This was a small article I had written for a community paper called Parsi Times. It was world egg day when I wrote this ( 12th October).Thought I’d share it on the blog. Here goes 🙂
Who came first- the chicken or the egg? For most Parsi folks it’s definitely the egg. High in its nutrient values but even higher in taste value, the egg is extremely important to the Parsi community. Used in most rituals the egg is a big part of our culture. Its prominent in certain wedding and pre wedding rituals and I’m not talking about its prominance on the bhona nu patru !
Any self respecting Parsi knows that the one thing you do not mess with is my beloved edu! In most countries or cuisines, the egg is never the main or core ingredient for a dish. It’s always used to make something for e.g., eggs are needed for cakes or desserts, egg help to bind while making culets etc.The only exception that really comes to mind is an Eggs Benedict and even that is more of a breakfast item.
But for us Parsis, we like to shake things up a bit and really enjoy food- be it any ingredient. I love how there are different dishes or variations to those dishes which do nothing but really enhance or as I like to say, Show off the egg. A recent discussion over which egg dish is the best turned into a rather heated debate and rightly so. We take our edu very seriously!
Leading the pack by popular vote is the ever famous- Sali per Edu, which is an egg made sunny side up on a bed of potato straws (Sali) and I have to admit it’s my personal favourite as well. Today my father, coincidently my favourite chef makes it for me with his own twist.
Sali Per Edu
Along with the more traditional Sali per edu or tamota (tomato) per edu, there can be ANYTHING per edu. The more creative you get, usually the tastier it turns out. From bhindi (lady finger) papeta ( potatoes)kheema ( minced meat)kera (banana) to even Cauliflower per edu !!
Kheema Per Eeda
Puppeta Per Eeda
Another favourite is Akuri or Parsi styled scrambled eggs. No, this is certainly not bhurji and we take great offense if you call it that. The main difference between the two would be that akoori is slightly loose and has more ingredients and spice. The ginger, garlic, tomato and coriander used in the akoori sets it apart from its Indian counterpart – the unda bhurji. It’s one of those recipes which differ in every house hold as people like to make their akoori best suited to their taste. The big daddy is of course is the Bharuchi Akoori which has a lot more added to it than regular akoori like nuts, green onions, green garlic etc. The name was given to it because mostly these ingredients added were found readily available in Gujarat all year round. I was never a big akoori fan, it took me a long time to appreciate this eggy delight but now that a taste has been cultivated it’s hard to stop gorging on it!
Akoori On Toast
One of my favourite things about food is that it always evokes a memory. The Parsi poro is one dish I have the fondest memories of. I remember as a little girl, on our family trips to Mahabaleshwar mum would make these delicious pora sandwiches to nibble on early morning when we set out. Even today I can’t eat a Parsi poro without thinking about those early morning sandwiches in my old faithful Fiat. The poro is actually a flat omelette, but can be made in many ways by adding various ingredients to it like onions, chilli, coriander leaves etc. It can be made depending on how you like to eat it. I personally like mine with coriander and chillies and sandwiched between two slices of soft warm fresh bread.
Parsi Poro (Omelette)
As much as I adore my edu in all its glorious forms, the one dish that just doesn’t tickle my taste buds is the Chutney Eda Pattice.This potato based pattice stuffed with chutney and boiled egg inside does nothing for me. Many relish this ‘snack’ but I refrain. It’s not the egg I mind or the potato or the chutney, it’s the unearthly combination of all three together that I have a problem with. It’s a weird concoction but then again it wouldn’t be a Parsi speciality if it wasn’t so different. Like it or lump it, you have to agree it’s different and stands out. Something we as a community do best 🙂