My mind is drifting to the pale golden glow of Jaipur and floating through the misty morning is a remembrance of breakfasts past.
Maybe it’s the warmth of the spring weekend, or maybe I was last night dreaming of elephants, tigers and Maharajas, perhaps they whispered in my ear. Who knows, but this day, I crave something to remind me of those delicious Rajasthani repas.
I consult the fridge, some left over paneer catches my eye, the tomatoes are still plumptuous, the coriander hasn’t yet descended to slime but remains fragrant…and yes, the chilli’s look good and shiny – we have the makings.
I’m home alone, so it’s brunch for one…I drum my fingers on the work surface. Two eggs then, and one of those parathas from the freezer (I’m so happy that even supermarkets now sell these flakey breads in the frozen food aisle).
So to a little pimping of the paneer, into a pan with some oil, chilli powder and chopped tomato, a decent pinch of fresh red chilli, a suggestion of garam masala and a tablespoon or two of strained tomatoes. I gently turn the cheese over in it’s ruby mixture for the merest minute.
A warm flakey bread at the base, 2 crisply fried eggs and little relish of diced tomatoes, coriander, chillies, cucumber and red onion all spritzed with lime and a little salt. I slice some papaya, another nod to those exotic mornings of so many years ago.
I’ll add some yogurt spiked with green chilli for good measure and, brunch is served.
I sit outside, enjoying my ‘Indian Eggs’. I am transported to that secret garden in Jaipur, where the air is thick with the scent of spices, masala chai flows freely in the afternoons and silver salvers, laden with treasure, glint in those sultry candlelit nights.