Speaking of food, here’s a winner. The basic principles are to be found in Niloufer Ichaporia King’s My Bombay Kitchen, but what you follow is our own way of putting the pieces together. It’s a fair amount of work if you have to fry the plantains yourself (we had them left over from last night), but it’s a terrific meal that’s well worth the effort. The basic principle behind the dish – sauteeing some vegetables in oil with onion and maybe some ginger-garlic paste – can involve any number of vegetables and yield what King calls “Eggs Over Anything”, but this particular variant is especially delicious:
Eggs Over Fried Plantains
Peel two plantains (the riper they are, the sweeter and mushier they will be – ours were firm and dark green and ended up having a starchy, potato-like consistency and taste), and slice them lengthwise into quarters. Heat a half-cup or so of vegetable oil in a hard-bottomed, medium-sized skillet, cut the plantains into 2-3 inch wedges, and shallow-fry them in the oil, turning occasionally, until golden-brown. Set aside on a paper towel to cool and drain.
Coarsely chop a medium yellow onion and a couple of Anaheim chili peppers, seeded. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet, add the onions and peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water if necessary to keep things from sticking. Meanwhile, cut the plantains into half-inch slices. Once the onions and peppers are softened, add the plantains to the mix, cook a bit longer, and stir in a cup or so of chopped cilantro. Stir everything together, cook for another minute, and then use a spoon to make three small indentations in the vegetable mixture. Crack an egg into each of the indentations, pour a bit of water around the outside of the skillet, turn up the heat, and wait for the steam to rise. As soon as it does, clamp a lid on top and cook until the whites of the eggs have set and their yolks are still slightly runny.
Serve right away.
We paired this with plain yogurt and some sliced cherry tomatoes cooked in olive oil with onion, ginger-garlic paste, and some leftover zucchini. In our case, the yogurt and tomatoes really helped soften the starchiness of the plantains and add some brightness to the flavors, but we also lost track of things and overcooked the egg yolks, which no doubt could have accomplished much the same thing if they were sufficiently runny. All in all, a great dish – and as I said, the basic principle can be applied to whatever vegetables you have lying around for an easy, meatless, high-protein dinner.