They say you are a true adult when the very thing you wanted to do as a child gives you pleasure no more. That includes all those things like: “When I am an adult, I can have all the ice-cream, candy, chocolate, playtime or late-night TV I want, and nobody’s gonna stop me!”
Well, this Wednesday, the wife and I decided to indulge in something spontaneous, something from our childhood, and in keeping with this blog, something to eat. And trust me, we did get a lot of pleasure out of it! I guess our inner child isn’t dead yet. Just hiding from all those adult responsibility things we do…
So it’s late morning when we get up, and someone from the two of us says: “Let’s have French toast for lunch.” I think it’s Pooja, and she used the Bengali word for the dish, “dim pauruti”, which literally translates to “egg-bread”. Now I decide to make this, with a pinch of inspiration thrown in from my “Pishi”, my paternal aunt who indulged all her nephews when she came to visit the joint family back in Bengal.
That family is in fragments now, and I, too, have only fragments of memory to go by when making her version of French toast, which was a step up from the kind I used to have before Pishi taught the family and the maids how to take it to the next level.
So here’s invoking my guru in this venture, my Pishi:
I start with three eggs, half a tomato, half an onion, and a little bit of coriander (cilantro for all my readers from the other side of the Pacific). I’m pretty sure you must have guessed how much of a greenhorn I am from all that uneven cutting.
The eggs are whisked with the vegetables and the coriander, with a little bit of milk in it. The milk adds to the volume, takes away a lot of that weird fishy smell and makes the end result much softer, especially if you are making an omelette. The batter ends up looking like this:
Now, the French toasts from my childhood were all deep-fried. That was one of the reasons why it was a favourite, and why we weren’t allowed to have it every day. So, like I had seen back then, in goes a bit of oil that is allowed to heat up to the point where it is runny like water and is all bubbled out. Then, in goes the first slice of bread, slathered with the batter.
Now, the veggies did not stick to the bread, so I opted to spread some of it on the side that was not being browned by the oil.
A little later, I flip the slice to find the other side a beautiful mix of crunchy brown and golden omelette. Now its time for the veggies to fry a little.
After about eight slices, however, we are running low on batter. So, I decide to improvise and go for the other kind of “dim pauruti” or bread-egg I know. This requires the slices to be cut up in pieces, like so:
Then, with the little oil left over from the French toasts, in go the sliced slices(??), and the batter, that has had yet another egg and some more milk added to it and whisked.
A little bit of stirring till the eggs and the bread are brown, and it’s ready!
Meanwhile, Dodo awaits the new kind of fish mum has brought him.
Oh, by the way, we paired the bread-eggs with a hot tomato-chilly sauce. Tell me in the comments section what you would have paired it with. Or even, what you would have done differently with the entire process.
Meanwhile, bon appetit!