If I can cook it, you can cook it And I'll travel the world to bring it back home to you.

Floyd Cardoz’ Indian-Spiced Tomato and Egg Casserole

Chef Floyd Cardoz and one of his dishes from
his latest restaurant, White Street

As many of you know,  New York’s winter has been not as unforgiving as the one Boston is suffering through.  But it is incredibly cold here and not expected to get much warmer anytime soon.  Times like these, I look for comfort food that will warm the body and bring a sense of well-being with it.  My thoughts turned to Indian food recently with its rich spices all of which bring a lively heat to their dishes.  The irony of India being a source of cold-weather cooking is not lost on me.  India ranks the 8 hottest country in the world, beaten out by much of the Arabian peninsula and North Africa. (Libya comes in at #1.)  But what is also true is that eating spicy foods raises your internal temperature. Your blood circulation increases, you may start actually sweating.  The effect of this in summer is that sweat, which usually starts on your face, evaporates and in doing so, cools you down.  In winter, the idea of raising one’s internal temperature certainly has its appeal.  So I turned to Floyd Cardoz, one of New York’s most celebrated Indian chefs for a recipe that I served at brunch but would make a wonderful “Breakfast for Dinner”.  It’s meatless, gluten-free, vegetarian and stunningly warming and delicious.

Chef Cardoz and his wife
at the New York Opening
of “100 Foot Journey”

Floyd Cardoz may not be a household name but you may be familiar with his work even you don’t know his name.  He was, for instance, the authority hired by the producer of “The 100 Foot Journey”, last year’s feel-good food movie.  Floyd was brought in because of his ability to fuse together two cultures through cooking which was what the movie was all about.  He was uniquely qualified for his role.  Born in Bombay, he apprenticed at the Taj Mahal Intercontinental Hotel.  From there he went on to Hotel School in Switzerland learning French and Italian cooking, getting his diploma before heading back to India. From there he moved to New York and it was here that he truly made his name.  He became Chef de Cuisine at Danny Meyer’s Tabla.  There he introduced New Indian cuisine marrying flavors and spices of his native country with Western Techniques.  He garnered 3 stars from The New York Times and accolades from just about everyone in the 12 year history of the restaurant.  His latest venture, White Street (221 West Broadway, New York, NY Tel: 212 944-8378) has been greeted with high praise for its amazing fusion cuisine.  How about Roast Suckling Pig Vindaloo with Kimchi and Cabbage?  By my count, that’s at least three cultures sharing the same plate.

The Food Movie of 2014.

Today’s dish came from a 2014 New York Times article by Melissa Clark on casseroles.  Let’s face it, Casseroles, that staple of the fifties haven’t made waves for some time. As food tastes have become more sophisticated these remnants of the Campbell’s Cream Soups School of Cooking have lost favor, the victim of their blandness and use of processed food like…Campbell’s Cream Soups.  But put thoughts of those aside as you dip into Chef Cardoz’ tomato sauce spiked with ginger, fresh green chiles and Indian spices poured over tiny potatoes, baked for a time and then topped with eggs and baked again.  The result is that the yolk runs all over each tomato laden bite. Chef Cardoz’ inspiration was the cooking of an ancient Zoroastrian Persian Parsis who settled in the India between the 8th and 10th centuries.  Whatever the inspiration, this dish should not be missed.  Serve it for brunch, as I did, along with a whole grain toast.  Or make it the centerpiece of a meatless meal.  Use your food processor to prepare the green peppers, pulsing until they are finely chopped. You’ll see that the recipe calls for 6 eggs and a 9×9 inch casserole.  I used a Emile Henri ceramic pie dish, used only 4 eggs and likely didn’t need to make half the potatoes called for.  It was magnificent.  Here is the recipe:

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