Here’s another gem from the powerful The Indian Cooking Course by Monisha Bharadwaj. If you are interested in learning the deepest spicy details of Indian cooking, then I cannot recommend a better avenue to learn.
This combination of veggies, curry, and hard-boiled eggs is quite likely one you have not encountered. There is a visual richness here that transcends to when it arrives on your plate. Curry is an ingredient we almost never use in the American home kitchen, unless you are lucky enough to have grown up in an Asian or Asian-American home. Here curry leaves are being employed, not curry powder. Those powders often seem to be explosive in flavor. The leaves are more subtle and you need not fear the potency of this dish.
You can treat this dish as a template, one where you can add additional ingredients. There is onion here, so shallots can be substituted. Some shredded carrots would be charming. And diced green peppers would provide color and a new flavor avenue.
Egg and Ridge Gourd Curry
Yield: serves 4
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 8 to 10 fresh or 10 dried curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon white lentils, washed and drained
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 2 fresh green chiles, slit lengthwise
- 2 ridge gourd or zucchinis, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (page 64)
- 4 large free-range eggs, hard-boiled, shelled, and halved
- ½ cup full-fat milk
- Boiled rice to serve
Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the cumin seeds, curry (standing back from the pan if using fresh leaves, as they will splutter) and lentils.
When they begin to darken, add the onion and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until very soft. Stir in the garlic and chiles.
Add the ridge gourd or zucchinis, turmeric and garam masala. Season with salt. The gourd or zucchini will release its juices as the curry comes to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the gourd or zucchini is tender.
Make shallow slits along the sides of the eggs and stir them into the curry. Pour in the milk, bring to a boil, adjust the to taste and serve hot, with rice or rotis.
Source: The Indian Cooking Course by Monisha Bharadwaj [Kyle, 2016]