The Space between Us

Thrity Umrigar’s first book  left me enthralled at the Hyderabad airport. I was waiting to catch the flight back to where home is now . I had an option to spend between a sad cup of coffee for 100 bucks or this book. I opted for this book and I’m glad that last of the Indian currency that I had with me was not wasted.

Thrity illustrates the life between the poor and the rich so well  that one can relate to the imagery of the characters  clearly. Bhima’s unfailing loyalty to Sera , the mistress . Sera’s conflict of living a lie . Dinaz’s youthfulness and compassion , Viraf’s arrogance and confidence of being wealthy. Maya’s bitterness … all in all , a sad tale told beautifully . If  I have to think of  ingredients  for a recipe after reading this book, the things that come to my mind are Eggs , Onions and Cilantro and so…

I turned to Nilofer Ichapuria King’s Book ” My Bombay Kitchen “ for this recipe .

Excerpts from Nilofer’s Book  are as follows:

Akuri consists of eggs scrambled with onions and other things. There’s akuri with tomatoes; there’s another of Bharuch, ancient bastion of Parsi culture and cuisine, rich with onions and raisins deep-fried in ghee; there’s akuri made with the flowers of  the drumstick tree; and on and on. Each Parsi family probably has its rules about the correct way to make akuri. When my parents and I were cooking together, I pretended I had no opinions at all and let my mother dictate the quantities and methods. Quite predictably, this no-opinion lasted two minutes before all three of us, my father included, started having an energetic discussion about the only best way. My mother claimed that my father and I liked too many onions: “You don’t taste the eggs that way.” Then both parents started arguing about the use of turmeric, where I sided with my mother. In spite of the scuffle, the akuri we made together tasted very good.

Just remember, you are in charge and your opinion counts. Exact quantities are not important. Note that this version doesn’t include tomatoes or turmeric. That’s because I’m the boss of this particular recipe. Tomatoes make akuri watery, and turmeric adds a color that the eggs don’t really need.

Serve this immediately with buttered toast, or with hot chapatis or whole wheat tortillas. Leftover akuri makes an excellent filling for sandwiches and turnovers. Serves 4. “

1 tablespoon (or more) ghee or butter
1 medium-size yellow or red onion, finely chopped, or a large bunch of green onions, chopped with their greens
1 to 2 teaspoons Ginger-Garlic Paste (optional)*
2 green chiles, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)leaves to taste
1/2 teaspoon (about) salt
6 large eggs, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons milk or cream

In a heavy skillet, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add the onions and brown them slowly, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize. Add the paste if you want it and the chiles. Stir for a minute. Add the fresh coriander and the salt. Check the seasoning. Add the eggs and an indulgent extra dollop of ghee if you want the added richness. Over low heat, scramble to your taste, to barely set creaminess or firm. Check for salt before serving at once.


5 thoughts on “The Space between Us

  1. aquadaze says:

    Hey..this was a fantastic choice, I simply loved reading it!

    We simply love eggs – so easy to put together make when I don’t feel like cooking! BTW, I skip the tomato and the turmeric and call it akuri, and call it bhurji when I add them!

  2. Desi Soccer Mom says:

    We call this anda bhurji or egg bhurji. I have never made it with garlic or green onions though. Should try it. Looks yummy :)

    Nice book review. I hope I am able to do it before the month ends.

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