back to article Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Masala omelette

The Brit post-pub gourmets among you will doubtless have indulged in the national pastime of staggering from the boozer to the nearest curry house, so it's no surprise that reader Martin Gregorie got in touch last week to suggest we venture into the hot and spicy by cooking up something with a bit of a kick. A splendid idea, …

  1. Chris G

    Fire ring

    Interesting that the nation that discovered Mexico and the Americas where chilies originated are not big fans of hot'n' spicy food if you buy Spanish curry spices mix it is so bland it is not recogniseable as curry, the average chilli con carne also js unlikely to bring any colour to your cheeks here in Spain.

    I have had Devon Pasties with a higher Scoville count.

    On the other hand I have African and Phillipino friends who think a Fal is a light refreshing snack and could do with spicing up.

    A variant on this omelette is to use up some leftover chilli con carne as a base for the omelette and use a nice strong cheddar grated over the top followed by a few minutes under the grill before serving.

    Mmm I think I hear the kitchen calling....

    1. EddieD

      Re: Fire ring

      Looking at the piccies, the chillies have been jaffaed - totally seedless.

      For shame...

      1. roytrubshaw

        Re: Fire ring

        "... the chillies have been jaffaed - totally seedless."

        Apparently it's the white pith rather than the seeds themselves that contain the highest concentration of capsaicin (

    2. Joe User

      Re: Fire ring

      "Interesting that the nation that discovered Mexico and the Americas where chilies originated are not big fans of hot'n' spicy food"

      Perhaps the Spaniards just like to be able to taste what they're eating....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fire ring

      "the nation that discovered Mexico and the Americas"

      The people already living here at the time of said "discoveries" may disagree with you...

  2. frank ly

    For reference/research purposes.

  3. HAL-9000

    Indian food, no pickles ??

    Shax may want some ( pickle with his breckie

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Indian food, no pickles ??

      Masala omelette works well without pickles - although wrapping it in a paratha is nice (I've got these bods on site where I work til the end of the month, which is how they serve it.)

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Jesus wept!

    Well he would do if he eat a Carolina Reaper. That's a chemical weapon, not a foodstuff.

  5. Paul Renault

    1,176,182 Scovilles?

    Really, you can measure Scovilles down to 6 significant digits?

    Not to mention that the spiciness for a particular variety, er, varies a lot, even within different peppers on the same plant.

    1. Cliff

      Re: 1,176,182 Scovilles?

      Excellent point - seeing as it's so subjective and subject to increasing tolerance during the tasting/testing/grading.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: 1,176,182 Scovilles?

        Well, it is an average. It would be interesting to know things like the median and standard deviation so we could rate a particular crop or plant not only for heat but consistency. Seriously, in a dozen you could easily have anything from colon charring chilies to a few with all the heat of a candied bell pepper.

      2. cortland

        Re: 1,176,182 Scovilles?

        Perhaps there's a algorithm: the number who pass out before someone asks for seconds.

  6. Harry the Bastard

    ruined at the last moment by adding coriander leaves

    seems to be genetic, among all food i've ever tasted it's by far the most disgusting taste there is, even a smidge ruins a meal

    but the rest of the eggy spiciness looks most scrumptious

    1. bpfh Silver badge

      Re: ruined at the last moment by adding coriander leaves

      Each to their own. I love coriander! (but on the other hand, if you give me somthing tasting of lobster, I'm running for the loo to throw up... I can't get myself to swallow it).

    2. Dave Bell

      Re: ruined at the last moment by adding coriander leaves

      The genetic factor was reported in Nature a couple of years ago. It's also known as Cilantro.

      The article also reports a suggested fix from Harold McGee.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: ruined at the last moment by adding coriander leaves

        I agree with ya Harry, the stuff can ruin ANY dish :(

    3. Chris G

      Re: ruined at the last moment by adding coriander leaves

      Usually the leaves are referred to as cilantro and the seeds are known as coriander, although so is the whole plant.

      There is also quite a difference in taste between the two, many Mexicans are fond of sprinkling chopped cilantro leaves onto almost any dish,I used to go to a workers Mexican restaurant in Lincoln City N.Cal they served real Mexican food to real Mexicans and if you didn't ask before hand to go easy on the cilantro, you got it on most things.

      It's one of those flavours that people either love or hate, I love it and find it stimulates my appetite, I remember Deliah Smith saying it overpowers everything else and she won't use it. Horses for courses I guess.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ruined at the last moment by adding coriander leaves

        "usually" Americans. Never seen any British supermarket or shop sell it as 'cilantro'.

      2. fruitoftheloon

        Re: ruined at the last moment by adding coriander leaves


        Err not in England, leaves and seeds are both Coriander in my travels around England.



      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ruined at the last moment by adding coriander leaves

        "Usually the leaves are referred to as cilantro and the seeds are known as coriander,"

        Utter USAnian b*llocks.

        Coriander is native euro/asian plant, named a full 2 millenia before discovery of the Americas, let alone founding of USAnia.

    4. Vinyl-Junkie

      Re: ruined at the last moment by adding coriander leaves

      Washed down with a nice pint of Umbel Ale or Umbel Magna!


  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    No Bacon?

    sheesh... I thought that bacon was mandatory.

    1. Martin Gregorie

      Re: No Bacon?

      Bacon isn't usually eaten in India or the Middle East. If you've ever seen pigs from those parts or know what they are fed on the chances are that you wouldn't want to eat bits of them either.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re:Re: No Bacon?

        And neither is 15 pints of Scruttocks Old Dirigible? What's your point?

      2. Johndoe888

        Re: No Bacon?

        Bacon is going to be an issue with the LOHAN mission as all USA bacon is streaky :(

        I am told that Back bacon is only available by special order from a real butcher with no option of smoked or sweetcure :(

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: No Bacon?

          The closest thing we have to what you're used to is Canadian Bacon... some is better than others. Or a thin slab of smoked ham gently grilled (fried). Back bacon is a problem and I'm not sure why.

        2. Tim Worstal

          Re: No Bacon?

          Among the wide variety of things I've done over the years was owning a delicatessen in the US. Back bacon is a problem. But see if you can get some "Boar's Head" brand of the streaky. No, it's not back bacon but it is pretty good all the same.

        3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: No Bacon?

          I wouldn't touch normal US bacon with a shitty stick and if I did the stick would likely grow into something else entirely given the amount of hormones and chemicals in the average US porker. US pork is one of the times when "free range" or "organic" is most definitely the only safe way to go.

          1. Spoonsinger

            Re: "I wouldn't touch normal US bacon with a shitty stick "

            Agreed US bacon is shite, but it would normally be covered with some sort of syrup. The trick is knowing if that syrup is HFCS based or actual maple.

  8. Dave Bell

    It's an error to think that a high Scoville number is a reliable signifier of a good curry.

  9. Alien Doctor 1.1

    Not the hottest...

    and please forgive the daily fail link - i tried to find points west report instead:

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Not the hottest...

      While hot can be fun flavour is well handy too. That Bhut Jolockia is a tad warm but has a good depth of flavours and is useful for cooking but is nowhere near as useful for cooking as a Habanera which you can use to make much hotter food because its other flavours in it make you keep eating while loosing half your bodyweight in sweat.

      Some of the new hot peppers are just crude but you can see some of the older peppers have evolved and developed as objects of pleasure and not just competition material.

      1. Chris G

        Re: Not the hottest...

        There are hundreds of peppers out there and some of them add great flavours to dishes, one of my favourites is called balloon or bishops mitre, is shaped a little like a bluebell flower, the ones a friend grows here on well drained soil in in full Spanish sun are medium hot but give a sweet slightly smoky taste to a chilli. Mixed with Habaneros 50/50 you get a hot flavourful chilli.

        For a milder sauce to put on anything, I recently discovered Chipotle Tabasco sauce which is medium hot and BBQ smoky, one of my mates even put it on a banana which strangely enough was not too bad!

        My wife and daughter both Russian and a few of their Russian friends have a thing for frying Jalapenos with garlic late at night after an evening out, a good test of intestinal fortitude.

  10. chivo243 Silver badge

    When you're older

    This will be a great lunch, plenty of time for your system to digest before bed. It sounds like an awesome dish, but would keep me awake these days, instead of helping me to sleep after a few rounds out.

    When will the western branch (San Fran?) of El Reg chip in with their breakfast offering. I can think of many tasty american southwest breakfast ideas.

    Flames, dare I give a reason?

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: When you're older

      Yum - huevos rancheros!

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: When you're older

      I'm not ElReg[1], but here's one option:

      [1] I'm in Sonoma, an hour's drive north of The City.

  11. Johndoe888

    Could be interesting to make an omelette with a tin of Stag "Dynamite Hot" Chillli !

    Nuke icon as a warning for those that have not tried the above product.

    1. graeme leggett

      While tinned meat and sauce was a staple in the 1970s when I was a child on caravan holidays, and got me through the 1980s at university, i have been wary of it more recently whatever the spice level.

      Though i make an exception occasionally for Fray Bentos pies.

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I'll pass on this one.

    I don't like spicy food, and curry in particular doesn't like me!

  13. Tim99 Silver badge

    Don't forget

    For emergencies, keep a roll of lavatory paper in the fridge.

    You'll be sweating so much, you won't need a coat >>=========>

    1. Montreal Sean

      Re: Don't forget


      If you keep a bog roll in your fridge I definitely won't accept any offers of dinner, no matter the amount of booze you promise.

      "I am Cornholio! I need TP for my bung-holio!"

      1. Cornholio

        Re: Don't forget

        No. *I* am the Great Cornholio!

        1. Montreal Sean

          Re: Don't forget


          Now you know where to find your TP.

  14. The last doughnut

    You'll have had your Scots Dal

    If you are feelng experimental try replacing the eggs with freshly cooked porridge oats.

    1. Pen-y-gors

      Re: You'll have had your Scots Dal

      That is sick!!! You need professional help.

      1. The last doughnut

        Re: You'll have had your Scots Dal

        Both true,

  15. jake Silver badge

    My Trinidad Moruga "Scorpion" peppers top out at 1.8 Million SHUs ...

    ... as tested by the food science boffins at US Davis. In theory, they can go over 2 million SHUs, I suspect I'm babying them too much. Peppers need stress to develop maximum heat. I believe the Carolina Reaper can go up to 2.2 million SHUs in the right conditions, I haven't tried growing them yet.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Typo (was: Re: My Trinidad Moruga "Scorpion" peppers top out at 1.8 Million SHUs ...)

      That's "UC Davis" ... One of the Whippets is demanding lap-time.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Authentically Indian version

    For the really pukka version of masala omelette, nothing beats the vendors that hang around the front of Ahmedabad station in Gujarat. Most Indian railway stations have blokes selling omelettes of varying styles and quality (usually good, occasionally stellar), often with a distinctive local twist.

    The setup is generally one guy wandering around with a portable kerosene stove, a small frying pan, a tin mug to mix everything in, a pot with his particular take on the masala mix and invariably a bag of chopped onion. Order, and he'll squat on the pavement, fire up the stove and knock a two egg one out in 3 or 4 minutes, with two slices of variable quality white bread providing the means of delivery. The Ahmedabad masala is predictably thermonuclear, but the local twist is to put the bread in the upper side of the partially set egg and cook it as half omelette, half eggy bread, with the extra egg at the edges neatly folded into the middle, the bread folded over into a sandwich and both non-egg sides of the bread given a final toasting in the pan. Along with a chai (railway station chai usually excels) its perfect instant gratification for about 20p, quality helped along by Gujarat's generally top-notch eggs.

    Sadly it'll only be hangover food if you've come from a big night out in another state or from the island of Diu, because the rest of Gujarat is dry, supposedly out of respect for Gandhi. And if you're heading further into Gujarat, make the most of the Ahmedabad omelettes, because a fair chunk of the middle of the state is seriously vegan and doesn't even do eggs due to the edicts of a revered local 'saint'.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Authentically Indian version

      Sounds interesting, the sort of thing one can enjoy vicariously through a travel documentary (probably involving trains and Senor Portillo)

    2. Carl W

      Re: Authentically Indian version

      Someone else who has spent a significant amount of time in Ahmedabad. I'm hoping not to ever go back. 46 degrees at 6pm...

  17. David Roberts


    To finish the cooking off properly, slip the frying pan under a hot grill.

    Cooks more quickly and ends up much fluffier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Grill

      It took me years to figure that one out. I'm pretty sure that's how they do those ridiculously fluffy omelettes in restaurants, using the overhead grill that also heats from underneath. I usually give mine about half grill and half hob in a nice heavy pan. Adding a half teaspoon of sugar before mixing helps it stay fluffy after cooking, but stays well below the taste threshold.

      1. Robert Helpmann??

        Re: Grill

        Adding a half teaspoon of sugar before mixing helps it stay fluffy after cooking, but stays well below the taste threshold.

        You might try cream of tartar, though less of it, for the same effect. Whipping your eggs in a copper bowl works too.

  18. PassingStrange


    If you have an electric grill on your oven, turn it on set to max before you go any further.

    Make an ordinary omelette mix by beating a couple of eggs and a splash of milk together with a fork.

    Melt a generous nob of butter in an omelette or small frying pan on a medium-high heat, then add and fry a teaspoon or so of curry powder mix in the butter for 30 seconds or so before you add the egg mix (Tikka Masalla works well; the pan wants to be hot, but not TOO hot at this point, or the spices will burn rather than fry, and the result will be pretty disgusting).

    Add the egg mix, and use the back of the fork or a spatula to move and spread it around enough so that most of the mix gets exposed to the heat and sets, and the bottom of the pan is covered reasonably evenly.

    Once the mix is reasonably solid, take it off the ring and nuke it immediately under the hot grill until the top is also set (as David Roberts correctly points out, you get a fluffier, better-cooked omelette that way - although the spices in the mix tend to reduce the rise).

    Take from under the heat, cover generously with a strong, tasty Cheddar (sliced or grated), and shove back under the grill until the cheese is melted.

    Turn out folded in the traditional "half-moon" shape, and serve immediately. One of the fastest cooked snacks known to man, and downright delicious.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Or...

      It's the bacon that's missing.

      I love a plain omelette. But never want to do any work for that, so it's eggs done in a pan with some butter, plus salt and pepper. Just on the hob, and you can get it pretty fluffy if you run the spatula through the setting egg a few times, on a medium heat. You basically push the sheets of just setting egg on the bottom of the pan, from the outside to the middle, then let new egg start to set, then repeat a few times. This fluffs it a bit like scrambled, but keeps it together. As soon as there's some definition, fold in half, then turn off the heat. Turn over after a minute or so - then serve just as the middle bit has set. Or before if you like it still a bit runny in the middle (which is how they always came in Brussels).

      Once you're chopping onions and faffing around with turning on the grill, you may as well do things properly. And properly means bacon or ham. Then whatever you've got. Hopefully some bits of boiled/roast potato, bit of sweetcorn, definitely cheese, tomato, peppers, onion, asparagus, whatever.

      Never tried putting chilli in it, but I suppose it would work fine. I like a bit of nutmeg with eggy-bread - but I'm not sure that cumin would be all that nice. To be honest, I don't really fancy the curried omelette that much at all.

      If I want chilli with my brekkie, I tend to go for a bit of tex-mex and have breakfast burritos. Nice bit of spicy tomato salsa spread on a soft tortilla, with a couple of rashers of bacon (or some sausage), plus a sprinkling of mature cheddar and a dollop of scrambled eggs. Makes a lovely brunch with fruit juice to use up leftovers if you've been doing tortillas the night before. I wonder if they'd work with guacamole, but that would have gone brown by the next morning, even if any of it ever did survive long enough to go back in the fridge.

  19. Carl W

    I tried this

    And there was too much garam masala. It wasn't too hot, just too "powdery". Maybe I should have been using level teaspoons instead of heaped. And I didn't have any tomatoes so I used a red (bell) pepper.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try leftover tarka dhal in scrambled eggs

    it's otterly delish.

  21. rachil

    I don't know about you guys

    I don't know about you guys but with me authentic Indian curry is the best. my taste buds cannot live without it once in a week. Lots of hot and tangy spices this is such a delight to relish with.

  22. rachil


    I don't know about you guys but with me authentic indian curry is the best. my taste buds cannot live without it once in a week. Lots of hot and tangy spices this is such a delight to relish with.

  23. ZPO

    You know it was hot enough

    When you have to use the handicapped stall. Bars to hang on to...

  24. Rainer

    IT-angle: not only for a hangover

    We had this at work, this weekend, to power us through a long mail-system migration.

    It's ideal because it's hot and spicy and doesn't contain much carbs (which are a sedative, which you might know if you ever had spaghetti carbonara for lunch and subsequently had your head hit your keyboard while digesting them).

    The smell of the garam masala keeps sticking around the kitchen and any room it is allowed to waft to. If that is a problem at your place of work: bad luck ;-)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon