Monday, July 13, 2009

Let us make an omelet

I love egg in all its forms: omelets, and fried, boiled, and poached egg. But, I have a special weakness for omelets.

Omelets come in varied forms, too Рwhat infinite variety egg provides! There is the classic French-style omelet, folded, with stuffing inside Рcheese, saut̩ed vegetables, chicken, fish, or pretty much anything that tastes good. And there is the frittata. But, the homiest Рat least for me Рis the Bengali-style omelet, which is a cross between the French style and the frittata style.

The Bengali style involves mustard oil, which adds a strong, distinctive flavor. (Unlike extra-virgin olive oil, mustard oil doesn’t lose much flavor even on heating.) The omelet has chopped onion, green chilly, and tomato – sometimes chopped cilantro, too – along with seasoning, all stirred into the egg and whisked vigorously. The frothy mixture is then poured into a pan lined with heated mustard oil. The omelet is cooked in the usual way (tilting the pan and lifting the edge of the omelet to let uncooked egg run underneath) or flipped; it is then folded.

The result is a fluffy, tangy, strongly flavored breakfast – or lunch accompaniment. This is no gourmet stuff; roadside eateries, even vendors on the sidewalk armed with nothing but a “chulha” or kerosene stove, make the omelet perfectly. (Egg is egalitarian; that’s one more reason I love it.) Try making this omelet!