Egg bhurji is a relatively simple type of scrambled egg dish that is served in India and Pakistan. It can be made with a variety of ingredients that can cause the taste to range from very aromatic and spicy to mild and neutral. The eggs in the dish are usually fried in a pan and broken into small pieces, although some preparations use hard-boiled eggs that have been shredded or mashed. The types of spices in egg bhurji can include turmeric, cumin and cilantro, or they can be more robust, such as garam masala, chili pepper flakes or coriander seeds. Variations on the dish include a version that uses fresh cheese instead of eggs, and some that include fried potatoes to create a heavier meal.
Most traditional recipes for egg bhurji start by frying a finely diced onion in oil or ghee until transparent or browned. A common ingredient is a paste made by chopping garlic and ginger together with a little water and salt before frying. Once the onions are done, tomatoes are often added to the pan and allowed to cook until most of the liquid has been cooked out.
The spices used in egg bhurji can vary, but typically include a base of turmeric and cumin that are fried in a pan before the eggs are added. For heat, red pepper flakes or diced chili peppers can be used. In some instances, a very spicy and complex Indian taste can be achieved by adding garam masala, or coriander and paprika. The type and quantity of spices that are added should be balanced against the ingredients, because adding strong spices to a dish with little liquid and nothing but eggs and onions could become overpowering.
Once the other ingredients have cooked, the eggs are added to the pan. They are usually whisked together beforehand, sometimes with the addition of a little milk or cream. As the eggs cook, they are allowed to set on the bottom of the pan before the chef uses a spoon or spatula to break apart the set egg curds. This process is repeated until the frying pan is filled with small, broken up pieces of cooked egg that are evenly coated with the spices and mixed well with the other ingredients.
A completed egg bhurji can be served as is, garnished with fresh cilantro and accompanied by Indian bread. It also can be used as a filling for bread or pastries or eaten as a sandwich. The dish also can be dressed with green chili sauce, tomato chutney or a spicy chili curry.