Happy Hausfrau Series: Papeta-par-Eedu

6 Sep

Greetings from the home of the happy hausfrau! Don those aprons and follow me into the kitchen, chop chop.

By popular demand (yours) and a need for a taste of home (mine), today we’re making a quick, easy Parsi dish called ‘Papeta-par-eedu’. Say it with me now: puh-pay-taa  pur  ee-doo. In English, eggs on potatoes.

The eedu to my community is a member of the family. Would you eat breakfast without them? Would you not wait for them to join you at dinner? Part nutritious, part delicious and the stuff of Parsi legend, we break an eedu on top of practically anything: tomatoes, spinach, potato straws, wafers (yes, wafer-par-eedu exists), fried bananas, you get the picture. In case you don’t, know that we even break eggs in the immediate vicinity of new cars and newlyweds. No, I will not tell you what newlywed-par-eedu tastes like .

Without further ado, the cast of characters:

Clockwise, from left: Cooking oil, ginger-garlic paste, salt, coriander that doesn’t look like it just attended someone’s funeral, a medium-sized onion, 3 large papeta, cooked ahead of time for 3 and a half minutes in the microwave, 2 green chillies, 3 eeda (plural of eedu)

Next up, splash a little oil into a frying pan. And say “Hey, slick chick!”. The oil and pan will both thank you and then squabble about who that compliment was for.  Leave them to it and get busy chopping your onion and chillies. Remember my gallant knight from this post? He’s back to the rescue.

Toss the onions (and chillies–minorities aren’t invisible, we have feelings too) into the nicely heated oil and saute until half cooked. Why half? Because picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost.

Halfway through the half-cooking, (of course that makes sense), the twin sisters of superstardom, Ginger and Garlic, make an entrance in a teaspoon, slithering among the chanting crowds, blowing air-kisses to their translucent fans. Salt brings up the rear, carrying their make-up bags.

Let them mingle with the hoi polloi. You, minion, have work to do. Remember the 3 musketeers?

Hello, Peeluddin.

I say po-tay-toh, you say poh-tah-toe…………..po-tay-toh, poh-tah-toe…………..just peel the whole thing off. And please tell me you’ve heard that song. Don’t crush a retro girl’s heart.

Slice them poh-tah-toes into rounds not more than 1/4 inch thick. If I were smart like my Mummy, I’d slice them thinner and let them cook in the pan itself. But no, I must be rebellious and Subvert Societal Slicing Standards. Thank you for bearing with my alliteration allergy.

Add the slices to the pan, gently coating them with the onion mixture, and let them discuss stock market prices for 5 minutes or until cooked, whichever is sooner. This is supposed to be quick and easy, remember?

Next, flatten out the potato-onion blend to form a base, covering the entire bottom of the pan. This is important, our friend Eedu needs back-up. Then crack the eggs onto this base and marvel at the golden orb of perfection that is each eedu.

See what I mean? Sprinkle salt on top of the eggs, both yolks and whites. And then, I get to use my 2 favorite phrases:

1) Put a lid on it

2) Make it sizzzzzle, baby

Let the lid steam up. And control your anxiety about not being able to see what’s going on. Do you keep an eye on your kids all the time?

Teachers leave them eggs alone. (Name that song.) (Okay fine, so I modified it.) (A little.)

Depending on whether you like your yolks firm or runny, keep the lid on longer or shorter by 2 to 3 minutes. Once the egg whites start congealing like peace flags, you’ll know that is a Sign and the war is over.

Remember our pal coriander? Now’s a good time to lop her head off and sprinkle her onto the rapidly-forming eggs. I’d share a picture, except the dork who took it accidentally deleted it from her folder. The fools I have to deal with.

Put the lid back on for another 90 seconds. When you’re good and ready, no rush now, food and stoves have no scientific correlation to burning, yank the pan off the heat and let it cool a wee bit. [This PSA in the interest of your safety comes from Lady Burns.]

Carve a big slice of papeta-par-eedu, put it on a plate (or a baking tray or banana leaf, whatever floats your boat) and serve with rotlis (the Parsi word for roti/chappatis/unleavened bread) and a dollop of gaajar-meva-nu achaar (carrot-raisin pickle, served at Parsi weddings).  Like so:

You know when people talk about “ghar ka khaana” and I frequently catch myself saying “Not my ghar!” in my head? This is it. My comfort food. Warm, soothing, with simple flavors and memories of a childhood lived in a 100-year-old home.

Dig in. But not before you say “Jumjoji”, the Parsi equivalent of ‘bon appetit’.

25 Responses to “Happy Hausfrau Series: Papeta-par-Eedu”

  1. RS September 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    OJ, the finished picture looks tempting. It also looks quite child friendly and I have a couple of papeta addicts in my home who might relish this. Where does one get the gaajar-meva-nu-achar? That sounds awesome too. Any store in the bay area that might be selling some or did you import yours from home?

  2. Banno September 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    Simple, and tempting. I loved the song and dance going on, while all of the cast came together on your plate. 🙂

  3. Orange Jammies September 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    RS: I’m so tickled to see you using these words you’ve just learned. 😆 Yes, I think it’s a child-friendly recipe and you may want to omit the chillies if your little guy doesn’t take heat. The achaar is available in Bombay, I’m afraid. I’m happy to get you some on my next trip!

    Banno: Thank you! It’s a regular Broadway show in our kitchen when I cook. 😉

  4. Roxana September 7, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    That dish looks so yummy. I love my eedu on pretty much everything I eat, so I know this one dish is getting cooked in my house, very, very soon.
    Did one of the eggs have a double- yolk? How did three turn four?
    Will you someday teach us how to make Dhansak too? Or Lagan nu custard? Or both?

    P.S: What is it with mothers and their veggie- slicing abilities? Mine chops all her vegetables so thin and so fine, I will never measure up to it (no pun intended :)).

  5. ~j~ September 7, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    Oh yummmmm! Once upon a time, someone had shared the whole wafer-par-eedu idea with me. It thrilled me no end. Thanks for sharing. Will definitely give this a shot.

    PS: As always, the writing entertains. *thumbs up*

  6. Pallavi September 7, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    What Roxana said. Plus, I can slice very thin pieces of pretty much everything including my husband’s brain. Quick Q: Do the patetas go directly in the microwave… no water dip required? I lurve some eedus. And I’m going skip everything other than the main item on that dish… it sounds that simply and yum!

  7. Pallavi September 7, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    lurve “me” some
    going “to” skip
    that “simple” and yum
    and yes, what Banno said too!

  8. MIM September 7, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    next year, when it’s the lil blogette’s birthday… I already know which is my favouritestestest post from last year.

    raising a toast to OJnigella!

  9. sukanya September 7, 2012 at 6:05 am #

    Wow, this is so simple OJ. For a reluctant cook like me who has kids who are picky potato eaters, I will definitely try this.
    and if you made that roti-you have elevated yourself to a kitchen goddess!

  10. ittakestime September 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    You happy-beautiful-wonderful soul, you indeed make this world go ga ga!

    I love love your writing… I have indulged myself with way too much OJ today 😉 You have a big store of archives there !!

    much luv 🙂

  11. Vidya September 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    OMG! SO yummy! When are you making some for me?

  12. dipali55 September 7, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    Delightful recipe with stellar ingredients!!!! My friend gets me those yummy Parsi pickles, so although, as a vegetarian there isn’t much Parsi food I can eat, I do relish those pickles very much. Do you talk to your household goods when you tidy them up? I do, sometimes.*Blushes at this public declaration of nuttiness*

  13. Orange Jammies September 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    Roxana: You weren’t kidding about loving math, were you? 😉 The fourth egg was put there to test all your powers of observation. And you won! I’ll probably do lagan-nu-custard sometime, but dhansak doesn’t make sense because not everyone has access to the right masala.

    ~j~: Thank you, and yes, give it a shot!

    Pallavi: The potatoes go directly in the microwave. No water needed. Through trial and error, I’ve learned that 3 minutes and 30 seconds is a good time to nuke them. You can try a little shorter and let them cook in the pan, but any longer and they fall apart when you slice them.

    MIM: You, girl, are kind and cruel in the same sentence. Poor Nigella would gallop to her grave at this comparison.

    sukanya: 😆 I only flipped it on a pan. They come rolled out and ready to cook.

    ittakestime: It’s ironic you should make that comment about my archives, because I was so much more prolific on my earlier blog. 🙂 Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

    Vidya: At an hour’s notice.

    dipali55: That’s delightful! 😀 No, sorry to disappoint you, but I do not talk to my things. I’m one of the saner Parsis you know. 😛

  14. Pallavi September 10, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    Made this yesterday with a little twist: added some jeera before frying the rest of the stuff, added the coriander early on so that it was well-fried (husband not being a fan of the raw green stuff) and mashed the patetas because they were a tad unevenly cooked in the microwave. Anyway, it turned out awesome! We had it along with some Lays chips and topped off with some Hazelnut flavored hot coffee 🙂 I’m gonna try shallow frying the patetas directly in the pan the next time–might make it crispier. Thank you very much for the recipe!

  15. Orange Jammies September 10, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Pallavi: Yay! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Delighted you liked it. Did it look anything like the original?

  16. Pallavi September 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    Vaguely! Because the coriander was mixed into the tadka, it didn’t adorn the white-and-gold top like yours did. It did taste great, though.

  17. Orange Jammies September 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    Pallavi: Enjoy! 😀

  18. Varsha September 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Looks awesome and finger licking good (Guess the ad). Me tries

    BTW I used to follow your blog AGES ago, when we were on yahoo blogs (Yeaah, that long ago). Glad I found you again!

  19. Zari September 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Hello! Made this yesterday morning… Turned out good but think will keep the layer of potatoes thinner to make it more crispy the next time. Thanks and please write more of these. Also, LOVED Peeluddin.

  20. Orange Jammies September 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Varsha: Hey, I remember you! And I’m glad to be found. 😀 Keep visiting.

    Zari: Will try, Z. 🙂 If you like it crispier, substitute the potatoes for wafers. Wafer-par-eedu is a legitimate, true-blue Parsi dish.

  21. Aunty G. September 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    ANYTHING under eggs
    Will be drained to the dregs
    And, me too, like you
    Always add an ‘xtra eedu
    This blog’s outstanding — for praise just begs!

  22. Orange Jammies October 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Aunty G: Birds of a feather, we are
    About all things tied to eeda
    Wherever we go
    May everybody know
    About them, wide and far.


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