I had a craving for something different for breakfast. Something easily digestable. Browsing through my recipe collection from different cultures around the world, I came across my Ayurvedic recipe for Palak Paneer, spinach with home-made cheese, which I have made and loved in the past. Wondering about a breakfast option which was dairy free, I thought of the idea of substituting the cheese with poached eggs. The result was beautiful – nourishing, easily digestable, and a lovely experience to have a warming bowl of goodness at breakfast when following a grain free, dairy free diet. This recipe takes a little more time to prepare than my quick frittata, ideal for leisurely weekend mornings with a newspaper…..
1 tsp ghee
2 fresh organic eggs
1 tomato, diced
1.5 cups chopped Swiss chard/curly kale/English spinach
1 shallot, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp freshly grated turmeric
pinch of nutmeg
handful of fresh mint, chopped
handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1/4 small lemon
Pinch of sea salt
1. Blanch the Swiss chard/curly kale/English spinach in a saucepan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, so it retains its’ bright green colour. Remove from the boiling water using a slotted spoon, and place in a food processor or stick blender container. Let the remaining water in the saucepan cool while you make the other part.
2. Heat the ghee in a small non-stick frypan, and add the shallots and tomato. Fry for a few minutes, then add the cumin. Fry for a few more minutes, then add the ginger, turmeric and nutmeg. Cover and let simmer while you purée your greens. Keep an eye on it, and add some of the leftover water from blanching the greens if it starts to dry out.
3. Purée your blanched greens using a food processor or stick blender, adding a pinch of sea salt. You will need to add some of the leftover water from blanching your greens – just add enough to form a smooth purée. Start by adding 2-3 tablespoons, then blend. If the purée doesn’t form easily, add in more gradually until you can blend the greens to a smooth purée.
4. Add the mint and coriander to the tomato and onion mixture, stir, then add in the green purée, stirring again. Bring to a simmer, then crack the two eggs one by one into separate spots in the simmering sauce.
5. Cover, and simmer until the whites of the eggs are cooked, and the yolks still runny (or you can cook longer if you prefer your eggs fully cooked).
6. Using a spatula or flat wooden spoon, gently slide the cooked dish into a medium sized serving bowl. Squeeze the lemon wedge over your cooked dish, and slowly savour this nourishing bowl of goodness with your favourite hot beverage!
*If you eat dairy foods, a dollop or two of natural yoghurt would be a lovely addition to this dish. If you eat grains, a side of buttered toast or roti or flatbread or rice would make this meal more substantial.
This could also be a good option for a light lunch or late night light dinner…