Chettinad cuisine is native to Tamil Nadu, India and is known to be really spicy and deliciously complex in flavour. Chettinad dishes have a lot of heat to them due to the freshly ground spices, especially black pepper.
The base or the gravy of a typical Chettinad curry is usually onions, tomatoes, chillies, ginger-garlic, coconut, which can be both fresh and desiccated and of course the freshly ground spices!
This chettinad egg curry let’s you enjoy the spicy-ness and the complexity of the freshly ground spices but it’s not a blow-your-face-spicy kind of a curry. This egg curry is about the eggs and the curry sauce only complements it in a flavourful and aromatic manner.
One thing to remember is that the sauce continues to thicken due to the heavy use of the coriander powder and therefore seasoning should always be a little on the lower side if the curry is intended to be consumed later.
So, the gravy is tart and tangy from the tomatoes, kind of creamy from the coconut milk and definitely spicy from the spices. The chettiars like their food to pack a punch but in a well-balanced way. And this curry is just that!
So, here’s the recipe for this aromatic curry!
Prep time- 15 mins
Cook time-25 minutes
You will need:
- Eggs- 6 medium sized, hard boiled eggs
- Onion- 1 nos, chopped finely
- Tomatoes- 2 medium, chopped finely
- Coconut milk- 1 can of coconut milk, or milk from 1 coconut
- Coconut oil- 2 tbsp (any oil is ok)
- Cinnamon- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- Curry leaves- 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
- Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
- Salt- as per taste
To make the Spice Paste:
- Ginger- 1-1/2 inch
- Garlic- 4-5 cloves
- Black pepper- 1 tsp whole pepper corns
- Cloves- 4-5 cloves
- Fennel seeds- 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
- Red chilli powder- 1 1/2 tsp
- Coriander powder- 3 tsp
- Place a pan on medium heat and add oil to it. When it starts smoking, add the mustard seeds and wait till it splutters. Then add the fenugreek seeds, the cinnamon stick and chopped onion. Sauté till onion is translucent.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes until they become a bit soft.
3. Add all the ingredients under ‘to make spice paste’ in a blender with 1/2 cup water to make a smooth paste. Add to the onion-tomato mix and stir well. Add salt at this stage and mix well.
4.Let this mixture simmer for 5-7 minutes, you will see that there is a lot of moisture from the tomatoes. Continue cooking the mixture till it is cooked well, add more water if needed.
5. When you see a bit of oil leaving the sides of the mixture, you know the mixture is cooked well. Lower the heat of pan and slowly add the coconut milk. Remember to keep stirring at this point and check for seasoning.
6. Add the curry leaves and halved eggs to the gravy and let it simmer for 1 minute. Turn off the flame and serve hot with accompaniment of choice! Enjoy!
Do try this recipe and let me know what you think!