs which are fried before hand, can be a had with both roti and rice. There is also an omelette jhol which is my Ma’s favourite. The omelette is folded into layers and then cut into pieces before dropping it into a simmering light onion gravy. A dimer jhaal is the one which has a thick rich gravy made with mustard paste, red in colour and preferred to be eaten a bit dry with rice and perhaps a close one to Achari Anda.
Perhaps the best role that egg has played in a Bengali’s life is that of the dim bhaja with khichudi. Did I miss out on any egg dish for the Bengali’s? I am sure I have since every household has their version too. Which is your favourite egg dish? Let me know in comments
- 4 Hard Boiled Eggs
- 2 large Boiled Potatoes
- 2 1/2 Tbsp Red Chili Powder
- 4 Tbsp Garlic Paste
- 1/2 Tsp Panch Phoron Panch Phoron is a typical Bengali tempering whole spice mix consisting of equal portion of nigella seeds (kala jeera), fennel seeds (saunf), black mustard seeds (sarson), cumin seeds (jeera) and little less than half the quantity of fenugreek seeds (methi).
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 Tbsp Cumin Powder
- 2 1/2 Tbsp White Vinegar
- 4 Tbsp Mustard Oil
- 1 No (Whole) Dry Red Chili
- 1/2 Tsp Sugar
- Salt To Taste
- Peel the boiled potatoes and cut them in 4 quarters. De shell the hard boiled eggs.
- Marinate the potatoes as well as the eggs together in ½ tsp of turmeric powder, ½ tsp of red chili powder and salt.
- In a bowl, mix together garlic paste, cumin powder, balance red chili and turmeric powder, 2 tbsp of white vinegar and make a paste. Add salt to taste and then check to see if you need more vinegar. If required, add a few drops of water to make a nice smooth paste.
- In a wok or a frying pan, pour a tbsp of mustard oil. When it is hot, add the eggs and the potatoes and lightly fry them. Once there is a bit of colour, take them out and keep aside.
- Pour the rest of the mustard oil in the wok. When it starts to smoke, add the panch phoron and the dry red chili.
- Let the spices splutter. Just when they start taking colour, add the wet paste.
- Let the wet paste cook over high heat for a couple of minutes and then medium to low heat till the time it starts to release oils; while throughout stirring to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the wok.
- Once you can see oil releasing, add the potatoes and the eggs. Coat the masala evenly and keep stirring.
- Sprinkle some water if you feel. Add the sugar to balance out the sourness from the vinegar.
- Add a cup of water and let it cook over high heat for about 3 – 4 minutes before turning off the heat.
- Serve it hot with some steamed rice.