Growing up in India, there are a few things that are unquestionably associated with Sunday breakfast, and monsoons. These savory Bombay toasts fall squarely in that bucket. They originated on the streets of Bombay (and has a rich history). They're also typically made with stale bread, so it's a win-win on the zero-waste front as well.
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Bombay toasts are savory, Indian French (i.e. masala French toasts). My recipe has jalapenos, red onions, cilantro, and cheddar cheese! Brings best of all worlds together. Want a sweet, traditional French toast? Check out my recipe with berry compote.
📋 Ingredients & instructions
For my recipe, you'll need eggs and milk for the base of the mixture. Then, jalapenos, and red onions to give it a spicy flavor, and cheddar cheese to round out the earthy notes. You dip the bread in this mixture, and toast with butter on a hot cast iron skillet. Occasionally, I'll add garam masala or turmeric, cumin and coriander powder to amplify the flavors.
If you're vegan, you can use ground chia seeds and almond milk in lieu of eggs and milk. You can also substitute regular butter with vegan butter (and skip the cheese or add a non-dairy cheese!)
First, whisk the eggs and milk together until smooth. Then, add finely chopped jalapenos (keep seeds for more spice) cilantro, and red onions to this mixture and whisk really well. Then, add shredded cheddar cheese as well and mix to combine. I like to use a shallow but wide bowl so there's enough space to dip the bread in.
First, get a cast iron skillet warm and ready to go. Add a dollop of butter. Next, you want to use a soft, fluffy bread (like challah or brioche). Take a slice of bread and dip both sides so they're fully drenched in the egg wash. Then, I usually spoon some of the jalapenos, red onions and cheese on the top side and use a spatula to place the whole thing in the skillet. Toast for about 3 minutes on either side (on medium heat). Serve warm and enjoy!
🍴 Serving suggestions
This masala French toast is a perfect savory breakfast meal and great for even the beginner cook. I think it takes two cuisines that I am very fond of (and very different at that!) and brings them together in a warm way. You can serve this by itself, or alongside yogurt to tone down the heat.
If you like this recipe, check out some of my other breakfast dishes below:
Savory Bombay Toast (Masala Toast)
For the egg mixture:
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup milk, subsitute with almond milk for vegan version
For the toast:
- 4 slices bread, preferably brioche
- 2 tablespoon butter, split evenly across each slice
- 1 jalapeno, adjust to your spice tolerance
- ¼ red onions, medium size, chopped finely
- 2-3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoon cheddar cheese, grated fresh
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or a couple of twists, to your liking
- In a bowl (shallow and wide enough to hold a full slice of bread) - whisk eggs and milk together
- Add finely chopped jalapenos, red onions, and cilantro and whisk well
- Add shredded cheddar cheese along with salt and pepper and mix well
- Heat a cast iron skillet (or pan) on low to medium flame - melt butter
- Dip a slice of bread in this egg mixture and place on the pan - cook for about 3 minutes until the bottom is brown
- Flip over and cook for another 3 minutes until the other side is brown
- If you want, add more cheese to the top and garnish with more fresh cilantro - serve hot!
- Judging the bread to egg mixture ratio is an art form. You want to get it fully drenched but not too soggy. But here's the thing - this recipe is super forgiving. I've made plenty a gloppy mess, and it still tastes delish.
- Cooking on low to medium heat is really important. If you cook too high, then you risk burning the bread without cooking the eggs properly. Don't heat up beyond a medium flame, and use a cast iron pan if you can - it spreads heat more evenly (though it takes longer to warm up)
- I typically use a buttery bread like brioche or challah for my French toasts - but any bread would work. The history of this dish is actually from stale bread - so use 'em up!
Note: This recipe was originally published on Feb 26, 2020. It was updated on July 3, 2020 with new pictures and tips and tricks.