Breakfast at night

The Americans like their breakfast any time of the day, but most other people wait till the next morning. I felt American today, and had an uncontrollable urge to down an eggs benedict for dinner. Which is all very good, but eggs benedict isn't the easiest of dishes to get hold of in Mumbai even in normal hours. The only choice I had, really, was to make my own version – and so that is what I set out to do.

Eggs Benedict, like so many other famous dishes, has obscure origins though most people agree on its invention sometime at the turn of the century in New York. The basic recipe is remarkably consistent – poached eggs on english muffin and ham, topped with hollandaise sauce. Basically, crisp base, chewy salty centre, squishy top and a rich tasty sauce on top.

It turns out the only thing I had from that list was – the egg. A burger bun substituted for the muffin, a chicken mince patty played the role of ham and I do a fair poached egg with real eggs, but finally – there was the elephant in the room. Hollandaise sauce has been known to curdle even on Masterchef contestants who can otherwise produce six course meals with two hands tied behind their back; I had no idea how to make it.

Brainwave, however, was around the corner. There was, indeed, something in my pantry that was yellow, liquid and tangy the way a good hollandaise should be. Some days ago, I'd bought myself a bottle of cheese salsa for some nachos, and that was as close as I was to get.


And so the Shanky variant of the Eggs Benedict was made. It was surprisingly good; the chicken went nicely with the cheese salsa, and that beautiful runny poached yolk was – well -  beautiful. It did look like the real thing - sort of…

Sure, the original works better but I surely have a shot at one of those variants. Behold – the world's first Eggs Bambayia!

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