Shahjahani Anda Lajawaab

As emperors go, most were a bored, pampered lot. Having people all around who did little more than say ‘yes’, a kingdom to run, plenty of money and war, and decently large houses, they really didn’t have much me-time. When they did have aforesaid time, they spent it doing things they’d already done before.

One one such day, bored out of his wits, saddened by all the wars and definitely hungry, but not for the tried and the tasted, the emperor threw a tantrum, yelled for his head cook and asked him to make a dish for breakfast that would give him the strength of 10 men.

The royal cook decided to use as much butter as he would for a group of 10 and in consultation with his trusted team, knowing the emperor liked eggs, made a dish that used eggs from all four corners of the kingdom – hen, duck, pigeon, quail, partridge, parrots and whatever else his kitchen assistants could lay their hands on. The butter used also came from different animals from all across the land – cows, buffaloes, goats, elephants and all kinds of other mammals.

It took a team of runners to collect the milk and eggs after travelling the vast distances required. Wild hens were the toughest. They fought and pecked and flew up into the air to descend with their talons outstretched, eyes wild and full of fury. The only way the deed could be accomplished was to send married men with dominant wives. The milk and butter were easier, as the animals could be found easily and transported to the palace.

Tragically, the omelette had a bit of eggshell left and the poor cook lost his head over the unwelcome crunch that traumatised the evening of the poor king. The recipe was never cooked again, nor were omelettes made in the royal kitchens for the next 30 years until the king died (of chronic cardiovascular heart disease) and his son took over, who really liked eggs and hadn’t eaten many for 30 years.

The recipe below has been adapted from the fictitious original and uses Amul butter and normal hen’s eggs. The video is at the end of this page.

This recipe is about 6,500 calories and I did it just to use the amount of butter you can see in the recipe below. If you’re doing it yourself, please know that it certainly is delicious, and can be made using sensible amounts of fat and eggs.

Ingredients:

  • 18 eggs
  • 700 gm Butter, in 100 gm portions
  • 700 gm Tomatoes, chopped
  • 700 gm Onions, sliced
  • 500 gm Chickpeas, soaked boiled and drained
  • 50 gm Garlic, minced
  • 25 gm Green chilies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Jeera, powder
  • 1 tbsp Deghi mirch
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 2 tbsp Garam masala
  • Salt to taste (remember your butter probably has salt already)
  • 50 gm Coriander, fresh, chopped

Preparation & Equipment:

  • Beat 9 eggs
  • Boil 9 eggs, peel, reserve yolk, slice 7, finely chop 2
  • Frying pan large enough for a large 9 egg omelette
  • Pan large enough to hold the onions, tomatoes and chickpeas together
  • Plate large enough to serve the omelette and chickpea mixture together

Method:

  • Melt and heat 400 gm of butter
  • Add onions, saute till beginning to brown at the edges
  • Add tomatoes, saute till beginning to leave the edges / ooze oil
  • Add jeera powder, chili powders and garam masala. Stir well.
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Blend the mixture by either taking it off the fire, cooling it and then roughly blending in a blender, or if you have an immersion blender, use it to roughly blend the mixture in the pan. Set aside. Keep warm.
  • Melt 100 gm butter in a pan and when hot enough, pour in the eggs for your omelette. Spread and tilt as required.
  • When cooked, add the sliced/chopped boiled egg whites to its surface in rows, then roll the omelette inwards, incorporating all the boiled egg whites. Place on a plate.
  • Melt 200 gm butter and add garlic and green chilies, saute for a bit, then add the chopped boiled egg whites, saute for a bit, then add the reserved boiled egg yolks, mash well and incorporate well into the mixture.

Plating:

  • Put the omelette in the middle of a plate on top of the chickpea mixture or add the chickpea mixture on the side.
  • Add the yolk-garlic mixture on top of the omelette.
  • Add the coriander on top of the yolk-garlic mixture.
  • Serve hot, cold or frozen – it’ll still be as unhealthy though it does taste best when hot.

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.