Food has always been politicized in India, a person’s diet often revealing the specifics of her cultural identity. And under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the surge of pro-vegetarian Hindu nationalism, even the simple practice of serving eggs at school lunch has become fraught. But eggs have long been an important source of nutrition across the country, and form the base of many classic regional dishes. In Andhra Pradesh, this spicy, tomato-rich egg curry would have firmer, more crumbly yolks (boiled for about 11 or 12 minutes), but I like to cook them a little softer (8 minutes, max).
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¼cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
- 2medium yellow onions, chopped
- 6garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1(2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2small cinnamon sticks
- 6green cardamom pods
- 1teaspoon ground coriander
- ½teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 6Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1teaspoon kosher salt
- ½teaspoon garam masala
- 6to 8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- Handful of small, tender fresh cilantro stems
Step 1In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until evenly caramelized and light brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger, and fry, stirring occasionally, another 4 minutes. Add the cinnamon and cardamom. When the spices start to toast, after about 2 minutes, stir in the coriander, turmeric and peppercorns.
Step 2Add the tomatoes, salt and 1 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and the fat rises to the top, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garam masala and lower the heat. If the sauce isn’t runny, stir in 1/2 cup water.
Step 3Add all but 2 of the eggs and stir gently. Halve the remaining eggs lengthwise and arrange on top, yolk-side up. Heat until the eggs are warmed through, then top with cilantro.