Eggs for the old soul

The simplicity of the egg is what makes it an exquisite base to creatively depict one’s preferences upon. It is one of the very few ingredients that were universally synonymous to breakfast prior to Globalisation. If you are feeling particularly millennial and are craving a taste of the good ol’ days when people were all about the refining of tastes and the emulating of their culture into various aspects of their lives, then food is the best way to begin.

The following are a few eggs dishes rooted in culture and laden with flavour and uniqueness that you could try to experience the earthiness of cuisine that has been passed down over the ages.

TAMAGOYAKI (Japan)

Flavour:  Savoury and Sweet

Ingredients: Eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, salt

Considered a staple lunchbox favourite and a traditional recipe dating back to the 17th century, this simple dish will make you reminisce of the wooden spaces of traditional Japanese households that exuded a calmness that you can’t help but succumb to.

  • Beat eggs with salt and sugar to taste.
  • Oil a non-stick flat pan, and on low flame, pour one ladle of egg mix to pan and move pan to spread the egg to an even thin layer.
  • When half-done carefully fold the sheet of egg onto itself and push to top of pan
  • Pour another ladle of mix on the pan and spread evenly
  • Fold the rolled eggs over with the second sheet and push to top of pan.
  • Repeat till your mixture is through. Gently flatten the rolled egg, then take off heat, cut transversely and serve.

SHAKSHUKA (Israel)

Flavour: Spicy and tangy

Ingredients: Eggs, bell peppers, red chilli powder, onions, cumin seeds, pepper, oil, diced tomatoes, garlic cloves, and fresh coriander

Said to be brought to Israel by the Jews of East Africa, this dish is the manifestation of the colours and spicy heat that is typical of Africa, and the simplistic yet rich flavours of kosher cuisine.

  • In preferably a cast iron pan, heat the oil till smoky and add chopped onion & bell peppers, chilli powder, garlic, salt and ground pepper. Cook on medium flame untouched until slightly charred.
  • Add tomatoes, cumin seeds and a bit of water and let to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add a bit of sugar if needed to counter the tang of the tomatoes.
  • When sauce is reduced, make wells in it and break the eggs in. Gently break the yoke and cook till whites are opaque and yoke is a bit runny. Serve hot.

AVGOLEMONO (Greece)

Flavour: Creamy and zesty

Ingredients: Eggs, boneless chicken, chicken broth, short cut pasta or rice, salt, pepper, lemon juice

Another dish of Sephardic Jewish roots—Jews of Portugal & Spanish origins is a culinary marvel of various flavours—peppery chicken broth, zesty lemon and creamy eggs and rice. An appetising testament of the worldliness of Sephardic cuisine that’s been adopted by the Greeks to what later would come to be one of their national dishes.

  • Bring chicken broth to boil and cook chicken till cooked through on medium flame.
  • Remove chicken, shred with a fork and keep aside.
  • Add cooked pasta or rice to the broth and cook on low flame.
  • Add shredded chicken to broth with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a bowl, whisk eggs and lemon juice and ladle in hot chicken broth while whisking until well combined and smooth.
  • Add egg-lemon sauce to broth and garnish with dill. Serve hot.

OEUFS EN COCOTTE (France)

Flavour: Creamy and cheesy

Ingredients: Eggs, cream, pepper, salt, butter, cheese

Classic French doesn’t seem to define this dish believed to have been a breakfast underdog since the early 20th century in French cuisine, alongside its popular counterparts like omelette du fromage. Its richness, though minimalistic is a classic morning-time holler at all that’s French. There are many renditions of the dish but the following is the basic easy-to-make version.

  • Brush ramekins with butter
  • Add grated cheese and then break an egg.
  • Add a spoon of cream, season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake on a water bath covered with aluminium foil at 350°C for 15 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with toasted bread.

Comment below and tell us how your eggs turned out.

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