Kerala Egg Stew

One of our favourite curries at home is Egg curry, this recipe is a robust curry full of flavours and high on spice. But the taste can be a bit overpowering for kids, which is why I often make the milder version of this, called the Kerala Egg Stew. Although several ingredients are pretty much common, the number of spices in this version is less and a missing element the fiery red chilli powder.

The egg stew is basically what Indian's adapted from the British stew, minus the wheat and dairy elements that's prevalent in most continental stew bases. And as they adapted the recipe, they used all the ingredients available locally, so coconut milk replaced cow's milk and coconut oil, replaced butter. This is a great curry idea for those with celiac's disease or are allergic to gluten. My kids love eggs in any form and never once have I seen them complain when I give them eggs, but since I love serving them a variety, other than scrambled, poached or boiled eggs and this recipe is a great idea for a festive breakfast or weekday dinner, especially when served with appams (click for recipe).

Ingredients

5-6 boiled eggs

1 carrot peeled and cubed (or cubed potato)

1/2 cup frozen green peas

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp rice bran oil

1/2 tsp whole cumin or mustard seeds

1 cup thinly sliced onions

1" fresh ginger root, julienned

2 green chillies slit lengthwise

A few curry leaves

1/2 tsp crushed black pepper powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder (optional)

2 tsp coriander powder (optional)

1/2 tsp gram masala powder (optional)

1 1/2 cup medium to thick fresh coconut milk (or a ready pack)

1-2 tsp Himalayan Salt

a handful of raisins and whole cashews to garnish (optional)

Shell the eggs and cut them into halves. In a medium flame heat a seasoned wot (or non stick) and add the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, splutter the cumin or mustard seeds (use whichever you prefer, I have used cumin seeds here). Then into the wok goes the sliced onions, curry leaves, green chillies and the ginger, stir fry these ingredients well (your kitchen is going to have a heavenly aroma). Add 1 tsp salt so the onions don't burn.

When the onions are nice and brown, add the masalas- turmeric, coriander and garam masala, fry this well until the raw smell goes (around 5-10 minutes on a low flame). Once masalas coat the onions well, add the coconut milk, carrots, peas and let this come to a steady boil (medium to high flmae). After it boils, reduce the flame to low and let the curry simmer. In 15 mins, the carrots would be tender, so in goes the sliced eggs and the crushed black pepper powder. This can cook on a low flame for another 5-10 minutes and at this point you can check for salt and add another 1 tsp if needed and if the curry is to thick, you can adjust with more coconut milk or water and then turn off the flame.

For tempering, in a separate pan, add the rice bran oil (or ghee) and toss in the cashews and raisins, this step is completely optional, but looks impressive when it's a festive occasion and you have guests. Once the cashews are a golden brown colour, turn off the flame and toss this on top of the Egg Stew. You can glam it up a notch further by topping it with a table spoon of caramelised/fried onions. Now this delicious stew is ready to serve.

Serve it with appams, parathas, chapati or pulav rice. Ofcourse the most popular way to serve this in Kerala is with fresh appams. Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine do.

Tips- You can skip the veggies completely, but when cooking for kids it's a great add on. White potato is the most versatile veggie with this stew, but I try to avoid this popular veggie and instead I used carrots. Fresh green peas is fine instead of frozen, but make sure it's parboiled fresh peas, or else your cooking time will be longer. If you don't have garam masala powder, meat masala is a great substitute. The same curry based can be used for chicken stew, just replace the eggs with 500 grams of cut chicken which needs to cook with the coconut milk from the initial step. Traditionally, turmeric is not added, but with its multiple healing properties, I have added this in my version.