Zen and the art of folding the perfect cheese mushroom omelette.

An omelette for your thoughts

I am not a morning person. Which explains why making breakfast is something that never really excited me for long. Even though I love cooking!

I love my breakfasts of course. Cannot think of starting my day without it. Which is why I love going out with Kainaz to neighbourhood cafes for breakfasts. Ironically, these were the only times she would have breakfast as she was not a breakfast person till recently. That's all in the past now thanks to the lockdown.

I am so used to getting up and finding Baby Loaf on the chair by the
bed these days

I headed out to cafes in Bandra where we stay in Mumbai, primarily Candies, occasionally Mocha Mojo, later Smoke House Deli and Bombay Coffee House; to have breakfast and then write when I started my life as a freelance writer. 

Then I began to work from home in its truest sense. I would still order breakfast in though and not make it myself. Primarily from Candies and occasionally La Folie.

As time passed, I began to eat at home more than before in order to take better care of my health. That gradually led to my making my own breakfasts. I eventually fell in love with this and making breakfast became integral to my routine.

Then the lockdown happened. K began to work from home too. She works way more than I do of course.

As I had written earlier here, one lovely fallout of this is that K started having breakfast. I now make a portion for her when I make breakfast. Often slipping her a plate while she is on a work call. Then look to see if she liked it and her smile of approval is the high point of my breakfast.

Too mushy? Sorry, but this is about taking pride in ones efforts really.

Had to use one poultry and one free range egg today and you can make out
the difference in the colour of the yolk

Eggs and bread are the mainstay of my breakfast endeavours. The menu divided almost equally between fried eggs (deemer poach in Bengali), omelettes, boiled egg sandwiches (when I want to eat 'healthy'), savoury Bengali French toast (when the bread is old) and anda bhurjee (when I am too lazy or impatient to make fried eggs or omelettes). We have switched to free range eggs. They are more expensive but I love the rich colour of the yolks and the more hearty taste.

Making eggs and omelettes take skill and patience, experience and lots of tender, love and care. Else you might end up putting a lot of oil, or too little of it, and make a mess of your eggs.

I have managed to get the levels of both my fried eggs and my omelettes fairly up to my satisfaction now and I thought I will share a bit of what I learnt about making the perfect folded omelettes with you. My stuffed omelettes now are a far cry from my earlier fully loaded ones which would disintegrate in the pan and would have me pouring in oil in desperation and then coming out with a disaster from the kitchen.

The folded omelettes that I make now are more Zen and this morning's was a good example of that.

It features basic button mushrooms and processed cheese (Britannia) and has become the darling of the #FinelyChoppedKitchen during the lockdown.

I make one omelette with two eggs and split it between the two of us. In height order.

My recipe for mushroom and cheese folded omelette

Phase 1: The stuffing

Don't soak mushrooms in water to wash them. Do not overcrowd
the pan with them.

This step is based on something I saw ages back on Nikhil Merchant's Instagram page where he prepped the stuffing for the omelette first and then added it back in midway. Different from my earlier technique of beating the stuffing with the eggs at one got and then pouring it out. The latter is disastrous when making generously loaded omelettes!

  1. Wash the mushrooms in running water or dip into a bowl of water. Wipe them clean immediately with a cloth or your fingers (wash your hands first) and then set aside. Do not bring in contact with water for long.
  2. Slice the mushrooms. Or Finely Chop.
  3. Heat oil. I use vegetable/ olive/ avocado oil
  4. Put the mushrooms in the pan once the oil is hot. Do no overcrowd the pan. Else the mushrooms might give out water. I do not add salt to the mushrooms as the whisked egg has salt and I put cheese too. You need not add cheese if you want. 
  5. Stir and saute the mushrooms till they gets a brownish tinge and then set aside.

Phase 2: Omelette rollover

  1. Use the same pan as the mushrooms for the omelette. Without washing it. Add a bit more oil. Not too much as the pan is greased already.
  2. Pour out the egg which you have whisked vigorously first. I add salt while whisking it. Reduce the flame to the minimum at this point.
  3. Once the egg begins to partially solidify, lay out the pre-sauteed mushrooms in a row at one corner of the egg base
  4. Add cheese at this point. I use half a cube. I add small pieces of cheese rather than grated cheese. "You can taste the cheese better this way," said Sarosh Irani of Pune's Vohuman Cafe. They make lovely cheese omelettes at this legendary Irani cafe. Flat. Not folded though. More Parsi pora than Parisian.
  5. Use a flat spatula to gently fold the omelette starting with the side on which the stuffing was kept. With time you will know the amount of oil and time your pan needs for the eggs to 'bend their knees' as they said in Game Of Thrones. Surrender to you.
  6. Once folded, turn off the hob and gently press the omelette down with a spatula to allow it to cook in the heat of the pan. I prefer to have my omelettes to be a bit runny inside if possible.
Add coarsely ground pepper for flavour. Oregano, zatar, sumac

I make toast in the toaster while the omelette happens and crank out an espresso from the Nespresso machine in the hall when I step out with breakfast.

Clicking for Instagram means that breakfast might not be as hot as it could have been, but that is fine. I usually am thinking of the story to tell you about it while having my breakfast. Today I decided to give you a recipe as well and hence came to the blog.

I am rather happy by how well these omelettes turn out now, compared to how they did in the past.

I guess this is why they say take each day at a time. Just because your omelettes are imperfect now does not mean that they will always be so! So keep working at it.

Tell me your breakfast stories and any life lessons that you serve with them. Would love to hear about those.

Mushrooms galore

I used the mushrooms that I had not used for breakfast, for lunch. I saw that there was two day old rice in the fridge and bits and pieces of 3 green capsicum. 

What followed was a #LoveYourLeftovers lunch starring ginger chilli mushroom for K and garlic mushroom fried rice for me, with Baby Loaf approving of the plating first.

Mushroom fried rice and mushroom chilli

Baby Loaf manages my Instagram page. Now you know

When Baby Loaf was as enthusiastic as a human kid to pose with his parents for a family
photo today!

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That omelette looks yum! Will surely try the recipe--if not with mushrooms, then with something else. I love making eggs for breakfast. They're really versatile and eliminate the need to debate what to cook for at least one meal of the day. For today, I had a mashed-boiled-egg open toast mixed with ketchup, inspired by one of your blog posts! Your posts really encourage one to improvise and experiment with their dishes, rather than be strict about following a recipe. Looking forward to reading more such inspirational posts!
Sanjay N Lulla said…
Baby loaf is good team oƱ insta. I'll definitely try the mushroom omelette using yellow mung dal instead of eggs.
I often fall asleep thinking about breakfast. šŸ˜ŠšŸ™ƒšŸ™‚
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Sanjay: he is ondeed. Would it be like a chilla then?
Sanjay N Lulla said…
@Kalyan no the consistency softness is like those of eggs. We can use black salt to get the aroma too. May I share a YouTube here?
I made bhurji, scrambled using this.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Priyanka so good to hear from you and for your kind words. The egg sandwich sounds lovely and i can just visualise it. Yes, good eggs egg us on. Sorry :)