Healthy Eating: Indian Style Omelette, a Comfort Dish from My Childhood

A new book publication is always a hectic affair, and since the birth of Before We Visit the Goddess, things have been exciting but crazy. I’ve been rushing around on book tour, eating whatever I can grab on the run. So now that I am home for a few days, I thought I would make something healthy for myself and Murthy for our lunch.

I decided on an Indian style omelette, because it is tasty, easy to make, quick, healthy and low-carb. It's also a comfort-food out of my childhood. My mother used to make omelettes spiced with onions and chilies to be served with khichuri, a rice-and-lentil dish, on rainy days. We were not rich; she probably chose to make this meal because it was an easy and inexpensive way for her to get her family some protein. Still, I have many happy memories associated with omelettes.

I started by chopping up one red onion and a jalapeno pepper, because I like my omelette spicy. I chopped up an inch of ginger, one green bell pepper, and one red bell pepper. You can add garlic, also – I just wasn’t in the mood for any. I sautéed all this in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick pan. I chopped some cilantro leaves and kept them aside. I used 1/4 cup, but you can adjust for taste. I added a little salt into the vegetables.

I beat up four large eggs, adding 1 tablespoon of water because I don’t like my egg mixture too thick. (I only use cage free eggs nowadays because I feel it’s more humane. I use eggs from pasture roaming hens when I can find them.) I added salt and pepper to taste.

I sprayed a non-stick skillet with olive oil spray, added the egg mixture, lowered the temperature to 3, and allowed the eggs to solidify without browning at the bottom. Once they were semisolid I lowered the temperature further (I don’t like crisped omelette!), added the sautéed veggies onto one half and sprinkled the whole thing with shredded cheese – shredded sharp cheddar works really well for me, but mozzarella is good, too. I topped the cheese with chopped cilantro and folded the omelette in half. I cut it into two pieces-- and lunch was ready!

I feel an omelette is a full meal in itself, so that was a good lunch for me. Murthy ate his with brown bread, and that, too, is a good way to eat omelettes!

 What is a favorite comfort dish for you out of your childhood? I'd love to know. 


Chocolate Sandesh: A Dish from My Upcoming Novel, Before We Visit the Goddess

My new novel, Before We Visit the Goddess, will be out in April 2016.

The birth of each new book is a very exciting event for me. I think I'm looking forward to this one as much as I did to my first collection of stories, Arranged Marriage!

Here is a preview of the book jacket.


The book is about three generations of women–grandmother, mother and daughter–who must each examine for herself what it means to be a successful woman. Here's a link to a more detailed description:

To advance-celebrate the publication of the novel, I thought I would post a recipe that's important in the book. The grandmother, Sabitri, is a renowned sweet-maker in Kolkata and owns her own sweet shop, Durga Sweets. Her daughter's favorite sweet is chocolate sandesh. It used to be one of my favorite desserts when I was growing up, too. I guess life finds its way into art!

I tried various recipes of chocolate sandesh, including one from my mother, but the best one came from this website, Manjula's kitchen. (Sorry, Mom!) I decided I would share it with all of you today. It's an excellent website – you'll find many good recipes there.

Chocolate sandesh, Manjula's recipe

Chocolate sandesh, Manjula's recipe

I did not add pistachios to mine, as I like the flavor of chocolate by itself. I also cheated and used store-bought paneer, and mashed and warmed it in a heavy, nonstick pan on the stove until it became soft! It made the process very quick. The chocolate sauce drizzled on top is optional. The sandesh tastes delicious even without it.

Enjoy – and let me know what you think. As always, I'd love for you to share your recipes with me.