Why 10 Indian non-veg breakfast ideas? India, the home of sages and Gandhi has long been marketed as a ‘country of non-violence. Therefore, ‘Indians are mostly vegetarians.’………..Nothing can be further from the truth.
Well, the cow-worshipper tag is still partly true in most parts of this ancient land; but the vegetarianism concept is utter nonsense throughout the annals of history. Any fool can find on an online search that 70%+ of the Indian population is non-vegetarian. Therefore, to satisfy the tastebuds of the majority of my Indian brethren and also to encourage the non-Indians who are brave enough to plunge themselves into the amazing repertoire of our regional cuisine, I am presenting 10 Indian non-veg breakfast ideas:
1. “Indian” French Toast
Mind you, the egg is a non-veg item as per Indian standards. Not to be confused with the classic sweet French toast, this Indian French Toast is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Yet, I would opt for this version every time over the classic one. It is savoury, cheesy and delightfully tasty.
- Take a few square slices of bread and cut along the diagonals into triangles.
- In a bowl, break eggs and whisk lightly and evenly with salt, thinly sliced onions, chopped green chillies, black pepper powder and a generous amount of grated hard cheese (any cheese like Gouda, Cheddar or even Amul will do).
- Heat oil on a griddle to medium hot.
- Dip the slices of bread, a few at a time in the egg mixture coating both sides evenly.
- Shallow fry both sides on the griddle evenly to a light golden colour.
- Serve hot. (Serving with grilled tomatoes adds an extra dimension).
2. Keema Roll/Wrap
Keema roll which is a wrap made with paratha and minced meat fillings is a wonderful breakfast idea, easy to make with leftovers, nutritious, filling and sinfully good to eat. If you are left over with last night’s keema curry, take it out of the fridge, put it on flame and dry out the excess gravy or moisture so that it becomes greasy and able to hold on its own when shaped into your palm. Or you can also make a fresh keema filling with Indian spices.
- Roll paratha dough into circular parathas of 1/2-cm thickness.
- Roast the parathas one at a time on a griddle on medium heat.
- Place one paratha at a time on the griddle again and pour oil along the circumference of the paratha and shallow fry both sides flipping frequently.
- Lower heat to the lowest and line the cooked keema on the paratha along the diameter of the paratha.
- Add sliced onions and chopped green chillies. You may also add some veggies like diced cucumber, bell pepper, etc. Sprinkle some garam masala powder and add lemon juice to the keema.
- Bring both the edges of the paratha on top of the keema such that it forms a baton, flip and remove.
- Repeat the above process with the rest of the parathas.
- Serve hot.
3. Shutki Maach Sandwich (Dried Fish Sandwich)
Shutki maach or dried fish may be gross and revolting to most but the brave souls of Bengal love their shutki maach for its flavour and fermented aroma (or odour?). I suggest making this sandwich only if you have cooked leftover shutki maach. However, let me guide you in making it from scratch. Dried Bombay Duck gives the best results for this sandwich.
- For making the filling, wash the dried fish thoroughly and then cut them into 1-inch-long strips.
- Heat mustard oil to smoking point. Reduce heat and add the fish strips. You cannot afford to be miserly with the amount of oil as it should be good enough to cover the fish completely when dipped in it for frying.
- Add the same quantity of onion paste as that of the fish, garlic paste which should be one-tenth the quantity of onion paste and red chilli powder.
- Let them cook in the oil on medium heat till almost 80% of the moisture evaporates, stirring occasionally.
- By this time the mixture would attain a light brown colour. Adjust salt and cook for a few minutes more to the right consistency. It should neither be watery nor too dry and with enough moisture to just let you be able to smear evenly on a toast.
- Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- The above process can be avoided if you already have leftover shutki maach.
- Now take 1/2-inch-thick slices of any bread of your choice and toast them to a nice and crisp light golden colour.
- Apply mayonnaise on one side of the toast, smear a thick layer of the cooked fish on top of it, place some onion rings on top, drizzle with the juice of a wedge of lemon, and cover with another mayo-ed slice of toast. Your Shutki Maach Sandwich is ready.
4. Eggs & Cheese Paratha
This is a paratha with a twist. Parathas for breakfast do not need to be synonymous with the North Indian stuffed parathas. There can be numerous variations of the humble paratha if you apply your imagination. Eggs and Cheese Paratha is one of my favourites which can keep the pangs of hunger at bay for hours. Needless to say, kids love it.
- Grate cheese, chop hardboiled eggs, chop tomatoes, green bell pepper and green chillies, add salt and mix together lightly and evenly with a spatula.
- Roll parathas of about 6–7-inch diameters and shallow fry them in ghee.
- Place them on a flat table. While still hot, cover the top-facing side of each paratha with the above eggs and cheese mixture.
- Fold each paratha in half along the diameter and then again into quarters.
- Rest the parathas to rest for about two minutes. This will allow the cheese to melt to a gooey consistency.
- Enjoy your breakfast of Eggs and Cheese Paratha with tomato ketchup or any condiment.
5. Chicken Poha (flattened rice)
Pep up your simple and delicious poha with chicken. Using leftover chicken gives the best results as you do not want to overpower the flavour of the poha and the spices with that of chicken. The idea is to enhance the flavour, not dominate it.
- Take out the cooked leftover chicken from your fridge and pull away shreds of flesh from the bones. Keep the pulled chicken ready.
- Cut potatoes into cubes of 1/2-inch thickness and parboil them.
- Wash and rinse poha thoroughly and drain out the water. Rest for about 10 minutes. Check if it has become soft to touch but not mushy.
- Heat oil in a wok to medium hot and fry peanuts to a crunchy texture. Remove and keep for garnishing.
- In the same oil, add mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds start crackling add chopped onions, curry leaves, pulled chicken, parboiled potatoes, turmeric powder and red chilli powder and sauté for a few minutes till the onions become soft and translucent and the potatoes are fully cooked.
- Add poha, stir well, cover and cook till all blend together nicely and the poha grains become soft yet separate. Adjust seasoning.
- Squeeze juice of half of a lemon.
- Garnish with fried peanuts and serve hot.
- If you want more heat, add a few dashes of Tabasco or green chilli sauce.
6. Fluffy Masala Omelette
Improvise the classic masala omelette and turn it into a delicious fluffy masala omelette. Although Indians are not very familiar with the fluffy version, what’s the harm in taking a cue from the European method and dishing out something new?
- Heat a little bit of refined oil in a flat-bottomed pan just enough to coat the surface of the pan.
- Add chopped onions, chopped garlic, chopped tomatoes, finely chopped green chillies, chopped spring onions, chopped coriander leaves, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala powder and sauté them lightly till they become soft and homogenous in texture. Adjust seasoning
- Remove from heat and keep warm in a separate container.
- Separate the yolks from the whites of eggs. Season the egg yolks with salt and beat them lightly till the yellow becomes paler.
- Now, stiffly beat the egg whites till they form firm peaks.
- Return the masala you had made earlier to the pan and heat it gently.
- Quickly and very gently fold the egg yolks into the stiffly beaten egg whites and pour them on top of the masala. Swirl the pan to set the omelette in a circular shape.
- Allow the base of the omelette to set and then flip the omelette softly to set on the other side.
- Remove from heat, fold the omelette in a semi-circle and serve hot with buttered toast and grilled tomatoes.
7. Mangsher Ghugni
Mangsher Ghugni is a mouthwatering delicacy from Bengal which is traditionally served with luchi (poories made with refined flour instead of whole wheat flour) as a breakfast item or as an evening snack. Ghugni is a rich and spicy preparation made with dried white peas. There can be both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions of ghugni each with its very distinctive flavour and characteristics.
- Soak dried white peas in enough water overnight or for at least 8 hours.
- Once soaked, drain off the water and keep ready.
- Marinate mutton with bones (Indian curry cut) with salt, ginger-garlic paste, beaten curd and red chilli powder for at least two hours.
- Boil the mutton along with the marinade and water in a pressure cooker till they are 3/4th done.
- Remove the meat from the bones and cut the boneless chunks into 1/2-inch cubes. Keep the stock in a separate container.
- Pour the reserved stock into the pressure cooker and boil the soaked peas till they are fully cooked but retain their shape. Separate the peas from the stock and reserve the stock to be used later.
- Now, place a wok on medium flame and heat mustard oil to medium hot.
- Fry chopped onions to a golden brown colour, add ginger-garlic paste and fry for another few minutes till the raw smell goes away.
- Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and keep frying the masala till the oil separates from the masala.
- Next, pour the boiled white peas and mutton pieces into the masala, mix well with a ladle and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the reserved stock, bring to boil, cover and cook till the mutton pieces are fully done. Keep stirring occasionally.
- If there is too much stock, reduce it by putting the flame on high. If it is too dry, add some warm water. The consistency should be that of a thick gravy.
- Adjust seasoning and add chopped coriander leaves.
- Add lemon juice, mix well and sprinkle roasted cumin powder.
- Remove from heat and serve hot with freshly made luchi.
8. Eggy Chicken Sausages on Toast
Although not strictly Indian, I couldn’t help including this amazing yet simplest of recipes on my breakfast menu. It is one of the most divine dishes which requires a minimum amount of fuss and is a child’s play. Eggs and sausages are a match made in heaven.
- Boil eggs and roughly chop them.
- Cut sausages across their lengths into 1-cm thick roundels.
- Heat a little bit of olive oil on high heat in a non-stick pan. The amount of oil should be just enough to grease the surface.
- Add chopped garlic and chopped green chillies and fry for a minute. The garlic should be fried to a light golden colour.
- Put the sausages and chopped boiled eggs in the pan and toss frequently for about a minute.
- Add a few dashes of malt vinegar just to give it a little bit of tang. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat.
- Toast slices of bread and apply butter.
- Take a generous dollop of the eggy sausages and place it on a toasted and buttered slice.
- Spread out the topping evenly on the toast and enjoy.
9. Masala Fried Eggs with Bacon
Another decadent item on my menu is this fusion of fried eggs and Indian masala topped with fried bacon.
- Heat refined oil in a non-stick pan and fry roughly chopped bacon rashers till they are nicely browned and crisp. Remove and reserve to be used later.
- In the same oil, add minced onions, garlic and ginger and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add blanched and skinned chopped tomatoes, Kashmiri chilli powder and pav-bhaji masala and cook till the oil separates.
- Lower the heat and spread the masala evenly in the pan. Make small pits in the masala with a wooden spoon. The number of pits should be equal to the number of eggs you want to put in.
- Take the pan away from heat and break one egg at a time on the pits such that the yolks fall inside the pits. This way the yolks won’t disintegrate.
- Return the pan to heat and cover and cook on the lowest possible heat.
- When the eggs are set remove the cover of the pan and arrange the fried bacon on top of the eggs.
- Scoop out the eggs along with the masala very carefully and arrange them on plates.
- Serve immediately.
How can any breakfast menu be complete without any mention of the celebrated Parsi dish Akoori? Any Parsi worth his salt cannot do without his daily share of eggs. They staunchly believe any dish can be uplifted with the addition of eggs. Legend says that the famous chief of Tata Steel, Late Mr Russi Modi, ate sixteen-eggs-omelette every day. So, as an ode to that herculean appetite, I present my idea for Akoori.
- Boil green peas in salted water till they are 3/4th done, drain out the water and keep ready.
- Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste and sauté until the onions become translucent and the ginger-garlic paste does not release any raw smell.
- Add chopped green chillies and tomatoes and sauté for another couple of minutes on medium heat.
- Add the green peas, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and medium-hot curry powder and sauté till the peas are fully cooked and soft.
- Whisk eggs in a bowl till they become fluffy and light.
- Add the whisked eggs to the pan, season with salt and stir lightly till they become creamy.
- Remove from heat, add chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice and mix well.
- Serve fresh and hot with buttered pav.
My heart bleeds for those non-vegetarians who have to face frequent ire of a section of the vegetarian minority, especially during the Hindu festivals for preferring to eat their fair and deserved share of meat. The above is a small collection of my non-veg ideas (please consider “non-veg” in culinary terms only) as a mark of condemnation for those maniacs who have no business interfering in others’ personal choices.