Scrambled Eggs, Indian-Style

Hello there….I was wondering when you’d arrive.  I thought I’d make us some breakfast, although I think most normal folk would call this brunch-time.  I hope you like eggs?

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Sit on that stool and chat to me while I chop these tomatoes.  I’ll pour you some orange juice.  Oh yes, you can grind those spices if you feel like it.

What’s that?  No, no it’s easy.  Just a sizzle of spices, a stir fry of some veggies and then the eggs.  It’s the sort of thing that’s done on a tiny kerosene stove in a stall on Juhu beach on a balmy Mumbai evening.  Then the whole fragrant, spicy, steamy  mess is piled onto some buttery bread to be devoured standing up amongst a crowd.

There, it’s done already.  Butter that toast, will you?  I’ll get you some cutlery but it really is better just to use your fingers, Indian style.

So then….tell me what you’ve been up to……

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Egg Bhurji (Indian-style scrambled eggs)

Serves 2 with toast

Get:

1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp butter + more for bread
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 small green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
1/4 – 1/3 capsicum, diced
4 eggs
Salt
1 tomato, diced
Small handful coriander, chopped
Bread, toasted and buttered

Make:

In a large non-stick pan, dry roast 1/2 tsp cumin and the coriander seeds until fragrant.  Grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.  In the same pan, melt the butter and add 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds.  When the seeds have popped, add the spice powder and turmeric, frying for a couple of minutes on low-medium heat.  Add the chillies and onion and fry until the onion is softened.  Add the capsicum and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs with 1/4 tsp salt.  Add the eggs to the pan and stir continuously to scramble.  When the eggs are half-cooked, add the tomato and more salt according to taste and stir until the eggs are fully cooked.

Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve on buttered toast.  Dousing with chilli or tomato sauce is optional but recommended.

egg bhurji 1

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Goats Cheese and Walnut Mini-Cheesecakes

Over the past week or so I have had a sneaking suspicion about something that today was proven to be irrefutably true, and that is that I have somehow invoked the wrath of the cooking Gods.

It started with the weekend pasta dish for which I made a lovely white wine and cream sauce and invited two of my favourite ingredients, prawns and broccolini (who can resist mini-me vegetables?) to the party.  It was looking awfully promising until I overcooked the pasta, resulting in a nice dinner where there should have been a really, really nice dinner.

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Then there were my experiments in the realm of low-fructose baking.  Now, my forays into unchartered cooking territory don’t always result in applause but I have to say my adventures over the last couple of days well and truly take the cake (pun totally intended) as far as kitchen mishaps go.

Fuelled by my last success with citrus cake, I decided to try my hand at the lemon and poppy seed loaf…… using dextrose instead of sugar.  Suffice it to say that I must’ve truly taken my frustrations out on the unsuspecting batter while mixing, as it absolutely refused to rise.  It still tasted reasonable and the funny synthetic smell imparted by the dextrose that I dusted it with distracted only slightly from the otherwise enjoyable crumb.

Thus was my first lesson in what NOT to do with dextrose.

Don’t worry citrus and poppy seed lovers, that one remains a work in progress.

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The jewel in my crappy cooking week crown was the simple cheesecake recipe I road-tested that turned out to be simply disastrous.  With the look, texture and taste of plastic, this creation was not even a face it’s mother could love.  Alarm bells did go off when I was able to peel the cheesecake off its base in one piece, but taste it I did and what a waste of taste-bud labour that it was.  So I peeled, I dumped and I moved on with a determination to make something, something this week that was worth the ingredients it was made of.

Finally, there was a breakthrough.  A spark of yum in an otherwise ugh week.

What I have for you today hopefully symbolises the end of the week of colossal disasters.  Tiny little savoury cheesecakes (again with the mini things!) with a buttery base that really pack a punch.  A simple recipe, but tasty and would work well for a substantial snack or an appetiser for a dinner party.  Or in my case, a couple of these for breakfast and I was all set for the morning.

These little savoury cheesecakes are totally adaptable- you could throw in some bacon, spinach, whole walnuts or most anything else that floats your boat.  If you have little ones that like to dabble in the kitchen, this would be a great recipe for them to try, as long as you handle the oven side of things.

So enjoy, while I go off to negotiate with whoever up there is in charge of allowing me to cook edible things.

PS: Less than a week left to vote for my post on Cherry Lassi in the SA Writers Centre Food Bloggers Writing Competition!  Click here to be redirected to the voting page.  There’s a chance to will a $100 voucher through the SAWC as well as my eternal gratitude in it for those who vote!

Goats cheese walnut cheesecakes

Goat’s cheese and Ricotta Mini Cheesecakes

Modified from Simply Heaven, a Kraft Philadelphia Cookbook

Makes 6

Get:

For the base:
1/4 cup walnuts, ground
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Generous pinch salt
15g butter, melted

For the cheesecake layer:
115g Goats Cheese
100g Ricotta cheese or cream cheese
1 small red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
Small handful fresh herbs, finely chopped- parsely, chives and dill work well
1/4 red capsicum, finely diced to sprinkle on top
1 egg

Make:

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Combine the cheeses, chilli, salt, paprika and herbs in a bowl and mix well.  Add the egg and mix thoroughly to a smooth mixture.

For the base, combine ingredients and mix well.

Grease and line 6 cups of a muffin tin with muffin liners or baking paper.  If not using liners, just grease the cups.  I prefer to use liners as this minimises the mess!

Divide the base mixture between the cups and press down evenly.  Divide the cheesecake mixture between the cups and even out a little with a spoon.  Sprinkle the diced red capsicum over the top of the cheesecakes.

Bake for 15 mins on the middle shelf.  The cheesecakes will be slightly soft in the middle when baked, but will firm up on cooling.

Goats Cheese Ricotta Cheesecakes