Parsi Tomato-Poached Eggs
New Year’s Day breakfast, 2013.
Ok, so it was more like brunch. (At lunch time.)
Since I stayed in for a low-key New Year’s Eve, it’s not as if I required a hangover cure– though this would serve: a savory blend of juicy acidic-sweet tomatoes, spices, and comforting poached eggs, rich in layers of flavor and texture (all sopped up with fresh rustic bread).
This is a lovely dish, and one which I’ve barely modified straight out of a cookbook– don’t you love it when that’s possible?
It’s very similar to shakshouka— which I still haven’t made yet(?!)– and probably right up there among the best ways to combine two of my favorite edibles: tomatoes and eggs.
(Garnish with cilantro, and that’s three of my favorites.)
You might recognize this particular combination of spices from Indian cuisine. The cookbook I used (Anjum’s New Indian) describes this recipe as “inspired by the cooking of the Parsis,” a group of people who immigrated to the west coast of India from Iran centuries ago. Parsi cuisine is now a unique style of Indian cooking; you can learn much more about Parsi Food over at the wonderful blog Peri’s Spice Ladle.
Hearty, healthy, and satisfying– not to mention fancy– these eggs would make an excellent brunch, lunch, or dinner (or– at 1 egg per person– snack).
I can’t, however, recommend that you prepare them for breakfast without first snacking on something substantial, since they take a bit more time to prepare than your average huevos rancheros (coincidentally, my 2012 New Year’s post!). It’s just a little labor-intensive when you’ve barely put a dent in your first cup of morning coffee… though compared to other dinner fare, this is a pretty speedy recipe. Just enlist some help with the tomato-prep duties, and you’re in business!
I couldn’t have asked for a better start to another year of good eating. Happy 2013 to everyone!
A note to my dear readers: I appreciate your comments and likes– and even your page views– more than you can imagine! It makes this blogging endeavor feel so worthwhile. As I’ve mentioned before, I love the momentum that it’s given me, and this blog, to post new recipes twice a week. However, if 2013 is going to be The Year of the Dissertation– 2012 certainly wasn’t– then I’m afraid there just aren’t enough hours in the day. It saddens me to cut back on posting, and I have SUCH a long mental list of recipes that I can’t wait to share with you all, but at least for the near future, I will skip my Monday posts and share new recipes only on Thursdays.
I truly hope you’ll all stick with me, and keep checking in to see what’s new!
(If you write your own food blog, I hope you’ll understand; maybe this way I’ll have a little more time for reading and commenting on your blogs! …I apologize for being so seriously delinquent.)
Print this recipe. (PDF)
Parsi Tomato-Poached Eggs
(Barely adapted from Anjum’s New Indian cookbook.)
~ 4-5 medium-large vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled and seeded (see step #1), then roughly chopped
~ 1-2 Tbsp. ghee (or vegetable oil)
~ ½ medium onion, diced (or chopped in a food processor)
~ ½ green bell pepper, sliced
~ 1 clove garlic, minced
~ ¾ tsp. chili powder
~ ½ tsp. ground cardamom
~ ½ tsp. garam masala
~ ¼ tsp. turmeric
~ salt, to taste
~ 1½ tsp. red or white wine vinegar
~ 4 large eggs
~ dash of ground chipotle (or other chili pepper, for extra heat)
~ fresh cilantro, to garnish
~ fresh-baked bread, like baguettes, for serving
How to make it:
1. To peel the tomatoes: Bring a pot of water to a simmer or a boil. Cut an ‘X’ into the bottom of each tomato, then use a slotted spoon to lower the tomatoes into the hot water, for about 20 seconds each. Remove, let cool a bit, and the skin should peel right off (return to the hot water if peeling them is still tricky). Once peeled, cut each tomato in fourths (in wedges) and use your fingers to pop out the seeds. The tomatoes are now ready to chop.
2. In a medium non-stick skillet or saucepan, heat the ghee or vegetable oil, then fry the onion until soft. Add the green bell pepper and garlic and fry another 2 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic is cooked. Stir in the ground spices and salt, and cook for another minute over low heat.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, mix well, and bring the pan to a simmer (you may need to add 4-6 Tbsp. of water depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes). Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then add the vinegar, and mix well. Carefully crack the eggs on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the eggs. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the eggs are done to taste. Serve warm with fresh bread.
Print this recipe! (PDF)