Tuesday, March 10, 2009
On our last night in Kerala, we slept on a houseboat stationed near a rice paddy. When we awoke, our personal chef had prepared a rich egg masala and fluffy upma for breakfast. We floated along the backwaters, stuffing ourselves with spicy eggs, and we were in heaven.
Somehow, our homemade re-creation, while delicious, doesn't conjure the same kind of bliss. Maybe we missed some key ingredient that unlocks the secret of the masala. More likely? Nothing else tastes as good as what you eat while lounging in wicker furniture. Maybe you can convince someone else to make this and bring it out to you on the porch with a nice gin and tonic.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
4 sprigs curry leaves
2 cups of shallots, sliced into rings
1 green chile, sliced in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned okay)
1/2 cup coconut milk
5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
cayenne to taste
Heat the coconut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, but not smoking, add the mustard seeds and urad dal. When the mustard seeds have popped, add the curry leaves and fry for about 30 seconds. Add the shallots and keep stirring continuously until they are nicely browned. Add the garlic, chili, coriander, cumin and tumeric and stir to coat. When the garlic and spices have lost their raw smell, add the tomatoes.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down considerably, then add the coconut milk, eggs and 3/4 cup water. Continue simmering for another 15 minutes, then taste for spiciness. Add as much cayenne as you can handle, and serve over rice, upma or bread.