Kama "OM"lette of Love with Mango Salsa, Tamarind Chutney & Raita

Here is an omelette I made this morning using leftover Indian food from last night's dinner. It is easy to warm the Vegetable Biryani rice with a little rice bran oil, a tablespoon or so, and a tiny bit of water. Also, you can mix in your Saag Paneer with the rice, and heat it gently. Cover the pan with a top while you make your "Om"lette!

Ingredients for this morning's Kama OMlette:

  • Saag Paneer
  • Vegetable Biryani Rice
  • Omelette
  • Mango Salsa
  • Raita
  • Tamarind Chutney
  • fresh mint

To make the Kama OMlette, I used a square Japanese 'tamago' pan (you can find them in Japanese supermarkets), a "tamagoyakiki" -- but you can make your omelette in any kind of pan. By the way, not many Japanese natives may know what you are talking about if you say "ta-ma-go-ya-ki-ki" pan, as "pan" means bread. They may understand "egg" or "tamago" just fine, if you are asking for help in the Japanese supermarket. I just happen to own one, and I like the shape.

(SERVES 2 LOVERS)

Scramble 4 eggs in a bowl, adding a splash of milk.

Add some butter to your pan, and slowly on a low heat, pour in your egg mixture. Let the eggs cook s-l-o-w-l-y so that they are soft and buttery. If you have a thin spatula, the kind for making crepes, this works well for sliding the omelette out of the pan. Cover the eggs, so the heat cooks it through, turning the heat low.

Once your eggs are cooked, turn the heat off. Allow the eggs to sit with the cover on. Dash some Garam Masala (or even some paprika) on top.

Spoon the rice "Biryani" and Saag Paneer mixture into a small bowl. I used a small miso soup bowl, the plastic kind that is used for soup in Japanese restaurants. This size is perfect for plating your rice.

Once you have a bowl full of your rice and Saag Paneer, turn it over on the plate. You can easily put the plate on top of the bowl, and then turn it upside down to avoid a mess. Lift the bowl. You should have a perfect mound of Biryani Rice and Saag Paneer.

Meanwhile, cut your omelette in half (using your spatula) and slide your spatula under one serving of egg--- serve the egg carefully on top of your rice mound.

I added mango salsa and spiced raita (yogurt), drizzled it with tamarind chutney, and decorated the dish with some fresh mint. The mango salsa, tamarind chutney and raita can all be made in advance.

You can serve this as breakfast, brunch or dinner... along with a hot cup of mint tea... or make a mango lassi. I made a fresh cup of mint tea from the extra mint leaves I had in my fridge. I would have made a mango lassi, but I was hungry for my Kama OMlette and didn't want to cut up mangoes. The mango salsa can be made ahead of time for lazy chefs or busy moms (like me) that already made a dozen or so banana pancakes for her three children, and want a moment of deliciousness before tackling the "what's for lunch?" query.

I realize that I did not put recipes for all mentioned here. I do intend on writing up some recipes for each condiment and aspect of this particular dish.

To make it up to you, I have included a Saag Paneer recipe. I ate Saag Paneer during my first pregnancy. It was a creamy comfort food that I still cannot get enough of.

If you are very adventurous, you can make your own Saag Paneer and Biryani Rice! I found that Madhur Jaffrey's book (which I use often) World Vegetarian is an excellent resource for homemade Indian recipes.

Hence, below is a recipe I adapted from World Vegetarian (for Saag Paneer) and borrowed the Paneer recipe directly from the cookbook.

Saag Paneer

2 pounds fresh spinach (trimmed, washed, and chopped)

2 tablespoons dried or fresh fenugreek leaves

1 chile (fresh hot chile, chopped fine)

2 tablespoons of rice bran oil

1 tablespoon of butter

few splashes of sherry

few cardamom pods

1 piece of ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

half of red onion, sliced thinly

1 cup finely chopped tomatoes

2 teaspoons dried ground cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne (add sparingly if you want less heat)

¼ ground cinnamon

1 cup of cubed paneer

½ cup cream

Garam Masala spice blend

 

Penzey’s Spices has a Punjabi Style “Garam Masala” which is excellent.

The ingredients are coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, charnushka,

caraway, cloves, ginger, nutmeg

 

Bring 1 cup water to boil in large pan. Put in the washed spinach, the dried or fresh fenugreek leaves, and green chile. Cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes.

In a separate pan or clay pot, heat the rice bran oil, and melt the butter on a medium heat. Add some cardamom pods and dash in some Garam Masala. Sauté the garlic and red onion for a few minutes, then once the garlic and onion is lightly browned, dash in some sherry. Add the ginger, then add the tomatoes and cook for about 7-10 minutes. Let the tomatoes and spices marinate well with the ginger, garlic and onion. Add in some more Garam Masala and extra little dashes of cayenne (careful about the amount since you already add chile) and cinnamon. Perhaps add a little cumin as well.

Once the spinach has cooked a bit, it should be soft. Mash the spinach with a wooden potato masher, or cool it and blend it roughly in a Cuisinart. You need the spinach to resemble a coarse puree.

Put the spinach into the pot of tomato mixture and stir together. Add some salt and season to taste. Cook a little more, gently on a low-medium heat.

Add the cream, and then the paneer.

Serve hot.

Homemade Indian Cheese (Paneer)

{Recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian}

 

The Indian homemade cheese “paneer” is similar to mozzarella.

Paneer is native to the Punjab state, as they are a dairy state in India.

Paneer is easy to make, and all it requires is whole milk and vinegar.

 

2 quarts whole milk

3-4 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

 

Put the milk in a large, heavy pan and set over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, place a colander in the sink and line it with a clean dish towel or 3 to 4 layers of cheesecloth at least 24 inches square.

When the milk begins to boil, turn the heat down to low. Quickly add 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and stir. The mixture will curdle at this point, the thin, greenish whey completely separating from the white fluffy curds. If this does not happen, add the remaining tablespoon of vinegar and repeat the process. Empty the mixture into the lined colander. Most of the whey will drain out.

For Indian Cheese Curds:

Let the cheese sit in the colander for 6 to 10 minutes. The curds are now ready to be eaten.

To prepare firm Homemade Indian Cheese “patties”:

Allow most of the whey to drain out of the colander. As soon as the curds have drained, gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and twist to squeeze out as much water as possible.

You will now have a round bundle and a round twisted section of cloth just above it, which you can tie firmly with string or just leave tightly twisted. Lay the cloth and its contents on a flat board set in the sink.

Flatten the bundle into a patty shape, making sure that the twisted section or knot holds the cheese in place. This section can be folded over to one side. Put another board on top of the patty. Now put a 5-pound weight on the patty and press for 3-4 minutes.

The cheese is now ready. It may be unwrapped, covered with a clean, damp cloth, and kept in the refrigerator for 24 hours but is best if used immediately.

You can also flavor the cheese with spices and herbs. When you add your seasoning spices and herbs, add them to the cheese before you press it.

The cheese can be sliced into cubes and stir fried in oil and spices as well.