I have begun to read a lot more cookbooks these days compared to a couple of years ago.
Earlier, cookbooks were like glossy magazines to me. Filled with mouthwatering, high quality images, a cookbook was only to gaze at and sigh. In fact it seemed like a distant, unknown world to me akin to reading a film or lifestyle magazine.
But this journey of food blogging has exposed me to the behind-the-scenes part of a cookbook. Today, I understand food in its entirety. Now when I read a cookbook, I try to find the author in every page of the book. What is the author trying to tell me through the book? What is his or her food philosophy? I am finally able to see the blood, sweat and tears that go into collating recipes, cooking all the food, styling, photographing, printing, publishing…..the whole journey flashes through my mind which makes me appreciate it and look much more beyond the glossy pictures.
Today’s recipe comes from a cookbook I have begun to admire much. ‘Indian Kitchen (Secrets of Indian Home Cooking)’ by Maunika Gowardhan is exactly my idea of an Indian cookbook. In fact, if anyone ever gave me an opportunity to create an Indian cuisine based book, it might look very similar to this one.
Indian Kitchen is a perfect tribute to the vastness and rich culinary heritage of Indian cooking. The book does not focus on a single region; it showcases the gems (some forgotten ones) of traditional Indian cuisine from across the country. Maunika has picked out classics from every region and presented it to us in the most beautiful manner.
And according to me, the ultimate compliment you can give to a cookbook author is to actually cook from her book and that’s what today’s dish is all about.
The Andhra egg curry is one of the dishes featured in the Indian Kitchen. In spite of being quite familiar with the cuisine and flavours of this South Indian state, I have never made an egg curry from this region before. The final flavour of the dish was exactly as I imagined while reading through the ingredients.
While I have followed the same recipe, adjustments have been made to quantities of spices and aromatics. And I would strongly urge you to do the same if you are trying out my recipe too since the flavours would depend a lot on the brand of spices and ingredients that is used.
Extremely flavourful and delicious, this Andhra egg curry is a wonderful accompaniment to steamed rice, rotis, naan, string hoppers, appams…..just about anything that can soak up the richness of the gravy.
And remember if you try out my recipes, I would be overjoyed to see the pictures and please tag using #thespiceadventuress so that I would not miss it.
Let’s get cooking this tangy, spicy, moreish Andhra style egg curry.
1. 8 eggs; hardboiled, peeled and halved
2. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
3. 1 tsp black mustard seeds
4. 2 medium onions; finely chopped
5. 1 inch cinnamon bark
6. 3 green chillies; slit
7. 2 ½ large ripe tomatoes; finely chopped
8. 1 inch ginger; julienned
9. ½ tsp turmeric powder
10. ½ tsp red chilli powder
11. 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
12. 2 sprigs curry leaves
13. 1 tsp tamarind paste
14. 100 ml thick coconut milk
15. Salt, to season
16. 2-3 sprigs coriander leaves; finely chopped
• Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan; when hot, add the mustard seeds and allow to crackle. Add the onions and sauté on low to medium heat till light brown.
• Add the cinnamon and chillies; sauté for another minute or two. Then add the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Keep stirring to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom and sauté for another 4-5 minutes on low heat till the tomatoes are completely broken down and become a thick, mushy mixture.
• Add most of the sliced ginger (reserve a few for garnish) and all the powdered spices. Mix on low heat for another minute or till the mixture comes together and oil starts to leave the sides of the pan.
• Add the tamarind and one cup of water. Mix and bring to boil and simmer covered for two minutes. Next, add the curry leaves and thick coconut milk. Mix and continue to simmer on low heat for another minute.
• Season with salt and add the halved eggs. Stir gently so as not to break the eggs and simmer covered on the lowest heat for another 3-4 minutes.
• Garnish with chopped coriander and sliced ginger. Add slit green chillies also if you wish to.
• Serve warm.