East-er Eggs – Bengal, London and more
You know how some ideas just keep brewing in your head but it takes forever for it to happen, but when it happens its even better than what you had imagined. Today’s recipe is one of those recipes.
It has two may be three recipes. They are different and yet complimentary and there is one thing that ties them together. I get excited and happy when that common thread works just so wonderfully.
Part One – London & Kolkata
I visited Kolkata with the family and absolutely loved the Bengali cuisine, especially the snacks and the sweets. The sweets made with fresh chenna that melt in your mouth are to die for. We were there when the most prized ‘Nolen Gur’ was in season and the sweet shops were showcasing various things made using this liquid gold, I fell in love with this Gud. The softest Rosogulla and sandesh made using this Gud were my favorite.
There are many snacks that are popular in Bengal. Different types of kachoris, Jhal Moori which is a snack made with puffed rice and the famous ‘chaap’ to name a few. The word ‘chaap’ possibly comes the english word Chop, but this one has no meat in it and instead is made from different vegetables, especially beets which gives it the classic red color. Its served with chutney like most Indian snacks.
I started making these chaap ever since then and everyone loves them.
I love traveling, within the country, internationally, alone, with a group, I just love to travel and more often than not, food is a critical component of my itinerary. So even when I was on a business trip to London, I made sure I visited the grocery store and local market and tried some of the specialities. One of the things I ate for the first time was Scotch Eggs. An egg wrapped up in minced meat and fried, then cut open and served with some mustard, its a popular pub food. I love eggs in any form so I had obviously liked these.
Today I decided to borrow on these two ideas for a a recipe I had in mind.
Beet Scotch Eggs
I took the beet mixture from the Bengali chaap, wrapped it around very soft boiled egg and deep fried it.. result.. delicious !!!!
Bangla Scotch Eggs with Kasundi
This recipe is inspired from two dishes I tasted and loved.
- 4 Beets Boiled and grated
- 1 Potato Boiled and mashed
- 1 Onion Finely chopped
- 1/2 Tsp Garlic Paste
- 1/2 Tsp Ginger Paste
- 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
- 3/4 Tsp Roasted Jeera Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Red Chili powder
- 1 Green chili Finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- Salt to taste
- 4 Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Maida/ All purpose flour
- 1/3 Cup Water
- 3/4 Cup Bread Crumbs
Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions and saute till soft
Don’t let them caramelize
Add ginger and garlic paste and saute for a few secs
Add the grated beet and saute till its almost dry
Now add cooked potato thats very well mashed
Mix and saute well till the mixture is dry
Add salt, a pinch of sugar, garam masala, cumin powder and red chili powder
Add green chilies and turn the heat off
Set the mixture aside to cool
Cooking the eggs
Boil water in a sauce pan
Once the water comes to a boil, slowly add all the eggs in the pot
Cook for 4-5 mins with a rolling boil
Drain the eggs and run under cold water
Peel the eggs and set aside
Batter for Frying
Make slurry with the all purpose flour and water. The slury should be thin but thick enough the coat the egg.
Take the breadcrumbs in a bowl and season with some salt
Heat some oil in a deep pan on medium heat
Frying the eggs
Take one eggs and fourth of the beet mixture.
Cover the egg completely with the beet mixture, making sure the coating is even and no gaps. Press the coating tightly, this ensures that the coating will not fall off while frying
Dip this beet covered egg in the slurry, ensure it oats the whole surface
Roll it in the breadcrumbs
Fry the egg in the oil on medium heat till its crisp all around
Let it cool and then cut it in half carefully. Since the egg is half boiled, the yolk would be soft and spreadable
Serve with pickled onions and Kashundi
Part two- California, Bengal
I love eggs and I love to eat them in any form, wait did I already say that? Anyway so I love making sandwiches as the weather gets warmer and one of my favorite is Banh Mi, a Vietnamese sandwich. Crusty white roll with even crunchier pickled vegetables, its a treat. I feel that pickles of all kind can perk up even a boring meal. Although now pickles are made in every part of the world, it is said that the process of pickling might have started in 2400 B.C in Mohenjo Daro. No matter who started making it, it sure is a favorite of many unless you are in a pickle ( get it 🙂 , sometimes I surprise myself with my play on words, hehe !)
So I wanted to pickle my eggs to make egg sandwich and then I got inspiration from the ‘Pennsylvania Dutch’ who add beets to their pickling process and I did just that. But I wanted to make it a little different and drew on my Indian spice box and one of favorite spice mix, Panch Phoran. Panch Phoran translates to Five Spices, it comes from Bengal, east India. Typically it has fenugreek, Cumin, Mustard seeds, Nigella seeds and Fennel. I love it because even though its simple, it delivers amazing flavor to any dish you add, daal, meat, fish or even pickle 🙂
These pickled eggs provide the much needed acidity to the fried Beet Scotch eggs.
Panch Phoran pickled eggs
- 3 Tbsp Panch Phoran recipe on the blog
- 1 1/2 Cup Red Wine Vingar
- 4 Tbsp Thinly sliced shallot or red onions
- 2 Beets Sliced or qurtered
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- 4 Eggs Soft Boiled
- 1 sprig Mint to serve
- 1 Tbsp Kasundi to serve
Mix salt & sugar in the red wine vinegar and stir till dissolved
Gently pound the panch phoran and add to the vinegar
Take a glass jar and add the eggs, sliced shallot and beets to it
Pour over the vinegar mixture
Close the lid and let it sit in the fridge for 2-3 days
When ready to serve, cut the eggs in half carefully
Chop the pickled onions and beets finely
Top the egg with the chopped onions and beets
Garnish with mint and kasundi
Panch Phoran : Here is a simple recipe for your reference
Don’t keep the eggs for longer than 3 days, you will not have a beautiful demarkation of red/pink and white
To soft boil the eggs, add eggs to boiling water and cook for 5 mins. Drain and run under cold water and peel
You can also make deviled eggs with this.