Five ways to cook eggs
Ever since cholesterol became a bad word in the late 1970s, eggs too came under a cloud. But the fact is, they are a complete food. “They are a complete food and pack quite a nutritional punch delivering high-quality protein, multiple vitamins and minerals and some hard-to-find antioxidants too,” says Debjani Banerjee, head of department, dietetics, PSRI multi-specialty hospital, Delhi. It is now clear that the fear about the fat content in the yolks is unfounded. In fact, half the fat in the yolk isn’t even saturated.
“Besides saturated fat is not a devil anymore,” she adds. Research shows that even the cholesterol content should not be an issue unless you already have a cholesterol problem. According to a study by the University of Eastern Finland published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition in 2016, eggs, including the yolk, do not affect our cardiovascular disease risk and are in fact one of the best foods to eat.
“It’s a perfect eye health food as the yolks are actually a very good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that are crucial for eye health. These protect the eye from damage caused by ultraviolet light, and also help cut the risk of cataract and age-related macular degeneration (which eventually leads to blindness),” says Kiran Sharma, senior dietician, QRG Health City Hospital, Faridabad, near Delhi. “Yolks also provide us with choline, a dietary component essential for normal function of all cells, particularly the brain cells. So eggs can actually help boost your memory,” she adds. “Egg whites deliver protein minus the fat, and one to two eggs, or one whole egg supplemented with two whites a day are a good idea,” she says.
“Plus they are high in satiety, and low in calories, and versatile enough to be had in any meal—breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even as a snack,” adds Banerjee.
We bring you five egg dishes from around the world. All dishes serve 2.
Eggs Florentine (France)
4 large eggs
150g fresh spinach leaves
1 tbsp butter
2 pods of garlic, sliced
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
Method: Heat butter, add garlic and saute. Add washed and cleaned spinach leaves and stir for a couple of minutes. Heat water in another pan. When the water comes to a boil, break the eggs on to a spoon and gently slide into the water. Remove the eggs once they have poached for 2 minutes. Place the spinach on a toasted croissant or bagel and serve the eggs over the spinach.
Tomato eggs (Portugal)
4 large tomatoes, finely chopped
4 pods of garlic, chopped
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ tsp paprika
¼ cup fresh coriander
Method: Mix the tomatoes and garlic with salt and pepper. Butter the base of a baking dish and place the mixture in it. Sprinkle fresh coriander on top. Break the eggs over the mixture. Sprinkle paprika. Bake the dish for 10 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees Celsius.
—Michael Swamy, chef patron, Nueva, Delhi
Egg pizza on a whole wheat base (Turkey)
2 pizza base, or 4 slices of brown bread
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika powder
40g cream cheese
60g dill cheese or mozzarella
20g white onion
Black pepper and sea salt to taste
Method: Blanch the spinach, and drain out the water. Take a hot skillet, add olive oil and sauté spinach with chopped onion and garlic. Add paprika and season with sea salt and black pepper. Take the pizza base and brown it for 3-4 minutes in a convection oven or on a pan. Alternatively, use toasted brown bread.
Spread cream cheese evenly on the pizza base. Top it with dill cheese or grated mozzarella. Spread the spinach mixture over this. Place egg yolks on top of this and bake for 10-12 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius till the eggs are set. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Lemon and egg soup (Japan)
600ml chicken broth
4 boiled eggs
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
40g spring onion
1 beetroot (100g)
White pepper for seasoning
Method: Roughly chop the spring onion, beetroot, mushroom and carrot. Devein the prawns. Heat chicken broth in a saucepan. Add the roughly chopped vegetables, and cook till nearly done. Add the prawns. Season with soy sauce and white pepper. Drop in whole boiled eggs before serving. Squeeze lemon juice and serve hot.
½ medium white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
4 cup tomatoes, diced
1 tsp chilli powder (mild)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
A pinch of cayenne pepper or degi mirch
A pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil
10g feta cheese
½ tbsp fresh chopped parsley
Method: Heat a skillet or sauté pan. Warm olive oil. Sweat the onions and add the garlic followed by bell pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cumin and chilli powders, degi mirch, and paprika. Add a pinch of sugar if the sauce is tangy. Crack the eggs one at a time and space them properly. Add the cheese cubes. Season with salt. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes. The eggs should be a bit runny. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
—Nishant Kumar Choubey, corporate chef, The Roseate, Delh