I don’t like to eat eggs as eggs. Mix them up in a cake and if I can’t smell it or taste it and I ‘m fine.
But drape an egg over fried rice like they do in Singapore and Malaysia, or on top of a pie or layers of thick eggs in a pastry or a frittata – no thanks!
As a south Indian Iyengar, growing up, my only experience with eggs was traumatic and pehaps once fun. I had some weird nutritional deficiency called Primary Complex. Sounds like the old building in my school. So I had to eat more protein.
I can hear my gym trainer Jay say – you could never get the protein you need from just lentils. True enough when I was 6 or 7, the doctor said I had to eat eggs. Perhaps he didn’t mean raw. But I was in an orthodox Brahmin family which doesn’t cook eggs or go to a restaurant that does.
So whether or not the doctor said it had to be raw. Because it was an egg, it couldn’t come into the house. The eggs were purchased by a maid and brought in to the bathroom via the backdoor. Bathroom was the place you could wash off impurities before entering the house.
So the maid would crack open the egg, pour it raw into a glass of milk (I repeat glass of milk, not a tumbler we normally use – because this is egg, we can’t use household things), and made me drink it.
That put an end to any kind of love affair that could have blossomed later in life with eggs. I hated the smell of it. I couldn’t swallow it without screaming and crying.
Then when I was 11, I foolishly entered the egg-shell painting competition. It was foolish in hindsight but as usual impulsive and adventurous for me – because I didn’t realize I had to crack the egg a little and take all the stuff out and of course I had never painted anything before – I didn’t even own a paint set.
So I dragged my religious mum to the big hall where this was happening, and we cracked open eggs, poured the goo out all the while my mum muttering why I never check with her before entering competitions like this – but she was good natured about it and then I copied what others did as they painted.
That’s it – by the time I encountered eggs was much later when I was in Singapore working in a bank, for long hours and going to the shop opposite my office for some dinner – and the man brought vegetarian fried rice with a fried egg on top.
The white waters and the yellow island – that fascinated me. I still love to see the yellow blob float in a cup when I make cakes. I love the sizzle of chillies and onions, the mixture of coriander and the how the egg turns into an omlette.
Visually it is a treat. That’s it. The rest of it – I don’t like. I don’t like the texture of a fried egg. I don’t like to eat them. But I love to make them.
And that fascination found its way into my next book Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market.
There are eggs in this story. There is coriander of course. And tomatoes, and chillies. A sizzling pan too. And there is an ……
You have to read the book and find out what happens next!
And of course you’re invited to the launch party at the 7th Bookaroo in New Delhi on the 29th November (just 8 days away…)
We have songs as usual, all Farmer Falgu books have songs. We will introduce everyone to Farmer Falgu’s friends from Book 1 too.
So don’t miss the opportunity to break some eggs!