RECIPE: Tomato and (Poached) Egg Curry

egg curry

Egg curries are a popular dish in Indian cooking. You won’t usually find them in restaurants, but everyone I know who eats eggs has a version. I’d been craving one for a while, and the end of a long week when we needed to go to the grocery seemed like the perfect time to make it. I basically make two kinds, a coconut-milk based curry and a tomato curry. The usual way to prepare the eggs is to hard-boil them and then pierce them so that when you add them to the curry its flavors can infuse the whites.

This time I decided to do something different. I’d seen Janine and Robin talking about Shakshuka on Twitter, and when I looked up some recipes I realized it was very similar to my curries but with the eggs poached in the tomato sauce rather than boiled in advance. So I made the curry with my spice combination and then poached the eggs.

It was amazing. TheHusband wants to have it again very soon and he insisted I write down the recipe so that I wouldn’t forget it. Where better than at a blog where I already post recipes? So here it is.

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RECIPE: Mulligatawny

When I was growing up in India this was always a “Western restaurant” or “tourist hotel” or “Western household” soup to me.  For one thing, the Indian culture I’m from doesn’t have soup as a part of its cuisine. For another, it’s the quintessential Anglo-Indian dish. I probably had it at hotel restaurants or British and Parsi friends’ houses, but it didn’t stick in my memory.

Then I rediscovered the dish in my 20s and realized how delicious it is. The long winters in Chicago probably helped, and I was always looking for one-dish meals as a money- and time-deprived student. There are a million different recipes for Mulligatawny; I’ve even seen one that uses ground lamb. That’s a bridge too far for me, but I prefer the chicken version to the vegetarian one.

It’s been quite cold here for the last few days and both TheHusband and I have been craving both soup and Indian spices, so I made this. It’s not from any particular recipe, I just read a bunch of different ones and came up with my own. It looks like a long list of ingredients but it’s not hard to put together. You’ll need a couple of hours from start to finish.

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RECIPE: Tomato Raita

I was cleaning up my Tumblr, disconnecting it from VM to the extent possible without deleting it altogether, and I ran across this recipe. Most of the recipes that originated over there have been reposted here, but I missed this one and another somehow. So here you go.

 

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2 cups lowfat or nonfat greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. canola oil
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
pinch hing (asafoetida)
12-15 kari leaves

Beat together yogurt and salt. If it is still very thick, add water, a teaspoon at a time, until the yogurt is creamy but not runny.

Add oil and mustard seeds to a small pan. Turn heat to high. When the mustard seeds start to pop, turn the fire to low and add the hing and kari leaves. When the seeds are done popping, remove from heat. Let cool slightly and add mixture to yogurt. Fold tomatoes in gently. Serve with Indian food or grilled meat, fish, or vegetables.

This makes a nice change from your bog-standard cucumber raita.

Adapted from the terrific Savoring India cookbook by Julie Sahni in the Williams-Sonoma series. Unfortunately out of print, but if you find one at a reasonable price, buy it!

RECIPE: Dal with chard

dal chard

Yes, the recipes are back. This is a version of dal palak, which is dal with spinach. It’s found across India, with variations in the recipe: different types of dal, different spice combinations, and different proportions.

I had red chard in the fridge and I hadn’t made toor dal in a while, so I decided to put them together. You can use spinach, obviously, and all kinds of lentils work: split mung, masoor, and even chana.

Note: You can put all the spices in at the beginning if you want to save a step and avoid washing an extra pan, or you can do it the way I did and put some of the spices in with the chard and the rest after the chard and dal have cooked for a while. It’s an Indian thing to add the sautéd spices toward the end of cooking (the mixture is called vaghar where I’m from), and it makes a difference in the taste.

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WEDNESDAY RECIPE: Clams with white wine and garlic

This is one of our staple meals when clams are in season. Right now the tiny ones are available at the market, and they are particularly tender and sweet. I’m not sure exactly what variety of clam they are because TheHusband buys them at the Asian grocery and I don’t think they specify beyond “clams.” But Manila and Littlenecks definitely work well, and the larger ones can be fine too.

We either serve them over pasta (another variation on spaghetti alla vongole), or you can eat them by themselves, with fresh bread on the side. For a complete meal, just add a green salad to finish. The preparation and cooking time together don’t take much more than half an hour (especially if someone else, like TheH, washes the clams while you prep the other ingredients).

INGREDIENTS:

20-30 fresh clams, depending on size
4-6 cloves garlic
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup white wine
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 dried red pepper (or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
3 Tbsp Italian parsley, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 medium tomato, peeled and chopped

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