I wasn’t going to create a post for this but someone asked for it in my Instagram. It’s way too cold here – 4 degrees C this morning to be precise (brr!). Spending time in the kitchen is something I keep to a minimum during nights. When I do cook, I up the quantity so I have leftovers for the next dinner. There was leftover Thai veg curry for him and I made myself a quick omelette sandwich. Simply caramelize onion slices till they are nice and golden brown. Cook the mushrooms in it and then go in the eggs. Sandwiched between two buttered bread slices and lettuce (if you have any), and pan toasted to get that perfect tan on both sides. A dinner sandwich is ready.
It all sounds too familiar, no? Masala cheese bhurji meets savoury French toast, I suppose. There’s no background story for this one. It was simply the result of me being my laziest self on a Sunday morning. Since I’d made a sweet French toast for breakfast the previous day, I wanted something savoury for Sunday. But French toast is so easy and quick that I just didn’t want to make anything else. So the masala cheese version of it happened. Simply whisk eggs and milk, add chillies and garam masala and follow the usual steps required for French toast. Once it’s off the pan and on your plate, grate cheese on it and see how great it tastes!
French toast ✓
Cream cheese ✓
All of the above came together for a fantastic Sunday breakfast. Strawberries are in season and I got myself a box of these ruby beauties. I have baked with strawberries before, but prefer them ‘un-baked’. Why lose them in cake batter when you can eat them fresh? So I just whipped some cream cheese with fresh cream and folded some berries into it. Then cut open a bun half way and spread the cream cheese mixture into it. A dip in eggy milk and on to the pan to become French toast. Simple!
When you’re in no mood to cook but have enough material to whip up something for dinner in just a few minutes and about two steps, it’s time for makeovers for leftovers. Remember my kori sukka from a few days ago? In that post I mentioned I was saving the curry for something else. Here it is. One lazy night I turned it into an egg gassi. I could have made it easier by just cracking open the eggs into the curry but I hard boiled a few eggs and dunked them in the gassi.
Be it Koshy’s in Bangalore or Kyani & Co. in Bombay, the masala cheese omelette that these old school folks make is simply amazing. It’s just eggs, chillies and cheese. But the comfort it gives is what makes it so good. Add the nostalgia factor and you have a winner. The cheese slice sitting right in the centre of the omelette with little specks of green chilly scattered around..sigh. I wanted to replicate it, but instead turned it into masala cheese bhurji. Works brilliantly and made effortlessly.
I must admit, this plate of food looked so gorgeous it was hard to run a knife through it. When I’d think of waffles I always picture them with loads of fruits and syrup dripping down the edges. But this time around I wanted to make some savoury ones. I didn’t do much except for add grated cheese in the batter along with some paprika and thyme. It tasted great but I should have made smaller ones so it’d crisp up better. Anyway, I topped each of them with a fried and a side of cherry tomatoes.
Egg dosae because I’ve moved on from sweet breakfasts every Sunday like waffles, French toast and the likes. I wouldn’t mind the sugar rush occasionally but I sure don’t want it every Sunday. That’s why I’ve been on a dosae streak of late. Every Sunday we have dosae with chutney or leftover curry. I for one go on to have dosae for lunch as well. Why wouldn’t I, when it goes perfectly well with any kind of chicken or mutton curry? But I must admit, I don’t make the batter at home from scratch. There are plenty recipes online and you don’t need one more repeating the same thing, trust me. But no, I don’t use ready to use powders. Instead, I get my batter from the local shops. They’re nothing short of what we make at home.
This hot and sweet curry noodle bowl is the result of yet another “makeover for leftovers”. Leftovers are great to work with because most of the work has already been done. In this case, I already had cooked chicken and the chilli honey paste in my fridge. All I had to do was cook some noodles (which takes just about 5-7 mins), make a curry style broth and assemble it all together.
This one turned out to be a lot more delicious than it looks, trust me. It truly validates my faith in simple cooking. And don’t worry about what you have or don’t have. If you don’t have noodles, make this with rice. If you don’t have chicken use leftover cooked veggies or even just a potato will do.
Yield: 2 servings
Prep + cooking time: 15-20 mins
Leftover cooked chicken (or meat or veggies) – 1 cup shredded
Cooked noodles – enough for 2 portions (I had Ching’s hakka noodles in the pantry and used one packet of it)
Garlic – 3-4 cloves crushed
Chilli honey paste – 1 tbsp or more (recipe here)
Any herbs like basil or lemongrass – handful crushed/torn
Chicken/veggie stock cube – 1 (omit it if you don’t have it or don’t like it, but it adds a lot of flavour to the broth)
Oil – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – handful chopped
Fried egg – 1 for each bowl
Water – 3 cups
Heat oil in a pan and add garlic with the chilli honey paste and cook till it turns aromatic.
Add chicken and saute for a minute. Now add water along with the stock cube, herbs, some salt and let it come to a simmer.
Turn of the heat and keep it aside.
Place noodles in the bowl and pour the broth over. Top with fried egg and lots of coriander leaves.
A sweet Sunday began on a savoury note. Just on my plate, though. It’d been a while since we had bacon for breakfast. And bacon goes best with carbs and fat – bread and cheese! I just turned a sweet French toast into a savoury one by adding oodles of cheese to it and lots of thyme. I’d forgotten about some fresh thyme in the fridge and I’m glad I did. It dried out a little and smelled even better that what it would fresh.
The 90s take me back to Mangalore, where I spent most summer holidays. I also stayed there at granny’s place for 5 years to finish school and college. My favourite and my best years, of course. There was this petty shop in the neighbourhood where the owner, Vinayaka, treated his customers like family. Well, those were such times. There was this sense of belonging to a place, to its people and its food. That shop didn’t have a name. He said he’d have to pay extra taxes and rent if he got it commercialized (or something to that effect). He anyway sold things like newspaper, cigarettes, chocolates and other small things.