Play Me a Recipe

Indian Railway Omelette Sandwich

November 22, 2019
7 Ratings
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 omelette sandwich—on the train, and on platforms of obscure towns. To call it the most perfect omelette 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 omelette 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.

This recipe was featured on our new cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as Arati chops, whisks, and flips her way through this recipe, offering tips and backstory along the way.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 omelette mixture to the pan, swirling it around so that it completely covers the surface of the pan.
  5. Cook the omelette for two minutes, until the underside is lightly browned. Flip the omelette 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 omelette mixture to make the second omelette.
  7. Serve the omelettes 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cholula
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Arati Menon
    Arati Menon
  • Lucien
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.

11 Reviews

cholula January 8, 2021
You know one of those nights when nothing you have in the fridge sounds good to you? For some reason, I kept craving eggs and found this recipe. Oh my! was it good. I followed the recipe only added mayo to the bread and a slice of a yellow heirloom tomato. Will most definitely make this again.
Author Comment
Arati M. January 9, 2021
Happy to hear!! Mayo+tomato are great adds, too.
Lucien January 8, 2021
As a man who knows shamefully little about fresh chiles, I'm not sure what to shop for. My supermarket carries fresh jalapeños, seranos, poblano, and Thai peppers (all of them green), plus a canned Goya product labeled, simply, "Diced Green Chiles." Would any and/or all of these peppers work in this recipe? Thank you!
Author Comment
Arati M. January 8, 2021
Hi Lucien! So happy you're trying this recipe! Your pick of chiles is entirely dependent on your palate—and how much you enjoy heat. All of the fresh chiles you mention would work, so take your pick (some Thai chiles can get reaaaal spicy, serrano is great for a medium kick, and poblano is mild-medium). Hope you enjoy it!
Lucien January 8, 2021
I know I'll enjoy it. Kind thanks for the recipe, Arati, and for your help!
Linda D. August 5, 2020
Thank you so much for this flavorful and simple sandwich, Arati.
Author Comment
Arati M. August 5, 2020
Yay Linda, I’m so glad you liked it!
LeBec F. February 25, 2020
Now that I am an older person, spicy heat has become an intolerance. i am looking forward to this dish with my adjustments: a little bit of minced chiles, 1 tsp.Penzey's NOW curry powder {no salt] instead of turmeric and 1/2 tsp.smoked pimenton vera instead of chile powder. thx so much; i am psyched!
le bec fin
Author Comment
Arati M. February 25, 2020
I love that! Let me know how it goes.
bonnie R. November 28, 2019
so good i can’t even tell you! made it exactly as written and added the cheese to one of the sandwiches. the perfect breakfast (or anytime) sandwich. perfect cravable flavors.
Author Comment
Arati M. November 28, 2019
Hi Bonnie. I'm so glad you tried this, and even happier to hear that it struck a chord with you. Food memories are so personal that it's always so nice when they find much wider resonance... I hope you make it again, and make it your own!