Goan Curry Eggs
It’s around this time each year that I start to get a bit loopy. The cheer of the holiday season has dissipated and all we are left with is the winter surrounding us like a dark, cold plague. And all I can think about as I try to enjoy my daily walks around my fair city is how much better my life would be if I were somewhere warm. Like Miami or Belize or even Alabama for all I care. Just somewhere warm. Sometimes, I get so excited thinking about a warm place that I end up lost in the fantasy for a moment and end up doing something like standing under the heaters outside the Fairmont Copley hotel, eyes closed, face turned towards the glowing warmth, almost convinced for half a second that I actually am on a Caribbean island soaking up the endless rays. But alas, something always jolts me back to reality. Like an impeccably dressed doorman standing next to me clearing his throat in an all too polite attempt to get the crazy lady dressed like an arctic explorer away from the entrance to his hotel. Just for example.
And so in a vain attempt to further feed my delusions, I find myself turning to the food of the warm places my budget keeps me from visiting. Today’s dish is a perfect example, actually packing a one two punch being that it’s not only from a warm place but is very spicy itself, making my face sweat and allowing me to pretend that’s because I’m in a warm place. (Didn’t I warn you this weather turns me loopy?) And by spicy, I mean full on face sweating, eyes watering, my mouth is burning a little but I kind of like it spicy. That can certainly be adjusted a bit by reducing your jalapenos or adding more coconut milk to mellow the curry out, but this dish is at its core a spicy one. So, if you’re not a fan of a little heat I’d reccommend bookmarking this recipe until your crazy spicy loving uncle/sister/weird friend from college comes over for lunch.
Goan Curry Eggs (adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian)
Makes sauce for 1 dozen eggs
12 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and halved
3 Tbs high heat oil
1 small or half of 1 large red onion, chopped
3 to 6 hot green chiles, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. cayenne
¼ tsp. turmeric
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 Tbs tomato paste
½ tsp whole mustard seeds
30 fresh curry leaves if available
½ to 1 cup coconut milk
A good handful of cilantro for garnish
Heat two tablespoons of your oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add your red onion. Fry, stirring frequently, unit the edges start to brown. Add the green chiles and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute before adding the garlic and ginger. Continue to fry, stirring often, for two additional minutes. Add your cumin, coriander, cayenne and turmeric and stir for a minute, then add the drained tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook, continuing to stirring often, for a few minutes, then add ¾ cup of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
After five minutes, turn off the heat and transfer your mixture to a blender or food processor and puree into a paste.
Clean out your skillet and heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add your mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to pop, add your curry leaves. Give the mix a few good stirs and then add your curry paste, coconut milk, and salt to taste. Bring the curry to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, add your hard boiled eggs – yolk side up – to the curry and spoon the sauce over them to coat. Allow to continue gently simmer until heated throughout.
Serve, garnished with a healthy helping of cilantro.