Ah, the joy of a new morning. Waking up from bed, dragging your feet across the floor with eyes half shut, secretly thinking about the first delicious thing that is going to reside in your tummy. Sshh! It’s OK, we all do this… No? It’s just me then? Drat.
There was a time when I would always wonder how to make the simplest things grand. Why would I want to do that? I don’t know — it’s just understood that the simplest things are always the most pleasurable. Like rubbing noses with your loved one, sharing a good meal together, getting excited on a roller coaster even before it takes off. The list is endless.
But hey, I digress… let’s dive into welcoming today with some fantastically dressed boiled eggs. Picture this: sitting on your balcony at 7:30 AM, looking at the beautiful sky, with birds chirping around, your cat twisting herself around your legs in a sweet figure eight position, and around you dances the smell of fresh coffee and the aroma of roasted cumin and coarsely ground black pepper on perfectly cooked eggs. Eeeeyumm!
So what goes into the making of this excruciatingly simple ‘dish’ – if you may?
fit and fine eggs
cumin seeds roasted
whole black pepper cracked and roasted
pinch of salt
a couple of cilantro leaves
passion filled eyes with droopy eyelids
Don’t get too comfortable when it comes to selecting eggs — organic brown eggs are somehow tastier and don’t have the strong ‘eggy’ smell.
OK here is the trick — take a 1-quart saucepan and get some water boiling (high-heat). Once you see the bubbles, add some salt and a dash of turmeric powder. Turmeric powder is a good anti-septic and kills all sorts of germs that take up residence in our favorite foods. Now, ever so gently slide the number of eggs you need into the sauce pan. You can do this with a large spoon so you can gently release them one by one into the hot water without boiling your fingertips. As soon as you do this always play something by the Beatles — they are great. No question.
Make sure you boil the eggs for a precise nine and a half minutes. Get a timer — it’s a real boon. As soon as the timer goes off remove the saucepan from the stove and let it rest on the counter. Give it another 5 minutes precisely and then drain the water. Refill the saucepan with cool water; this chills the eggs and makes them feel at home. Do this two times so you can now pick up each egg and individually run it under the tap. Keep aside.
Roast some cumin seeds on medium heat until evenly browned. You don’t want to burn them because they will taste bitter. Just about right is when they are a nice brown and you can smell the aroma released by the roasted cumin. Similarly, Crack (just crack – not break) some whole black peppers and roast them ’til they get nice and warm.
Get a spice mill or a pepper mill and fill it up with both roasted ‘spice-emens’. Take a moment to congratulate yourself now for you have just built the most powerful nuclear kitchen weapon that will destroy any food critic who shows off in your own kitchen. Oh BTW, the ratio is 75% pepper and 25% cumin seeds.
Peel the eggs very carefully. You want a nice rounded product — not something that looks like it has been pecked by a bunch of rowdy seagulls. With a sharp knife, slice the eggs in 6 equal wedges. If you have once of those fancy eggs splitters, then please use it!
You will notice that the eggs smell fresh and the yolk is perfectly cooked. No ‘greenness’. No sulphur smell. No nothing. Just clean ready to be devoured boiled eggs. Take out the nuclear kitchen weapon (NKW) and grind away the roasted angelic spices over the egg wedges. Don’t over do it – just enough so you see black specks evenly covering the eggs.
Wash some coriander leaves and place one full coriander leaf on each egg wedge. Take some free flowing salt and let the granules lovingly fall on the eggs. Now, without wasting even an iota of time and space: consume, close eyes and thank God for another blissful day and meal on this beautiful yet strange blue marble.