Brunch – Indian Style!!

My favorite brunch is Eggs Benedict Florentine with cantaloupe & strawberries and a really good Bloody Mary.  If I could eat this every Sunday I would be a happy woman – a relatively small wish I think.  But I didn’t grow up eating anything even close to this.  Indians don’t typically eat eggs, pancakes, waffles and such for brunch.  Instead we eat some unique dishes that one would never see on a restaurant menu.  One dish my mother made often is what I made this morning.  I’ve put my own spin on it over the years and made it more healthy & nutritious.  Don’t be fooled, it is a delicious start to any Sunday, and my son eats two or three bowlfuls anytime I make it. 

I’m not quite sure what to call this dish.  I make it to use up the end of loaves of bread used for sandwiches during the week.  Let’s face it, we all have these ends and never know what to do with them. Well now you have an option other than croutons or bread crumbs or worse – throwing them out.  Traditionally this was made with plain old white bread (that’s pretty much all you can buy in India even today), but I usually buy the Arnold’s Flax & Fiber or Oat Nut bread.  We go through about a loaf a week so after 5 weeks I have enough ends stored in the refrigerator to make this recipe.

10 slices of bread ends cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium onion chopped
1 large clove garlic sliced
2 thai green chilis chopped finely (remove seeds or use only one for less heat)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Cup shelled soy beans (I buy the frozen kind)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsps cumin/coriander powder
One half fresh lime
1/4 Cup chopped cilantro

In a large pan heat the oil on medium high heat.  Add cumin seeds and allow to turn dark.  Add garlic & chilies and fry until garlic starts to turn golden brown.  Add onion, salt, turmeric, cumin/coriander powder.  Saute about 2 minutes until onion is soft and translucent.  Add the soy beans.  Saute for 1 minute then cover the pan to cook the soy beans on low heat for 5 minutes or till tender.  Remove cover and return to medium high heat.  Add bread cubes and stir to coat all the bread with the oil in the pan.  Saute for 2 minutes stirring constantly but gently so as not to break the bread too much.  Sprinkle about 2 – 4 Tbsp water  over the bread distributing it around the entire pan – you will hear the pan sizzle as the water hits the hot bottom.  Turn heat to medium low, cover pan and let steam for about 5 minutes.  Do not turn heat too low as keeping it slightly higher will allow the bottom layer of bread to turn crispy and also prevent upper layers from getting soggy.  Remove from heat.  Sprinkle with juice of lime,  stir, and serve garnished with cilantro.

Notes

  • Cumin/Coriander powder can be found in Indian markets
  • I added soy beans to this because they are yummy but also because they are a great source of protein
  • Sometimes I substitute the soy beans with frozen “Soycatash” from Trader Joe’s.  It is a mix of soy beans, corn & red bell pepper.
  • If you absolutely have to have your meat, try browning some hot Italian sausage and add it with the bread cubes. 

So, the next time you have bread ends leftover and don’t know what to do with them try making this dish and let me know what you think.  If you have had some version of it, help me come up with a good name for it.  For now I’ll call it an Indian Bread Hash.

And don’t forget the Bloody Mary!!!!!!

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