Why It Works
- Tomatoes, onion, and fragrant spices transform plain scrambled eggs into a flavorful meal in a matter of minutes.
- Adding butter in two stages brings creamy richness to the dish.
In Indian cuisine, scrambled eggs take on a very different form than the familiar yellow, mild, homogenized egg preparation you find on breakfast tables around the world. These spicy scrambled eggs, called anda bhurji, are just the opposite. The dish is a riotous mix of colors, spice, and flavors laden with butter and character.
Bhurji is often made at home, but it's also a very popular street food. Some hawkers have fine-tuned its preparation to a dramatic event. Curious passers-by are instantly lured and loyal patrons watch mesmerized, as their orders come to life.
A wide flat frying pan (tava), almost a foot and a half in diameter, sizzles away over dancing flames as a dollop of butter is slapped onto it. With deft fingers, an onion is chopped whole, first one way, then across in the cooks' bare hands—no chopping board—then into the pan. No fear. The same treatment for the tomatoes and the spicy green chiles.
This feat is interrupted by the sight of eggs being cracked mid-air into a bowl and whisked to perfection, before they sizzle and melt into the spices and butter on the smoldering pan. Then the eggs are worked with a spoon that looks very similar to a flat-edged spade; the egg mixture is violently tossed, pummeled and broken down into tinier bits of scrambled egg rubble. The metal spoon clanging against the cast iron pan gives this incredible sight a fitting, high-energy beat.
It's usually two eggs to a single serving and some die-hard egg lovers add a sunny side-up over the bhurji. Once the egg is scraped off the pan and into the plate, pav (bread) is cut open, another sliver of butter is thrown onto the pan and the bread is vigorously rubbed into it to absorb any of the spicy eggy flavors that were left behind.
Bhurji is one of those dishes that is so widely loved, it has found its way to breakfast, lunch and dinner as a side, and sometimes as an in-between snack. And because the spice combinations used vary from region to region and home to home, every plateful of bhurji is a new discovery.
February 28, 2012
2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
3 green chile peppers, slit lengthwise
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste (see note)
1 teaspoon red chile powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves, divided
In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and stir until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add tomatoes, mix well, and cook until most of the excess moisture has evaporated, about 1 minute.
Add green chiles and ginger-garlic paste, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add red chile powder and turmeric powder, and stir until oil separates from the paste, about 30 seconds, taking care not to burn the paste.
Turn the heat to low. Add eggs and salt and gently stir until the mixture begins to form soft curds, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to high and vigorously stir the mixture, breaking bigger clumps of egg apart. Add 1 teaspoon of butter, and stir until melted. Stir in half of the cilantro. Remove from heat, and serve immediately, garnishing with remaining cilantro and butter. Serve with lightly toasted bread.
10-inch nonstick skillet
To make ginger-garlic paste, very finely mince, grate, or process equal parts peeled fresh ginger and peeled garlic.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 30g||38%|
|Saturated Fat 7g||35%|
|Total Carbohydrate 17g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||15%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 75mg||375%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|