Cook the Book: Halved Eggs with Garlic, Curry Leaves, and Tamarind

Cook the Book: Halved Eggs with Garlic, Curry Leaves, and Tamarind

If you can think of an ingredient, chances are that there is a recipe that utilizes it in Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries. I would have never thought to incorporate hard-cooked eggs into a curry recipe, but it makes perfect sense. Indian cuisine doesn't lean too heavily on meats; protein is taken from other sources, such as legumes, dairy, and in this case, eggs.

I grew up thinking that a meal wasn't complete without some sort of meat as the centerpiece. Lately I've been trying to get away from this mentality, not going all out vegetarian, but taking a more Meat Lite approach to home cooking. The results have been healthier, less expensive, quicker to make, and very satisfying. Try this recipe for Halved Eggs with Garlic, Curry Leaves, and Tamarind, along with some rice and another vegetable-based curry, and I promise that you will not be missing the meat.

Win '660 Curries'

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of 660 Curries to give away this week.

  • Yield:4


  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender green stems
  • 8 to 10 medium-size to large fresh curry leaves
  • 4 medium-size cloves garlic
  • 1 or 2 fresh green Thai, cayenne, or serrano chiles, to taste, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sesame oil or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoons black or yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 medium-size to large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste or concentrate
  • 4 extra-large or jumbo eggs, hard-cooked, peeled, and cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons rice flour


  1. 1.

    Pile the cilantro, curry leaves, garlic, and chiles into a mortar. Pound the ingredients with a pestle, scraping the interior of the mortar to contain the herbs in the center for a more concentrated pounding, until the mixture forms a paste. (Alternatively, place the ingredients in a food processor and process until minced.)

  2. 2.

    Heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cover, and cook until the seeds have stopped popping (not unlike popcorn), about 30 seconds. Then add the paste and the shallots and stir-fry until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the turmeric, which will instantly color everything sun-yellow.

  3. 3.

  4. 4.

    Sprinkle the rice flour into the thin sauce, stirring to prevent any lumps from forming. The sauce will immediately start to thicken; cook for about 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the eggs and serve.