April 17, 2007
Cooking the special coconut sweets for Bengali New Year virtually sucked the life out me. Life is hard enough without having to stir milk for 40 minutes with a result that worsens hay fever.
What I needed to restore my faith in quick Indian cooking was a simple Indian recipe that hit the spot and took no time to make. Genius!
I decided on egg curry or dimer dalna. Our cook made this at home with plain rotis as a sure fire way to make us whiny kids eat eggs.
The best part of it is the crinkly, shallow fried skin of the hard boiled eggs. As you know, I’m not a big fan of pre-frying before further cooking, but with the eggs in this curry, it really makes a difference.
2 small onions
1 large potato, peeled and quartered
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 inch ginger
2 garlic cloves
Three quarter tsp turmeric
Three quarter tsp chilli powder
Half tsp garam masala
Whole masalas: 1 bay leaf, 2 cloves, 1″ cinnamon, 2 cardamoms
Quarter tsp sugar
3 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Cook the eggs for 15 minutes until hard boiled. Slice one onion finely and puree the other with the garlic and ginger.
When the eggs are done, shell them, make two diagonal slits in them and rub them with a quarter teaspoon of the turmeric and chilli powders and some salt.
Now make the dalna or gravy.
Heat two tablespoons of oil and when hot, add the whole masalas and the sugar. When they start spluttering, add the sliced onions and pureed onion, garlic and ginger mixture.
Fry this mixture on a high heat until it starts changing colour from white, to pale green to pale brown. When the onions lose their raw smell and go pale brown, add the remaining turmeric and chilli powder, the tomato puree and keep frying for five minutes.
If this mixture gets stuck to the bottom of the pan, add a little bit of hot water and scrape it off.
When the pungent smell of the masalas goes, add the quartered potatoes, half a cup of hot water, cover and simmer to cook the potatoes.
In the meantime, heat one tablespoon of oil and when hot shallow fry the eggs until pale brown and crinkly on either side.
When the potatoes are cooked, mix in the eggs, the garam masala and salt to taste. This dish should have a light, runny gravy.