Spiced/Masala Omelette in the Pakistani Manner

Masala Omelette

Blog post is in response to a request from my friend AFC- who loved his masala omelettes during his business trips to India.

I like to eat my masala omelette placed between two pieces of soft, untoasted bread and eaten like a sarnie with some sweet chili sauce. It’s a childhood thing, you know, that ‘nursery food’ texture we all remember. The masala omelette is to the Pakistani kitchen what pancakes are to an American kitchen. The only pancakes I ever had as a child were out of a box, and that too, slathered with Aunt Jemima’s Kitchen syrup.

As a child, the only cooking Ami and I did together in the kitchen was when she made eggs or French Toast. Our housekeeper, Amma Parveen used to have the weekends off and that’s when Ami and I’d get deep into the kitchen.

Well, not quite in the way you think…

Please erase that vision of Ami and I standing in the kitchen in our matching pink pinnies. Nope. I was a brat, and that’s why I was in the kitchen with her: “Ami, the edges of the omelette aren’t dark enough…” or “Ami, you didn’t put enough dhania (coriander) in the omelette.” And then there was, “Ami, you overcooked the egg yolk, now I shan’t eat it.”

What a nightmare I was. I’m sure Ami wanted to smack me and make me watch Fred Flinstone or something else mind-numbing instead of annoying her in the kitchen during breakfast time. But she didn’t.

Ami always made everything perfectly right- she knew I liked my French Toast a little bit soggy in the middle, crisp around the edges and my Masala Omelette without tomatoes and sandwiched between two pieces of bread. And she always put just the right amount of sweet chili sauce on it, too.

There I sat with Ami, in front of the telly, watching the Flintstone’s, whilst washing the masala omelette down with a tall glass of Nesquik strawberry milk. (I know, I know, but now I drink grown-up strawberry milk- here’s my friend’s recipe.)

Only a mother can tolerate such bratty behaviour, and it’s not just on Mother’s Day that I think of this…

Here is her recipe, I’ve added the pinch of haldi in it, which she wouldn’t approve of, but I know she’ll forgive me for being fiddly with it.

A similar dish is called khagina- which is a spiced scramble egg- please forgive me for the bland photos, it was my first ever post – I now cringe when I look at those earlier photos.

Masala Omelette

Serves 1; this recipe can easily be doubled.

Ingredients:
*2 medium-sized eggs
*half a small onion, minced
*¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped finely
*½ green thai bird chili minced. If you’re a chili-head like me, add one whole chili. Use shears to cut this straight into the bowl, so you don’t burn your fingertips.
*pinch haldi; turmeric powder (found in most Pakistani/Indian/Persian grocery stores)
*½ tsp cayenne pepper
*½ tsp salt
*1 tsp ghee or 1 tbsp neutral oil (sunflower or corn)

Preparation:
*Pre-heat your grill/broiler.
*Beat two eggs in a small bowl and add onion, coriander, green chili, haldi, cayenne and salt. Whisk well.
*Place a small frying pan on medium heat and add ghee/oil.
*Pour egg mixture into frying pan and keep swirling till the egg mixture is well distributed. Don’t touch the mixture with your spatula.
*After 2-3 minutes, you will see the edges begin to crisp up. At this point, you can either flip the omelette over, or if you want to be cautious, place it under the grill till golden, about 2 minutes.
*Serve with bread of your choice.

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Comments

  1. Wonderful story about your childhood behaviors and observations. I’ve never heard of the dishes you bring to us and its a delight to see what people from these countries have as equivalents to our American versions. Thank you!!

  2. Oh, and I have been meaning to ask…what is ghee? I see several bloggers adding that to recipes and I am guessing its a fat or oil of some sort.

  3. helenemsley says:

    This looks wonderful. I shall attempt to re-create it this Sunday. Hopefully beatifully presented, as yours is.

  4. I can taste the brilliance of this dish just by looking at the ingredient list. Love the simplicity of it.

    Snippets of Thyme: Ghee is clarified butter, which is used in place of butter/oil in most Indian cooking.

  5. @Snippets of Thyme Thank you for your kind words- as Pickyin has pointed out- ghee is a form of clarified butter- it has a very high burning point and can be kept outside of the fridge. It is widely used in Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi kitchens. It is delicious- especially when smeared on some bread with jam. Quite fattening- though my mum says it’s all she ate during her childhood, and she was always very slim!

    @Helen Thank you- it’s really easy-peasy and you can change the proportions to suit your liking. You can even toss in some tommies if you fancy that.

    @Pickyin Thank you- simple breakfast dishes are so comforting.

  6. I’m so behind on your posts! Anyway, I know I’d prefer a masala omelette to a pancake!

    btw, I’m heading to Toronto in September. Was wondering if you’ll be around to meet up?

  7. @Su Lin yes, yes, yes, yes yes! See you in September- shall email you. x s

  8. So love masala omelettes. Apart from idli’s they are the best breakfast in the sub-continent.

  9. This looks really gorgeous; what a neat little omelette! I love a masala omelette. I’m obsessed with making everything into a sandwich so the idea of sandwiching it will chilli sauce is really speaking to me!

  10. Mmm… this post reminds me of home! My father used to make the most divine omelette sandwiches for me when I was a child. Love the recipe and your childhood stories :) Gorgeous pics!

  11. We call it Parsi Pora, & we had it for brunch today, Yummy

  12. The humble omelette. One can do so many things with it and I wager each family has it’s own recipe for it.
    Haldi in an omelette is a tad off puting for me (well haldi generally). Reminds me of a very stressfull period in my teens at skmch. Copious amounts of Haldi and animal protien in every meal for a good 8 months can be very umm distressing. ;-).

  13. Dost thats exactly how I like my omelet and how I was as a child. I always add pinch of haldi to eggs in whatever I’m making, not sure why, but I just think its takes away the raw smell of eggs or bus aadat se :-) Beautiful post and pictures.

  14. @Mzungu I love idli, too. All savoury breakfast items are delicious- my mum makes Khagina- which is a Pakistani-style scramble egg, it has roasted cumin in it, too.

    @Helen Thanks, Helen. You have some amazing sarnies on your blog.

    @Sabera That’s really sweet- your father used to cook for you? My father, (bless him) can’t boil an egg. Thank you for the kind words.

    @Yasmin I have had Parsi Pora at P’s home- it’s lovely.

    @Umair Nothing like an anda omelette, right? As for the haldi, it’s just a wee pinch-promise you won’t even taste it. It’s just for a little colour. Sorry to hear you were subjected to that amount of haldi, sounds emetic.

  15. A nightmare indeed! ;-) I was always a Vanilla Quick guy myself, I just couldn’t get over the pink color of the strawberry. Love the delicacy of this dish…and the chilies…yes, please. – S

  16. Love masala omelette Shayma. Just the way I make it; stuffed in soft bread with a dollop of ketchup. My childhood memories! This looks delish x

  17. Oh it was for my own good. If you’ve seen my twitter profile, it says ALL survivor. ALL= Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Underwent chemo for 3 years. All that Turmeric and protien was to help fight the cancer and promote healing & rebuilding of the bodys cells being ravaged by a)Leukemia and b) chemo + radiation.
    The patients food at Shaukat Khanam was (still is) full of ‘haldi’. For the benefit of blog readers, why turmeric is good
    http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html
    Also ghee is actually the most healthy cooking medium next to olive oil eapecially for heart patients. Reason being, since it is an animal derived fat, it does not coagulate at body temprature therefore does not clog up arteries and is easily digested if used in moderate amounts. That comes from Ammi(a dr) and my cardiologist.
    P.s
    Actually my interest in cooking developed while I was at home for over a year undergoing the intsfication phase of a 3 1/2 year treatment plan. You tend to get bored eating copious amounts of meat(chicken, fish, beef mutton etc) 3 times a day in the form of andas, shami kababs, roti salan etc. In order to break the monotony, Ammi and I would experiment with the old (ever heard of worcestershire sauce chicken tikkas?) and we also created some new ways of making meat more palatable for me like a qeemay wala omelette etc etc.

  18. @Kulsum Thank you so much. I like the little pinch of haldi, I think it gives it a slight punch.

    @Oui, Chef Vanilla? My nemesis! But, you are a boy, so I guess you wouldn’t choose the strawberry.

    @Maunika Thanks so much. Ketchup, sriracha, sweet chili sauce, even some dhania / paudinay ki chutney. x s

  19. I loved masala omelettes when I was on holiday in India; I make my own variation but there are a lot more ingredients. I must try your simpler version.

  20. @Umair I am sorry to hear that, I didn’t decipher the ‘skmch’ acronym you used in your earlier comment to mean Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. You are right regarding ghee- I try to have a little bit with my breakfast most mornings. Yours is a brave story. You are lucky to have a mother like that. More courage to you- and may you always remain healthy. Ameen.

    @Lizzie Yes, lots of people put tommies in it, too, but I like it with just a few ingredients. It’s the khagina (scrambled egg, Pakistani-style with cumin, tommies, the works) where I tend to go crazy. x s

  21. Can you give the recipe for your mums Khagina …. Thanks

  22. @Mzungu Sure, here is the khagina recipe: http://www.thespicespoon.com/blog/khagina/

  23. Your blog is making me hungry. I can’t wait until you visit home so you can cook for me! :P

  24. @Mars Cook for you? Hee. We’re going to be eating out *all* the time, you know the places…all of them. PS Keep some Georgetown Cupcake chocolate ganache cupcakes for me on the kitchen table.

  25. Thanks for the recipe. It made a great mid week supper. Thanks again…

  26. I love this recipe. The strawberry milk reference gave me a chuckle. I, too, was a fan of strawberry milk and the Flintstones “back in the day.” Ha!

  27. Wow!!! I have just discovered your lovely blog and I’m falling in love with every recipe!! It is fantastic and I simply adore it! I’m from Italy and I have a foodblog too ;), but I’m totally crazy about ethnic food! I’m sure that I’ll try some of them as soon as possible! If you want come to visit my blog ;) Have a nice day, Erika

  28. gr8 pakistani recipes with a twist….sounds lovely!

  29. this is one of the best omlettes ever! im a pakistani too and my mum is also crazy about cooking or rather reinventing pakistani recipes…she’s a gr8 cook nd she luvveeddddddd this recipe too! <3 <3 <3

  30. hey, I love your dishes. As a boy growing up in pakistan, i am so used to seeing my mother or other government help cooking at our kitchen. Now in New York for many years and i still cant figure it out what are the sequence of adding spices to either a chicken dish or a sabzi (Vegetable) dish..Or there is no sequence?
    Also, I sometimes felt that most of your audience is female but hey there are tons of us desi guys who LOVE to cook and follow your recipies.

    Everytime I would visit my relatives in villages near khanewaal, i would be so mesmerised by the way food was cooked..

    Have you ever tried making “chilri” which is very much like korean pancake pa-jon.

    Also, do u know how to make kutchi lassi? since its so hot in new york, i would love to make it..

    Oh my god, i forgot to mention that my mother used to make “Bhaat” in mornings which was boiled white rice (little mushy) with yougurt..
    Anyway keep posting..

  31. I remember a Taiwanese friend painstakingly taking out the bird’s eye chilli bits from just such a Masala omelette!

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