“The next best thing to eating food, is talking about it” – Julia Thomson. So, let’s gossip about this one and let’s gossip well.
“If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work”, I love this excerpt from Khalil Gibran’s book “The Prophet”. I am a staunch believer of commitment to a task and the zeal to embrace it wholeheartedly because anything worth doing is worth doing right. It’s mornings like these that I find myself the happiest when I accomplish something I had put my mind to. This gorgeous braided Masala Egg Braid just overwhelmed me. It was actually an experiment, an experiment that I wanted to test on my hubzy, bless his soul, he’s like my lab experiment and he never turns away. He’s always there ready to test and criticise.
Believe it or not, I can make more than 30 versions of varied eggs and this Masala Egg has just been added to that list. What can I say, I am a breakfast person who loves her eggs. I had a mild idea of what this recipe would taste like but in all honesty it just blew me away; the colour, the texture, the taste and not to mention how immensely pretty this looked, it was such a delight at the breakfast table; “Shall I compare thy to a summers day? Thou art more lovey and more temperate” was all I could think of by Shakespeare. It just appeared so strikingly summery with its vivid colours; summer on my table on a cold chilly winter morning, wow!
This gorgeous breakfast is the reason, I love what I do, be it to cook it or to express it in words. It’s so fulfilling. You would think, this would be a generously heavy breakfast, it really is not. It’s so light on your palate, yet it satisfies your appetite in the most fulfilling way. Trust me when I say, this will fuel you up to charge the mountain earnestly, I know, I saw how pleased my hubby was, his yummy noises just said it all. He loved it so much, I made this two consecutive days and my kids were over the moon because of it, for once in that whole week, my kids woke up happy whereas usually, let’s just say, they are just not morning people.
Let’s move onto the flavours. They are very Asian in taste. This is not your cliche’ scrambled egg. It’s packed with flavor and it’s a burst of piquancy in your mouth. The symphony of the ingredients is exquisite. The twist of the recipe comes from the intermix of the east and the west. The cheese and the veggies, blanketed with the classic scrambled egg and coated with Asian spice was phenomenal, not to mention the coriander leaves, that just made it all the more interesting.
The best thing about this is that it can be served with or without meat, either way, it’s absolutely delicious. Me, I have carnivores in my abode, so I opt for making this with either rotisserie chicken or pepperoni slices. Having said that, I have also made it with only veggies; the mushrooms, black olives, bell pepper, green chillies, yellow onion and tomatoes, just seem best friends in terms of infusion of ideal flavours. Nonetheless, you can use any veggies you deem fit to your liking.
How gorgeous are those colours of my veggies!
I cannot even begin to describe the aroma this infusion of ingredients gives off, you literally taste it with smell prior to actually eating it.
Moving forward, before I talk about the recipe, I want to talk about a cheat I did in this recipe. I will be honest, experimenting with a Masala Egg recipe, I inadvertently fused the exceptional flavours by adding a teaspoon of readymade Masala mix. Now, here’s the thing, I never use store bought ready made Spice Masalas but I do use them as cheats to original recipes to augment the flavour; and surprisingly, it works. For this particular recipe I used “Shan Vegetable and Meat Curry” spice blend.
These are available at every super retailer nowadays, not just solely sold by an Asian store. Nevertheless, this spice is a cheat, it’s not the core ingredient, bear in mind, but it’s an amazing cheat I must stress. Be curious enough to make this and you will understand where I am coming from.
So, if you have been following my blog, you will know I have another recipe on there, my “Smoked Cheese Braided Chicken Bread” which is made from a bread base. This braid is made using puff-pastry but it’s made in the similar way, rolling it out in a rectangular shape and making cuts on the sides, filling the middle and braiding it close; after which it gets an egg wash and baked until the top is golden and crusty. Let me also mention, the filling needs to be cooled before adding it to the puff-pastry, otherwise it will make the base very soggy.
Regarding the puff-pastry, a few things you need to keep in mind i.e. when you roll out the puff-pastry, just roll it out enough to spread it by a couple of inches because if it’s rolled out too thin, it will not puff up fully and will look like a deflated puff-pastry bread once it’s baked. Also, keep it refrigerated until you need to use it. Prepare the filling first and then take it out of the fridge. Puff-pastry is extremely delicate and needs to be worked with fast, because it gets sticky and soggy very quickly. So keep pace and work fast. Another quick tip, roll the puff-pastry onto a baking sheet before you fill and prep it; this way you will not need to pick it up to transfer to the baking sheet, due to which it can break or loose its shape completely; and by prepping it on a baking sheet, you just lift the sheet without disturbing the puff-pastry and it’s just a hell lot easier this way. So why trouble yourself, right?
However, if you don’t have access to puff-pastry, don’t stress and just serve this with toasted bread or frozen flatbread (paratha in Urdu) or tortilla or even stuff them in pita pockets and it will be just as appetising. Nonetheless, here is a link on how to make puff-pastry at home if you looking for a challenge and this is how I make it at home. It’s fairly easy.
The best thing about this is that it’s extremely easy to make. The scrambled eggs are prepared in the traditional way, in a fry pan and cooked 90% before being added to the puff-pastry and going into the oven.
One very important thing I would like to highlight, is the filling, that which is extremely gooey, squishy and soft and it melts in your mouth like silk. To ensure that, you need to make sure, the eggs are not cooked fully as they will bake in the oven inside the puff-pastry further. If you cook the eggs completely while frying them in the pan, they will loose their moisture and become hard in texture while baking and when you bite into it, it won’t be melt-in-your-mouth soft. That softness of the egg is what makes it so delightfully light on your palate. Secondly, the other thing that makes these eggs so moist is the addition of milk. The milk renders the egg a fluffy and more puffy texture all the while protecting it from over-cooking and hence, your eggs stay flated and soft.
Lastly, just one more thing before I move onto the recipe, I want to talk about the salt. It’s hard to believe but I have never figured out the salt ratio to one egg in measuring spoons because whenever I use a spoon I end up either making it too salty or not salty enough. So, here’s how I season my eggs just perfect; for each egg you add, add a pinch of salt, i.e. pinch of salt : one egg. Works for me every time.
In all honesty, I couldn’t be more excited about this recipe, having another successful cooking experiment in my diary is a little legacy of me saved in pages. I am the kind of person who loves to host and I take great pains to make sure my dinner table is packed with flavour, even if I have only one dish, it must be intriguing enough for my friends taste senses. Not just that, I also want to do things fast, so my mind races and I think to myself just how lovely this gorgeous recipe be for a brunch with some fresh salad greens like baby spinach, arugula, rocket, romaine, butter-crunch; and well, a salad of any greens to your liking with preferred dressings.
Having this for brunch with friends will not only be an immense pleasure but will make your heart grow fonder; “in the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed”. I have always admired this snippet “On Friendship” by Khalil Gibran, and truth be told, I cannot wait to have friends over to amuse them with this beautiful refreshing recipe. Hey! Good food and Good friends, what’s more better a Saturday than that.
So, what are you waiting for, go bake this beautiful braidfast.
– Recipe –
1 Pack Puff-pastry
4-5 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Red chilli-flakes
2 tsp Shan Meat and Vegetable Curry Spice Mix
1 tbsp Soya sauce
4 tbsp milk
1/2 Green Bell Pepper
1 yellow onion
2 Green chillies
8-9 Pitted black olives
2 tbsp Coriander leaves
8-10 pepperoni slices or 1/2 cup of Rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup Grated Cheddar cheese
- In a bowl, crack the eggs and add all the ingredients in i.e. chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, green bell pepper, onion, green chillies, coriander leaves, olives and 1/2 of the 1/2 cup cheese.
- If you are using rotisserie meat, add it with the rest of the ingredients.
- If you are using pepperoni slices, leave them out as they will be assembled on top of the filling later when we assemble it on the puff-pastry.
- Add all the spices i.e. salt, red chilli flakes, Shan meat and vegetable curry spice mix, milk and soya sauce.
- Whisk everything together.
- Heat oil in a fry pan and add the batter to the oil and fry to a scrambled egg.
- Cook the eggs 85% and leave aside to cool for atleast 15 minutes.
- Roll out the chilled puff-pastry and roll it out a couple of inches from each side. Do not roll it out too thin otherwise the puff-pastry will not puff up once it’s baked (please read the blog notes on this)
- Add the egg in the middle of the puff-pastry and assemble the pepperoni on top.
- Top it with the rest of the cheddar cheese.
- Using a pizza cutter or a knife, make cuts on the sides and taking one piece at a time from each side, braid it to close.
- Whisk an egg and egg-wash the puff-pastry all over.
- Transfer to a baking pan and bake it at 360* (180′) for 20-22 minutes or until the top crust turns golden and flaky.
- Rest it for 10 minutes to cool before cutting into it.