Essentially, Akuri can be best described as masala scrambled eggs. But that description doesn't do the dish justice because you need to cook with ghee to know the magic it lends to eggs (and everything else you cook too!)
While my community, the Parsis, call it Akuri many Indians also refer to this dish as Anda (Egg) Bhurji.
In Mumbai, Bhurji is often on the breakfast menu in a long distance train or can also be found early morning on streets around offices. Mumbai’s Irani cafes commonly found in the CBD area of ‘Fort’ will serve Akuri too! My dad remembers cycling with his buddies from Tardeo to Colaba on a Saturday morning before stopping at Kayani’s for some breakfast Akoori.
The main difference between Akuri and Bhurji is that the former is made with ghee and is more creamy while the latter is made with oil. Bhurji is often also cooked a bit more until the egg is firm while Akuri is more a scrambled egg texture. The recipe below is for the simplest kind of Akuri you can make though Parsis are always coming up with new kinds of Akuri - the bible cookbook, Vividh Vani has some 50 odd Akuri recipes!
Creamy, spicy and herby (thank you, coriander), Akuri is the perfect savoury breakfast. Especially when paired with some crusty sourdough.
I'm very thankful to Stuff NZ for this opportunity to share a traditional Parsi dish with their readers!
Making Akoori at home (for one)
2 large eggs
1/2 large onion, finely chopped (about 100 gm)
200 gm diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder
2 tbsp ghee*
Salt to taste
Handful chopped coriander leaves
Optional: Grated cheese, Warm toasted bread
In a small saucepan, warm up the ghee. Add in the onions and saute until soft and translucent. Add in the turmeric, chilli and coriander-cumin powders and cook until the spices are all absorbed and don’t smell raw. Mix in the tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes, turn up the heat and allow to cook until soft. If using canned tomatoes, cook at medium heat until everything is incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and salt together. Turn the heat to low and slowly mix in your eggs to the spiced mixture continuously mixing everything. In about 30 seconds when the eggs are partially cooked, turn off the flame as the eggs will continue cooking - you don’t want them to overcook and turn hard.
Top with the coriander and garnish with grated cheese if you like. Serve with warm crusty bread.