These are sad days for lovers of anda bhurji and eggs Florentine. Egg prices have gone up by up to 40% in several parts of India with the current rate being an unprecedented Rs. 7 per egg. Winters are generally better times for broiler chicken than eggs but this year’s steep price rise has still come as an unwanted surprise. While some attribute the inflated rates to the increased demand for eggs due to soaring vegetable prices, others have even connected it to demonetisation. Whatever the reason, chances are that you’re hunting for suitable substitutes that will be friendlier on your pocket.
Besan (chickpea flour)
Go the Gujarati way and use besan to churn out omelettes that are golden yellow like egg omelettes and nearly as tasty (in a different way). All you need is to add chopped onions, tomatoes, chillies, spice powders, fresh coriander and salt to the batter.
Paneer bhurji has the same look and feel as anda bhurji and it’s as filling. Prepare it the same way, by crumbling the paneer and then cooking with chopped tomatoes, chillies, onions, capsicum (optional) turmeric, salt and chilli powder.
You may find that your favourite canteen has upped their price of anda curry. But the good news is that chicken prices have fallen by almost 25% so just have chicken curry for lunch instead!
Mashed bananas can be used instead of eggs while baking. Not only do bananas provide moisture and fluff, they also add a desirable flavour to the finished product. Generally, the pulp of half a banana equals one egg.
Usually, eggless cakes have a lot of oil in them to provide a similar moist texture and taste. But applesauce is a much healthier alternative and if it’s sweetened, you can skip the sugar in your cake batter. 1/4th cup of applesauce can be used instead of one egg.
Tofu is as nutritious as eggs and like paneer, it has a similar texture when scrambled. So if its scrambled eggs you’re craving, crumble some firm tofu instead and cook with vegetables and seasonings of your choice (usually on the lines of a bhurji).
Like bananas, mashed avocado add the requisite amount of body and moisture while baking. Use a quarter cup for one egg. The best part is it won’t even add any unwanted flavour.
Flax or chia seeds
Flax or chia seeds are surprising substitutes for eggs in baking. All you need is one tablespoon of ground seeds and three tablespoons of water. Blend both until you have a viscous mixture and then add that to your batter.
Vegetable oil can be used in lieu of eggs but only up to a limit. More than a quarter cup will make your dish too greasy, not to mention unhealthy.
Yoghurt or curds
Curds or yoghurt are in regular supply in most Indian households and therein, you have the answer to all your eggless baking woes. One fourth cup of plain yoghurt or curd works like a dream to replace one egg. You can even have fun with flavoured varieties while baking cakes and muffins.
As eggs become an increasingly expensive food item, it might be a good idea to experiment with other quick breakfast options like muesli, oats, sandwiches, eggless pancakes, dosa, idli, poha, upma and chillas. Pair your muesli with thick yoghurt and top your poha with sprouts and nuts to ensure you don’t miss out on the protein. And simply look to your vegan and Jain friends for more creative ideas!