Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chettinad Muttai Kuzhambu (Chettinad Style Egg Curry)

A lot of recipe authors are unfortunately under the impression that they can put a bagful of peppercorns into any dish and call it a day when it comes to Chettinad Style recipes. The cuisine definitely is one of the most spiciest in India. However, spicy is not all about peppercorns.

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: 

The Eggs:

  1. Eggs, Hard Boiled and Sliced in Half - 4
To Grind:
  1. Grated Coconut - 1/3 to 1/2 cup
  2. Powdered Fennel Seeds - A scant tsp. (Or use a tsp. of whole Fennel Seeds.)
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.)
The Masala:
  1. Shallots, Sliced or Onion, Finely chopped - A scant cup
  2. Tomatoes, chopped - A scant 1/2 cup
  3. Garlic, Finely chopped - 1/2 tbsp.
  4. Ginger, Grated - 1 tsp.
  5. Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp. 
  6. Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp.
  7. Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp.
  8. Turmeric Powder - A pinch
  9. Sugar - A couple of pinches
  10. Water - About 3 cups
  11. Salt
  12. Oil
To Season the Oil:
  1. Green Chilli, Slit - 1 (Discard Seeds if it is too hot.)
  2. Mustard Seeds - A scant tsp.
  3. 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.  

Boil the gravy for about five minutes and then add the sliced eggs. Simmer for five more minutes and then switch off.
We had it with Puttu. But then, I am the weirdo who will serve anything with Puttu we can eat anything with Puttu. You can serve the curry as a side for Rice, Appams or Rotis.


  1. The curry looks delicious Priya.. :-)

  2. Very yummy and tempting curry priya..lovely clicks.

  3. yummy and delicious muttai kuzhambu dear...

  4. Will try our this version of egg curry. I just the flavors, also eggs are my fav too.

    1. Hope you will like it, Nava. It has a different, yet good flavour. And thank you so much!

  5. loved the curly bowl..n yummy yummy dish dear.

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  6. Muttai curry looks adipoli.I usually rescue my overly hot curry with thick coconut milk.It just brings down the heat to a good extend.

    1. Thanks so much, Meena :) And that quintessential 'Kerala Kitchen trick' has come to my aid lots of times :D But that first version that I tried a couple of years ago was something that couldn't be saved just like that. I'm glad I found another recipe!

  7. Looks very delicious.. We have been experimenting on a lot of egg recipes nowadays, guess this wil come in handy !

    1. Thanks a lot, Chitra. Hope you guys will like it. It has a different flavour of course, from the usual egg gravies :)


  8. Yummyilicious and fingerlicking gravy, love to enjoy with a bowl of rice.

  9. Egg curry....any ti e i can have it with rice or rotis.so spicy luking

    1. Thank you so much, Maha :) The curry is not too spicy though!

  10. Wow, delicious looking egg curry dear! Perfect with a plate of rice now ;)

    ^Love2cook Malaysia^

    1. Long time Sri! And thank you so much, dear :)


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