Shall we talk again about another much maligned dish? And more than that, a breakfast concept that some love and others think is bonkers. Even though over a billion people eat it! I am talking about Egg Curry and curry for breakfast (or any manner of spiced breakfast at that).
People, you are really missing out if you have not tried both of these things. It is my mission to open your eyes to it. Why is egg in curry even a funny thing? Eggs in curry are rich, light & gorgeous and curry makes the perfect breakfast (curry being a general term for over a thousand diverse dishes).
I often use leftover curry or make a simple curry fresh to poach eggs in (a la huevos rancheros, but Indian style). I love spice for breakfast when I am in Asia, and often at home too. A meaty congee (chicken or pork) pepped with chilli oil, nuts and tofu is a perfect start (would you like a congee recipe too?). One of my favourites was one I had in a small town outside Bangkok on the street. There was a queue of people, so I joined, and shortly after was eating a divine bowl of pork and pumpkin congee with shreds of deep fried tofu. All for less than £1.
I have tried many versions of egg curry. My favourite at home is a Goan style coconut based sauce with some tomatoes and lots of spice. I have some that are like boiled eggs in spicy gravy. Last night I tried a new one from Meera Sodha’s lovely new book Made in India, Cooked in Britain: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen.
London is famous for terrific Indian food, this book is a perfect insight into an Anglo Indian home kitchen. Recipes are not only Gujarati, where Meera’s Grandfather originated from, but also Ugandan (where he emigrated to after Kenya). There are also many with an English ingredient influence, from when the family along with all other Uganda based Indians, were expelled by Idi Amin. They landed in Lincolnshire, where they created a new life, using recipes handed from generation to generation, but with some new influences and ingredients.
Where to start? Well, the egg chapter of course. And with this recipe for Caramelised Onion, Coconut & Egg Curry which Meera was taught by a Keralan cook called Kirti. It is uncomplicated and relatively speedy. The sour tamarind extract is wonderfully tangy with the sweet onions, eggs & coconut. I recommend making the sauce the day before and letting it settle in the fridge over night, as it tastes even better the next day.
Meera’s book is a lovely read. It is charming and accessible and if you love Indian food and don’t know where to start, this is the book for you. It is also for people like me who already love and know it, but want to learn more and to see it as told through Meera’s kitchen. In Meera’s words “The majority of Indian home cooking is fresh, simple and quick, and I’m on a mission to show you just how easy it is”.
Recipe follows. You might also like:
From the Blogosphere:
Egg Curry in the Pakistani Manner from Toronto based Shayma and her wonderful blog Spice Spoon
Andhra Spiced Egg Curry from Newcastle based Maunika and her lovely blog Cook in a Curry (excitingly, Maunika is working on a book too)
From Eat Like a Girl:
A Remedy for a Head Cold & Jet Lag: Eggs Poached in a Simple Homemade Curry
Recipe: Siri’s Thai Seafood Green Curry Recipe Step by Step with Photos
Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Spinach Curry (forgive the photos! Very early days :) )
Sunshine Rice & Eggs
For What Ails You: Aromatic & Hot Chicken Soup Powerhouse
Prawn Tom Yum Kung (a vibrant and delicious Thai soup)
RECIPE: Caramelised Onion, Coconut & Egg Curry
adapted from Meera Sodha’s Made in India, Cooked in Britain: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 onions, finely sliced
8 medium eggs, at room temperature (I used large)
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp tamarind paste
3/4 tsp chilli powder
3/4 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
300ml coconut milk mixed with 100ml water
Caramelise the onions over a low heat in the oil. Meera gives them 15 minutes, but I like to get them properly sticky so I give them at least half an hour. They will be good either way.
Bring the eggs to the boil in some water, and 6 minutes after reaching the boil remove them and put in cold water. These will be just set perfect hard boiled eggs. The cold water arrests the cooking process and stops them going further. Remove after a couple of minutes and peel them. Leave to the side.
Add the garlic to the onions, stir well and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the tamarind paste, chilli, sugar, salt & turmeric, stir fry for a minute, then add the diluted coconut milk. Bring the mixture to the boil and reduce them to a simmer.
I left the sauce on a simmer for 10 minutes, then added the eggs. Meera says to halve them first, but I quite like having them whole in the curry and halving as I serve them. Mainly because I would be having them the next day too and I wanted to preserve the golden yellow of the yolk. Take the pan off the heat and serve with rice, paratha or chapatis (I went with rice, as you can see).
Enjoy! And thank you, Meera :)