Sunday, April 5, 2015

Changua, the Colombian Egg and Milk Soup - Our newest breakfast favourite


This is weird. Even by my standard.

A couple of weeks ago, I didn't even know the name Changua.
And now, thanks to the generous Jordan and her Shared Meal, I can safely say that it is quickly becoming a new breakfast favorite, especially on weekends.


Jordan describes Changua as "odd and still, strangely wonderful to me!" But for me, it was drool worthy from the word go.  

I mean, we are talking Eggs and Milk here. Aren't they the Romeo-Juliet (without the tragic ending, of course) of the breakfast world?

Scrambled Eggs, French Toast, Pancakes, Waffles, Crepes, Omelets, apart from being breakfast staples, have at least two ingredients common in them - Eggs and Milk!



Apart from sounding exotic and fancy, what is Changua?

It is a hearty "milk and egg" breakfast soup from  central Andes region of Colombia. A mixture of equal amounts of water and milk is heated with a dash of salt and pepper. Once it comes to a boil, one egg per serving is cracked into the pot without breaking the yolk. It is allowed to cook for about a minute whilst covered. The soup is served in a bowl, garnished with scallions, cilantro and a piece of stale bread called "Calado" which gets softens in the Changua. (From Wiki)



I have never cared much for bookish definition. For me, Changua is simplicity in a bowl; it is happiness in a bowl; it is comfort in a bowl. It is such an irony, that happiness actually lies is simplicity. This is such a simple, no-frills, rustic soup, but that wouldn't stop you from falling in love with it. 

--Update as on Saturday, April 18, 2015--

I did not grow up having Changua. Even in my wildest dreams, I never thought of adding salt and pepper to milk. This dish challenges my convention, but still it is so strangely comforting and nurturing. Did I mention it is divinely delicious too? 


Recipe Snapshot: Changua, the Colombian Egg and Milk Soup


Serves: 3 serving
(1 serving = 3/4 cup)

What I used:
Eggs - 3, large

Milk - 3 cups (I used 1% milk)

Water - 2 cups

Green Onions/ Scallions - 3, finely chopped

Cilantro - a generous handful, finely minced

Whole Wheat Bread - 4 to 6 slices of bread, toasted

Salt and Pepper

--Update as on Saturday, April 18, 2015--
Garlic - 1 fat clove, finely minced

Onion/ shallot - 2 tsp (I used half of a smallish shallot), very finely minced

Red pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp (optional)

Olive oil (or butter ) - 2 tsp

What I did:
--Update as on Saturday, April 18, 2015--

Heat oil (or butter) over medium heat and lightly fry the minced garlic, onion and the red pepper flakes. Once they are fragrant proceed with the rest of the steps.


1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk and water. Season with salt and pepper and bring it to a rolling boil. Go low on the salt. You can always add more salt if needed but can never take it back. 

2. One the mixture is boiled, lower the heat and bring it to a gentle simmer. 

3. Crack one egg onto a bowl. Carefully slide the egg into the simmering soup. Be careful not to break the yolk. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

4. Cover and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg is set as per your liking.

5. While the egg is slowly poaching in the milk-water soup, prep the serving bowls.

6. Divide the finely minced green onions/scallions and the chopped cilantro (coriander leaves), evenly among the serving bowl.

7. Carefully scoop the eggs out with a big slotted spoon and place it in the serving bowl. One egg in each bowl.

8. Top it with piping hot soup. Crack some more pepper (and salt if required) and enjoy the comforting soup with a slice (or two) of toasted bread.


Notes/Tip: Alternatively, you float the toast on top of the soup and carefully place one egg on top of the toast. This is actually the traditional way of serving. Since we do not enjoy our breads soggy, we prefer to serve the bread on the side. 

--Update as on Saturday, April 18, 2015--
This updated step of frying garlic and onion puts another dimension to this really delicious soup. If  you plan to serve it for Brunch, it is a must add. 


Diabetic Platter:
Starting a day with Changua is a fantastic and a delicious way to give your body a huge boost of nutritious after a night's fast. It is especially beneficial if you had a wild night and had been drinking a lot.  It is a great cure for hangovers. Low in fat and high in protein with high fiber carbs thrown in, this is the perfect fuel the body needs to kick start the day. 

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