My adventures in the kitchen have a recent history. Since March 2021, after the 2nd wave of COVID hit Mumbai, I started exploring and experimenting in the kitchen. Prior to that, my mom was the ‘Kitchen Queen’ who would conquer the hearts at home and in the neighbourhood with her delicious recipes. Now she has taken up a ‘mentor’s role’ as I cook food based on her style & of course experiment & get creative at times.
One of my favourite snacks, which I learnt from my mom, is Potato Omelette.
She had seen its making on a French T.V channel and then she created her own version of a continent snack which the world knows as an ‘Italian Frittata’.
Boiled potatoes, chopped green chillies, onion, eggs, salt to taste and oil are the basic ingredients required to make this ‘Batata Omelette’ (as my Marathi speaking mom would refer to the Italian Frittata). Adding the home-made ‘Konkani/Malvani’ masala (spice powder), sprinkle of coriander leaves and the love that goes in while preparing the Batata Omelette, improvises the Italian Frittata into an Indian version which my family cherishes very much.
Cubes of boiled potatoes need to be first kept ready. Then in a utensil take chopped chillies, onion and add 2 eggs (along with the yolks), pinch or ½ teaspoon of Indian home-made Masala (which is a mixture of at least 26 spices and is usually available world-wide in grocery stores where there is an Indian population in the vicinity. Note: depending on your digestive tolerance use the Indian Masala) and salt to taste. Beat the mixture vigorously and then add the boiled potato cubes in the utensil. Thereafter, in a deep pan put 1 tablespoon oil and spread the mixture from the utensil into the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and then allow the heat and steam to do the magic. Soon you shall see the omelette becoming thick and raising to a certain height. After that, flip the omelette so that the top too gets cooked well in low flame. Make sure you do not overcook the ‘Batata Omelette’. Like it is in every cooked food, the smell and the texture should hint you to decide when to conclude on the preparation.
While serving it one can either slice the Frittata (like a pizza slice would be) or offer the entire omelette, depending on the need of the guests or family members. Bread slices (plain or toasted) too can be served along with it. Last week I added my own creativity by adding chopped bread slices to the preparation and embedding the bread cubes inside the omelette itself. I noticed that it gives a crispy touch to the Batata Omelette! My mom, who was supervising, was impressed with the variation that I created by adding the bread cubes to ‘her Batata Omelette’ recipe! As we relished the snack thereafter, I was reflecting of how food can be a catalyst to connect with loved ones and understand world culture and about places. In spite of my mom not knowing French or Italian, she observed what was shown on a French T.V channel and improvised it in her Mumbai based kitchen! Even in a pandemic environment, such gestures of food preparation make us travel to places through one’s tongue and above all has the potential of initiating joyful discussions of places and food at the dinner table.
Photo Courtesy: Shraddha. C. Sankulkar