Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tutorial-- Egg Curry

Shauna LOVES egg curry. And on most of her returns to Boston she takes a container full in her freezer bag. Of course this time is no different. The request come and I start pulling out the makings of a curry. As I do, an idea mushrooms. Why not have her make it instead? Two birds in one stone, if I may say so. It really is easy to make a curry and I am here to walk her through the rough patches. After all, curry is a mixture of adeptly infused powders or ground masala to a liquid. The former powders, being the easy way out. Easy but still delicious. 

I broach the idea and am met with lukewarm enthusiasm. 'What if the seeds fly?' 'Will the oil splatter and burn me?' So mant plaintive cries!!!! YES.. to both questions. But that's the point. You need mustard seeds to pop and splutter for optimum taste!  It's time to force her hand. If you like it so much, a few battle scars will be the best way to prove it. She boils and peels eggs. This is a much-loved task, along with peeling fava beans!!Its bang, crack, roll in swift succession. She is in her happy zone! She slices and dices onions and ginger. Sets up her masala dabba and off we go. 

Oil shimmers in the carefully picked pan. A hesitant hand throws in some mustard seeds and curry leaves and retreats hurriedly. She stands back, way back, where mustard cannot go!! The curry leaves give her a run for her money. More like a jump on the trampoline. A few yells later and the curry begins to come together.  Adding spices is a piece of cake. She slips hardboiled eggs in with the skill of a practiced chef. Such a dichotomy from the nervous beginning. And I cannot explain it?? She is a great cook. One who makes Asian, Mexican and Italian cuisine with flair and panache!! It must be the spluttering mustard seeds and oil!!!

Serves 2-3 people

3 Eggs 
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
1/4 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon Fennel seeds
5 Curry leaves
1/2 Onion
2 slices Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Chile powder
1/2 teaspoon Coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
A few grinds Black Pepper
1 cup unsweetened Coconut milk
1/4 cup Cilantro
 White Rice/ Chappatis

Place eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove eggs from water and cool. 

Peel eggs and cut into halves. Keep aside.

Slice onion lengthwise thinly. Cut the slices in crosswise in half.

Heat oil in a saucepan.

When oil shimmers, add mustard seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves. THEY WILL SPLUTTER AND SPLATTER. You might want to use a splatter shield if this step intimidates you.

Wait for 15 seconds before you add the sliced onions.

Sauté onions for 5 minutes until tinged brown and soft. 

Add ginger slices, turmeric, chile powder, coriander powder, salt and pepper. Stir well to mix. Sauté for a few minutes.

Pour coconut milk into masala and let curry come to slow boil.

Gently add the egg halves. 

Roughly chop cilantro and add to curry. 

Let all the flavors bubble together for a few minutes.

Ladle curry onto hot white rice or serve with chapattis.

She is thrilled with her creation. Waits impatiently to sample some. A plate of rice appears magically in her hand. We sit down to lunch. Not everyone in our house is an egg curry fan, so there is plenty to go around. Forkfuls of curry and rice are delicious! She knows she conquers her frying fears with a few yells and jumps! We share a very special kitchen fellowship and I know I can get egg curry whenever I go to Boston!