The Truly Wonderful Scotch Eggs
The word ‘Scotch’ is invariably associated with Scotch whiskey, and the age-old distilleries of Scotland. However, there are many more products that are associated with the word, like Scotch tape, Scotch bonnet chillies and the wonderful Scotch eggs!
By the way, the Scotch bonnet chillies are named so only for their shape resembling the traditional Tam o’ Shanter hat of Scotland; they are not grown anywhere near Scotland!
The best thing about Scotch eggs is that it is a meal in itself. Add a green salad of any kind, and you have a well balanced meal.
Scotch eggs are commonly a party and picnic food item and has existed for a long while, with a British department store claiming to have invented it in 1738. The all-knowing Wikipedia speculates that the inspiration for the dish came from the ‘Nargisi kofta’ of the Mughal cuisine.
Though the initial versions were made from sausage meat you can make them with any chopped meat. If you do not fancy red meat, minced turkey or chicken, or a mix of the two, will work equally well.
My version of a Scotch egg is a truly fusion one. I use the eastern eight spice powder, along with ginger and garlic, to add flavour and a little bit of red chilli powder for heat.
The breading process becomes very easy if you do it assembly line style, with three shallow bowls set up with the flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs.
Though a bit time consuming to make, Scotch eggs are worth the trouble. Not only do they taste good, they look great too!
The concept of hardboiled eggs covered in meat and fried or baked is popular in many cuisines. In addition to the Nargisi kofta mentioned earlier, Kwek-Kwek, made with quail eggs and Tokneneng made with chicken or duck eggs, both from Philippines, are dishes very similar to Scotch eggs.
- 6 eggs
- 2 lb chopped (minced) meat of your choice
- 2 medium red onions
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 3 medium potatoes
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1tsp eastern eight spice powder
- 1 small bunch cilantro
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- Vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- Hard boil the 6 eggs. Shell them and keep aside.
- Finely chop the onions, ginger and garlic.
- Discard the stems of the cilantro and chop the leaves.
- Boil the potatoes till soft. Peel them and keep aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions.
- When the onions turn transparent, add the chopped ginger and garlic.
- Continue to sauté till the onions start to brown.
- Add the coriander powder and stir together.
- Add the chopped meat and mix well.
- Add salt to taste.
- Reduce the heat and cook covered, till the meat is cooked. Add ladlefuls of water, if required.
- When the meat is cooked and all water is evaporated, add the chilli powder and eastern eight spice powder.
- Mash the boiled potatoes and add to the meat mix.
- Add the chopped cilantro and mix thoroughly.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt.
- In another bowl, beat the egg with an equal quantity of cold water.
- Place the breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
- When the meat mix is cool, divide it into six portions.
- Form each portion into a ball, make a depression in the middle and place a boiled egg into it.
- Cover the egg completely with the meat mix, trying for an even thickness all around.
- Form into a oval shape and keep aside.
- Prepare all 6 eggs similarly.
- Roll each covered egg in the seasoned flour and then in the beaten egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs.
- Brush off the extra breadcrumbs and keep aside.
- Prepare all 6 eggs similarly.
- Heat a sufficient quantity of vegetable oil in a deep pan.
- When the oil is hot, add the prepared eggs one at a time and gently fry till evenly browned.
- Drain on a paper towel.
- Cut into two lengthwise and serve with a salad as a light meal.