This is a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbook An Invitation to Indian Cooking, the cookbook that inspired me to start this blog. The recipe is a fancy, rich dish- most Moghul dishes we in the US are exposed to are ‘royal’ recipes. There are two versions in this cookbook, one with chicken as the protein and one with hard-boiled eggs. Since eggs don’t need to be browned first and then simmered until they’re tender, the egg version is a whole lot quicker.
So here’s the lowdown– I halved the recipe, so this is what I did (not Jaffrey’s exact recipe).
6 hard-boiled eggs
1 tsp saffron
1 tbsp milk
2 large onions: 1 diced, 1 sliced into half rings
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
10 whole cardamom pods, slightly crushed
3 tbsp plain yogurt
Roast the saffron briefly in a pan. Warm the tablespoon of milk and let the saffron steep in it while you are cooking.
Roast the coriander and 1 tsp of the cumin and grind.
Put the chopped garlic, ginger and the diced onion in a blender with a little water and puree.
Fry the sliced onion half-rings in oil until they are brown and caramelized, then quickly remove from the pan– don’t let them burn!
Put the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cloves, 1 tsp of cumin and cardamom pods into the leftover oil and fry them for a minute, until the bay leaves start to change color. Add the onion paste, mix with the spices and cook it down for about 10 minutes. Then add the turmeric, cayenne, and roasted ground cumin and coriander. Give that a minute, then stir the yogurt in, one tablespoon at a time. The best way I’ve found to do this is to pour the spoonful of yogurt onto the onion paste– not directly onto the pan– and then stir it very quickly until it’s all mixed in. This will help to prevent it from curdling.
Once the yogurt is mixed in, add the tomatoes. Give those a minute or two, then add 1 1/2 cups of water and stir in in. Place the eggs gently into the sauce and spoon it over them. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Once the 20 minutes are up, uncover the pan and stir in the saffron milk and the fried onions. Serve with bread or rice.
This is a naturally gluten-free and vegetarian dish, and it’s very rich and filling. This could be a great dish to serve among others at a party or a dinner. Also, since the taste of the dish is all about the taste of the eggs, get the best eggs you can– fresh organic eggs would be ideal.