Parsi Poached Eggs on Broccolini

Serves 1

1/4 cup chopped onion
4 fresh or frozen curry leaves (optional)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
½ garlic clove, minced
3 Roma or similar small fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)
1 1/3 cup coarsely chopped broccolini (you may substitute equal amount of broccoli rabe, broccoli, or 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach, Swiss chard or fenugreek leaves)
Salt to taste
2 eggs

poached eggsHeat 2 tablespoons canola or coconut oil in a small skillet. Sauté onion a few minutes with optional curry leaves and then add all the ginger, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, turmeric and chili powder. After 2 minutes (when the tomatoes are broken down) add the broccolini or other the green vegetable and a few tablespoons of water. Cover with lid, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on low heat. Add salt to taste. Lift lid, and use a spoon to make two depressions in the vegetables. Then break an egg over each depression; sprinkle the eggs lightly with salt if desired. Invert the lid this time when you cover the pan, and put a few tablespoons of water on top of it (if the lid has a slight curve). Let the eggs steam cook a few minutes to your taste, then plate and serve.

Note: The Parsis are a religious community, mostly living in Bombay and Gujarat, who began arriving from Persia to India from the seventh through nineteenth centuries. Eggs are one of the most beloved and symbolic good luck foods in Parsi cuisine. A dish like this one would be served at any meal, along with a full array of meat, fish, lentil and rice dishes. Brocollini isn’t an Indian vegetable, but I was inspired to use it after studying the egg recipes in Bhicoo J. Manekshaw’s terrific culinary history cookbook, Parsi Food and Customs (PenguinIndia 1996, 2014).