Indian food, with its variety of ingredients, flavours and texture, has always intrigued foodies across the world, be it dosa, butter chicken, or even chole bhature. But, a humble Mumbai-based egg preparation pipped all its famous cousins to make it to the list of Top 10 New York dishes of 2016, compiled by food critic Pete Wells for The New York Times.
This is what he wrote about Eggs Kejriwal, served at an Indian restaurant Paowalla, in his review: “It’s a fried egg on toast under melted Cheddar that stands out from all others because of a throat-catching green chutney that has a glossy underpinning of coconut oil.” Paowalla is a restaurant owned by celebrated Indian-American chef Floyd Cardoz, who is a Mumbai native.
If you think Eggs Kejriwal has anything to do with Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, hold the thought. The cheesy, sunny-side-up on toast, came into being long before the world heard of Arvind Kejriwal. Legend has it that the dish was conjured by Mumbai-based businessman Devi Prasad Kejriwal in the 1960s. Kejriwal, apparently, was a huge fan of eggs. His family, however, were strict vegetarians and eggs were a no-no. And so, Kejriwal sought to seek his love for eggs and toast outside the house kitchen. At his favourite clubs, like the Willingdon Sports Club, he ordered eggs just the way he loved them—bread, with a fried egg on top, topped with chopped green chillies and a generous serving of Amul cheese. Kejriwal's delicious recipe soon became a regular at the club restaurants, and everybody wanted 'what Kejriwal was eating'. And so, the spicy and cheesy egg recipe came to be known as Eggs Kejriwal. It has popped up in many Mumbai eateries including the Bombay Canteen, Cardoz's Mumbai venture.
Cardoz took this popular dish to New York in 2016, tweaking it to suit the American palate—Amul cheese made way for Cheddar cheese, green chillies were replaced by fresh Serrano chillies, and a slice of French bread Brioche instead of the toast.