Every trip I have made to Jaipur has included a trip to Agarwal Caterers in Vaishali Nagar as it’s very close to where I stay and very delicious. And sadly, neither time has involved any photos. The first time was after 24 hours of being deathly ill. My host brought me out for paneer tikka and it was one of the most nourishing things I could have had after a day of eating nothing but digestive biscuits and water.
On my second trip, I was brought by my coworker’s sister and brother in law who, in a ridiculous coincidence, happened to know my host. 1.3 billion people in this country and there is one degree of separation between two people I know in two cities over 2,000 kilometres apart. They picked Daegan and I up just before dinner. As they left, one of my hosts, Deepti, told them “Don’t feed them too much, I’m making dinner.” When we got there, though, this was the furthest thing from their intent. They brought plate after plate of food. And there was to be no sharing. Daegan and I were each given an order of each and ate we did.
This is my photo of dahi puri, though it’s from a Toronto restaurant. Daegan and I each were given an order this size – but with much more gravy. Inside are small chunks of potato and chickpeas and it is topped with yogurt and chutneys (often tamarind and coriander), along with sev (little fried noodles) and chilli powder. The trick with these is to eat them fast. If you are slow the little puri lose their crispiness and become 100 times more messy.
Finally, the jalebis were brought. These are made like funnel cakes, with a batter piped in to hot oil – or in this case pure ghee (clarified butter). Then they’re fried.
We each had an order about the size of the one shown above. Though these are one of my favourite sweets, they are quite sweet. One piece is usually enough for me. But not tonight. We headed to another spot to have chai together and let our food digest.
After that, completely stuffed to the point of bursting we were brought back home. Deepti asked how it was and we told her it was excellent. Then, with a bit of mischief in her eyes, she brought us heaping plates of rajma chawal – kidney beans and rice and fresh made roti. We couldn’t refuse – we’d been told to expect dinner and it would be a bit rude to not eat. And so Daegan and I exchanged a look and started eating. Fortunately it was so delicious that even as full as we were we didn’t mind. Unfortunately, the mischief didn’t end there as Deepti brought over more and more freshly cooked roti until we finally reached the breaking point. We couldn’t eat another bite. Not even a wafer thin mint.
After making masala baked eggs, I started thinking again about how I can merge some of my own dishes with a new twist based on what I’d had on trips to India. Fried eggs are my go-to breakfast. I have them nearly every day of the week, but they tend to be pretty standard. Almost always a plain omelette with either an english muffin and nut butter on it, or vegetables on the side. This morning would be different.
I started off by gathering my ingredients, sauces, chutneys, and yogurt.
I often have an English Muffin with my eggs but today I would give it a bit of a different twist. I spread a thin layer of lime pickle on it.
After that I started frying eggs. While the eggs fried, I got out a box of para, deep fried snacks. They would give a bit of an element of crunch to my dish. They’re too big on their own so I broke them in to smaller pieces.
Then I started layering. The fried eggs went on top of the english muffin and achar. On top of that was a bit of yogurt I’d thinned with water. Along with that I put coriander chutney and mint chutney along with the broken para and fresh coriander. Looking back I think I should have put chilli powder. Next time.
In the end I was pleased with the outcome. It looked good and tasted even better. I will definitely be making it again.