The quintessential Parsee Akoori is a tad similar to Anda Bhurji, the one made all over India, except that Anda Bhurji is usually overcooked with the egg scrambled to a hard consistency while Akoori is creamy and soft in consistency. Yes, there are Bawajis in our clan who overcook eggs for Akoori, but for true Akoori lovers (me included) that is sacrilege. Eggs are never meant to be overcooked! We also add a wee bit of cream to the spice mix before adding the eggs to ensure the dish has a rich creamy texture.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 large onions, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
3-4 green chilies, finely chopped
1½ teaspoon red chili powder (add more if you like it spicier)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon Parsee Sambhar Masala
¾ teaspoon coriander-cumin powder
¾ teaspoon coriander-cumin powder
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
Salt, to taste
3 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cream
A few sprigs coriander leaves, finely chopped
- Heat oil and butter in a kadai/wok. Add cumin seeds and allow to splutter.
- Add onions, green chilies and fry till soft and translucent.
- Add ginger-garlic paste, sauté for a few seconds.
- Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, Parsee sambhar masala, coriander-cumin powder, salt and sauté the spices properly for a minute.
- Add the tomatoes; cook till tomatoes get mushy and flecks of oil separate.
- Add the cream and let it simmer for 30-40 seconds. Check for seasoning. (allow a wee bit of extra salt because you will be adding eggs)
- Add eggs and scramble on very low flame to a soft, creamy consistency.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with crusty brun bread or on buttered toast.
- When garlic greens are available, add a small bunch (a small bunch has about 8-9 garlic greens), finely chopped, when sautéing the spices. It gives an amazing flavor to the Akoori. We Bawas always look forward to the months when green garlic (Lilla Lasan) becomes available in the markets because it’s then time for Lilla Lasan ni Akoori.
- The beauty of scrambling eggs, be it for plain scrambled eggs or be it for Akoori, is to always scramble on very low flame. It takes patience to do that but the final texture is well worth the time spent.
- To avoid overcooking the eggs always scramble eggs on low heat for a bit. Then, take the vessel of the hob and allow the eggs to cook in its residual heat, scrambling all the while. If the eggs aren’t yet cooked to soft and creamy texture, put the eggs back on low heat for a few more minutes. This back and forth, on and off the heat technique, is what prevents the eggs from getting overcooked. Eggs always continue cooking in residual heat so use the ‘on the stove-off the stove’ technique. This will ensure you never serve overcooked eggs.
- Variations: Just as each Bawa family incorporate their own twist to the Dhanshak recipe, so is the case with Akoori. Some families add potatoes to Akoori, while some cook devoid of all powdered spices and only use green chilies, a bit of ginger-garlic paste and a pinch of turmeric. There is yet another version where in it is made with finely chopped boiled eggs and lastly we have Bharuchi Akoori made for special occasions like Lagan (wedding) and Navjote (Parsee thread ceremony), wherein dry fruits are added.
- Lastly, please don’t ever compare, or confuse, this creamy-dreamy egg delight with the overcooked version, namely: Bhurji. That would be sacrilege! Well to a Bawa/Bawi (as in yours truly), it would! :P :D
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