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Jan 16, 2007 12:35 AM

Breakfast meats in Indian food

Rustling up an Indian brunch this weekend I've planned:

1. Potato curry
2. Scrambled eggs with chilis, onions, and tomatos
3. Stuffed parathas (from the store I'm sorry to say)
4. A fruit salad with chaat masala

However, am a bit stumped on what meat to cook. None of the usual Indian meats (kebabs, tandoori) seems appropriate for what is, after all, a late breakfast. Fish seems out as well since I don't recall seeing a lot of fish in India (except Goa). Smoked Salmon, the lazy man's staple brunch serving seems inappropriate for India. Ditto for sausages, bacon, et al.

Suggestions would be much appreciated. I'm not as concerned about prep time as I am about getting it right.

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  1. I don't think meat is traditional breakfast fare.

    But if you want to serve meat, you could make chappli kebab. Made with ground beef, they resemble sausage patties.

    I do think your menu sounds fine without meat.

    3 Replies
    1. re: marthadumptruck

      Nihari and haleem are both breakfast dishes in muslim areas - haleem is great stuff but not served in hunks, which may be what you want.

      You probably want to offer some yogurt (maybe in the form of a raita) to round out your meal.

      1. re: jen kalb

        Raita sounds great. We've added Boondi Raita to the menu. Thanks! (I wouldn't even know where to start cooking Nihari and Haleem anyway.)

        1. re: gumnaam

          I think that if you roll up some eggs or potatoes in your parathas that will be plenty without meat.

          I love to make scrambled eggs cooked in butter with ginger, onions, green chiles cumin and turmeric and plenty of green coriander - its great layered in nan or paratha (you might want to get some onion nan to go along with this too, or fresh wholewheat pocketless pitas.

          some fresh green chutney might be good with this meal too.

    2. I agree with martha...you have your eggs for protein, why look for a meat to include? Not needed, it seems.

      1. Normally I wouldn't bother with meat. But, the guests are carnivorous Italians and I sort of feel that I should put some meat on the table. Plus, I guess, I am curious about the whole meat and breakfast thing in India. I'm sure that in muslim communities there must be some meat on the table at breakfast. The question is, what?

        Thanks for the chappli kebab suggestion. Will definitely look up the recipe.

        1. Take a hint from the days of British India and make kedgeree -- kippers or other smoked fish with rice, hard-boiled eggs, onions and spices. Garnish with grilled tomato.

          Another standby (very British) would be a cooked cold ham.

          1 Reply
          1. re: zebcook

            I did have kedgree in York on a recent trip to the UK. Too salty for me! Where on earth did the Brits find that in India? I guess kedgree is a form of kichiri (rice and lentils cooked together) but how did fish and eggs get into it? I'm going to pass on this one (with apologies!).

          2. Normal indian breakfast doesn't include meat. In fact, the items you are serving wouldn't really be considered breakfast, except for the parathas. A typical breakfast would be dosa in the south, or dhalia in the north (wheat porridge). Aloo parathas (potato stuffed paratha) with plain yogurt are also popular. But Toast with tea is the most popular breakfast from what I've seen in India. (or a typical continential breakfast).

            If you really want to do an indian inspired meat dish, then get some spicy chicken sausage (I like something with jalepeno or habanero). Slice into rounds. Fry 1 sliced onion until soft, then add in a sliced bell pepper, and the sliced sausage. Fry until the sausage and peppers are nicely browned, then add chopped cilantro before serving. I make this with rice, but I think it would be a good brunch dish.

            2 Replies
            1. re: boogiebaby

              Hmm. Spicy chicken sausage sounds good. Where the heck does one get it? I looked it up on Fresh Direct but the closest they have is a Thai Chicken Sausage with Ginger.

              The parathas are stuffed with cauliflower. I know that one rarely sees meat at Breakfast (unless it is sausages or bacon) in India but, like I said above, there must be meat served in Muslim communities. I guess a Biryani would go well at lunch, but for brunch, I'm not so sure. Even if it did go, it would be the main thing served, perhaps with a raita. Unfortunately, I have at least one vegetarian at the brunch and am loathe to diss her so absolutely.

              1. re: gumnaam

                You could check if your paratha vendor makes kheema parathas. Being a paratha it would still be breakfast friendly. (Do excuse the explanation in case you are familiar with kheema.) Kheema is spicy browned ground meat. The meat can be chicken, turkey, mutton or beef.