This open-face tart has as its foundation a buttery-flakey puff pastry which supports a nest of sweet and spicy caramelized onions. At bulls-eye center is the picture-worthy runny egg yolk waiting to ooze into your mouth upon your first bite.
Within walking distance of my grandparents’ home, in the corner of one of the most chaotic and stress inducing intersections in Royapettah, Chennai, stands a tiny street-stall bakery called Ayyappa’s. Whenever I visit, at two o’clock, Chandrika-umma (my grandma) designates someone to go to the stall to get the freshly baked veg puffs before they sell out.
These hot hand-held puff pastry pockets are stuffed with spiced vegetables and potatoes and never fail to warm my stomach and my heart. My re-invention of this after-school snack speaks to the inner millennial in me who searches for the perfect instagrammable dish to bring to brunch.
Rely on how your onions look rather than the timing of the recipe. You are looking for the onions to brown and caramelize which may take shorter or longer depending on how hot “medium heat” is for your stove.
Placing the eggs in the nest
I find that placing the egg yolk and then the egg white into the pastry gives me more control over the placement of the egg and ensures that my yolk doesn’t accidentally crack. Don’t worry if some of your egg whites overflow, you can scoop them back into the nest or remove any excess with your hands or a spoon.Print
Caramelized Masala Onion Breakfast Tart
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 tarts 1x
- 1 - Puff Pastry Sheet (Peppridge Farm) - (10” X 15” X ⅛”)
- 5 - Eggs, 4 whole, 1 beaten for egg wash
- 2 Tbs - Ghee (Neutral Oil will work as a substitute)
- 2 - Yellow Onions, medium (400g) - thinly sliced
- 4 - Green Onion Sprigs
- Handful - Cilantro, mint, or other herbs for garnish (Optional)
- ¼ tsp - Turmeric
- 1 tsp - Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp - Coriander Powder
- 2 tsp - Kashmiri Chili Powder or 1.5 tsp of regular chili powder
- 1 tsp - Kosher Salt or ½ tsp table salt - plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 10” x 15” Sheet Pan
- Parchment Paper
- Thaw the puff pastry according to the instructions on the box.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a 10” x 15” baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat 1 Tbs of ghee in a large pan over medium heat until it melts and coats the pan.
- Add onions to the pan and stir until they are coated with ghee and glisten. Once onions are translucent, turn heat down to medium.
- Stir onions every minute or so until they have reduced in size by half and start taking on a light brown color. This should take approximately 8-10 minutes. but remember to rely on how the onions look rather than strictly the time estimate!
- Add in an additional 1 Tbs of ghee, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, kashimiri chili powder, and salt. Sauté onions until they are coated in the spice mixture. Keep sautéeing onions until they have a deep caramelized color and the raw smell of the spices is gone. This should take about another 8-10 minutes.
- Once onions are cooked, turn off the heat and let them cool while working on your pastry.
Make and Bake Tarts
- Take a sheet of pastry dough, cut into four equally sized squares, and place on your baking sheet.
- Make a circular nest of onions in each square, leaving a 1 inch border so the puff pastry can rise to form an edge and space in the center for the egg to nestle into.
- Brush the borders of the squares with the egg wash and place the baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes or until the puff pastry border has risen like a wall around the onions.
- Take squares out of the oven. Carefully crack one egg in a small bowl. Use your hand or a spoon to gently separate the egg yolk from the white and and nestle the yolk in the center of the onion nest. Slowly pour the egg white into your pastry square, leaving behind some of the white if you think it will overflow.
- Season eggs with salt and cracked pepper. Repeat for the other three pastries.
- Carefully place the pastries with the eggs back in the oven and cook until the eggs are cooked to your liking. For a runny egg it can take between 5-7 minutes but continue to monitor the eggs every 2-3 minutes and rotate your baking pan halfway through for even cooking of your eggs.
- Remove the tarts from the oven and sprinkle the green onions and fresh herbs on top. Enjoy!
- The back of the oven is usually hotter than the front of the oven, so make sure to turn your tarts half way through to get all the eggs cooked at the right time
- You can make your caramelized onions up to three days before you plan on using them for the tarts
- Scooping the egg yolk in your hand can help you center and nestle the egg carefully into the puff pastry.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: Masala Caramelized Onion Breakfast Tarts
June Repp says
This is an incredibly delicious recipe that looks quite fancy! It is not really difficult, but it does require a bit of effort. I did not start this recipe until the morning of breakfast, but next time I will definitely caramelize the onions a day or two before! This was quite a tasty dish and I look forward to making it for breakfast every now and again!
June Repp says
Definitely 5 stars!
Bunty Cachia says
This little squares of deliciousness are just that......delicious! Didn't make them for breakfast, but I love making platters or just various dishes that we can pick from for supper. This is perfect for just one of those supper times. The caramelised onion is just so tasty, and together with the pastry and egg makes a great combination. It is tricky to get the whole egg onto the pastry but the yolk is enough and keep the whites for another day.