Monday, January 9, 2012

Impromptu dinner - Keralan Egg Curry with Lemon Rice

We were supposed to go to Kerala.  Two days after our wedding, we were going to have an adventure with 8 of our friends in the jungles of Thekkady, and relax on the backwaters of Kerala on a houseboat for a night, and end our time in Kochi.  And of course sample all the lovely Keralan food !  It didn't work out however, and although I missed out on a cooking class in Kochi, which was the thing that I secretly looked forward to the MOST, we stayed in Goa in a hut on the beach.  Just my husband and I.

I still dream of the possibility of trying the food though.  And the other day when my husband invited a few friends over for dinner at the last minute, I racked my brains on what I could make without going to the grocery store.  And then I thought of a conversation that was taking place between my sister and my mother in law.  The conversation revolved around food - and that's usually the case when my sister and I are together - and we were talking about food that we take during our travels.  You know, in case god forbid, we go hungry on the train/plane ride ! So my mil said that when she was in Chennai, they used to pack egg curry and lemon rice on overnight train rides. And I remember thinking of how yummy the combination sounds, and how I must make it soon !  So here it is - This is what I made for my dinner guests, and I must say it was well appreciated.

Keralan Egg Curry

  • Eggs – 4/5, hard boiled and peeled
  • White / Red / Yukon Gold Potatoes – 3-4, peeled and quartered
  • Vegetable oil – 2 tsp
  • Red Onion – 2 medium, chopped
  • Crushed garlic – 1 T
  • Grated ginger – 1 T
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder / Cayenne – 2 tsp
  • Crushed Black Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Crushed / Powdered Fennel  – 11/2 tsp
  • Goan Curry Masala, if not Garam Masala will also do – 1 tsp
  • Tomatoes – 4, chopped
  • Salt
  • Chopped Cilantro – 2 bsp – for garnish
To grind to a paste:
  • Grated coconut – 3/4 cup
  • Dried Red Chillies –4
  • Pearl Onions – 5, peeled
For Tempering:
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Pearl Onions – 6 , peeled and sliced
  • Curry leaves – a few

Boil the potatoes till they are soft ( if you hold it with a fork, it slides right through). Drain and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the onions, crushed garlic, ginger and saute well till the onions become translucent. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, black pepper, coriander powder, garam masala and fennel powder and saute well till the raw smell of turmeric and other spices disappear. Now add the tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes become soft. Add potatoes and give it a quick stir.
I use dried unsweetened coconut flakes (soaked in hot water for 15 minutes) or you can use frozen coconut (thawed).  Grind together, the coconut, pearl onions and red chillies with just a little (2-4 tbsp) water to a very smooth paste.
Now mix this coconut paste to the saute pan with the onions, tomatoes, potatoes and spices. Add a little water to the pan to get a sauce. Add salt to the mix. Let it come to a boil and let the gravy / sauce thicken. Now cut the boiled and peeled eggs in half and add to this and mix well. Switch off heat.
Heat oil in a smaller pan. Add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the pearl onions and the curry leaves. Once the pearl onions turning golden, switch off the heat and pour this over the curry.

Lemon Rice


  • 2 cups cooked Basmati rice (or leftover rice)
  • 2 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • handful of curry leaves
  • 3 green chillies slit lengthwise
  • 1" piece of ginger grated
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (roasted and unsalted)
  • 2 T chana daal
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt to taste


  • Gently roast and then coarsely powder the coriander seeds. Keep aside.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Fry till the spluttering stops and add the ginger and peanuts. Fry for another minute. Add the turmeric powder and turn off the fire.
  • Add the lemon juice and mix well.
  • Add the rice, roasted coriander powder and salt to taste and mix thoroughly, but gently to avoid mushing up the rice.


  1. I made keema last night, so today I've to make something non-Indian so as not to bore M. So maybe I can make this egg curry on Friday. Or Thursday. Yeah it was fun to get the recipe for idli from your mother-in-law, although I need it written down. I really want to make it soon, I ate the best south Indian in Bombay, remember?? that saambar was so good. But now I'm looking forward to using the Goa spices you got me. What do I do with all the Goan "veg masala"? ?

  2. You make lots of Egg curry with it ! And you can also coat it on tofu, and add panko and salt, and fry it.

  3. Made this yesterday, it came out incredible! Sooooo delicious! It was a different flavor for me, since I've never been able to eat Goan food as a vegetarian, so this was perfect. I love the coconut and the fennel flavor in there, it's there but it's not overpowering. Sooo yummy! Definitely going to make again and again. M also said he loved it!

    I want more Goan recipes!!!

  4. I'm making this soon, as this was probably my favorite thing you've ever made that I've tried! Can't wait!


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