Just So Omelet is a story about eggs and flatbreads. Just So Stories was a collection for children by Rudyard Kipling. Rather than illuminate biology for children with facts, his were fanciful tales about, for example, how the elephant got its trunk.
Here is a homemade version of Just Egg, the “plant-based scramble.” Just Eggs do resemble eggs but likely would fail a Coke-Pepsi sort of challenge. Taste and mouth-feel are close, but the cooking takes its own touch.
There’s an appeal for a vegan alternative to what you can buy ready-made from a store. The jar is convenient but on the pricier side. It’s 12 ounces, so it’s about 6 servings of scrambled eggs or 4 omelets — equivalent to 2 eggs per or 3 eggs, respectively.
It turns out lots of food tinkerers have worked on cloning Just Eggs. For me the Mung Bean Momelet Mix comes closest to the manufactured product, whose protein is from mung beans. It’s by Monica of Whole Food Plant Babe. I’ve made a few changes that for me more approach the Just company’s.
Further research revealed this sort of dish to be Indian in origin and called Moong Dal Chilla, with moong dal referring to peeled and split mung beans. It’s similar to my earlier Vegan Frittata made with chickpea flour. Every culture seems to have flatbread in its origins, made from ground grains (tortillas to matzo) and ground legumes (farinata/socca to dosa) — not to mention good ol’ pancakes! Chilla is yet another flatbread.
For the Just So Omelet, the proportions nearly fill a pint jar for the fridge so this recipe too makes 4 omelets, perhaps cooked over the week of nearly instant hot entrees for morning or evening.
- 1/2 cup moong dal (split and peeled dry mung beans)
- 2 Tablespoons raw cashews (see note)
- Water, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) plant milk, either original or unsweetened
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon black salt or regular salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion flakes (or 1/4 teaspoon onion powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried garlic chunks (or scant 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon asafetida (hing), optional
- 1 Tablespoon dried cilantro or dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 to 1 cup chopped and cooked warm vegetables
- Savory sauce
- Rinse and drain the moong dal then place in a beaker or small bowl with the cashews and 12-16 ounces water. Soak 6 hours to overnight, refrigerated. Drain and discard the rinsing water.
- Add to the damp beans and nuts the plant milk, nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt, pepper, onion and garlic, and optional asafetida. Puree until smooth, with the consistency of thin pancake batter. Add up to 2 Tablespoons more water for a more pourable consistency. Pour into a pint jar (which has a lid) and add dried cilantro or parsley and shake. Let rest at least 15 minutes.
- Heat medium (10-inch) nonstick skillet on medium and smooth oil over bottom with spatula. Shake jar to remix. Pour 3-4 ounces of batter into skillet, shaking or swiveling the handle to even the batter over the bottom of the pan. Cook 3-4 minutes until omelet appears darker and dry over entire top. Gently use spatula to loosen the omelet and flip, cooking 1-2 more minutes. Add vegetables along the middle and fold omelet in thirds or along half and fold omelet in half for a taco shape.
Serve immediately, with a red or green salsa, chutney or plant-based unsweetened yogurt on the side. Refrigerate remainder in jar, covered.
- I prefer a stick immersion blender for pureeing, but a blender or food processor are fine as well.
- Moong dal is found at Asian groceries and online, and looks like split peas but yellow. Also these are where you can find the optional Asian spice asafetida (hing). Same for black salt otherwise called kala namak, which is salt mined near sulphur, giving it an eggy taste. Nutritional yeast is found online, specialty stores and larger supermarkets.
- One Tablespoon cashew butter, added in Step 2, can substitute for raw cashews in Step 1. Cashews or cashew butter make this a “whole-food plant-based low-oil” dish.
- The dried onion and garlic is just to give a hint of flavor for umani.
- Later in the week, you might add 1-2 Tablespoons water to the jar as the batter may thicken over time. Shake jar before each use.
- For a frittata instead, use a small skillet (8 inches wide), mixing the cooked and still warm vegetables into the 3-4 ounces of batter then pouring into the pan. Cover and cook undisturbed 4-6 minutes. Using a plate to cover the pan, flip and return the frittata to cook the other side 2 minutes, OR broil briefly.
- Optionally, sprinkle grated non-dairy cheese on the finished omelet or frittata.