The fragrance of spices wafted down the hallway as I put on a spurt to get through the apartment door. Dropping my school bag, I rushed to the kitchen where my mother was cooking my favourite meal. A simple sauce of sweet fried onions, plenty of garlic and tomatoes with cardamom and curry powder. This was the 70s and individual spices were hard to get hold of even in London. The sauce would be cooked until the onions and tomatoes melded together. Hard boiled eggs were slipped into the sauce, for only a few minutes, until they took on the golden yellow of the turmeric, yellow on the inside and out, gently infused with the spices. This recipe for Curried Eggs And Garlic Flat bread is inspired by those childhood flavours, but with a little more spice and chilli.
Curried Eggs And Flat Bread
- 3 tbsp Groundnut oil
- 1 Dried chilli
- 2 Sticks of cinnamon
- 6 Cardamom pods
- 5 cloves
- 1 tsp Black peppercorns
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 400g Can tomatoes
- 1 tsp Ground coriander
- ½ tsp Ground cumin
- 1 tsp Ground turmeric
- 1 Fresh chilli finely chopped
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Tamarind paste
- 4 Hard boiled eggs, shells peeled
- 5-6 Sprigs of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Heat oil over a moderate temperature in a large pan or frying pan, add the whole spices, dried chilli, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns. Cook until the spices start to pop and then add the onions.
- Stir until they stop spitting and then spread into an even layer and leave to cook until translucent, add the garlic and stir well. Cook for a further 5 mins. Add the tomatoes and leave to cook for 5 mins. If the sauce gets too dry add a little water.
- Meanwhile, make a paste of the ground spices with a little water and add to the pan. Stir well and cook out the spices for 5 mins.
- Add the chilli, sugar and tamarind paste and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the eggs and serve topped with chopped coriander.
Spiced Garlic Flat Bread
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 15 Black peppercorns
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 10g Dried yeast
- 1 tsp White sugar
- 160ml Full fat or semi skimmed milk at room temperature
- 80ml water at room temperature
- 320g Plain flour (00 is best but not essential)
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil plus extra for oiling the bowl and rolling out the dough
- 25g unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Bunch coriander, finely chopped
- Heat a small frying pan over a moderate heat, add the cumin and coriander and dry roast for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the fennel seeds, peppercorns and chilli and roast for a further 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and place on a dish to cool. Once cooled crush in a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
- Put the yeast sugar and milk in a small bowl and leave for about 5 minutes until small bubbles appear on the surface of the mixture.
- Put the flour into a large bowl with the salt and spices, mix together well. Make a dip in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture and the olive oil.
- Using your hands or a wooden spoon mix the ingredients together bringing in the flour from the sides until you have a rough dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic about 5 - 7 minutes.
- Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knock out the air and divide into 6 roughly equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball and then on a lightly oiled surface roll out in a oval shape to about 18cms (7inches) long, it doesn't have to be exact.
- Heat a griddle pan or frying pan over a high heat, reduce the heat slowly and place the rolled dough in one at a time. Once you see bubbles on the surface of the dough turn it over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes checking it doesn't get burnt. Place in a folded tea towel to stop it drying out.
- Just before serving melt the butter in a pan add the garlic and cook until the garlic is just starting to change colour, be careful not to burn it. Brush each flat bread with the garlic butter and sprinkle with the chopped coriander.
- Serve warm with the curried eggs or stuff with salad for a great packed lunch.
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