There are some ingredients I will cook with, special occasion or not. And then there are others I won't necessarily touch. Oh, I will eat them with glee, but wholeheartedly commit? Not so much.
Absurdly enough, eggs belong to my non-committal shelf. I love baking. And I am quite crazy with most stuff I can whip up with these. But, for reasons best known to me, I haven't warmed to dealing with eggs, yet. Give me a potato and I feel as if I am in my favorite thali haunt. There, I can eat, eat and eat. With my hands if I so want. Even let out the occasional burp or two to express my utter satisfaction. I am just so at home. With an egg on the other hand, it's like being at a fine dining restaurant. My face a few centimeters from the menu-card. Eyes in an unflattering squint, the tongue heavy and awkward around the fancy names.
In short, eggs are just too high-maintenance for the plebeian in me.
Whip 'em like this. Or stroke them like that. Soft peaks. Hard peaks. Fold them so. Cook them just so. Yada. Yada. Yada. Too many yadas if you ask me. And way too many ways to go wrong.
My struggle, in fact, starts right from breaking the darn things. As if I need more agony, along comes a recipe that demands the separation of yolks from the whites. Why we cooks cannot follow the natural order of things, I will never know. Those yolks are meant to be in the whites. Leave them be, people. It's nothing short of performing a Russian ballet, I tell you. Especially, for someone like me, who can't walk straight without stubbing my toe. Let alone balance on a couple of them.
Needless to say, I don't fry many sunny-side ups, omelets and such. My husband AM, on the other hand is quite the expert in this department. He does ...
... a mean French omelet
... a phenomenal boiled egg, sans ugly gray halo around beautiful yolk
... a perfect rendition of fried eggs, just the way I like them
... and I fall in love with him all over again, whenever he makes his house specialty -- an Indian version of the classic French Toast.
Now, if someone were to tell me to place a ring around this dream boat, I would happily do so. Bended knee and all.
♣ "Pass me some honey, Honey"
Aai, my paternal grandmother, did a wonderful version of the French toast. What I remember most is that she always added cilantro to her recipe. And she habitually cut the toast diagonally for me. That's exactly how I like my French Toast to this day. A little something to always remember my grandmother by.
What makes this particular recipe stand out is AM's addition of honey. It not only enhances the taste but brings out the heat of the chili powder beautifully.
7-8 slices of bread, preferably a few days old
4 large eggs
A pinch of turmeric (about 1/8 tsp)
A tsp of red chili powder
A tsp of salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp honey
Canola oil for frying
To begin mix everything, but the bread and eggs, together. Then, add enough water to make a barely thin slurry, and stir well to ensure uniform seasoning. Now, break in the eggs and whisk well.
Meanwhile, heat a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat. Before adding the fat, (any will typically do, but AM prefers canola oil) ensure the pan is nice and hot, and pour in the oil. Dip each bread slice in the beaten eggs mixture to coat thinly and evenly on both sides, and slide into the waiting pan. Cook to a beautiful golden brown on both sides, cut into pretty diagonals if you so desire, and serve piping off the pan with your favorite condiment or Maggi's hot and sweet tomato chilli sauce.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
1. Don't leave the bread to soak in the egg mixture for too long. Not only does the bread become difficult to handle, but the egg reaches too far into the bread, and sometimes remains uncooked.
2. Keep the heat to a steady medium temperature, this way the egg cooks through without burning the outside.
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