E for egg

If the Bengali dinner table were a movie, any fish or mutton dish would play the hero; the mishti (dessert) would be the heroine and the egg curry would be some random sidekick. I call egg curry the just- in- case dish. In my house, the two different types of fish and mutton dishes usually take 99% of total cooking time and the last ten minutes is reserved for the quintessential egg curry, prepared just in case someone wants it. I hate fish and mutton and as a Bengali, that is the biggest shame you can bring to your family. The reason I love eggs so much is because I was never forced to eat them.

Egg is the only non-veg dish I can eat in all its forms (I like chicken too but only the wings and chilli chicken). Poached egg, boiled egg, eggs in curry/burgers/sandwiches/noodles, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, double egg roll from Rolls Kitchen, egg pakodas and chilli egg, I love them all. I really think you cannot go wrong with eggs. Once you’ve safely transferred the raw eggs from the store to your fridge, most of your worries are already over. Half of your dish is practically done.

Out of cracking, beating and whipping eggs, I like cracking them the most. I just realised how violent these words are. I enjoy the process of opening the fridge to fetch a lone, cold egg and clasp it tightly within my palm to say my last goodbye before breaking into its shell with a soft, restrained force. It’s extremely satisfying to watch the yellow blob plop down into the pan perfectly without flowing over. Very few things in this world come that close to perfection and a sunny side up egg is one of them.

Before the age of BigBasket and home delivery, I would go with Maa on her weekly grocery runs. It was usually my job to pick the eggs, chips and fizzy drinks. Maa would  tell me to get two dozen eggs and I’d always pick the Suguna eggs. My Social Studies teacher’s name was Suguna ma’am and I guess my twelve year old self had found it funny. I don’t know what kind of eggs we get anymore.

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Dipannita Mukherjee

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