My love affair with South Indian food began when I met my husband. Up until then, my knowledge of the cuisine was abysmal at best. Most people aren't aware of this, but Indian cuisine is not one, but many. There are variants of a particular dish in almost every state and that's dominated by the produce, temperature, weather conditions, culture and even language sometime. This south indian style egg curry is actually quite basic. It doesn't claim to be from somewhere, but is from everywhere in the south of India. It works for us, my husband and I because we get the creaminess that North Indians seek and the fragrance of coconut milk and curry leaves that's so indigenous to the south. It's a quick curry, which can be easily adapted to suit your taste, and is open to substitutions like boiled potatoes or paneer for egg. —Richa Gupta
In a large pan, heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns and green chilies. Once everything starts spluttering, add ginger, garlic and onions.
Cook till the onions turn soft and translucent and add tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chili powder and salt. Let the tomatoes cook till they are pulpy and add tamarind water and thin coconut milk.
Stir and bring this to a boil. Simmer till the gravy reduces slightly and becomes thicker. This will take about 5. At this point, add some water if you need to adjust the consistency.
Adjust seasoning, add curry leaves and pour in the thick coconut milk. Stir a few times, without letting it come to a boil and switch off the flame. Drop the eggs in the curry, and cover and let it sit for five minutes before serving.
Note 1: To hard boil eggs perfectly, add eggs to a pot and fill it with water till it covers the eggs. Bring it to a boil and switch off the flame. Cover and let it sit for 11 minutes. Transfer to a vessel and place in cold water for perfectly hard boiled eggs.
Note 2: To make tamarind water, add a small, bite sized ball of tamarind to warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Mash with your hands and use the paste/water in the curry.