My Mom’s Boiled Egg Curry
Almost everyone has a favorite food cooked by their moms. I do too, and I have to say, quite a few, my mom was a wonderful cook, and I find myself longing for her specialties every now and then. One very particular dish of hers that I grew up loving was this humble boiled egg curry. Now I make it for my family and they love it as me if not more. It’s a very special curry you see. Not because of some secret ingredient but because my mother never cooked meat, so egg curry was a weekend staple in our house all year round.
So, my dear friends, this curry brings back warm memories of my mother. A recipe I hold dear to my heart that I wanted to share with all of you today on my mom’s 12th death anniversary, which was yesterday.
Egg curries are very popular in India and are prepared in many styles. This one is a very simple recipe made with boiled eggs, onion, besan and tomato. I haven’t seen any Punjabi family make something quite the same, neither have I come across it in a recipe. Besan thickens the gravy and gives it a robust nutty flavor making it extremely comforting and delicious.
Start by boiling the eggs depending on how you like them. Everyone has their own preference for a perfect boiled egg. My preferred method of preparing soft boiled eggs is to add the eggs to cold water in the pan and boil for 1-2 minutes, uncovered. Once they are boiled (usually) for 2 minutes remove the pan from heat , cover and leave them in water for 10-12 minutes before peeling. While the eggs were cooling, I continued on with the other part of the recipe.
Place the frying pan with oil over medium heat. As soon as it gets hot, add ground onions and sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Add ground ginger and garlic and sauté 2mintes. Add besan, stir and cook until flour is toasted. You will need to ensure that you regularly stir and scrape because besan does have the tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. I usually add in 2 tbsp. water after toasting it for 1 min and then keep stirring for another 1 min until it smells toasty and turns light brown. Thereafter, add fresh tomato puree and spices, cook for about 3-4 minutes until oil glistens on top. Then pour in water. Stir it around, increase the heat to high and let it come to a boil and cook for 5 min. If you’re interested you can add boiled potatoes to the curry but we never did. When eggs are cooled peel off the shells under cold tap water (or just submerge them in cold water and then peel). Cut each egg in half and slide them in curry just before serving.
Since this egg curry is a gravy recipe it can be enjoyed with both roti and rice. This time I served my curry with yummy homemade naan, but often we just have basmati rice.
A simple yet exotic egg curry with the most basic pantry ingredients.
- 6 boiled eggs, peeled and cut into halves lengthwise
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 1/2 tbsp. besan / bengal gram flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp. oil
- 1/2 cup onion, ground
- 2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
- 1/2" piece fresh ginger julienne
- 1 cup fresh tomato puree (I use roma tomatoes from Costco they are bright red)
- 3-4 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups water (+)
- Heat a wok on medium flame and dry roast the besan carefully to golden brown color without burning it and keep aside or he other option is to roast while cooking masala as I have done.
- In a wok, heat the oil, gently fry the ground onions for about 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add in ground ginger and garlic, sauté until golden, 1-2 minutes.
- Add besan. Stir and fry until flour is toasted and aromatic, about 2 minutes, (it has the tendency to stick at the bottom so sprinkle 2 tbsp. water and then regularly stir and scrape).
- Next add turmeric, red chili powder and the fresh tomato puree. Cook stirring, until it no longer smells raw and gets a nice color.
- Add cumin powder, garam masala, roasted besan ( if you have used the first option ) and water, bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer for 5 minutes to develop the flavor.
- Put in chopped cilantro.
- Transfer curry to the bowl, cut the eggs in half and slide in the curry.
- Sprinkle ginger julienne on top. Serve with rice or chapatti.