If you’re looking at the picture above, rubbing your eyes and thinking “why on earth does that look like a plate of potato chips with an egg on top?” then read on. What can I say, the Parsis made me do it. Or one particular Parsi cookbook author, anyway. For those who don’t know (as I did not), Parsis are Zoroastrian Persians who emigrated to India. Their cuisine has a great deal in common with Indian cooking, but retains certain unique qualities – including a serious attachment to potato chips.
I bought a copy of Niloufer Ichaporia King’s book My Bombay Kitchen some time ago, and was utterly delighted when I discovered the little drawing of the “Parsi food pyramid,” with the base layer consisting entirely of potato chips (the top two layers are ginger and garlic). These are my kind of people! According to King, potato “wafers” and eggs are both beloved of the Parsi people, and this recipe brings them together, along with cilantro and hot chiles, in a ridiculous, yet sublime, dish. We had it for breakfast, with cafe au lait, but it could be a quick supper with a bit of salad and a beer. Depending on your ability to pretend that potato chips are real food.
Wafer Par Ida (Potato Chips and Eggs)
adapted from My Bombay Kitchen by Niloufer Ichaporia King
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 green serrano chiles, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 4 handfuls salted potato chips from a newly opened bag
- 2-4 eggs
- 1 Tbsp water
Melt the butter in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and chiles and saute until wonderfully fragrant. Stir in the cilantro, then crumble in the potato chips by hand. Stir it all up, make nests in the mixture for however many eggs you’ll be adding, then break in the eggs. Pour a little water around the edges, then cover the pan. Cook until the eggs are just set, then scoop it all out onto plates. Try not to giggle too much while you eat it.