In spite of the messy looks this curry is the ultimate feast for egg lovers. The mere idea of eggs laced by a thick, aromatic onion and tomato sauce already makes me dreamy and hungry, so the fantastic outcome was not really surprising. I had been hesitating among several sources and finally chose Classic Indian Cookery by Julie Sahni, a book I particularly appreciate since it’s written with an utmost care of details and respect of the user. After the successful Butter Chicken, Indian Chickpeas in Tangy Sauce and Chicken in Tomato and Onion Sauce, Ms Sahni hasn’t let me down again.
The curry is medium hot, loaded with complex flavours and the lack of cream or coconut milk makes it pleasantly light. It does take time, like most Indian dishes, but can easily be made in two stages, for example split into two days. All the ingredients (maybe apart from fresh coriander) are in constant stock in my pantry, eggs count among my most beloved food products, so this curry will certainly become a staple.
TIPS: Do not skip the onion browning process. It takes effort and time, but it’s totally worth it.
Eggs are the stars here, so make sure you use good quality ones (free-range or, better, organic) and do not overboil them. Julie Sahni advises cooking eggs just before serving the dish.
I have slightly modified the amounts of ingredients. Check Classic Indian Cookery by Julie Sahni for the original recipe.
Try to find black cardamom, which has a deeper – though not harsh – taste and has not much in common with green one (apart from the shape of the pods).
I thought this curry was perfect served with Pickled Chilli Peppers.
Preparation: about two hours
Ingredients (serves two):
2-3 tablespoons oil or ghee
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes or freshly chopped (skinned) tomatoes
4 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 stick cinnamon
2 black cardamom pods (or 4 green)
1 teaspoon powdered coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon powdered chilli
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt (or more)
1 teaspoon garam masala
fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in a pan.
Add the onions and, at medium heat, brown-fry them until they take a caramel colour, constantly stirring so that they don’t burn.
(This might take even 20 minutes, but is definitely worth the time and effort).
Add the garlic, the ginger. Stir-fry them for about 2 minutes.
Add the cinnamon, the cardamom pods and stir-fry for one more minute.
Add the ground coriander, the turmeric, the chilli and the pepper as well as the chopped tomatoes. Cook at medium heat (uncovered) 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
After ten minutes add about 1/2 liter boiling water and salt.
Give the sauce a stir, cover and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or more if it’s too liquid.
(In the meantime adjust the seasoning, adding more chilli, more salt etc. if needed).
Put the sauce aside for at least 1/2 hour.
Boil the eggs and shell them. Cut in two lengthwise.
Just before serving heat the sauce at low heat, add garam masala, give the sauce a stir.
Put the halved eggs carefully into the sauce (the cut side up) and continue warming the sauce until everything is hot.
Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.