An Indian omelette flash cooked on a hot pan, that could easily be our answer to Japan’s famous omu-rice.
For how unassuming an egg omelette can be, the mutta kalakki, the Madurai-origin thattu vandi kadai (street cart) special, is quite the opposite. Often times, the association of street food and eggs have been in the capacity of late-night plates of spicy bhurji or anda ghotala, a runnier version of the scramble. However, the mutta kalakki is different in more ways than one. To begin with, the eggs get beaten with a spoon or two of leftover gravy or salna from chicken or mutton curries, lending plenty of flavour to what would otherwise be a bland omelette. The technique in which a kalakki is made allows the mixture to sit on the pan for not more than 15-20 seconds before the corners are folded inwards leaving the center runny and undercooked, like that of Japan’s omu-rice.
The key to ensuring that the mutta kalakki is cooked just about right, is to have the pan at optimum heat which is enough to instantly cook the bottom portion of the eggs as soon as they touch the surface of the pan. Adding some kind of a gravy – be it chicken, mutton or a vegetarian gravy, devoid of the meat or vegetables, is a key component in contributing to the legitimacy of the dish. Many street carts in Madurai and Salem have customers thronging to enjoy a kalakki, that is usually eaten with crisp and fluffy dosas. Here's how you can enjoy a piece of this gatekept culinary brilliance at home: