Poach them, fry them, scramble them up with some greens. The list of things the humble egg can transform into are countless. For me, a Kerala style gravy is one of the more dramatic avatars the egg can take. It's a dish full of bold flavors and interesting textures that makes for a quick dinner or lunch.
Eggs in India are somewhat of an invisible fence in the landscape of vegetarianism and non-vegetarianism. While some vegetarians won't even have pastries baked with eggs, many still enjoy egg curries and egg biryanis (no meat, only eggs) and with such an array of delicious gravies and sides in Indian cuisine, who can blame them.
This dish is from the state of Kerala, which is known for using a lot of curry leaves and spice. If you use boiled eggs in this recipe, shallow-fry the de-shelled eggs in some oil before halving them and adding them to the gravy. This gives them a lovely crisp outer layer and adds to the texture party of the dish. Or you could break the eggs gently into the dish as it bubbles and cook them to the consistency you like. Either way, the gravy is finger-licking good.
Note: To make ginger garlic paste, grate equal parts garlic and peeled ginger on a micro plane crater. You can also use boiled eggs in this recipe. Either put them in directly after de-shelling them or de-shell and shallow fry them till they get a crisp golden brown coating and then add them to the gravy.
- 11/2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (see note)
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 10 curry leaves
- 2 teaspoons toasted and powdered fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons toasted and powdered cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 green bird chilis split lengthwise
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves (divided)
- 4 eggs
Heat oil in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions. Cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato puree and stir until mixed through with the onions, about 1 minute.
Increase heat to high. Add curry leaves, fennel, cumin, chilli, turmeric, and coriander powder and stir vigorously until amalgamated and fragrant and the oil separates from the mixture and mixture dries up a bit, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.
Reduce heat to medium. Add water and one tablespoon cuilantro. Stir through to mix well. Remove 1/4 cup of sauce and reserve. Gently break eggs into the pan and spoon the reserved sauce partly over the eggs. Cover with lid and allow the eggs to cook until cooked to desired level of doneness. Serve with any soft bread of your liking or as a side to any Indian meal with rice or roti.
Non-stick lidded saucepan