The Homestyle Pakistani Curry You Won't Find On Restaurant Menus

April  6, 2017

Weeknight dinners in our family home were standard: Ami would prepare a Pakistani meal every day, consisting of a meat-based curry, a side of dahl, and sautéed vegetables, raita, and either basmati pilaf or flatbread, such as chapati or naan.

On her “nights off,” she would make one dish with a side of rice and a condiment (my idea of a “night off,” on the other hand, is ordering in). While Ami was ready to cook for her family even on her restful days, she would sometimes simplify the process by paring her menu way down.

On a Friday night, for example, Ami often made Pakistani-style egg and potato curry, which my sisters and I still love. This isn’t a dish you’ll find in a Pakistani restaurant—it’s that special, simple meal you make at home for your loved ones—and it doesn’t even have a name, we just call it "Aloo Anday," which literally means “eggs and potatoes.” Mention the dish to many a child from the Indian sub-continent and they will tell you that their mother has her own version of it.

Aloo Anday is a tomato-based vegetarian dish that doesn’t involve a lot of prep time or a long list of ingredients—most of what you need you can find in your pantry. We eat it with steamed basmati or naan. To many, eating potatoes with rice may seem out of place, but in the Pakistani kitchen, it isn’t an oddity at all.

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As children, Ami would call us into the kitchen, where we would ladle spoonfuls of the Aloo Anday straight from the pot into our Corningware bowls filled with steaming basmati. Ami would add dollops of creamy cucumber raita on the side, and we would mix it all together and eat it in front of the television. Sounds like a good Friday night, right?

These are the pantry basics you’ll need to make the curry:

  • The holy trinity: garlic, ginger, shallots (if you don’t have all three, don’t fret—even one of these three will do)
  • Tomato sauce: Maybe you’ve saved precious jars you canned over the summer, or maybe you have a tin of tomato sauce lurking somewhere in your cupboard
  • A few pinches of haldi (turmeric), sea salt, and your favorite red chilli powder
  • Potatoes
  • Eggs

The beauty of this dish is that if you don’t have any rice, you can enjoy it with a slice of sourdough bread you love. You can even tear bits of bread straight into the bowl and eat it all with a spoon.

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Top Comment:
“She doesn't use potatoes though, but will instead add greens into the curry sauce (an addition she started making so that my brother and i would eat more vegetables. It worked!)”
— E

And if you have some leftover from dinner, have it the next day for breakfast: Take some bread, smother the potatoes on top, and crown it with one of the eggs.

With this recipe in hand, you, too, may opt to cook instead of ordering in on a Friday (or Monday, or Wednesday) night.

What's your favorite simple, comforting recipe you'd never see on a restaurant menu? Tell us in the comments below.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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  • shayma
Shayma Saadat is a cookery teacher, food writer, stylist and photographer who focuses on the food of her heritage - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, which she refers to as Silk Route cuisine. Shayma lives in Toronto with her husband and son. You can follow her culinary journey on Instagram @SpiceSpoon.


AntoniaJames April 12, 2017
This seems like a perfect application for Mallika Basu's tomato curry sauce, which I make in large quantities every few months to freeze in one or two-cup portions to use in simple weeknight meals. https://food52.com/blog/13865-curry-on-how-to-use-indian-curry-sauce-in-5-dinners ;o)
Twinkle April 8, 2017
I can't wait to try my hand at this recipe as I so seldom see egg curry dishes where I live!

There's a Vietnamese comfort food dish my parents often made at home that I've never seen in a restaurant and it's also centered around eggs. It's not so much a recipe as it is a collection of foods: hardboiled eggs served with lightly boiled green cabbage cut into wedges, bathed with loads of nuoc cham (simple fish sauce-based dipping sauce) + fresh ground chili sauce (like sambal oelek). You roughly break/crush the eggs (no chopping!) so that the cooked yolk mixes with the nuoc cham into a sort of creamy, spicy dressing -- and serve the resultant egg mixture over the cabbage and steamed rice, with generous smattering of fried shallots for added texture & deliciousness. It's nowhere near as elegant as the curry you posted but it is such a humble & comforting dish that I love very much.
Sarah J. April 10, 2017
That sounds delicious, Twinkie! Thanks for sharing.
shayma April 11, 2017
I'd love to eat that. All that umami!
E April 6, 2017
!!! This is one of my faaaavorite South Asian dishes. My mom makes the best one obviously (don't we all say that about our mom's cooking?). She doesn't use potatoes though, but will instead add greens into the curry sauce (an addition she started making so that my brother and i would eat more vegetables. It worked!)
shayma April 6, 2017
I'm sure your mom's is the best - every mom makes the best food! which greens does she use?