Make Mutta Kalakki From The Street Carts Of Madurai, At Home
Image Credit: Mutta Kalakki

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:




  • 2 eggs
  • 2-4 tablespoons of salna (leftover chicken, mutton or vegetarian gravy)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil


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  • Crack the eggs and add whisk them vigorously along with a pinch of salt and the leftover gravy. As you do this, gradually heat up a frying pan so it’s nice and hot when you pour the beaten egg mixture.
  • Add the oil to the pan and swirl it around so it evenly coats the surface. Once the oil is hot, pour the eggs in and immediately start to fold over from the sides towards the center, to form a pocket of sorts. Turn over onto a plate, once the corners have been folded and serve hot with dosas, parotta or eat as an accompaniment to rice.