An Argentine twist on scrambled eggs

When we told friends we were off for a couple of weeks in Buenos Aireas, they all warned that we'd better be into beef in a big way. Well, I'm not, but it's not hard to find fantastic food here in the many great restaurants that dot this city. Most friends seemed to have a favorite. The breads and starters at Cabana las Lilas alone was worth the hike to Puerto Madero - thanks for that recommendation C. Thanks to V for introducing us to the empanadas of La Querencia in Recoleta. It's here that D discovered the Gramaja scrambled egg dish that she has announced is her favorite dish (for now!!) The friends who took us to the restaurant were dismissive of the dish, since it's considered a bit of a unsophisticated, hardy dish, but like a lot of hardy dishes, it was actually amazingly tasty. A recipe follows at the end of this post....

I have to admit that the trip has been an eye-opener in many ways. The idea that this country was independent in 1816 - way before India's unified tussle with the crown began - was startling. It's just an indicator of our (my) relative lack of exposure to South American history.... Well, Gramajo has a bit of history attached too. It seems to have been first cooked up, or perhaps just recorded properly, in the mid-1860s when President Roca met an administrator called Artemio Gramajo who had the dish made for him while the President was visiting his regiment. Gramajo became the president's fast friend, and the Gramajo scrambled egg became a fixture in the latter's diet. It's a dish known to have been the kicker to a soldier's day, but is now a fixture at restaurants where I see the dish produced for kids in neighboring tables quite regularly... kids seem to choose either gramajo or the Milanese chicken (a variant of the schnitzel.)
Gramajo Scrambled Eggs
Half a medium sized onion (though most traditional recipes suggest two onions)
One medium sized potato (once again, the online recipes tend to suggest two, but I wasn't ready for that!!)
One cup peas (or boiled beans)
Half a cup of cooked cubed chicken (I made do with the chicken, because I hadn't bought any ham at the local Coto, tho' that's the traditional meat used)
Four eggs
Salt, pepper, oil

  • Cut the onion into very small cubes and heat slowly in oil till they get to be soft and a translucent
  • Peel the potato and cut into tin trips (almost like french fries, tho thinner.) Fry the potato strips in a layer of oil in a pan, till they are crisp and golden brown. Pull them out of the oil and pat out the oil with a paper napkin
  • Pat the cubed chicken with a little salt, then saute till cooked in the oil left in the panPrep the peas (I use frozen peas, and defrosting well is critical for a nice dish)Beat eggs well, and add salt and pepper to taste Put in the fried potatoes and peas back in with the chicken, and stir so that everything heats evenly
  • Add the beaten eggs and stir gently till the eggs set but doesn't get thoroughly dried out
  • I served the gramajo with whole wheat bread and ketchup, but traditionally, it's seems to be served with rolls or small baguettes