Malabar egg curry

A coconut based curry from the coastal region of Kerala in India. Eggs simmered in a curry made with coconut milk and cashew nuts, with plenty of aromatic spices, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, chillies and kokum.

I feel egg curry is one such dish, which you either love or don’t love, hate is too harsh a word to use for food. Though we are egg lovers, we never ate it in my home, growing up in India. I developed a liking for it, once I started cooking it myself in my kitchen here in San Francisco. Those days, when you don’t want to deal with the complexities of dealing and cooking with chicken as a protein to feed the family, especially growing kids. Use eggs instead. Simply dunk them in water and get them boiling, cool and peel the shells off and toss them in the curry. I don’t fry the boiled eggs before adding them to the curry, though many recipes entail that. I skip this test, honestly it does not tamper with the flavours in any way. But one tip which definitely needs a mention is not to over boil the eggs, hard-as-rock yolks are a no-no. The yolks should be soft, not runny, and still have a bright yellow colour to them. The eggs should be added at the very end, just before bringing out the curry to the dining table.

This recipe has turned out to be the best way to make egg curry, atleast in my kitchen. It was D-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s 😋 Flavours from the coastal regions of India, would include coconut, whole spices, fresh curry leaves, onions, ginger, garlic and tamarind or kokum. Usually, tamarind is the more common souring agent added to curries in the South of India, but kokum is equally popular in Goan and coastal cuisines. Kokum can be found easily in grocery stores nowadays and imparts a unique but welcome tangy component to any dish. Plus, it’s also considered a super fruit in India, since it is a cure for many an ailment too.

A creamy paste of cashew nuts, chillies and poppy seeds, lends a perfect depth to the dish, apart from a nice and nutty taste.

Finally, not to forget the vital component, good ol coconut. I have used canned unsweetened coconut milk, which is a great substitute to freshly squeezed coconut milk.

Simple, no-fuss and inexpensive ingredients, but definitely not lacking in flavour in any way, this curry certainly turned out to be a big hit on my dining table 😊 Along with accompaniments, the best being rice and parathas, and a fresh, easy to toss salad or slaw, which I have also briefly touched upon in my remaining blog post below.

Ingredients:

Eggs – 8

Coconut milk – 1 1/2 cups

1 onion, finely chopped

1 large tomato

6-8 curry leaves

4 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 inch fresh ginger, finely minced

1 tsp.finely chopped jalapeño or green

3-4 pieces of kokum. Alternatively, can use tamarind, soak the pulp in hot water and squeeze the juice out.

Whole spices – 2  cloves, 1 inch piece cinnamon, 3 green cardamoms, few black peppercorns

Cumin seeds – 3/4 tsp.

Mustard seeds – 3/4 tsp.

Coriander powder – 2 tsp.

1/4 cup raw cashew nuts

3-4 dried mild red chillies, such as Kashmiri red chillies or Mexican ancho chillies

3/4 tsp. white poppy seeds

1/2 tsp.turmeric powder

Coconut oil or any cooking oil – 2 tbsp.

Make hard boiled eggs – Place eggs in a pan, cover with sufficient water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and let sit for 8 minutes. Drain water and run cold water over them. (Do not want over-boiled eggs. The yolks should be still soft and bright yellow.) When cool, remove shells and set aside.

Soak cashew nuts in warm water, along with dried red chillies and poppy seeds. In a food processor, add the mixture along with tomatoes. Blend to a purée.

In a large pan, heat oil. Add the whole spices – cloves, green cardamoms, cinnamon, peppercorns. Add the cumin and mustard seeds. Add the curry leaves. Add onions and sauté for 5-8 minutes on medium to medium-high heat till onions start turning pink to a pale light brown.

Add the green chillies, ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute. Reduce heat to low, add the turmeric and coriander powders. Sauté for a minute.

Add the tomato-cashewnut spice mix. Add the kokum or tamarind juice. Stir well, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes on low heat.

Mix 1/2 cup coconut milk with 1/2 cup water and add to the curry.

Simmer for 5-7 minutes. Just before serving, add the boiled eggs and remaining coconut milk. Stir well and simmer for 2 mins.

Season with salt to taste. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

Crunchy slaw

A mix of fresh purple and green cabbages, red radishes, kale, onions and watercress. Also, shaved brussel sprouts, if you can lay your hands on them. Tossed together in a light and refreshing vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, raw honey and tahini. It serves as a perfect compliment to the curry. A fresh and cooling salad to balance the delicious and complex curry, the curry though made with simple ingredients found in many a kitchen in Indian homes.

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