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Fried eggs with masala hash browns

This was my breakfast on weekends all through grad school, the one meal that I consistently made in my tiny apartment. It works because it contains the proven mathematical combination of crunchy potatoes, fried eggs, and a salty tomato sauce that seems to be appropriate for a lazy Sunday just before the long week starts to rear its head. The seared tomato green peppercorn chutney is something I think you might want to make in a large batch; it is quick to make and pairs well with many different types of savory dishes—try it with roasted butternut or pumpkin slices. This chutney gets better with age.

Ingredients

Hash browns:

  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 455 grams Yukon gold potatoes, diced into 1/2 in [12 mm] cubes
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion (9-1/4 oz [260 g]), diced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala, homemade (page 312) or store-bought
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • Fine sea salt or kala namak
  • 1-1/2 to two teaspoons amchur
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Chutney:

  • 340 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons brined green peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • Fine sea salt

Eggs:

  • 4 tablespoons [55 g] ghee
  • 4 large eggs
  • Fine sea salt or kala namak
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

Directions

  1. I’ve built and layered heat in different ways into the different components of this dish. The warm spices in garam masala work in concert with the cayenne to create heat in the potatoes.
  2. The acidity of amchur makes the heat even more prominent. For a tangier note, use more amchur.
  3. The quality of your cherry tomatoes and the degree of charring will make the flavor of this chutney. Using a large skillet provides a larger surface area for the tomatoes to cook and prevents overcrowding, helping the steam escape.
  4. The tomato chutney gets a mild dose of heat from the brined green peppercorns; the fried eggs get theirs from black pepper.
  5. Additionally, this dish is served warm, which intensifies the chemesthetic quality of these ingredients.
  6. To prepare the hash browns, melt the three tablespoons ghee in a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet over medium-low heat. When the ghee is hot, add the potatoes and onion. Sprinkle on the garam masala and cayenne and season with salt. Cook until the potatoes are completely tender, turning them every six to eight minutes until they are evenly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with the amchur. Taste and season with salt. Garnish with the fresh cilantro.
  7. While the hash browns cook, prepare the chutney. Heat a large, dry stainless-steel skillet over high heat until smoking, three to four minutes. When the pan is hot, add the tomatoes and cook until they are seared and develop slight char marks all over and the skins start to split, four to six minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to the bowl of a blender or a food processor. Add the oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, and chilli and pulse for a few seconds until combined and the peppercorns are broken into bits. The sauce can be slightly chunky or smooth. Taste and season with salt.
  8. To prepare the eggs, heat the ghee in a small cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat. Turn the heat to low. Crack an egg into a small bowl, tip it into the skillet, and cook until the egg white sets and the edges turn crispy, about 1-1/2 minutes. Transfer the egg to a serving plate. (If you want the white to set on top of the yolk, cover the skillet while you cook the egg.) Repeat with the remaining eggs. Season with a little salt and pepper and serve immediately with the warm hash browns and the tomato green peppercorn chutney on the side


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