I was reminded of this recipe this morning when a friend at church brought in duck eggs for sale. We had a ready supply throughout last year but the ducks have been taking a break from laying and the resumed supply is something we have eagerly anticipated! I discovered this very simple recipe last year and although you can use hen’s eggs the larger and richer duck eggs (see picture) make it an extra special light supper. I have made egg curries in the past and we always enjoy them, but this is one of the simplest recipes I have come across.
Once more this recipe is based on one from one of my favourite books: Hot & Spicy Cooking: Exciting Ideas for Delicious Meals with recipes by Judith Ferguson, Lalita Ahmed and Carolyn Garner, with just a few very small tweaks. It’s simple sauce could be used as a base for any grilled meat or fish or diced meat or fish could also be incorporated. It reminds me a little of other recipes on this site, in particular Pork Sausages Indian Style, a Madhur Jaffrey recipe and Prawn & Tomato Korma, both of which are favourites. If using hen’s eggs then it is probably better to serve one and a half or even two per person for a light meal: with duck eggs one should be adequate. If you are serving this at a larger main meal then you will definitely need more eggs and the sauce will serve only two or three people. If serving as one option at an Indian style multi dish meal then the eggs should be quartered. This could also be served as a starter with half an egg per portion (in two quarters) and a small piece of naan or poppodums.
(Serves 4 as a light meal – 2-3 as a main meal – 6-8 as a starter)
4 duck eggs (1 per person – ½ for a starter)
4-8 hens eggs (depending on appetite of diners – 1 or less for a starter)
1tbsp sunflower oil
1 large or 2 small white onions (be generous)
2.5cm/1inch piece of cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
6 green cardamom pods
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1.5cm/½inch piece of root ginger, finely chopped
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
¼tsp ground turmeric
1tsp garam masala
1tsp chilli powder
1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes, chopped
Salt & black pepper to taste
180ml/6fl ozs vegetable stock or water (or 1tsp stock powder and water)
Small handful fresh chopped coriander (parsley if unavailable)
1 small green chilli, a few fine slices (optional – I usually omit this)
1. Hard boil the eggs in boiling water: 10-12 minutes for duck eggs or 8-10 minutes for hens eggs. Once cooked plunge immediately into cold water, which will cool them and also help prevent the unsightly grey ring that can form around the yolk. I usually steam hard boil eggs, having pierced the shells first, which takes about 5 minutes longer.
2. Finely chop the onion and gently fry it in the oil for 2-3 minutes so it is soft but not browned.
3. Stir in the finely chopped garlic and ginger along with the cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamoms and cloves. Fry for 1 minute.
4. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and chilli powder. Stir well and fry for about 30 seconds more.
5. Add the chopped tinned tomatoes. Stir well, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the stock or water and bring to the boil. Season to taste.
6. Put the hard boiled eggs into the sauce and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
7. Serve sauce on a bed of plain boiled rice with egg or eggs placed on top. Garnish with coriander or parsley and, if you wish, a little finely sliced green chilli.