Friday, February 19, 2016

Poached to Perfection - An Easy method for Poaching Eggs

Being married to a Parsi means eggs feature very often at breakfast in our house. Though I don't cook egg curries very often, fried eggs, omelettes, french toast, akuri, etc., are a very regular feature in the mornings. Breakfast is our favourite meal and we like to make a fuss over it adding cold cuts, cheeses, and of course, eggs to the meal. Over the years I have learned how to fry eggs perfectly but the perfect poached egg was still elusive.

I'd seen plenty of videos showing different techniques but I couldn't really master any of them. All that swirling the water and popping in the egg only resulted in a mess of stringy egg whites that looked like very ugly noodles instead of those perfect poached eggs ones saw demonstrated. I needed to find a way to keep the white together and without buying another rash of gadgets and doodads (yes, I'm trying hard not to buy stuff!).

After fooling around with various saucepans, bowls, and ladles I have finally figured out a simple technique that has worked very well, and repeatedly. This is one science project that has yielded good results!

Here's what you will need -

Fresh eggs
1 tbsp vinegar

A small deep saucepan
A large milk ladle
A flexible rubber spatula

And here's what to do -

Fill the saucepan about halfway up with water. Bring the water to a boil with the vinegar added to it.
Rub the ladle with a drop of oil. This helps release the egg once it's cooked.
In the ladle crack one egg and sprinkle with a little salt. Carefully lower the egg on to the water but don't submerge it. Let the lower side of the egg set with the heat from the water.

Tip the side of the ladle just a little and let very little water run onto the egg. Once again, be careful not to let the egg run out of the ladle or too much water get in. Be patient and do this with confidence and a steady hand. Alternatively pour hot water onto the egg using another ladle. Do this if you are sure you can keep the egg steady and use the other hand simultaneously.

Once the top of the egg is set let more water in and slowly submerge the ladle into the water. The water will foam up so keep an eye on things and don't let it spill over. Reduce the heat if required. Don't leave the egg submerged - let it stay under the hot water just a few seconds at a time.

Pour off any water from the ladle once the egg is done to your level of preference. Try to ensure that all the white is cooked.

Gently prise off the egg using the rubber spatula and slide it onto your ready plate or on a slice of toast. You can slide the poached egg onto a slotted spoon to drain off all the excess water if you like. Be sure not to break the egg.

It takes around three to four minutes to do each egg from start to finish so I make these on days when I'm not in a hurry. Patience is the key here so don't rush things. Make sure you have your equipment in place before you start. And use fresh eggs.

Did you know many Bengalis refer to the good old fried egg as 'dim'er poach'? You should have seen the hubby's face when my mum offered to make him a poach for breakfast when she visited the first time after we were married, and presented him with a perfectly fried egg! Well, my mother has also been educated in the finer points of egg dishes and their correct nomenclature since then, lol! 

1 comment:

Mahathi Ramya said...

Very clear demo Rhea, never tried this till now :-) Seems like it needs more patience