A Curtain-raiser to an Egg Curry story
When the topic of eggs is broached, I rapidly look away in a bid to desist from volunteering to pick up eggs from the egg store. I mean, who’d risk breaking the delicate shelled things. Not me, for every time I’ve tried to bear the basket of eggs as delicately as ever – in what feels like moonwalker shoes – a few eggs almost invariably” crack under pressure”.
Talking of cracking, I must describe the carrying pressure which egg purchasing can cause. For one, I don’t pick up the eggs together with my customary groceries but make it a point to go on a second trip to the egg shop in the marketplace – in my compact EcoSport – only for the eggs. While the car’s compact and all, its boot space is flourishingly spacious – to accommodate eggs at least.
I even make it a point to carry a wooden basket together with a neck pillow resting at the bottom to “cushion off” a possible egg fracture. And when I disembark from the driver’s seat, I ensure that the car door locking mechanism is in place before heading for the boot whose door is the only one left open. Because the last thing I want to handle is the eggs. I lift the eggs from its cushioned rest and carry them home – as delicately as if “treading on eggshells”. And when I remove egg after fastidious egg, eww my fingers seem to have hit slime. No, I hadn’t sat on them nor even blown them an airy kiss that could’ve dented its dainty shell. It’s time their shell density is boosted with some Vitamin D, at least to stave off fractures. I have a growing suspicion, however, that the egg seller may “have a hand in it”. Quite literally at that, “handing” a few bad eggs among the good ones. Coming to think of it, that’s perhaps why they call a twit a “bad egg”.
Cracking down on the Eggs
Cracked eggs apart, they can prove to be a disciplined lot when whole on the whole. They sit obediently in line in a refrigerator, are easy to cook and taste like bouncy while jellies. Before I digress from the topic, let’s come down to the good part, and why I referred to eggs in the first place. Yes, I wanted to churn out a curried representation of a “good egg”. Or should I say a “good egg curry” out of an “egg”? No wait, let’s put it down as a “good curry” out of a “good egg”. Most recipes for an egg curry or anda curry as we Indians describe it would fall along the same lines, but this one can best be described by 3 Ds – different, delectable and divine. Try this egg curry recipe which has velvety coconut milk, to know the difference.
"Egg Curry Recipe":
- 7-8 boiled eggs (see note below on how to boil eggs)
- 1½ tsp red chilli powder
- 2 small onions (finely chopped)
- 2 light green chillies (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- ½ soup cube (Maggi is the brand of my choice)
- 3 cups coconut milk (canned, or diluted coconut powder)
- ½ lime juice (a large lime)
- 3 tbsp green coriander (finely chopped)
- 3 tbsp refined oil
- Salt (as per taste, factoring in the Maggi cube)
- Boil the eggs for exactly ten minutes, using a timer if necessary. After a few minutes, peel the eggs and setaside. Check the note below for the egg boiling technique.
- Heat oil in a sufficiently deep pan, add the chilli and turmeric powders. Stir around the spice powders on medium-lowheat. In short, take care not to burn the powders.
- Add the whole boiled eggs, frying them in the spice powders till their white-washed cheeks get a roasted look.
- In about a minute or two, add the chopped onions and stir in till a hint of a change of colour. Add the chopped chillies and ginger paste and stir a bit.
- Follow this by coconut milk (use thick canned milk the first time round, or coconut powder diluted in warm water if you don't have any canned milk).
- Sprinkle in some garam masala and bring it to a boil.
- Add the soup cube and salt as far as your taste buds permit. Then squeeze in the lime juice.
- Turn off the heat; then garnish with chopped green coriander.
Allow the water to come to a boil first, then gently spoon in the eggs without letting the shell hit bottom. Wait until 10 minutes before turning off the stove, draining the hot water and pouring cold water over the boiled eggs. Voila!
I’ve used an inverse method in the above representation of a curried egg. I pan-fried the eggs first, unlike the quintessential process of frying onions first. Most traditional forms of preparations recommend grinding a “masala” paste, but this one is an unconventional one discovered during the lockdown period when my mixer-grinder was non-functional, and I had to resort to the use of ready spice powders. You wouldn’t miss having ground paste with this egg curry recipe; you could take my word for it. Besides, the spice powders go a long way into giving the egg curry a spicy Indian twist while the creamy coconut milk mellows it down. The use of coconut milk in this and curry recipe raises it to a higher level of taste. In India, they call it a nariyal anda curry.
This Indian egg curry recipe with coconut milk may best be described as a harmony of eggs in spice and velvet!