It is a Parsee recipe called Pateta par Eeda. "Pateta" as in potato, "Eeda" as in eggs and "par" as in "upon which" (approximately). So it is basically eggs on top of potatoes.
The Parsees are a small but vibrant community that fled from Persia and settled in India several centuries ago. They are followers of Zoroasterianism and worshippers of fire. Their tiny community is astonishingly successful and much-admired for its philanthropic spirit. Parsee food is rich in meats and eggs and represents an amalgamation of Persian and South-Asian cooking styles. One of the favorite Parsee styles of breakfast foods includes pan-frying a variety of vegetables (leftovers work fine), pressing them down in the pan, then making wells and cracking eggs into it for a quick brunch dish. This one is my absolute favorite.
Pateta Par Eeda
3 medium-large potatoes, shredded (by hand or using a food processor)
1 small onion
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp minced cilantro
pinch of turmeric
pinch of chili powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet and fry the onions, ginger and garlic till lightly browned.
2. Season with salt and pepper, turmeric and chili powder if using.
3. Press any excess water out of the shredded potatoes and add them to the pan.
4. Add the cilantro and toss everything together and pat it down in the pan. Cook on medium heat till the potato cake is browned at the bottom.
5. Flip it over (easily done by flipping first onto a plate, then slide into pan). Break the eggs over the potato cake and season them.
6. Cover and cook till the eggs are set the way you like them and the bottom gets browned and crispy.
This breakfast casserole looks and smells so good! The straw potato cake is delicious...it is like serving eggs and hash browns all at once. You can serve it in wedges and enjoy it just like it is, or serve it with toast and offer ketchup on the side.
- Beat the eggs lightly and pour them on the potatoes instead of cracking whole eggs. This is for people who don't care for the taste of yolks.
- Garnish with cilantro instead of adding cilantro to the base. This results in pretty green flecks.
- Sprinkle with cheese for added flavor.
- Sprinkle with paprika for a pretty touch of red.
- Cut the pateta par eeda into wedges or squares to serve as an appetizer.