Weekend Cooking

Indian Railway Omelet Sandwich

November 22, 2019
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

If you spent any time growing up in India and traveling its length and breadth by train, you'd have likely grown up with this omelet sandwich—on the train, and on platforms of obscure towns. To call it the most perfect omelet would be to acknowledge its imperfections. It's too flat, too thin, too floppy, and has more vegetable and spice in it than egg. But it's all those things that make it the perfect candidate for an omelet sandwich, thrust between two slices of buttered white bread (or Indian pav).

I make a version in my Brooklyn kitchen. I usually add a few drops of milk to the mix, sometimes a grated cheese (usually a sharp cheddar), and will occasionally swap in seasonal greens and other vegetables. But I always "toast" the bread in the grease of the pan. It's the perfect Sunday brunch, and the perfect distillation of childhood nostalgia. —Arati Menon

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: India's Most Nostalgic Egg Dish Is Made on a Train —The Editors

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 green chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder (you can substitute with chile flakes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt, to taste
  • 1 splash vegetable oil (or ghee) for frying
  • 4 slices of white bread
In This Recipe
  1. Mix together the eggs and milk in a bowl.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables and all the spices to the bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Heat the oil/ghee over medium-high heat in a frying pan.
  4. When the oil/ghee is hot, turn the heat down and add half the omelet mixture to the pan, swirling it around so that it completely covers the surface of the pan.
  5. Cook the omelet for two minutes, until the underside is lightly browned. Flip the omelet and cook the other side for another two minutes, until browned. Take off and set aside.
  6. Now repeat the previous two steps with the other 1/2 of the omelet mixture to make the second omelet.
  7. Serve the omelets sandwiched with white bread or pav—ideally toasted in the grease of the pan. However, if you like your toast more evenly browned and crisped, toast in a toaster. It will be just as delicious, we promise.

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Arati Menon

Recipe by: Arati Menon

Arati grew up hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love—and she finds herself instinctually following suit. Life has taken her all across the world, but she carries with her a menagerie of inherited home and kitchen objects that serve as her anchor. Formerly at GQ and Architectural Digest, she's now based in Brooklyn.