i am reminiscing about a trip to goa in 2008. i have an ex-colleague who lives in panaji but had never visited her. she lived in panaji and so a couple of us decided to stay in panaji, in the middle of goa. till then panaji had never even featured in goa plans. it was just the capital of the state and a boring place (in my books). this trip became my first discovery of the city. i saw panaji through the eyes of a local, spent time at her favourite restaurants and watering holes and even her favourite salon!
but before all of that, we needed a cheap, clean and accessible place to stay within panaji. and we found afonso’s.
10 mins from where my friend lived, in the middle of fountainhas – the latin quarter of panaji, with small & clean rooms, was afonso guesthouse. it was just what we wanted. this is not a homestay and it’s not a hotel either. it’s a family run guest house! and it was better than we expected. but i deviate from the main reason for this post (i can hear you say ‘as usual’!)
FOOD, that’s the theme of this post.
breakfast was on the roof top. a lovely terrace with simple chairs, checkered table cloth, potted plants along the parapet wall and a tiny menu to brush through. the options were limited but sufficient. i went with scrambled eggs and toast with one juice before breakfast and one coffee after breakfast. i don’t like the original version of scrambled eggs, the almost soggy and boring scrambled eggs, it’s too ‘eggy’ for me. i like a fusion version: the milk to add the softness to the eggs & the onions, tomatoes and chillies like roadside anda-bhurji to add ‘mouth-loads’ of taste, but WITHOUT the masala or oil of a roadside anda-bhurji (eggs made indian style!).
in most restaurants, when i say scrambled eggs it meant the soggy, plain version. so i specify what i want. here too i went through the lengthy process of describing in detail what i wanted and how it should be made! (yes, border case OCD one might say).
ten mins later my breakfast had made its way to the rooftop terrace. and the eggs were topped with coriander. it was the first time i had scrambled eggs my style and WITH coriander. it just added another dimension to the eggs. it made them delicious and for a vegetarian who hates the taste of eggs but has it for proteins, it masks the ‘eggy’ qualities with indian finesse. i asked the landlady who made the eggs, she said,
“it’s really good, especially the coriander..”
“oh good, she was experimenting and just decided to add it… i never do when i make it.”
ever since that, i make scrambled eggs with coriander. but that exposure to a fusion recipe also resulted in my own experiments with eggs, however limited in range… so, find below my current favourite recipe for scrambled eggs influenced by that stay at afonso’s!
scrambled eggs with a twist
serves two with a moderate appetite
eggs – 2
milk – 2 tablespoons
salt – to taste
oil – teaspoon
green chillies – 2, chopped as fine as you can
onion – 1 medium-sized, chopped to squares cubes, almost 1/3 rd inch
tomato – 1 medium-sized, chopped to squares cubes, almost 1/3 rd inch
capsicum, or peppers – 1/2 medium-sized, chopped
tip: ensure all the vegetables are chopped to the same size. looks nice!
black olives – 4 – 8, chopped fine, added as a topping
basil leaves – 4 – 6 large-sized, chopped
tip: place the basil leaves spread out, one on top of the other and then cut thin strips
step 1: beat two eggs with the milk and salt in a bowl. ensure all salt dissolved as it tends to stay back in the bowl. keep aside.
step 2: take a pan, add a teaspoon of oil and add the chopped green chillies. once the chillies get a little fried (but not too much), add the vegetables (except the olives)
step 3: saute these well. they should all be 3/4th cooked – especially the capsicum
step 4: beat the eggs one last time, and then pour it all in. stir, mix, scrape from the pan and ensure its all scrambled and cooked. step 5: once cooked, switch off and top with chopped olives and basil. if you love your eggs with cheese, this is also a good point to add some chopped cheese to the mix.
enjoy with toasted bread.