Parsi Omelet

Parsi Pora

For thirty-two years now, the same group of friends has been taking the same food to the same beach on the same Sunday in October. Children and new dishes have been added over the years, but the core menu remains untouchable. My contribution has always been Parsi omelets. Here by popular demand is the recipe for my mother’s version of pora, which started the whole thing. Other mothers have different versions, but the basics are the same. Some people add a bit of cubed boiled potato to the omelet mixture. The ginger-garlic paste and dhana jiru give you an authentic Parsi taste, but even if you leave them out, the omelets are completely satisfying.

To serve these poras, just plop each omelet on a plate, or put it in a pita pocket or on a chapati or whole wheat tortilla heated over a gas flame, or stick it between two pieces of buttered bread, white or whole wheat. Avocado is a good accompaniment, though not traditionally Parsi. Good tomato or mango chutney goes well served alongside.

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Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 medium onions, very finely chopped
  • 4 to 6 green chiles, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • ½ teaspoon Dhana Jiru
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ onion, for rubbing the pan
  • Ghee or clarified butter, for frying

Method

  • Lightly whisk the eggs to combine yolks and whites. Add the chopped onions, chiles, fresh coriander, and the paste and dhana jiru, if you like. Salt to taste.
  • The traditional Parsi way to cook poras is to shallow-fry them one at a time in oil or ghee, turning once, without folding. This makes an authentically rich, dark brown pora. My slightly different way is to cook them in a lightly greased cast-iron skillet or in a nonstick frying pan. Let the skillet get very hot. Rub it with a cut onion (an old South Indian trick to prevent sticking) and add the merest film of ghee. Pour in a ladleful of the omelet mixture. Cover. After a few minutes, when the top looks dryish, flip the omelet and let it cook on the other side. You don’t want a runny omelet. Repeat the whole process until the mixture is used up, stirring before dipping the ladle each time so that the solids don’t all settle to the bottom of the bowl.
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