Wednesday 27 December 2023

Dutch Omelette

Dutch Omelette, Parsi Food Style

While there are no records of when or why we began making this particular dish, it is known that the Dutch enjoy eating omelettes and preparing them with meat and potatoes. At best, we may accept that the Dutch who colonised Surat, where Parsi cuisine was firmly established, were where this dish got included (among other regions of India) and became a part of our "anglicised foods." Surat was just one of many other places the Dutch ruled over in India, leaving influences on their culture and cuisine. 

The only record of a dish by this name is by Sehra Albless, who published a cookbook in 1956 called My Favourite Recipes and contributed her version of the dish to the Time and Talents Club Bombay cookbook printed in 1975. She goes on to prepare the omelettes with pieces of chopped ham and asparagus covered with a cheese sauce and garnished with peas, ham, and asparagus tips. There is no mention of baking it to reheat.

Growing up, my family has always prepared this dish with a bit of a kick, layering it with the parsi poro, which we make with finely diced onions, green chillies, coriander leaves, and tomatoes in well-beaten eggs. We then went on to layer it with lightly salted, boiled, fairly small, diced meat, like lamb, goat, or mutton, and shrimp. We add layers of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, all doused in a cheese sauce, and bake to reheat. The results are quite delicious.

Serves 6


Prepare 4 omelettes of 8–9-inch | 23 cm rounds.
Beat 8 eggs and add
1 finely chopped, small to medium onion
1 finely chopped, medium tomato
1 cupful of fresh corriander, finely chopped
8 green chillies, finely chopped
1/8 tsp salt
In a skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil and pour 1/4 of this mixture. Cook to a golden brown.
Remove it and keep it aside.
White cheese sauce, bechamel sauce
In a pan, melt 4 oz. of salted butter, add 4 tablespoons of flour, and let it cook and bubble. Add 3 cups of whole milk, mix well, and bring it to a boil. Add 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese of your choice. I like to use Gruyere. Add salt and pepper. The sauce should be slightly pourable. If needed, add more milk.
Boil a cup of meat, lamb, or mutton in salted water in a pan. Once tender, add 250 g or 1/2 lb of prawns. Strain and use to layer the omelettes.
Slice a tomato and a cucumber, and lightly sprinkle them with salt.

Assemble these components in an oven-proof dish. a 10-inch| 25 cm round. Place an omelette, place some of the meat, pour a little sauce, and place some of the cucumbers.
Place another omelette, place some of the prawns, pour a little sauce, and place some of the tomatoes. Repeat.
When ready to serve, bake this in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until warmed through.

Photo credit Niloufer Mavalvala
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

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