Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An Omelet Without Eggs?

In all these years of posting recipes, I've somehow forgotten about one of my favorites- tomato omelet. If there is one thing I can say about this recipe, it would be "plays well with others" in the sense that it is low-maintenance and fits into many different diets.

Although called an omelet, there are no eggs involved and this recipe would work for a vegan diet and for those who don't eat eggs. If you skip the rava/sooji (cream of wheat) in the recipe, they are gluten-free. Besan is good stuff, economical and high in protein, and low in carbs as flours go.

You can go from craving a hot savory breakfast to chomping one of these in about 15 minutes and even less if you have mad chopping skills.

Tomato Omelet

1. In a bowl, mix together
  • 34 cup besan (gram flour/chickpea flour)
  • 14 cup rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. rava/sooji
  • 1 tsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 12 tsp. turmeric
  • 12 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 2 finely chopped fresh tomatoes (I discard the seeds)
  • 14 cup minced onion
  • 14 cup minced cilantro
  • Salt to taste
2. Stir in warm water to make a batter of pouring consistency.

3. Heat a non-stick pan or a well-seasoned cast iron griddle, and use a few drops of oil to make thin pancakes. If you like them crispy, cook them for some extra time on a low flame. Eat 'em while they're hot.

If you like spicy food, add one or two minced fresh jalapeno peppers or green chillies to the batter for a wonderful zing.

I love eating tomato omelets the same way I ate them as a child, with a dollop of butter melting on them, and with ketchup on the side. When I made them this weekend, V enjoyed them with some locally made goat cheese and claimed that the combination tasted divine. I mention this for those of you who love goat cheese; personally, I cannot stand the stuff. But V is a devotee of goat cheese in general and this local brand in particular.

Because besan is made of chickpeas, this entry goes to My Legume Love Affair: The 22nd Edition, hosted at Ruchikacooks.

On The Bookshelf
Here's another great choice if you are looking for something that is an easy read while being a meaningful and engaging story. I picked up Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins the minute I read this great review of the book. I won't tell you much more about it because the review says it all (but does not give anything away, don't worry). It is billed as a YA (Young Adult) book, which means not-so-young-adults can easily finish it in two or three hours- the perfect read for a rainy weekend or a quiet evening.

I will see you tomorrow, with the announcement of Blog Bites: the third edition! Meanwhile, I hope you will all continue to read the entries and vote for your favorite from the last round.


  1. I've been a silent follower of your blog for a couple of years now. Not being a "cooking" person, and always looking for quick, vegetarian, healthy and easy recipes, this one's(plus curd rice) is going be our dinner today. Thanks!

  2. This is my mom's favorite stuff :) I will be making it soon.

  3. Nupur yum recipe, sounds like what we make as "Besan Cheela" :)?

  4. This was one of the most favored Sunday night dinners when I was a kid,. haven't made it for such a long time though. The book sounds interesting; it is a delicate topic to be handled for a YA book for sure.

  5. An eggless omelet -- I love that! And I finally have chickpea flour in my pantry.

  6. Very interesting. I have to say I'm imagining how good this would taste with goat cheese myself!

  7. I absolutely love this .. My mom always made this .. I always thought only we called it tomato omelet - Haha !

  8. Thanks for sharing this recipe for MLLA Nupur. They look like masala mixed dosas :) I am not a big fan of goat cheese but it must be delicious with butter!

  9. Because it is so quick to make, this is my favourite breakfast, it features on our table at least once every 10 days; in place of the rice flour, I add a bit of thalipeeth bhajani to make it multigrain.

    I love having it just like you, with butter and ketchup. Yum!!!

    BTW, I sometimes dip a slice of bread in the batter and make an eggless french toast from this as well.

    Umm..sorry for hogging your space like this and writing a mini-post!

  10. Thanks for linking to my book review, Nupur!

    I'll now go eat a dozen of those tomato faux-omelets. And then I'll exercise by kicking myself for having discovered your wonderful blog only now.

  11. Oooh i too make the same way.. vegetarian version omelette.. its really so yummy.

  12. I love Besan Chila :) I don't make it that often :) but I eat it often as my breakfast buddies at work bring it often

  13. i was intrigued by the title! i thought this was going to be a tofu 'omlette' at first :)

  14. This one is my favorite too ! My version is a bit different, Infact I've clicks of those will post soon.

    About Book , currently I'm reading Palace Of Illusion :: A DO read for all I would say !!!

  15. I love veggie omelets. We used to eat them with 'tomato sauce' as kids! You brought back some sweet memories! Btw, I hope you don't mind but I've added you to my blog roll. :)

  16. 'I discard seeds' tks..thts one precious tip! :) Loved the omelete -tks for sharing! (next week be it then DT:) )

  17. as priya mentioned we call it the besan chilla and have an intersting story here after i got married hubby who is from andhra asked me to make tomato omellete for breakfast and i made omellete with lots of tomotoes and he spent about 20 mins explaning that what he wanted was this ;-)

  18. Thanks for the delicious-looking recipe! Happy Birthday for yesterday-- wish you everything good, Nupur! I absolutely love your blog.

  19. Hi Nupur, love the eggless omlette. Make it often. Got to recommend this book,"Cutting for stone" by Abraham Varghese. Simply superb!It's a tome however worth a fabulous read. Hope you manage to get your hands on it.

  20. i just tried this.altho i followed ur instructions to a t,i just cudnt manage to flip the omelets without breaking them.so in the end i ended up with a scrambled tomato omelet.it tasted superb!my mom who is v finicky abt food thought it was excellent and has requested for an encore! Thanks :)

  21. I make this omelette regularly for breakfast (about 2x a week). In my house we call it "Indian Pancake." My version has no rice flour or rava, and is flavored without coriander/cumin powder but with fresh ginger and crushed cumin - as well as the tomato and other ingredients of course. It makes a very satisfying start to the day, and is my "go to" pantry meal.

  22. raat-jaga-tara: I've had that scrambled disaster too. It typically means that the tava wasn't hot enough when I started. To be successful, I heat it hot, hot, hot on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Water should skittle around the surface when you toss a few drops on it. Only then do you lightly (!) oil it and wipe it down. Then start cooking them. Before I place each new pancake on the tava I gently wipe down the surface too with a paper towel, which spreads around any remaining oil/ghee from the previous pancake and keeps it from sticking.

    On occasions when I have not heated it well enough or when I forget to do the light initial oiling, they stick and they stick badly. But if done well they pop off and are easily removed.

  23. I remember ordering a 'vegetarian omlette' at the Tea Centre in Bombay- I was expecting an omlette with no meat so was surprised at the taste, and even disappointed (mostly because it wasn't what I wanted then)..
    But after reading your post I am totally craving these!! And with goat cheese- mmm- bring it on! (though my husband will probably disagree- he hates to pair Indian food with 'non- Indian' food, for some reason- while I just revel in such unusual pairings..:))

  24. i make something similar but without the rava. great addition, that :)

  25. Nupur, looks yum. whenever I make tomato omlette, I end up having to scrap the omlette off the pan. I use a no-stick pan and it sticks to it. Any tips?

  26. Hi Nupur,

    nice to know you are from stl since `07...I came to STL in July 07 too...Loved the place since. I happened to stumble on your blog quite by accident...Interesting event you have here...Shall def try to participate.

    Rgds, Shobha

  27. Nupur, it looks exactly like an omlette made of egg. I have heard about it but never tried it. Your pics tell me that I should try :)

  28. Divya- Thanks for delurking and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

    Mints!- My mom loved it too, for quick breakfasts :)

    Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal- Right, besan cheela is the other name for it!

    PJ- Right, it is a delicate topic but kids often have to live through this and I think most middle school and above aged kids would understand it. Speaking for myself, I read the Godfather when I was 12 but that's another story :D

    Lydia- I'm glad chickpea flour made it to your pantry- I can't imagine living without it!

    Kalyn- I've seen socca on your blog and this is very similar. And I know you love goat cheese :)

    Nisha- Turns out that's a popular name, eh? :)

    ruchikacooks- Yes, they are almost like instant adais. Thanks very much for hosting this event!

    aquadaze- Very clever to add some bhajani- so many flours would work well in here, whatever is in one's pantry. An eggless French toast sounds wonderful; I remember something similar called bread pakodas but those were deep fried :0
    Comment away; I love hearing your thoughts!

    Apu- Thanks!

    Niranjana- I discovered your wonderful blog only very recently too (via desipundit) but now have added you to my feed reader :)

    Pavithra- Yes, very tasty.

    Raaga- Now where can I find breakfast buddies of my own?

    Veggie Belly- Oh no tofu here. Am personally not the biggest fan of tofu scrambles. But this is tasty stuff :)

    Kanchan- Will definitely look for that book, thanks for the recommendation!

    The Housewife- Thanks for adding me to your blogroll, it is an honor.

    Purnima- Glad you like it.

    Monika- Oh dear I was laughing at your story, recipe names can be strange, eh?

    Anonymous- Thank you so much for the sweet wishes!

    Marietta- Cutting for Stone sounds wonderful and I will look for it. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Diane- Mmm, fresh ginger would be wonderful in here. Thanks for helping with the other reader's question.

    raat-jaga-tara- Sorry the omelet broke! Diane already gave you excellent advice about heating the pan well before starting and oiling it lightly. I would add, cook on medium-low heat for a longer time rather than high heat for a short time, that way the omelet will cook through well before you flip it, and will also be crispy. I hope you give the recipe another try!

    Patty- Thanks!

    Lavanya- Oh I think you will love the combo if you like goat cheese. For your husband's sake, you could call these chickpea pancakes :)

    Nags- Yes, rava just makes it a little crisp.

    Anonymous- My suggestions: (a) add some oil and heat the pan well before making the first omelet, (b) check that your pan's coating is intact, if it is worn off replace the pan because it won't work well (and is also toxic if lining is ingested, (c) turn the heat to medium-low and cook the omelet for a few minutes so the surface is crispy and will hold together when you flip it. Be patient because if you try and flip it before the bottom is cooked well, it will break.

    anubhavati- Thanks for stopping by to say hello- you have a lovely blog.

    Life is beautiful!!!- Do try it, most people I know love it.

  29. This is delicious! I love this, and all recipes on your site.

    I messed this up for the first 2-3 omelets though - made the batter too thick and struggled to get the omelet off the tava.. but once I got the hang of it, I was making with one hand and eating with the other... yumm!

  30. I made this tonight and for one brief moment was transported back to my childhood in Mumbai- and my memories are actually from an Udipi place which used to serve this. I had only a tiny portion because I'm still not able to digest all flours easily. But it was worth it. Hubby enjoyed it thoroughly and that too as dinner!

  31. Nupur,

    I've been reading your wonderful chronicle of cooking and life for about a year now. My five year old daughter, who is quite the cook, loves reading your recipes. She especially loves Dalu dada and Lila. Just wanted to say thanks for doing this. Best to you and your lovely family.


  32. thanks it tastes great and now i dont have to gag every time i smell eggs cooking

  33. Hello Nupur,
    Thanks for reviving old memories. My grandma made these in Bangalore in my not-so-long-gone childhood days. My girls are mostly vegan in the morning and your recipe fits their entitlement of selected choice.
    Somehow my hubby is also a goat cheese lover and I hope it's not stereotyping men folks here.
    You have a lovely collection of recipes and I'm sure to be visiting your blogs. I like the style of your writing. It connects me to the indianess that I'm born with. Thank you!


Thanks for leaving a comment- I try to respond to every single one.