Jaisinh mama, my dad’s uncle, lives in Bombay but spends about half of every month in Mahabaleshwar. He’s mighty cool (keep in mind, he’s old- he’s my grandmother’s brother). He’s a talented gardener, painter, and cook; he reads a ton and takes three hour walks everyday; he listens to Indian classical music in the mornings and evenings and volunteers with the youth and farmers in Mahabaleshwar. His strawberries, cherry tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes are known to be the best in Bombay. He even supplies sun-dried tomatoes to Bombay restaurants like Moshe. A wish: I want to be like him when I grow up. I don’t like regular omelettes, made in frying pans, because they are heavy. I feel like a lump after eating one. But this baked omelette- or baked egg dish, I should say, since omelettes are usually made with butter or oil in a pan, is fluffy, light on oil, and chock-full of vegetables. Each slice oozes with delicious bits of asparagus and pepper, juicy tomato, and smooth, salty cheese. You only use oil to sautee the veggies and brush the baking dish, and if you didn’t add any cheese, this omelette would be really healthy. But we love cheese and added a solid handful of creamy goat’s milk cheese cubes to ours.We’ve made some changes to Mama’s orginal recipe* but this omelette is still so simple. Beat some eggs and mix them with chopped, sauteed veggies, cilantro and a small amount of soft, mushy rice. Mama adds the rice to his omelette to give it body while keeping it light and easy to digest. Pour the mixture in a baking dish, top with cheese and chilis and olives if you like, and bake for about 20 minutes, until the omelette is just set. —janki
overcooked, mushy rice (boil rice or use day-old rice and then add 1/2-1 cup more water and let that boil away until the rice resembles porridge)
chopped vegetables of your preference, in 1/4 inch pieces (we used onions, scallions, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers, asparagus, and both sun-dried and regular tomatoes)
cloves garlic, sliced
cubed cheese of your preference (we used goat’s milk cheese and it was perfect, creamy, and not too mild)
green chilis, sliced into thin rounds, or cut lengthwise, depending on your spiciness preference. if you prefer the eggs spicy, cut the chilis into rounds, but if you would like just the hint of green chili flavor, slit them lengthwise
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, and lightly brush a round baking dish with olive oil.
In a skillet, pour a little oil and wait for it to heat up. Sautee your vegetables of choice- I usually start by sauteeing onions and garlic, then adding the peppers and asparagus, and finally, the mushrooms and tomatoes (but not the sundried tomatoes). You can add and subtract whichever ingredients you like or dislike; for example, you don’t need to use garlic, or mushrooms, although I think the omelette is infinitely more tasty because of them.
In a large bowl, combine the beaten eggs, sauteed veggies, chopped cilantro and mushy rice. Add salt and pepper and mix well.
Pour omelette mixture into baking dish. Top with cubed cheese, sliced olives, and green chiles.Bake for 15-20 minutes, until just set. Let cool for a couple minutes before serving slices with toast, jam, cheese, and mustard.