Well, this is an exciting day! I have been wanting to create a vegan egg substitute that you would want to eat, ya know, like an egg! I longed for savoury breakfast foods, like omelettes, avocado toasts, wraps, burritos, and sandwiches, oozing with creamy eggy goodness! Egg replacements are almost always used as binders, hidden in baked goods, but I wanted something that would stand out on purpose, and be an egg. An egg made with lentils.
Let’s chat about the main ingredient in this recipe, where to find it, and what to substitute it with if need be. White / ivory lentils / urad dal are split black lentils without the skin. These work perfectly, as do yellow lentils / toor dal (also called split pigeon peas, which is super confusing, since they are lentils) and peeled and split mung beans / moong dal. You can find all of these suitable legumes at grocery stores among the dried legumes, at health foods stores, Indian grocers, or online.
Astoundingly, this mixture cooks and scrambles like eggs! 1/4 cup or 60ml of the mix is equal to about one whole egg, so cook the amount you like. Since the liquid will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge, it’s worth making the full amount so you have extra for subsequent days and meals.
Lastly, an optional ingredient in this recipe is kala namak, Indian black salt (also called Himalayan black salt), which lends an unmistakable sulphuric aroma to the finished dish, making it taste very “eggy”. Kala namak is a volcanic rock salt found in areas surrounding the Himalayas and parts of Northern India. It is composed of sodium chloride (NaCl), a key chemical compound found in regular salt, along with trace amounts of various sulfuric compounds. In solid rock form, the salt appears dark grey. However, once it’s pulverized, it takes on a pinkish hue. If you can’t find it, just leave it out!
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Alternative Scrambled Eggs
- 1 cup / 220g white lentils urad dal or yellow lentils / split pigeon peas (toor dal) / split mung beans / moong dal
- 1 cup / 250ml unsweetened milk of choice
- 2 Tbsp. water plus more as needed
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. onion powder sub with garlic powder
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. ground paprika
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- kala namak / Himalayan black salt to taste
- expeller-pressed coconut oil or butter of choice for cooking
- olive oil to serve
- Rinse the lentils well and soak them overnight in filtered water. In the morning, drain and rinse them again, and place in a blender with the milk, water, salt, nutritional yeast, onion powder, turmeric, paprika, baking powder, and kala namak. Blend on high until completely smooth.
- Melt your fat of choice in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the desired amount of lentil mixture (1/4 cup / 60ml = 1 egg). Let the mixture to cook in the pan for about a minute, then stir with a spatula or wooden spoon. As it cooks, the mixture will start to dry out and may stick to the bottom of the pan – that’s okay, now is the time to add water, a tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly, until the mix has loosened up and starts to look more like scrambled eggs (I like to use my spoon to break up any chunks). Let the water cook away, but add more if needed. If the mixture looks loose and shiny, it’s ready!
- Plate the eggs (or put them on toast, a bagel, tortilla…whatever!) and immediately drizzle with olive oil, using a brush to distribute if desired. Season with black pepper, flaky salt, chili flakes, hot sauce – use your imagination. Enjoy immediately. Keep liquid leftovers in the fridge for 4-5 days. (If the mixture thickens up in the fridge, simply whisk in a little water until it becomes pourable again.)