When our kids were little, this time of year generally meant Easter egg hunts and brunch parties. While the ‘scramble’ for plastic eggs filled with candy has slowed down in recent years, the fervor for Easter brunch in our family has remained unaltered (actually the fervor for brunch any time of year is pretty high around here.)
Since Easter brunches have all of us ‘scrambling’ for egg recipes; here is one of my childhood favorites with a delicious twist. Made regularly in most Parsi homes; Akuri is a classic, mouthwatering scrambled eggs treat with a hint of Indian spices. Our family favorite is this version- using diced ham, shredded cheese (Parmesan works really well although my kids prefer Cheddar) and a touch of parsley for freshness.
Growing up, mom made ‘Akuri’ and Parsi omelet for dinner as often as breakfast; well before the modern culinary concept of ‘breakfast for dinner’ became all the rage.
Enjoy this simple recipe for Parsi-style scrambled eggs this weekend…or any time of year.
Serves 4 • Prep Time- 10 minutes • Hands-on cook time- 15 minutes
5 eggs*, well beaten and seasoned with salt/pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium Serrano pepper, minced (optional)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or red chili powder**
¼ teaspoon cumin powder**
½ teaspoon salt
1 medium tomato, diced
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons parsley
I cup (about ¼ lb) slice of ham, cubed
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
*We like to create a healthier version of Akuri with 3 whole eggs and 2 egg whites.
**The Spice Factor- Like us, if you prefer your eggs spicy, increase the cayenne pepper and cumin powder by ¼ teaspoon each. Want to go a step further? Just add a minced Serrano pepper to the dish.
On a medium flame, heat oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic (and Serrano pepper, if you are using.) Cook till you can get a waft of aromatics from the pan, about 4-5 minutes. Mix in the ground cayenne pepper, cumin powder and salt; stir to cook. Toss in the tomatoes and lemon juice; cover and cook for 3-4 minutes till the tomatoes blend in. This is called ‘the base of the Akuri’ and can be prepared in advance.
When you are ready to serve, add the diced ham, cheese and seasoned well-beaten eggs to the pan. Here are 2 tricks to great scrambled eggs: one is to leave them alone in the pan while they set and stir only when they are half done. The other trick is to cook eggs on a low flame. If they are getting cooked too fast; reduce the flame and slow down the process. Once the eggs are done, check for salt (since ham types vary in salt.)
Sprinkle fresh parsley over the scrambled eggs and serve hot with toasted and buttered wholegrain bread or any bread of your choice.