Egg curry and Pao
We’re a dunk family. I love immersing long, crisp khaari biscuits or rusk toasts in masala chai or filter coffee. MK will happily let his spicy chaklis and bakarwadis soak in his sweet, milky tea. And Avanee will pick up a puffed rice grain and dip it very daintily with just her index finger and thumb into her water, (or our beverage, whichever’s available) slurp at it for a moment, and pop the squishy pulp in her mouth. Or pick up a piece of her chapatti, dunk it in a bowl of aamras, and noisily suck the resulting piece of mush. You get the drift.
A happy meal for all of us involves a piece of bread and a bowlful of steaming hot soup or sauce or gravy to dunk it in. Egg curry tops the list because it needs nothing more than what you always have in your kitchen. It gets ready in 20 minutes, by which time husband and daughter are back with oven fresh pao. It makes for a perfect Sunday meal, especially when followed by a nap.
But then, that’s everyone’s story. What’s so special about my egg curry? I don’t boil my eggs—I poach them in the curry. It’s a technique taught to my mum years ago by her friend’s Goan mother. I promise you, once you eat egg curry like this, you will never go back to boiled egg curry. Ever.
- 6 eggs
- 1 large onion
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 green chili
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated coconut
- 1 tsp. red chili powder
- 1 tbsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- ¼ tsp. turmeric
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- Water, about a liter.
- Fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Place the onion, garlic, ginger, chili, and coconut in a blender and grind to a smooth paste with the help of a little water.
- Heat the oil in a vessel of choice (I use a broad and deep kadhai).
- Fry the ground onion paste until lightly brown.
- Meanwhile, puree the tomatoes.
- Once the onions turn lightly brown, add the tomato puree. Roast for about five minutes, or until you can see the oil on the edges.
- Add the cumin, coriander, and red chili powders, salt, and sugar and roast until fragrant.
- Add the water and bring to a gentle boil.
- Turn down the heat to medium-low and keep your spoon/spatula far, far away.
- In a cup, break one egg at a time and slowly slide it into the curry. Do not move the vessel or the curry in it, no matter what you do.
- Break the next egg into the cup and slide it into the curry, this time, in a diametrically opposite position to the first egg.
- Allow about a minute between the eggs, allowing each egg to poach gently and acquire form.
- When all the eggs are done, stir once; and very gently just to satisfy yourself and to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom.
- Top with freshly chopped cilantro and serve piping hot with fresh pao or other soak-friendly bread.