This oh-so-healthy-delicious omelet, layered with the flavors of crispy parsley, garlic, shallots and pepper and topped with sweet and savory caramelized shallots, was brought to my kitchen by Deepa’s Secrets: Slow Carb – New Indian Cuisine.
Deepa presented her book at a media luncheon at Melissa’s Produce. Her story of moving to America with her new husband Thampy, learning to cook, raising their two sons and running a successful textile business, along with memories of her family in India, are woven through the book. Deepa’s Secrets (like her Magic Finishing Spice) and suggested dishes for complete menus also accompany each recipe.
The life-changing aspect of Deepa’s book is how her “deconstruction and reconstruction” of her family’s favorite dishes enabled Thampy to discontinue the insulin injections he had relied on for ten years, and both of them lost more than 20 lbs. during the first six months of their new eating style. What’s more, they did not feel deprived of flavor or satiety (at least not after the first two difficult weeks!). The key to her success was learning about the glycemic index and determining that rice and bread – two main staples in India – were the biggest carbohydrate culprits that contributed to all of Thampy’s family being diabetic, and indeed, to India being known as “The Diabetes Capital of the World.”
Deepa’s Secrets contains explanations of carbohydrates – simple vs. complex, slow vs. fast; and glycemic index – low vs. high – that were very easy for me to understand. After all her research into the subject before writing her book, I would never be able to do the explanations justice in a blog post – suffice to say that if you are interested in transitioning to a slow carb eating style I highly recommend this book!
Chef Tom and the Melissa’s Produce team cooked up several dishes from the book for bloggers to sample: Roasted Beets and Shaved Fennel Salad, Ginger Cabbage Slaw, Dryfoossels Sprouts, Zucchini LaSuzy, General Joseph’sFive-Star Chicken Batons, Meat Lovers’ Indian Chili, and Red, White and Blue Breakfast Salad with Melissa’s Clean Snax Crumble.
I made the Masala Omelet with Caramelized Shallots, and I loved the flavors and the ease of preparation. Being the artist that she is, Deepa encourages us to “go off-book” with her recipes, reminding us that “Your kitchen is your canvas!” I did make a few adjustments in the recipe.
I couldn’t find the Chaat Masala spice blend (the challenge of living in a smaller town), so I substituted a different blend of Marash Chile, garlic, sumac, oregano, parsley and peppercorn. Instead of cayenne pepper, I used Melissa’s Produce Hatch Chile Powder. (Speaking of spices, did I mention that the chapter on a well-stocked pantry is a wonderfully thorough tutorial on Indian spices and sauces, including new ones Deepa created, like her Magic Spice Mix and Deepa’s Green Sauce, her equivalent to Indian pesto? It is!)
I prepared the Caramelized Shallots the day before, as Deepa recommends – in fact she suggests making a big batch of these so you’ll always have a little something on hand to accent your dishes. They do add great texture and taste to the omelet!
The Masala Omelet (the word masala refers to any of a number of spice mixtures ground into a paste or powder for use in Indian cooking) was also easy and quick to prepare – in this case it made a delightful lunch. Prepping all the ingredients needed before cooking is essential so that everything can be added as the recipe instructs.
Do have the lid to the pan in hand when you add the parsley to the hot oil – it really does jump (see that little green leaf way up above the edge of the pan there?)!
Once the eggs are poured over the other ingredients, the lid goes on and it cooks until it’s done – 2 minutes or so – no stirring required.
It’s very pretty – remember, we eat with our eyes so this is important too!
Deepa has inspired me with her recipes – innovative dishes that effortlessly meld the flavors she was raised on in India with the plethora of cultures and foods she has experienced in the United States. In her own words, “My roots are in India but my life was made in America. This book is my American life.” Add to that her story of how she improved her health and that of her husband by changing their eating style, and her non intimidating explanations about carbs and the glycemic index, and Deepa’s Secrets becomes as much a great resource as it is a cookbook with fresh and creative recipes.
Because of her passion for children’s health, Deepa is donating all of the proceeds from the sale of her books to the child nutrition nonprofit organization FoodCorps. If you’re writing up your holiday shopping lists, this book will make a perfect gift for a special foodie. Make sure to gift one to yourself – after all, it’s for a great cause. Enjoy!
Your day is full of choices. Your body is full of healing power. What if you gave it a chance? Fortune may favor you too. ~Deepa Thomas
- For the Caramelized Shallots:
- 2 Tbsp. unrefined coconut oil
- 4 shallots, sliced into rings
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne powder
- ⅛ tsp. brown sugar
- ½ tsp. chaat masala
- ¼ tsp. salt
- For the Masala Omelet:
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin or unrefined coconut oil
- 2 cups parsley, stemmed and rough-chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. cayenne flakes
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 eggs, whisked with a fork until frothy
- For the Caramelized Shallots:
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.
- Saute the shallots in a single layer for one minute.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, give a good stir and leave undisturbed until the edges of the shallots start to brown.
- Turn shallots over and brown until golden, 4-6 minutes. Avoid burning.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- For the Masala Omelet:
- Heat oil in a 12" non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Shield yourself with a lid as you toss in the chopped parsley, as it will splutter before it crisps up.
- Lower the heat and add the shallots; saute until light brown in color, about 5 minutes.
- Add jalapeno, garlic, cayenne flakes, salt and pepper to the pan and saute for 30 seconds.
- Pour beaten eggs into the pan, lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook (do not stir) until done, about 2 minutes.
- Loosen from the pan with a spatula and fold in half.
- Top with Caramelized Shallots.
Disclaimer: I was provided with the book Deepa’s Secrets and the Hatch Chile Powder by Melissa’s Produce for this post. I was not compensated in any other way and all the opinions are mine.