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Maharashtrian Egg Curry Recipe
Maharashtrian cuisine is based upon a delicate balance of flavors and tastes. Most dishes combine sweet, sour and spicy tastes and a few may also contain a subtle bitter component. My Maharashtrian Egg Curry made with dal is a wonderful example of this delicious combination of tastes and precise balance of flavors.
The tamarind tree is native to India. It produces a large brown fruit or pod that contains the tamarind pulp. The use of tamarind (pulp) is very common in Indian food, especially in South Indian cuisine. It imparts a unique sweet, sour and tangy flavor that is absolutely delicious. Tamarind pulp has many health benefits and aids in digestion. It is high in both vitamins B and C and also calcium. Tamarind pulp is easily available in any Indian grocery store in many forms such as tamarind powder, tamarind concentrate and even dried tamarind pulp. If you are unable to find tamarind pulp, you can use fresh lemon juice as a substitute.
Jaggery is a type of unrefined sugar that comes from either the sugarcane tree or the date palm tree. In India, it is known as gul or gur. It is available in block form in most Indian or Asian grocery stores. If you are unable to find jaggery, you can substitute dark brown sugar.
MAHARASHTRIAN EGG CURRY
2 cups toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas)
6 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi), roasted in a dry skillet for a few minutes
3-4 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise, to taste
½ tsp black mustard seeds
4-6 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafetida (hing)
½-1 tsp tamarind paste
¼ tsp jaggery (gul), to taste
1 tsp kala or goda masala (you may use garam masala as a substitute)
½ tsp turmeric
salt, to taste
1 tbsp oil, vegetable or canola
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
*If you using a pressure cooker, cook the dal along with the toasted fenugreek seeds. The dal should be completely tender but not mushy. Set aside and let cool until needed.
Meanwhile in a saucepan on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When the splattering stops, reduce the heat and add the curry leaves, green chilies and the asafetida. Add the turmeric and stir, let cook for a few minutes. Carefully, add the cooked dal along with any cooking water. Stir well to combine. If the dal is a bit too thick, add a little water as needed. The consistency should not be too thick or too watery. Then, using the back of a large spoon or ladle, slightly mash the dal against the sides of the pot. This will give you a nice creamy consistency.
Next, add the kala or garam masala. Stir well to combine and add the salt, tamarind and jaggery. Now carefully add the eggs, nestling them gently in the curry. Then reduce the heat, bring to a gentle boil and let simmer for 6-8 minutes until all the flavors have mingled. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve with fresh chapatis and Basmati rice.
*If you are cooking the dal on the stovetop, add the toasted fenugreek seeds and enough water to cover. The dal should be completely tender but not mushy.
Meanwhile heat another small pan on medium high heat and add the oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When the splattering stops, reduce the heat and add the curry leaves, green chilies and asafetida.
Add this hot oil mixture to the cooked toor dal. Stir well to combine, making sure there is a sufficient amount of water. The consistency should not be too thick or too watery. Using the back of a large spoon or ladle, slightly mash the dal against the sides of the pot.
Next, add the kala or garam masala. Stir well to combine and add the salt, tamarind and jaggery. Then carefully add the eggs, arranging them in a single layer in the curry. Reduce the heat, bring to a gentle boil and let simmer for 6-8 minutes until all the flavors have mingled. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve with fresh chapatis and Basmati rice.
Try adding a little freshly chopped garlic to the hot oil along with the green chilies, curry leaves and asafetida. You can also add some cumin seeds to the hot oil as well. Try adding some desiccated coconut to the dal; dry roast the coconut first in a dry skillet and then add it to the dal during the cooking process along with the tamarind and jaggery.
You could also make this dish using chana dal (split Bengal gram dal), yellow moong dal (skinned & split) or orange masoor dal (skinned & split, but will turn yellow after it’s cooked).
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Content copyright © 2014 by Sadhana Ginde. All rights reserved.
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