I’m a Mumbai girl and way back in the day when I worked a 9 to 5 or rather a 9 to 9 job the only time I got to unwind was on those weekend trips I’d take with a few of my pals from work. We would generally head off to Matheran or Lonavla or sometimes when the adventure bug bit us hard enough, we’d head out to some other off the beaten track sort of place.
Longer weekends however usually meant Panchgani, and those trips are etched in my memory in inedible ink… not just for the numerous times we had to stop en-route because I was bus-sick but for all the wonderfully happy memories they hold. Like the time we ate so many mulberries our teeth and tongues were purple for days,or the time we sat drinking rum under that tree on Tableland in the heat of the blazing afternoon sun. We were nuts! And sloshed!
Panchgani also meant Jerroz Hotel. A quaint cottage up the street from the more famous Il Palazzo hotel, Jerroz was run by an old Parsi couple as a B-n-B. Nothing fancy, just your basic amenities, but it was clean and homely and the old woman was a darling, serving up some of the best Akuri on the planet… and I’ve eaten quite a few.
Now what can I say about eggs that hasn’t been said already, except that I love them… boiled, poached, scrambled, fried sunny-side-up… and especially as Akuri, which to the uninitiated can be translated as – a spicy melange of eggs scrambled with onions, tomatoes and corriander. What puts Akuri into a different zone is the hint of ginger, the dash of black pepper and loads of green chillies.
This is my version of that wonderful dish…
I’ve used spring onions (scallions) instead of the regular red onions and since I made it for brunch (Oh! Yes! Did I forget to mention that I can eat eggs at breakfast, lunch and dinner…. and as a midnight snack, sunny-side-up on hot buttered toast?) I baked parathas to go along with it.
Here’s to Akuri, to Jerroz Hotel, to good friends and to happy memories.