As a small child I remember the wonderful aroma of curry, it wafted around the apartment promising a bowl of comfort food. It smelled of turmeric and that particular scent that you probably have to be British to know. It has been in every home, school and pub. It was the curry that was made using only curry powder, a yellow gloopy sauce with sultanas in it and sliced bananas on the side. No gentle roasting of spices, making pastes or choosing between ground or whole spices. The most complex flavour that was offered was mild, medium or hot ( I don’t know anyone who used hot) This was the late 70s.
Regardless of the rudimentary curry sauce I loved the hard boiled eggs that were added to it, yes. Eggs! Curried eggs were my favourite meal and now that I do use infused and roasted spices they just aren’t the same. There’s something about childhood food, I’m not sure if it’s that we remember it differently, or that a child’s palette is not so picky. Or perhaps it is the comfort of all those things that go with the food. Stiring the pan whilst chatting about my friends new cat, in the secret hope that I might get one too. Far too straight forward to just ask. The gentle chiding and cajoling that goes with family life as supper cooked.
So when the Heavenly Housewife set another of her fabulous challenges, to cook a Biryani, any Biryani and I discovered a recipe for Eggs. I knew it wouldn’t be like my childhood curried dish, but it could be so delicious.
And if you’d like to see everyone else’s Biryani’s, here are the links
Teczcape: An Escape to Food
Egg Biryani (serves 4)
based on recipe from Anjum’s New India by Anjum Anand
- 300g Basmati Rice, rinsed well and soaked for half an hour
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion. Half thinly sliced and half cut into chunks for the paste
- 8g fresh ginger peeled
- 4 large cloves of garlic peeled
- 2 medium tomatoes, quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 brown cardamom pod
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 5 cloves
- salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 – 3/4 chilli powder, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (I made mine, method at the end)
- 2 rounded tablespoons of natural yoghurt
- 6 large eggs, boiled for 8 minutes, cooled, peeled and halved lengthways
- 15g butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
- Drain the rice and boil until nearly done around 5-6 minutes, drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large non stick frying pan, stir in the sliced onion and cook until just turning brown and crisp at the edges.
- Remove and drain on a piece of kitchen paper. Set aside.
- While the onions are cooking, put the remaining onion chunks of onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic into a blend until a paste is formed.
- Reheat the oil in the pan and add the bay leaves and the remaining dry whole spices, fry until they start to crackle about 20 seconds.
- Add the onion/tomatoe paste a splash of water and the remaining powdered spices.
- Stir well to mix, over a high heat cook until the moisture has gone. Reduce the heat then cook the paste for a further 8 minutes. Be careful the paste doesn’t burn.
- Stir in the yoghurt and incorporate fully.
- Add 150mls water and bring to the boil.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, slightly over season to compensate for the rice and the eggs.
- Remove the curry from the pan and set aside. Rinse the pan.
- Layer the base with half the rice, and on top of that most of the curry.
- Add the eggs, cut side up. Spoon over the remaining curry, scatter with fried onions and the remaining rice.
- Add the knobs of butter, cover tightly and return to a low heat for a further 10 minutes until the rice is fully cooked through.
- Scatter the top with the chopped coriander and serve.
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 7 black cardomom pods
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 5g piece of cinnamon stick
- 5 whole cloves