My closest friend from high school, Nalin, and his family moved to the Poconos just before our senior year of high school. Nalin stayed in Atlantic City with his Grandfather while simultaneously hyphenating his last name to Dadarwala-Glass because my mom basically adopted him. It wasn’t enough for her to have one “big” son, she had to have two.
Nalin and I have gotten into more shenanigans than any two young guys should have. Many of which have had us looking back years later questioning how we didn’t get arrested or died doing some of these things and, even more, questions about what we must have said to convince ourselves that we wouldn’t get arrested or die. 8 years later, Nalin is still my best friend, I go to him for just about everything and he comes to me for just about everything.
Even though college has basically eliminated us spending time together, we still find a weekend each year to try to get to see each other and fuck shit up as much as possible without getting arrested or dying. I haven’t visited his family in about 2 years, at least, I haven’t visited them prior to my VSG surgery (I had a VSG in March of 14′ and even though I have the appetite of a college kid, the palate of a restaurateur and the stomach size of a 9-year-old, I still maintain myself and my sexy sexiness).
I called Nalin one Thursday a few weeks ago and was thinking of asking if I could come to visit to visit but before I did, he said, “Hey you wanna come visit this weekend?” I kid you not, this is not as abnormal as you may think, we are telepathic. I played it off like I wasn’t thinking it, but I think he realized I was thinking it because I burst out laughing and yelling like bitches at a Henri Bendel Black Friday sale.
Later that night he calls me and says his manager messed up his schedule and gave him a three-day weekend and insisted I come up that night. Sounded weird to me, but I’m not one to question. I drove up immediately and met them at a bar in Mt. Pocono. I didn’t drink there but I did eat really shitty wings which I was told were good. Nalin, if you are reading this, they sucked, get over it. Fast forward to Friday night to us drinking a lot; we really put em’ away.
Saturday morning, I woke up on the couch at 8 am to his mom humming a tune with Gujarati words here and there and doing something in the kitchen while the smell of incense filled my nostrils. I fell back to sleep. At 9 am I woke up to Nalin talking on the phone loud enough to hear it ringing in my ear. He looked at me on the couch and asked if I was hungry, I said yes and we talked about what to do. He said he had resting pizza dough in the fridge. Suspicious of my Indian companion’s baking skills, I was too hungover and trusting of him to question otherwise so I offered to make a breakfast tart (it’s basically pizza, but a tart is what us classy foodies call a pizza with minimal rise, no sauce and savory fillings with veggies and can be eaten at brunch with other classy hungover people). He agreed, his mom agreed, his brother and sister agreed and I got to work.
Savory Breakfast Tart w/ Tomatoes, Eggs and Indian spices
- 1 Pizza dough
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 package Shredded Mozzarella
- 1 bunch Scallions, chopped
- 6 Eggs
- 2 tbs Garlic Paste
- 2 tbs Ginger Paste
- 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 4 Cloves
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- Salt and Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425*F. Lightly oil a 9×13 rimmed cookie sheet and wipe away any excess oil. When the oven is ready, lay the dough in the pan and press it against the edges to make a crust like a pizza. Bake for 7 min.
- Remove dough from oven and spread with garlic and ginger paste. Season lightly with salt and black pepper. Add 75% of cheese. Line the edges of the tart with slices of tomatoes. Crack eggs on top. Add scallions. With a mortar and pestle, grind the seeds and cloves than mix with cinnamon and lightly spread on top of entire tart (be careful not to put too much in one spot or it will be overwhelming). Season lightly with salt and black pepper again. Add remaining cheese.
- Place back in the oven for 10-15 min based on the preference of egg’s runny-ness.
- Remove and let cool. Prepare Coffee. Plate.
Nalin and his family live up in the mountains and for anyone not accustomed to waking up and hearing nothing, it’s eery. I really like it. We stepped out on his back porch and sat right on the wood porch. The grass was still wet and you can hear a few birds in the distance but other than that you only hear the wind and yourself breathing. It’s relaxing, but it’s odd. Nalin’s family is like a second home to me. I even refer to his mom as “mummy”. She takes care of everyone who enters her house like they are her own children and even if she didn’t like what I made, she would still smile and tell me it was delicious. Everyone else loved it and asked for seconds.
Maybe it’s just because we are young or maybe the Universe is looking out for us. We aren’t really sure, but we both believe in something above us that is making sure our stupidity doesn’t kill us and I think with all these weird similarities and preferences to do stupid shit all the time it would be unnatural if we weren’t best friends. We both struggle in life and we both come from different places and are going different places, but we both get each other and that’s what friends do. Nalin, stop making me drive 611 (AND 715!!!) at night. Stop that shit. Just eat your damn tart and drink you drink and I’ll see you in my rearview mirror.
Remember, it’s not rocket science, its food porn, bruh.
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