The first time I made a Chettinad Style Egg Gravy, it was a major disaster. The recipe that I referred to was unfortunately all about an excruciating amount of ill balanced spices and didn't have much to say when it came to flavours.
In my defense, I was a novice cook then - One who was barely acquainted with the many nuances of following a recipe and following her taste buds.
In the midst of my curry misadventure, my Dad who was visiting kept quiet, possibly hoping that the daughter's new found love for peppercorns will be a memory soon.
The Techie kept quiet, perhaps thinking it might not be a good idea to pass comments on the daughter's cooking skills in front of her Dad.
My Sister, The Foosa who obviously doesn't believe in dilly-dallying around asked, 'But what was wrong with your normal Egg Curry?'
For a long long time, I didn't even think of attempting another Chettinad Style Egg Gravy.
That is, until I saw this recipe at Solai's True Chettinad Kitchen. For starters, it didn't have the 'notorious' peppercorns. And then, the recipe for Tomato Rasam that I tried a while ago from her place had come out well.
And of course, the egg curry too turned out good.
I did make some changes to the recipe. You can find the original recipe at Solai's place.
What You Will Need:
- Eggs, Hard Boiled and Sliced in Half - 4
- Grated Coconut - 1/3 to 1/2 cup
- Powdered Fennel Seeds - A scant tsp. (Or use a tsp. of whole Fennel Seeds.)
- Powdered Cumin - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. (Or use A couple of pinches to 1/2 tsp. of whole Cumin Seeds. Adjust to taste. I like to stick to the lower ends as I don't like cumin to the prominent flavour.)
- Poppy Seeds - 1 tsp. (If you don't have it or don't like it, use 8 Cashew Nuts. You can also use a mix of Poppy Seeds and Cashew Nuts. Adding Cashew Nuts will obviously make the curry richer and tastier. Whichever be your choice, soak the nuts and seeds in water for half an hour before grinding.)
- Shallots, Sliced or Onion, Finely chopped - A scant cup
- Tomatoes, chopped - A scant 1/2 cup
- Garlic, Finely chopped - 1/2 tbsp.
- Ginger, Grated - 1 tsp.
- Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp.
- Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp.
- Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp.
- Turmeric Powder - A pinch
- Sugar - A couple of pinches
- Water - About 3 cups
- Green Chilli, Slit - 1 (Discard Seeds if it is too hot.)
- Mustard Seeds - A scant tsp.
- Curry Leaves - A stalk
On To the Cauldron:
Grind the ingredients under 'To Grind' to a smooth paste with a bit of water. (Take care to grind very well.) Keep aside.
Crush the ginger and garlic together well and set aside.
Heat up some oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add the green chilli as well as the curry leaves and after a few seconds, add the crushed ginger and garlic. Stir for a minute and add the onions/shallots along with some salt.
Sauté till the onions begin to turn a light brown and add the tomatoes. Stir around till the tomatoes break down and gets well mashed up.
Now add the powders. Take care not to burn the masala. Add a tiny bit of water if needed and sauté the masala well.
Now add 2 cups of water into it, bring to a boil and cook the gravy on a medium flame till it gets reduced to half the quantity.
Add the ground coconut paste along with a cup of water (adjust based on the amount of gravy you need. This is one curry which tastes good even with a loose gravy. Besides, the gravy will thicken a bit because of the cashews/poppy seeds.) and stir well. Add the sugar and mix well. Check the seasoning and adjust if needed.