Breakfast of Champion Drinkers


Breakfast of Champion Drinkers

Everyone’s had one of those AF Saturday nights. You blew off some steam and threw up the middle finger to that circle jerk of a work week. You caught up with a friend or five and hit up that new bar you’ve always wanted to try. You knocked back obscure concoctions made with Jagermeister, Tequila, Vodka, and élan. You pickled your liver in a mixture of single malt. Then when the music got too loud and the drinks too pricey, you decided that the buzz you caught needed to turn into full-blown highly vocal drunkenness. So you hit one of the many bars where you know the music is soft, the chaklis crunchy, and the owner probably a Shetty. Or it might have involved a bad, off-key rendition of “Free Bird”, a fiery electric red stain where the schezuan sauce first made contact with your shirt, and some good old-fashioned projectile vomiting on the pavement outside the bar. Finally as the sun came up, you crashed into a bed that may or may not be yours.

A few hours later, you woke up in hell.

Everything right now is either too bright or too loud. Your head feels like it was used by John Bonham to bang out an epic solo and you want nothing more than to curl up into foetal position and lay there until the world stops being bright and loud. Fighting the urge to retch, you swear to never be within 500 feet of a liquor store, theka, college campus, bar, or any other place where alcohol is stockpiled in copious quantities. And the head, oh the fucking head.

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t your Saturday night. Maybe that was just mine. More specifically, my birthday and the day the start-up I worked for folded. I hadn’t received a paycheck in two months, I had exactly 15 bucks saved up in the bank, and I’d just turned 25. I decided I wasn’t going to stay sober on this gloriously inglorious day so I dug into my rainy day fund and headed out with two of my oldest friends.

The rest, you already know.

That Sunday morning, I pulled a sheet over my head and waited for death to take me, but she never came. Instead, I heard an infernal sizzle and clanging of metal on metal. These sounds were familiar, but at that point, I absolutely hated them. Deciding death wasn’t coming for me, I chose to drag myself out of bed. I felt as if a flash-bang grenade had just gone of inches from my face – everything went bright orange. Then I saw it, in a moment that seemed straight out of a movie where the protagonist is tossed a loaded weapon by a sidekick/ally moments before he’s about to go down.

In this really bad movie, the ally was my mum and the gun was a steaming hot plate of bhurji pav, with warm, crisp, buttered pav on the side. There was also the “I’m-gonna-kill-you-later-but-eat-this-now” look on her face, but I focused on the plate. As I tucked into that pile of soft scrambled creamy eggs, slathered in enough butter to give you a coronary, I realised that if this were my last meal, I’d die a happy man.

It almost did come to that. The minute I finished eating, my mother came at me with the same pan in which she’d cooked the eggs. There was some ducking, begging and promises of never drinking again thrown about wildly in the air as she chased me around. She gave in eventually (the good woman that she is) and sat huffing on the armchair as I informed her of my employment status. She put the pan down (bless her heart) and told me it was going to be okay. And it was.

Now, everything about that memory is hazy but those eggs shine in all their yellow magnificence. In the event that you are in the grips of a colossal headache, alcohol induced or not, these will save you. I’ve added a bit of swag to Mama’s version to really make your Sunday.


Finely chop up one medium sized onion, 3 cloves of garlic, a thumb-sized piece of ginger, and 2 tomatoes.

Melt some butter in a pan. When the butter stops foaming, throw in the onions, garlic, ginger, and sauté till fragrant. Then put in a teaspoon of chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder – aw fuck this – throw in some dhania, jeera, haldi, mirchi powder and half a teaspoon each of MDH Kitchen King and Pav Bhaji masala.

Give it all a stir, turn down the heat, and let the masalas cook out. Then add in a splash of water, and let the whole thing simmer together. Add a pinch of sugar and season with salt. Then add a tablespoon of finely chopped coriander and set aside. This is your bhurji masala.

Now, beat an egg yolk over a double boiler till it’s light, foamy and pale coloured. Take it off the heat and beat in 100 grams of melted butter slowly. You might want to Google, “How to make Hollandaise” before you begin.

Prepare your hollandaise, add in a generous pinch of chilli powder, half a teaspoon of lemon juice and some finely chopped coriander or curry leaves. This is your spicy hollandaise; keep it warm.

Now poach as many eggs as you want to eat and toast an equal number of pavs. The masala and hollandaise should be sufficient for three eggs.

To serve, put the toasted pav on a plate, spread some of the masala you made, top it with a poached egg and the spicy hollandaise.

Say bye-bye to your hangover.