There is something very poetic about the first recipe I wanted to post being that of my ammamma’s egg curry: there is nothing more basic in cooking than learning to properly cook eggs, and this also happened to be the very first curry I learnt to make.
My grandmother always used this recipe as a standby to provide us with some good protein in a pinch when meat was not readily available. As simple as it is versatile, the recipe is endlessly customizable: start with a base of deeply browned onions, add water to make it as dry/liquidy as you want before adding the beaten eggs. That’s pretty much it; you can then add your choice of frozen or fresh vegetables to add more flavor/texture or to add substance to the curry if you’re running low on eggs and have an army to feed.
This was an easy portal for me into what was in the beginning for me a bewildering and slightly intimidating world of South Indian curries. I am sure this recipe will take you slowly by the hand and lead you down the road of cooking Indian food – just like my grandparents held my hand and taught me to walk into this wonderful world.
THE RECIPE: South Indian Egg Curry (Koduguddu Pulta)
- 1tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
- 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
- 2 whole small green chillies, chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp red chilly powder
- 1/4 tsp salt, or more per taste
- 2 eggs, beaten
- water, to measure
- Saute the onions and chillies in the oil, on medium heat, till they become golden brown. Do not skimp on this step, the slower you cook then and the darker they become (without burning), the more depth of flavor your curry will have. This should take about 10 mins.
- Add the turmeric, salt and red chilly powder to the onions and mix well.
- Add enough water to cover the onions, and continue cooking on medium heat, covered, until the gravy reaches your desired consistency. I like the my curry to remain a little on the liquidy side.
- Beat the eggs in a separate bowl first, and then add them to the onion mix; once you add the eggs, mix vigorously so that the eggs get incorporated into the curry well and you end up with a smooth consistency.
- Continue cooking for another couple of mins, and then remove from heat. You can leave on the heat if you want to dry out the curry a little more.
- Serve with roti or hot white rice.
- You can reduce the number or green chillies or skip adding the red chilly powder if you want to make this dish less spicy.
- Add frozen or parboiled vegetables when you add the water to the onions, if you want to get some veggies into this dish. I find that a mix of peas, carrots and corn goes well with the egg curry; I preheat the veggies in the microwave per packet instructions before adding to the curry to ensure they are fully cooked.
- If you want to quicken the cooking time of the onions, add some salt along with the onions and cook on high heat. You can always cook the onions only till they are soft without getting them fully brown; the end result with be a slightly rougher texture and blander taste – compensate by adding more red chilly powder to pump up the volume.