Pre pandemic, dining out was an everyday thing for me. Travelling, exploring new flavours, figuring out the ingredients in each dish, setting out on a quest to find the best local eateries were all things that made life exciting! But never in these expeditions have I ever wanted to recreate a dish so bad as the masala omelette from Cafe Good Luck in Pune!
It was during my brief visit to Pune in 2019 when I decided to take a quick bite before my flight, and Sidharth suggested that we eat the Anda Pav and Bun Maska – Jam from Good Luck. Maharashtra is the hub for Irani cafes and this one sported a rustic, old -fashioned look like the others in the business. People were moving in and out of what looked like a quaint and small cafe, but I was too quick to judge! The place was spacious and the cafe was buzzing with a crowd setting out for work, college and school. We moved towards the table arranged inside and were greeted by elderly service staff who looked cheerful and in their happiest self. This made me wonder if I was as happy with my work as they were!
The Bun Maska with Jam arrived first, followed by the chai, coffee and Masala Omelette Pav. It wasn’t the small street-side pav I was used to seeing in Maharashtra, rather was more of a milk bread sliced into two equal halves with the jelly-like preserve oozing out of it. The Anda pav had omelette in layers and one could easily differentiate it from an omelette with no masala. I wasn’t taken a fan of the jam only because of how sweet it was and clearly, the winner in my books was the omelette, it was too good that I ordered a plate of omelette alone and gobbled that down too.
It was creamy, probably due to how well it was beaten, the masala wasn’t raw and so well cooked that it blended beautifully with the omelette. I imagined a staff cooking this masala alone and then beating it into the egg mixture, how else does it cook so well? I had to work my brain through this, was it chicken masala? or was it a perfect balance between red chilli powder and coriander powder? Were the onions and masalas cooked together? I still have no answer and I regret not making the effort (honestly, I was running late for my flight!) to ask them for a kitchen tour.
I came back home only to attempt recreating that mouth-watering piece of creamy goodness, and after 15-20 attempts over a period of 5-6 months, I still haven’t cracked the code to it. It should be magic and the cook must be a magician!
I wish all restaurants and eateries had such food, one that makes you want to go back for, one that creates a memory that lasts for a lifetime. I may not get this one right, but I will definitely go back for more of it and till then I am going to turn my kitchen into an R&D lab.