Fried eggs atop chilli cheese on toast is a favourite of the well-to-do Willingdon Club, the first such Bombay institution to admit Indians. It is reputedly named after the member (not to be confused with the Indian politician Arvind Kejriwal) who, not allowed by his wife to eat eggs at home, kept asking for the dish in his club.
The most convenient way of finishing the eggs here is to use a frying pan that can go into the oven. If you don’t have one, fry the eggs until cooked in the pan, then top with the cheese, spring onions, chilli and pepper. The cheese won’t melt quite as much, but it will still be delicious. If your frying pan is reliably non-stick you should need little or no oil.
Extract taken from Dishoom by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar & Naved Nasir (£26, Bloomsbury)
Photography © Haarala Hamilton
80g mature Cheddar, grated
1 or 2 thick slices of white bloomer, sourdough or brioche (depending on size and level
2 spring onions, chopped
1 green chilli, very finely chopped
1 tsp vegetable oil (optional)
1 or 2 large eggs (one per slice of toast)
Coarsely ground black pepper
1. Let the grated cheese come up to room temperature; it needs to be quite soft and workable.
2. Heat the oven to 240°C/Fan 220°C/Gas 9. Place a baking tray inside to warm up.
3. Toast the bread until very lightly browned on both sides. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the topping.
4. Put a small handful of the grated cheese (roughly 10g), 1 tsp chopped spring onion and a pinch of green chilli to one side, to be used when you fry the egg(s).
5. Crack the egg(s) into a cup or small bowl, being careful to keep the yolk(s) intact.
6. Put the remaining cheese, spring onions and green chilli into a bowl, add plenty of black pepper and mix well. Using the back of a spoon (or your fingers), work the cheese mixture into a paste by pressing it firmly into the side of the bowl.
7. Spread the cheese mix evenly over the toast and press it in, using the back of the spoon, to create a firm, even layer that goes all the way to the edges of the toast. Place on the tray in the oven and cook for 6–8 minutes, until deep golden and bubbling.
8. While the chilli cheese toast is cooking, warm a frying pan over a high heat and, if using, add the oil. Gently tip the egg(s) into the hot pan and add some black pepper. Top with the reserved grated cheese, spring onion and green chilli. Place the frying pan in the oven and cook for 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the egg white(s) are cooked but the yolk(s) are still runny.
9. Carefully slide the egg(s) onto the cheese on toast and serve right away, with plenty of tomato ketchup.