The husband and I like to have special breakfasts at the weekends. Something tremendous and indulgent. Something voluptuous and pampering. There is something quite dirty about a big, fat, yes-yes breakfast and I like it.
The tradition, as it now is, stems partly from the pre-baby practices of a lie-in on the weekends after loud and cheerful Friday nights. We’d wake absolutely ravenous to TV in bed and before attacking a pre-jaunt ‘to do’ list, we’d eat liberally. I think the tradition also stems from a love of hearty breakfast foods. I adore a good fry up, as long as the the vegetarian sausages are home made. I make home made ‘baked’ beans too. You know what one of things I most looked forward to doing after I got married was? I was popping with excitement about having a huge English breakfast in the hotel, after our wedding night. Even though we were, shortly afterwards, flying out to Thailand. But listen, I didn’t get that slim/thin for the wedding on fried eggs and hash browns!
Oh, and pancakes soaked in lemon and sugar…heavenly. And what about my beloved Gujarati thepla (spicy chapatti with fenugreek)? I always keep some Pathak’s hot and spicy pickle in the house so that I can eat it and the thepla and lashings of yoghurt. My husband is quite fanciful of light and fluffy South Indian idli (steamed pillows of ground and fermented rice and lentils) with a fresh dhal. He also likes plentiful wraps and layered sarnies with proper beans such as black eyed beans in a fresh sauce, spinach and of course some crunchy potatoes. And cheese. Good cheese. Cheese good.
So, I bet you know where I’m going with this. We are getting older and fatter. Somehow, a hash brown doesn’t have the same appeal. We aren’t as ravenous in the mornings and we don’t really want to burping beany-eggy-fried stuff the whole day. But the tradition of wanting a large and loving, taste-powing and generally stupendous breakfast continues. My husband hasn’t traditionally been a lover of mushrooms but I have converted him and I owe the conversion to this mighty and fine recipe.
Have you ever eaten a chaat? The point is to tantalise the senses and the taste buds with a variety of textures; hot sour, crunchy and soft, cold and hot. The spice that brings it all together is chaat masala. It’s a peppery and pungent mix with black salt in it. Somehow it is just magical with exotic mushrooms. The juices that release from the mushrooms and the masala, oh my goodness…I could drink it as a soup! Please don’t chuck it away when you cook this dish, let it soak through the bread. This is a beautifully balanced and kind dish. You could have it as a light meal too. Go for it and let me know what you think.
Ingredients for two people
150g of exotic mushrooms. I used yellow oysters, grey oysters and anis mushrooms
2 tsp of chaat masala
A few blobs of goats cheese on each slice of bread
2 spring onions washed and chopped into bite sized chunks
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp finely chopped, fresh thyme
2 fat cloves of garlic very finely chopped
2 tbsp of cooking oil (use butter if you wish)
Two splashes of lemon juice
I used jalapeño and corn bread from ‘your bakery’ at tesco. It’s soft and spicy.
Cooks tip; it’s probably most economical to get a pack of mixed exotic mushrooms. I bought the chaat masala from the ethnic aisle at a tesco megastore. Don’t add any extra salt to this dish as the chaat masala is salty, please be careful.
1. If your grey oysters are large, then chop them in half. Wash all of the mushrooms and leave them to a side.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and then add the cumin seeds. Once they start to sizzle stir in the onions and garlic and sauté for a minute.
3. Place the bread in the toaster and Introduce the mushrooms to the onions and garlic and mix it all together. Sprinkle in the chaat masala, stir and add the lemon juice and the thyme. Simmer on a medium flame for about 3-4 minutes until the juices release and the mushrooms have relaxed. Don’t let them shrink. Exotic mushrooms aren’t tough so don’t need much cooking.
4. Plate the toast, then top with mushrooms and add a few blobs of goats cheese. Drizzle the stock onto the toast and serve immediately.