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An Indo-Lebanese Culinary Experiment

Our ongoing culinary experiments with crossover cuisines continue. Today, we will be combining a Mediterranean cooking style with Indian spices and a dash of rich aromatic golden-yellow Mustard Oil (instead of olive oil). To the Indian spices, we will add some typical Mediterranean spices like oregano and paprika to align with the spirit of fusion and intensify the levels of creativity.

This is a popular Lebanese side dish that combines potatoes, scrambled eggs, onions, garlic and spices to create a truly delicious experience. The dish is called Batata Wa Bayd.

The word “Batata” means potato – and many folks in India will recognize it because in Maharashtra (in the Marathi language) it also means potato: snacks like Batata Vada and Batata Puri are quite well-known in Mumbai, Pune and other places in the region. The origin of the word lies in the name of a Caribbean sweet potato which made its way to Europe. The Spaniards called it Batata too. The word probably entered Indian languages via the Portuguese settlers who came to India in the early 1500s – and the Portuguese also called the potato “Batata”. So there you are, mystery solved!

Let’s get started on the Indian version of Batata Wa Bayd. Here are the ingredients that you will require.

Ingredients:

  1. Potatoes: 3, large

  2. Eggs: 5

  3. Mustard Oil: 4 tablespoons

  4. Garlic (Lasun): 4 cloves

  5. Onions: 2, small

  6. Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: 1 teaspoon

  7. Oregano: 1 teaspoon

  8. Paprika: Half a teaspoon

  9. Red Chilli Powder: Half a teaspoon

  10. Mint (Pudina) Leaves: 1 tablespoon

  11. Black Pepper Powder: Half a teaspoon

  12. Salt: to taste

The quantities mentioned above are for preparing four servings. Adjust the quantities proportionately to suit the number of servings that you require.

Preparation:

Peel, wash and dice the potatoes.

In a mixing bowl, break the eggs and add the cumin seeds; oregano; paprika; and red chilli powder. Whisk till the yolk and whites of the eggs are mixed well.

Peel, wash and finely chop the garlic cloves.

Peel, wash and finely slice the onions.

Coarsely chop the mint leaves.

Method:

Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a High flame. When the oil reaches its smoking point you will notice streams of white smoke rising from the surface of the hot oil. Turn the flame down to Low.

Remove two tablespoons of hot Mustard Oil from the pan and put it in a bowl. Keep aside.

To the remaining oil in the pan, add the onions, garlic, black pepper powder and salt to taste. Cook for around 10 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.

Next, add the two tablespoons of Mustard Oil that you had kept aside earlier. Now add the potato pieces and cook for around 15 minutes. The potato pieces should turn soft and their surfaces should start becoming crisp.

Add the whisked eggs and spices mixture to the pan. Cook while stirring continuously and continue to cook till the scrambled eggs take on the consistency that you want. Then turn the flame off.

Transfer the contents of the pan to a serving dish and garnish with chopped mint leaves.

Your Indo-Lebanese style Batata Wa Bayd is now ready. In Lebanon this is usually eaten with Pita bread – but you can serve it with plain bread, buns or dinner rolls. You can also prepare this as a breakfast dish and have it with crisp buttered slices of toast.

You can find more recipes at : https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/


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