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Sri Lankan turmeric omelette

Cynthia Shanmugalingam

A breakfast omelette with onions, garlic, curry leaves, turmeric and green chillies

Recipe Meta


5 mins


10 mins






  • A pinch of cumin seeds
  • A pinch of black peppercorns
  • 3 large organic or free-range eggs
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
  • ½ red onion, peeled and finely sliced (or 2-3 spring onions, chopped into 2cm pieces)
  • 1-2 green chillies, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 7-8 fresh curry leaves


For the pepper-cumin salt, toast the cumin seeds and peppercorns in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat for 1-2 mins until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then blitz in a spice grinder or mini food processor until fine and keep aside for later. In a bowl, whisk the eggs together with the salt and turmeric until frothy. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan around 20-25cm wide over a medium heat. Add the onion (or spring onions), green chillies, garlic and curry leaves. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, so that the onion softens; don’t allow it to crisp, and don’t cook past the point that the chillies and curry leaves are still bright green.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, wait 30 seconds for the oil to get hot, and then pour in the eggs. Keep cooking over a medium heat and use a spatula to pull the edges in as they set, tilting the pan to spread the uncooked egg around. Continue this motion of pulling the edges in and tilting all around the pan, until the omelette is almost set, which will take around 2-3 mins.

Fold in half and serve, dusting generously with pepper-cumin and a little extra salt.

Image: Alex Lau

Recipe from Rambutan by Cynthia Shanmugalingam (Bloomsbury)

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