Rava Dosa – a nearly foolproof recipe

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In the second of my Weekend Breakfasts, I have the most delicious Rava Dosa with the classic partner, medhu vadai and accompanied by sambhar and two types of chutneys – coconut and coriander. All of this has to be washed down with a tumbler full of frothy, steaming filter coffee.

I have tried numerous recipes for the rava dosa and most of them have simply not worked. Either the dosa would come out in bits and pieces as if it has been toyed around by a toddler or it would stick strongly to the tava and simply refuse to budge. I kept experimenting with various types and quantities of rava and rice flour and finally I can tell you that I have a nearly foolproof recipe for the rava dosa. It is no longer something I can only have at a restaurant. I can have it whenever I feel like it, which is way more often than it should be. So I love this recipe and this dish so much that I am convinced this is my legacy. Whatever I do or don’t do henceforth, I am happy to report I can make a good Rava Dosa.

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The basic recipe has mainly three ingredients – rava / semolina, rice flour and curds. Simple thumb rules to go by are – The time needed to keep the rava soaked in curds is directly proportional to the proportion of rava in the recipe. The more rava you use in the recipe, the crispier is your dosa and the skill needed to make it is also more.

The usual proportion I use is 1/2 cup of rava to 1/2 cup of curds and 1 cup of rice flour. You can use as low as 1/4 cup of rava & curds each to 1 cup of rice flour. Even an equal amount of rava and rice works but I find that I prefer the taste and texture when the rava is half the quantity of the rice flour. Though you can use 1-2 tbsp of curds for 1/2 cup of rava and substitute the rest with water, I would recommend you not to do that. Using equal amount of rava and curds is one of the key reasons for success in making this dosa.

The rava and curds need to be mixed together and set aside before adding the rice flour. If you use only 1/4 cup then you need only 10 minutes of soaking for the rava. If you are using more, then you would need around 20 minutes. You can play around with this depending on the time available to you.

If the curds are sour the dosa tastes better but that does not mean you cannot make this with fresh curds. All I suggest is to have the curds at room temperature. If you do not have time to get the curds from the chill of the refrigerator to room temperature, then take the required curds in a separate bowl and add few spoons of boiling water to it. This will help increase the temperature of the curds. This can also be used before giving curds to kids if you don’t want them to have it cold.

The amount of water to be used depends on the quality of rava. The best test to check if you have sufficient water is to pour a small amount of batter on a very hot tava. If it does not immediately form a lace like pattern, then you may need to add more water. But add water in 1-2 spoons each time so that you do not end up with excessive water in the batter.

The tava needs to be very hot while pouring the batter. As soon as you pour the batter, reduce the flame slightly and once you turn over the dosa reduce it to low flame. This will ensure the tava is not overheated which can result in blackening the dosa.

Makes 10-12 medium sized dosas

WHAT WE NEED

Rava / Semolina                                         1/4 cup

Curds (Sour / fresh)                                   1/4 cup

Rice flour                                                     1/2 cup

Cumin seeds / Jeera                                   1 tsp

Whole black pepper                                  1/2 tsp

Coriander leaves (finely chopped)         2 tsp

Broken cashewnuts (optional)                1 tsp

Salt

Water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the rava and curds in a bowl and set aside for 20-25 minutes
  • The rava would have soaked a lot of curd and will appear to be a thicker mixture
  • Add the rice flour, cumin seeds, pepper, coriander leaves, cashew nuts and salt
  • Add around 1- 1 1/4 cups of water and mix all the ingredients to a runny batter.
  • Heat the tava till it is nicely hot
  • Pour a small amount of batter on the tava. If it immediately spreads into a lace like pattern then the consistency of the batter is fine. Else add few spoons of water
  • Pour a laddle full batter from the outside in i.e. pour the batter in a circular form as an outline and then fill it with the remaining batter. The shape of the dosa will not be an exact circle but slightly shapeless
  • Pour oil at the edges of the dosa and a couple of drops on the dosa
  • Reduce the flame to medium low and wait patiently till the edges start turning brown
  • Once the edges are brown, reduce the flame to low and turn the dosa to the other side using a spatula. This is the key step when one has to be very careful.
  • Use the spatula slowly and carefully to release the dosa from the tava. If you meet with too much resistance, give it few more seconds before you try again
  • Do not wait for more than 30 seconds for the upturned dosa else it will become hard
  • Take it off the tava and put the gas on full flame again before pouring the next ladle of batter
  • Continue the same procedure till you have as many dosas as you need
  • The batter can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Before using the refrigerated batter, check if you need more water to be added to it
  • Enjoy the golden brown dosa hot with sambhar and chutney!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under ‘Weekend Breakfasts’.

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Sandwich Platter


Yes, I still exist and so does the blog. I took a break for a couple of months to take car elf some other stuff in my life. Not that I completed everything I wanted to do in these two months but I am significantly more in control than I started out. In these two months, the daughter started kindergarten and has to be woken up at 6 am every morning. Thank you for your sympathies. My mom is turning 60 and so we did a little pre-celebration for that with a trip to Coorg. By the time I coordinated with the entire family of only 6 people and planned the trip, the white hairs on my head quatrupled. Then my father-in-law turned 70 last month. You see where this story is going and why I didn’t blog.

This week’s theme is about my favourite meal – breakfast. One of the few things I enjoy since exchanging my money paying job for tantrums and yells paying job is a leisure breakfast. I pack off the husband and daughter and sit down to relish my breakfast while scrolling through the social media feeds or listening to some melodious tunes while watching the clouds darkening and hoping for a quick rain. This week’s theme is ‘Weekend Breakfast’ which is a class of its own. Before the daughter was born, our weekend breakfast was a routine trip to the nearby Udupi restaurant. We even ordered the same items every week. The husband would choose poori sabji while I would have set dosai and kurma which would be washed down with s strong dose of filter coffee.

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Since I love bread and therefore sandwiches, I make different types of sandwiches for breakfast on a weekend. This gives us a chance to experiment and also the daughter gets to taste new stuff regularly. The humble sandwich lets us experiment with everything from the type of bread to the spread and fillings. It can be a hearty nutritious meal or a tasty drooling treat.

The sandwich platter is accompanied by fruits and some saffron milk for the kid and some fresh lime juice for me. This platter has –

  • Grilled Potato sandwiches with a spicy coriander chutney
  • Hummus sandwich with tomatoes and cucumber
  • Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich
  • The classic – Bread butter jam

You have a choice to either grill or toast your bread or have it plain. The spread can be anything from coriander or mint chutney to hummus or cheese spread. The fillings can be the usual tomatoes and cucumber or potatoes or healthy like beetroot and carrots. These sandwiches can be had with mayonnaise or ketchup.

 There are hardly any recipes in these sandwiches, just a simple assembly of readymade / raw ingredients. The new thing I tried was grilled halloumi cheese with raw tomato slices inside lightly buttered toasted bread. One thing to keep in mind is that halloumi is a very salty cheese and you don’t need any extra salt for the sandwich.

For the hummus sandwich, I used plain bread to which I applied a generous dose of hummus. Then I placed tomato and cucumber slices to complete the sandwich.

I made the bread butter jam because I wanted backup for my daughter in case she didn’t like any of the others. Usually I get the unsalted butter to room temperature and then mix one part butter with one part jam of my choice to form a smooth mix. Then I apply it on the bread. This is usually the first bread I make and set it aside for 10-15 minutes which makes it so much more delicious. This time I used pink guava jam which was loved by us all.

The only thing I made was the spicy coriander chutney. I used it along with boiled and mashed potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. Then I grilled the sandwich to a crisp treat.

 So here is the recipe for the chutney. I am not sure of the source of this recipe. I have been making it for a long while now. If I am not mistaken, it is from Sanjeev Kapoor’s website. This is a quick, no cook, no coconut chutney perfect for a spicy sandwich.

WHAT WE NEED

Bread slices                                2

Green chillies                            1-2

Coriander leaves & stems        8-10

Salt

Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Tear the bread into 4-5 pieces and put it in a blender
  • Cut the green chillies and add it to the bread. If you do not want a very spicy chutney, you can add 1 chilly else go for 2.
  • Wash and tear the coriander and add it to the bread
  • Add salt and requisite water to blend all the ingredients to a smooth paste
  • Generously apply on bread slices and add the veggies of your choice to make a spicy sandwich
  • Enjoy!


This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Weekend Breakfast’.
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Andhra Breakfast Thali

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I started exploring the Telugu language and cuisine last year. As usual my fascination met with the strong disapproval  of my husband. His idea was that I should be more interested in Kannada since we were to move to Bangalore. My point was that it would be far easier if he found a job in Hyderabad where I could put my knowledge of Telugu (all of 15 words) to good use. Like that happens ever!

When I signed up for the Thali theme for this month’s Blogging Marathon, I figured that I should explore more about their breakfast which is my favorite meal of the day. Padma of the Plantain Leaf is a real sweetheart and helped me put up a breakfast menu and also provided all the recipe links from her blog. A typical breakfast in Andhra includes –

Minapa Kudumulu – a protien variant of idli with no rice involved!

Pesarattu Upma – a combination of the humble rava upma with the most popular Andhra dish ‘Pesarattu Dosa’, a green gram dosa variant.

Allam Pachadi – A garlic pickle which goes along famously with the Pesarattu Upma

Kara Dosa – A regular rice dosa enhanced with the addition of finger millet flour and all purpose flour plus onions and chillies. Yum!

Kara podi -A red chilly and lentil spice mix to go with the Minapa Kudumulu

Filter Coffee – The beverage of choice for smart people 😉

The breakfast also includes a sweet dish – kesari or payasam which I skipped. So we can call this the diet Andhra Breakfast!

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Check out the recipe of Minapu Kudumulu here. It is an easy, protein rich, healthy 3 ingredient breakfast which is a great start to your day. I will be posting the recipes for the other dishes soon.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Thalis.

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Pongal

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One of the easiest, simplest and hearty breakfast is Pongal. It hardly needs you to be around while it hets ready. You can put it in the pressure cooker and disappear for a while and saunter in once its done and add a few finishing touches and voila! Healthy breakfast ready.

This is usually my choice of breakfast when I know we will be going out for lunch but the timing can be variable, like weddings or movies. Pongal keeps us feeling fuller for longer and thereby gives me some bandwidth to organise lunch for the daughter and husband.

This recipe from my mother in law who is a Pongal perfectionist and therefore I never make it while she is here. Why risk?

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

Rice                                            1 cup

Split skinless mooṅg dal     1/4 cup

Ginger                                       1″

Pepper                                      8-10

Cumin seeds                          1/2 tsp

Ghee                                        2 tbsp

Cashew nuts, broken         6-8

Water                                      3 1/2 cup

Salt


WHAT TO DO

  • Cook the rice and dal in 3 1/2 cups of water in the pressure cooker. The rhumb rule is to use 3/4 to 1 cup more water than what you normally use to cook rice.
  • Wait for 3 whistles and then simmer for 5-7 minutes and then turn off the gas.
  • Once you are able to open the cooker,(should take around 10-12 minutes) remove the rice and dal, mash well and set aside.
  • Heat the ghee in a small pan and add the pepper, cumin seeds and cashew nuts.
  • Once the cashew starts turning brown and the pepper and cumin seeds start to spurt, turn off the heat and pour them along with the ghee on to the rice mixture.
  • The cashews are optional and can be missed if you don’t like them.
  • Grate the ginger and add it to the rice
  • Add requisite salt and mix well.
  • If the rice is too sticky, heat another teaspoon of ghee and mix with the rice.
  • Serve with sambhar and / or chutney
  • Enjoy!

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Tamil Breakfast Thali

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I am a breakfast person. I love elaborate breakfast spreads. The variety of dishes with so many sides and drink to wash it all down with is food heaven for me and that is also my favourite part about Tamil cuisine. It lends itself beautifully to breakfast spreads and combo menus. The range of dishes and sambhars and chutneys  are mind blowing and not to forget the filter coffee which is the absolute icing on top.

My grandma was a huge filter coffee fan and my cousins and me inherited it from her. The family joke is that if our veins are cut there wont be blood but coffee decoction. Such is the family.

This week I am making three different thalis for the Blogging Marathon. The first of this is the Tamil Breakfast Thali inspired from the husband and my innumerable trips to Adayar Ananda Bhavan during weekends long ago. This is both a dedication and a nostalgic meal for me to make.

But the best part of making this thali is that I realised it wasn’t all that hard or time consuming as one would think. Items like idli, pongal and kesari can be made at one go. The sambhar and chutneys can be made the previous day and stored in the refrigerator. You can even make the kesari on the previous day or you can atleast dry roast the rava for the kesari on the previous day which reduces the time to make the kesari. Only the dosai and vadai have to be made individually but they can be done without too much difficulty because you would need only 1-2 per person because there are so many items on the menu. You need to have the idli and dosai batter ready.

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Today’s thali has –

Idli

Dosai

Medu Vadai

Pongal

Rava Kesari

Sambhar

Coconut chutney

Coriander stalk chutney

Filter coffee

Sounds heavenly doesn’t it?

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Raagi Dosa

   
  

It’s my constant endeavour to feed the husband and kid some finger millets. But I am usually unsuccessful. So whenever I get a chance, I make raagi dosas which is the least hated form for the duo. I also like the fact that it’s quick and easy to make. I have tried various recipes for this Dosa but none on them were satisfactory. Then I chanced upon this recipe in a vegetarian cookbook by Prema Srinivasan and I am relieved that this one gives me most consistent results without the dosa tearing up or being undercooked. 

So here goes –

For 5-6 Dosas

WHAT WE NEED

Raagi flour                                    1 cup

Rice flour                                      2 tbsp

Lady’s finger/ okra                    4 medium sized

Cumin seeds                                1/2 tsp

Curry leaves                                 1 sprig

Green chillies                               1-2

Salt

Water                                              1/2 – 3/4 cup   
WHAT TO DO

  • Grind the okra with 1 tbsp water to a fine paste. It will be slimy.
  • Mix the flours together and add the okra paste.
  • Add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, salt and water.
  • The batter should be in the consistency of regular Dosa batter.
  • Heat a tava and pour a ladle full of batter on the tava.
  • After a minute, flip the Dosa on the other side with a spatula.
  • Once cooked, remove from heat.
  • Continue to make Dosas from rest of the batter.
  • Enjoy with coconut or coriander chutney.

 

This is my entry for Bloggging Marathon hostedby Srivalli under the theme – Instant Breakfast

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Rava Idli

   

Usually when I think about blogging a recipe it’s usually for a preset theme or something I find new and exotic. I rarely blog about items I make on a weekly basis or dishes that I don’t need a recipe but go mostly by muscle memory. 

I didn’t have anything to blog for the CCChallenge today. I was racking my brains to come up with something suitable while roasting rava for the rava idli. Eureka! 

  

As I started writing this down I realized how much my recipe evolved. Most of my recipes for day to day dishes are sourced from my mother or mother in law. Then I modify and substitute here and there. In this case I also added some pointers from my favorite tv show chef – Venkatesh Bhat of Samayal Samayal. 

So here goes –

Makes 14 medium sized / 10 large sized idlis

WHAT WE NEED

Rava / Semolina                  1 Cup

Oil                                             1 tbsp

Mustard Seeds                       1/2 tsp

Bengal Gram/ Chana Dal     1/2 tsp

Green Chilly (medium)         1-2

Ginger (finely chopped)        1″ piece

Carrot (finely chopped)         1 small

Coriander leaves                  As needed

Grated Coconut                       2 tbsp

Baking soda                              1/4 tsp

Curds   (See note)                   1 Cup

Salt
WHAT TO DO

  • Dry roast the rava till it lets out its aroma and keep aside
  • Heat the oil. Add mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds splutter add ginger, finely chopped chillies and Chana dal.
  • Once the DSL turns golden brown, switch off the heat and add them to the rava. Mix well
  • Add the finely chopped carrot, grated coconut, coriander leaves and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the curds and mix thoroughly. If the resultant batter is too thick you can add curds or water to make it into a idli batter consistency.
  • Set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Grease the idli mould plates 
  • Check the batter. It should have hardened because the rava would have soaked in the entire curd. Add water or buttermilk(see note) to get it to idli batter consistency.
  • Pour into the idli moulds and steam for 12 minutes
  • Once you switch off the heat, let the idlis remain in for another five minutes before you open the vessel.
  • You can either have it as is (I do) or with some yummy coconut chutney (like the husband).
  • Enjoy!

  

NOTES

  1. The crux of this recipe is in the curds. Slightly sour curds give you softer idlis but you can use fresh curds and still get a tasty meal.
  2. Another critical aspect is the ratio of curds to the rava. It depends on the rava as to how much curds it is able to absorb. Estimates range from 1:1 (rava to curd ratio) to 1:2. You can try and see what works best for you.
  3. What works best for me is – 1 cup curds and little water in the beginning and I add around 1/4 to 1/2 cup of very thin buttermilk after the 30 minutes of resting time.
  4. If your idlis seem dense then increase the oil to 2 tbsp or the baking soda to 1/2 tsp. 

This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by  Srivalli.

  

Cauliflower Parathas

     

After months of prep, mom is finally here. That means two things – one I get a good break from the kitchen and second we get some lip smacking dishes to eat. This cauliflower paratha is one such. It’s drool worthy. It’s true despite my excessive bias towards mom’s cooking. It is simple but needs to be made with some care and then it turns out absolutely yummy.

Truth be told, mom made most of the parathas. I just did a couple so that I could honestly blog about them.

WHAT WE NEED (for 10 parathas)

250 gms cauliflower

1/2-2/3 cup wheat flour

2 green chillies

Coriander leaves

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Grate or cut the cauliflower very very finely.
  • Leave it covered for 20-25 minutes
  • Cut the green chillies and coriander leaves finely
  • Add them to the cauliflower and mix well
  • Add salt to this mix
  • Add dough little by little and mix to form a dough. I did not need any additional water to make the dough. Don’t add too much dough. There should be more cauliflower than the flour in the dough. That is what ensures great taste.
  • Leave the dough covered for half an hour
  • Divide the dough into 10 equal parts
  • Roll out each part of the dough with a roller pin. This is the most critical part of the process. There is a good chance that the dough gets moist and is tough to roll out. So it needs to be done carefully to ensure the dough does not stick or tear.
  • Heat a tava and cook the paratha on both sides till golden brown.

   

  • Add some ghee and serve with dal or raita or have it just like that. It’s yummy either ways!

These pics are all of half eaten parathas because the daughter and husband could not wait till I clicked a half decent pic. So forgive!

NOTES

This is not a very accurate recipe since it needs a couple of tries to get it right. It is one of those dishes that you learn by doing. If you need to ask me anything on this one feel free to write to me in the comments below.

 

This is my entry for Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

  

Vendhiyam Dosa / Fenugreek Crepe

This is one of my favorite dosa recipes. The best part is that it’s healthy as well and hence I can shut out all the guilt that comes from eating other favorite foods like buttery crossiants for example. Also, it’s a cooling dish which is the need of everyday in this tropical heat!

The not so good part is the amount of time it takes – which is a lot. So if I want to eat it tomorrow I need to start the soaking, grinding and fermenting today so that it’s all set for tomorrow. Not a dish for instant cravings.

WHAT WE NEED (For 8-10 Dosas / Crepes)

Boiled rice                                         2 cups

Urad Dal/skinned black gram        1/2 cup

Fenugreek                                         1 1/2 tsp

Salt

Oil 

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the rice, lentils and fenugreek separately in water for 2-3 hours. The water needs to be just enough to immerse the ingredients in.
  • Remove the rice, dal and fenugreek from water. Keep the waters aside.
  • Grind all the ingredients to a batter consistency with the water used for soaking. 
  • You may not need all the water. Add as per requirement.

  

  • Cover the vessel and let it ferment for 6-8 hours.
  • Unlike the idli / dosa batter, this batter will not rise significantly. So don’t worry on that count.

  

    

  • Heat a tava 
  • Pour a ladle full of batter and spread it out like a dosa / crepe.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon oil on the edges and let it cook.
  • Once the edges of the dosa start browning, use a spatula to release it from the tava and turn it on the other side

  

  • The other side will cook in around 30-40 seconds.
  • Take off from the tava.
  • Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the batter.

  • Enjoy the dosa with a spicy chutney or jam or molaga podi or just like that! Yumm!

  

 NOTES

  • If you are a fan of the fenugreek like I am, then you can up the fenugreek to 2 tsps. 
  • The only way to reduce time is to soak the ingredients in hot water so that they can be ground in 45 minutes instead of 3 hours
  • I used a regular mixer to grind. You can use that or the grinder, whatever works best.

  
This is my entry for the Cooking from the Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

  
This is my entry for the popular My Legumes Love Affair started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and currently managed by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen. This month’s host is Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen

Brunch on Huevos Rancheros

HUEVOS RANCHEROS

This is Taco week for me at the Blogging Marathon.
I love Mexican food and have been planning on making it myself for a long time now. Finally I am biting the bullet and the taco!

My recipe for today is Huevos Rancheros adapted from a book I recently found – The Accidental Vegetarian. It has quite a few interesting recipes and I should hopefully make lot more of the dishes from it.

Huevos Rancheros or ‘ranch eggs’ is simply fried eggs, salsa and tortilla. It is eaten for breakfast and there are various ways to go about it. You could simply fry the eggs, make or buy the salsa and tortilla and have a go! Or you could have fun doing it this way. Guess what, the second most difficult part of this recipe is pronouncing the name.

WHAT YOU NEED ( Serves 3)

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6 Eggs
6 Tortillas
1 Small Onion
1 Medium Green Capsicum
1 Small Red Capsicum
1 Garlic clove
4 Button Mushrooms
1 Green/ Red Chilly
6 tbsp Passata
5 tbsp Butter
Salt & Pepper
Oil
Chinese Parsley for garnish

WHAT TO DO

Chop the capsicums, onion, mushrooms, garlic and chilly finely.

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Like that!

Mix all of them and add salt and pepper to it
Pour the passata little by little. All we need is the vegetables to be bound in by the pasta.
Divide this vegetable mixture into 3 portions
Heat little oil in a pan and add one of the portions to warm
Once warm, make a well in the middle of the pan and melt 1 1/2 tbsp butter
Once the butter has melted, break two eggs over it.
Rotate the pan slightly so that the egg whites spread across the veggies. Don’t be violent with the rotating else the yolk will go amok.

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Cover the pan and let it cook for 3 minutes. It is done when the whites have merged with the salsa and cooked.
If you are like me and keep opening the pan frequently, then don’t. Instead occupy yourself by warming the tortillas on a tava.
Slide the eggs on to a plate and garnish with coriander.
Serve with the tortillas and be blissful!

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Notes-
1. What I learnt through this recipe is that Passata is Italian for tomato purée. I like the word – Passata, Passata.
2. My not-so-extensive research told me that cilantro is best for Mexican salsa. I was also told that cilantro, sometimes in some places, is called Chinese parsley. So yay for me….I can find anything Chinese in this tropical smal town on the equator. But if you can’t, there is always the ever reliable coriander leaves.
3. Mushroom was not part of the original recipe but I add it wherever possible. You can omit it if you wish.
4. One portion was quite a huge breakfast for me and I ended up having only buttermilk for lunch. So I am guessing this could be an ideal brunch for a lazy Sunday!
5. The only tricky part of the recipe is to slide out the salsa and egg of the pan without breaking it. I wasn’t quite so successful. Maybe next time I should try it on a tava so that I could slide it out like a dosa with a spatula. Maybe I could also try with fewer vegetables and more butter. More butter is always good na?!

Check out what the others are cooking up in the Blogging Marathon!