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Egg Tadka: An Example Of The Frugal Bengalis Love For Eggs

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Perhaps one of the biggest perks of going for a long drive is to stop at a roadside dhaba and eat food with questionable fats added to it. By questionable, I mean the presence of vanaspati, that is, hydrogenated vegetable fat, also known as Dalda, which is popular as a cheaper substitute for ghee, widely used in restaurants of all scale around this country. However, nothing is perhaps comparable to the happiness one obtains, sitting on a narrow bench and consuming mounds of mysterious-looking gravies, swimming in fat, with thick tandoori rotis or naans. In fact, that would be the perfect bait for many to go out of the city for a quick spin. 

Also Read: 11 Best Egg Recipes for Breakfast | Easy Egg Recipes

dhaba food

Photo Credit: Facebook/Bharawan Da Dhaba

Back in the 80s, Egg Tadka was sold in small eateries which would primarily serve ‘fast food’. Punjabi restaurants were few and far between, and, for some reason, Tadka would be referred to as Punjabi, though the tadka consumed in Bengal is a far cry from what Punjab probably refers to as the same. Now no one really knows how the Tadka made its way to the heart of the city, but it was definitely quite popular as street food by the late 80s. One of the reasons for this may be the fact that with the rise of Punjabi restaurants in the city, the Tadka got a good deal of attention thanks to its relative cheapness and ability to serve many with little. 

In the late 80s, Cafe Corner in Maniktala would serve up, apart from an excellent chicken chaap, the egg tadka. One would have to stand in a rather large cue, waiting for his/her turn to bark out instructions to the cashier, who would take the money, then ask the person to go to the respective counter to get their food packed. The most popular counter would be the Tadka counter, where options available would include plain tadka, butter tadka, egg tadka, chicken tadka, egg chicken tadka, keema tadka, and special tadka, which would feature egg, keema and butter together. At the age of nine, I had considered the last option to be one of the most decadent things ever created on this planet, and I still hang on to the belief firmly. Two eggs would be cracked and roughly beaten with a spoon in an aluminium cup, then dropped unceremoniously in a fiery hot pan full of almost smoking dalda. The man would constantly make new batches of tadka and would not rush, even if the order was a large one. The key to making a good tadka would be to make in small batches, he would say while whipping up a new batch. 

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The key to making a good tadka would be to make it in small batches.

“Adding the egg to virtually any recipe is a very Kolkata thing,” said Asif Ahmed of Sanjha Chulha, one of the most prominent restaurant chains serving Dhaba-style food in Kolkata. “You see how the potato and egg were added to the Awadhi biryani, or an egg added to the chicken bharta, or an egg added to the basic mutton curry made it the mutton Dak Bungalow. Similarly, the egg tadka is something that’s most often ordered by virtually every community who dines in our restaurants. See, it’s simple – the egg is accepted by most people as a great protein addition to any dish, and when you are out at a restaurant, you want something different from what you get at home, so the egg tadka is ordered to share and eat with hot rotis.” 

Ideally, a good tadka should be silky, with strands of egg running throughout the entire bowl, rather than concentrating here and there. The key is to stir and scramble as one goes. The other factor is the decided smell of smoke and a bit of char, a result of the incredibly high heat in which it should ideally be cooked. This step is important, and when making the recipe at home, we tend to use a heavy-bottomed kadhai that is heated till it’s really hot. The last thing to remember would be to arrange everything together before starting to cook the tadka. The actual procedural time of making boiled lentils into a silky tadka is very little, so preparing by chopping and keeping everything handy is the key. 

One secret, yet vital ingredient that goes into making a good tadka is the addition of a generous spoonful of chicken/mutton curry gravy, which goes a long way to flavour the egg tadka. This is actually what makes a great tadka – at most dhabas, if it is an open kitchen, you would see someone add a very generous spoonful of the curry gravy to the pan while tossing the lentils. It really helps bring everything together and adds a really nice hit of umami that rounds off the dish. If you don’t have curry gravy handy, a quick hack is to use the barest pinch of MSG while finishing the dish. 

Also Read: 9 Indian Egg Recipes You Can Try At Home

How To Make Egg Tadka | Egg Tadka Recipe 

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Egg Tadka Recipe

For the Lentils 

  • 200 gm. whole (green) mung beans (soaked overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours) 
  • 50 gm. chana dal or rajma (soaked overnight, or for a minimum of 8 hours)
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 1-inch ginger, cut into slices 
  • 3-4 garlic pods, peeled but left whole 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder 
  • 2 teaspoon salt 

For the Tadka 

  • 3 eggs 
  • 100 gm. finely chopped onion 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic 
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chillies 
  • 100 gm. finely chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 tablespoon coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder  
  • Half teaspoon amchur or raw mango powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 6 tablespoon refined oil or ghee 
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (to finish)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves 

Method: 

  1. Put all the ingredients for the lentils in a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water, and pressure cook till the lentils are soft, simmering for about 8-10 minutes in a pressure cooker after it reaches full pressure, or about 8 whistles, whichever method works for you. Let the cooker cool down and open up on its own, then, using a potato masher or something similar, mash some of the lentils to ensure you have a slightly chunky, slightly pasty texture. 
  2. Put a kadhai or a pan that can tolerate high heat over medium-high to high heat till its really hot, then add half of the oil. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and put it in the pan, scrambling vigorously till the eggs are mostly set, but not dry. At this point, remove and reserve. 
  3. Add the rest of the oil to the pan, reduce heat to medium, and add the ginger and garlic first. Let the ginger and garlic cook for about 30-40 seconds, until they get fragrant (not burnt), then add the onion, and cook till the onions are translucent about 2 minutes. Then, add the tomatoes, and cook till the tomatoes are slightly soft, a further 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Mix all the dry spice powders with 3 tablespoons of water. Add this to the frying ingredients. Let the spices cook till oil separates from it. 
  5. At this point, you can chuck in a tablespoon or two of chicken curry gravy, but if you don’t, a pinch of MSG works too, or you can skip it. Then, add the mashed lentils, turn the heat to high, then stir and cook till the lentils have dried up a little, about 2-3 minutes. 
  6. Add the eggs, stir it in vigorously so that the egg is distributed well, then add the kasoori methi. Mix that in, cook for another couple of minutes till the kasoori methi is fragrant, then check for seasoning, add salt if required. 
  7. Finish with a handful of chopped coriander leaves and a generous dollop of butter on top. Serve with phulkas or roti. 
     
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HEALTH

First Prize Winners to get Rs 50 lakh

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(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

The West Bengal State Lottery department will announce the result for the Dear Bangabhumi Ajay Lottery on their official website – lotterysambadonline.com at 4 pm.

The West Bengal Lottery Sambad’s Dear Bangabhumi Ajay result is announced by the West Bengal State Lottery department on their official website – lotterysambadonline.com at 4 pm. The ticket holders of the West Bengal lottery can check the result by using their ticket numbers. One can buy tickets for this popular lottery game at Rs 6 for each ticket from any of the legalized lottery shops across the state. Here’s how you can check the Wes Bengal Dear Bangabhumi Ajay lottery result.

Step 1: Visit the official website of the West Bengal lottery department at www.lotterysambadresult.in

Step 2: On the homepage of the official website click on the link that reads “Dear Bangabhumi Ajay lottery 4 PM”

Step 3: You will be directed to a new page where the list of winning lottery ticket numbers will be displayed

Step 4: Match your ticket number with the winning numbers to see if you have won any of the Dear Bangabhumi Ajay prizes

If your lottery ticket number is mentioned in the list, then you will be eligible to win multiple prizes of up to Rs 50 lakh. The minimum prize that one can win is Rs 250. There is also a consolation prize of Rs 1,000.

First prize: Rs 50 lakh

Second prize: Rs 9.000

Third prize: Rs 500

Fourth prize: Rs 250

Consolation prize: Rs 1,000

The participants of the West Bengal Thursday lottery, whose number is on the winning list must report to the State Lottery department office within 30 days from the declaration of the result on May 14. Winners will have to submit their winning ticket along with valid identity proof to the lottery office for the mandatory verification process. The prize money will be given to the winners after completion of the verification process and deduction of tax if applicable.

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HEALTH

Anupamaa Loses Top Position to Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin

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Anupamaa has finally lost its top position to Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin. The Broadcast Audience Research Channel has released the viewing pattern of the Indian audiences in between May 1 and 7. Here are the top five shows on Indian TV:

Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin

Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin, with Neil Bhatt, Ayesha Singh and Aishwarya Sharma in the lead roles, has taken top position on the Television Rating Point (TRP) chart. GHKPM had been chasing Anupamaa for weeks and has finally been able to beat it in the race to become the week’s top show.

Anupamaa

Anupamaa, which has Rupali Ganguly playing the titular role, is on the second spot for the first time in months. Earlier, the physical absence of the lead actors from the episodes on testing positive for Covid-19 also could not affect its viewership. However, in this week Anupamaa’s silence on her divorce might have caused it its top position.

Imlie

A few weeks ago, Imlie was trying to do what Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin has already done. Despite several efforts, Imlie could not beat Anupamaa in terms of viewership instead was left behind by Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin as well. All the three shows air on the same channel, Star Plus.

Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah

Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasmah is the only comedy show on the ratings chart. Many actors have been replaced in the show over the months, which has somewhat affected its strong viewership. TMKOC is no longer a permanent show on the chart and keeps appearing once in a while.

Saath Nibhaana Saathiya 2

Without Kokila and Gopi, two important characters of Saath Nibhaana Saathiya, the show still manages to gain good viewership. Again, not a permanent on the chart but as and when story spices up it secures 4th or 5th position on the TRP chart.

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HEALTH

Today on World Whisky Day, Raise a Toast and Celebrate Your Favourite Drink

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World Whisky Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. This year the day is observed across the globe on May 15. Celebrated by whisky lovers at large, the day was founded in 2012. To make the occasion special, various tasting events, social gatherings and programs are organised.

Whisky is undoubtedly one of the classiest beverages one can buy. Sitting with a glass of whisky in one hand while listening to Mozart or Beethoven playing on a loop (through in a dash of cigar) in the background would be a whisky aficionado’s dream.

World Whisky Day was set up in 2012 by author and consultant Blair Bowman, who, when he was at university, decided to buy the domain name and set up a website that explored Scotland’s national drink.

Bowman even took to Twitter to wish all the whiskey lovers on the special day. “Today is the 10th annual @WorldWhiskyDay celebration. An idea I had in my head when I was 21 years old. Thank you to everyone who has raised a dram on WWD over the last ten years.” He also shared a video on his Twitter account saying, “The last ten WWDs in ten seconds”.

According to Bowman, World Whisky Day is, “all about making whisky fun and enjoyable. It’s not about being exclusive or prescriptive.”

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