Excuse my lame attempt at rhyming, but this is indeed a curry in a hurry. This is an easy dish to prepare when unexpected, but welcome dinner guests show up or when you simply do not have much time. Egg drop curry or or Mutta Pottichozhicha Curry, as it is called in Kerala, is a quick egg dish that goes well with sides like flat breads likes rotis or Naans, pancakes like Appams or rice noodles like Idiappams .
I grew up watching the “Incredible Edible Egg” campaigns. Egg was touted as the powerhouse of nutrition, cheap source of protein and all round goof for you. Then came the health police warnings about the dangers of eggs. “Beware of Cholesterol” – they said, but we still ate our eggs, albeit with a dash of guilt. Now the wheels have turned again and it is safe to have “your daily egg” .
Fears are allayed
Rejoice once more!
Consume your daily egg(s),
Before it is too late 🙂
Eggs take much less resources to produce than meat, needs no refrigeration (though recommended) and provides many vital nutrients. No wonder cooks around the globe are in love with it.
Is it any wonder that there are umpteen versions of curried eggs. Usually these are made with boiled eggs. This Egg Drop Curry, a popular dish in Kerala, is with poached eggs. This reduces the cooking time and a delicious curry comes together in under 20 minutes. There is no worry about boiling the eggs perfectly, or waiting to cool and removing the shells. This is not a spicy, complex flavored curry, but light and bustlin with fresh fresh flavors.
Traditionally these were prepared in Cheena Chatti , similar to the Chinese wok, but a little shallower. As I mentioned earlier this is not a heavily spiced dish. It is light , a little creamy and full of fresh flavors. Curry leaves and coconut and spicy green chilies are more common in the coastal cuisine than garam masala and this dish is a fine example of those flavors. Here is the step by step recipe .
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, Kadai or Cheena Chatti. When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle add the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies and curry leaves. You can leave the green chilies whole or slit or chop them for more heat. The onions are usually coarsely chopped , as it is a home style dish. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over the vegetables and saute till the onions become soft. Salt is added at this stage to bring out the moisture thus preventing the vegetables from browning.
Once the onions are soft add the turmeric powder, and mix well. Pour 1.5 cups of water or thin coconut milk and bring to a boil. Needless to say fresh coconut milk adds a much more fresh taste to the curry .
Once the curry boils add a splash of vinegar and mix well. Reduce the heat to low and break the eggs one by one into the curry. Cover with the lid and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. If the eggs are still runny turn them gently using a wide spoon and cook for a couple more minutes. Stir in the coconut milk. The amount of coconut milk you add entirely depends on your taste. The more milk the creamier and sweeter the curry will be. Taste and adjust salt. Do not boil the curry after adding the coconut milk. Turn off the heat as soon as bubbles start appearing on the sides. Rest for a few minutes before serving .
Delicious poached egg curry that cooks in under 30 minutes.
- 6 Eggs
- 1 - 2 Onions
- 1/2 Inch Fresh Ginger
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Green Chili Serrano or similar
- Few Curry Leaves
- 1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1/4 Tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Vinegar
- 1 C Coconut Milk See Notes
- 2 Tbsp Oil Preferably Coconut
- Water As Needed
Chop the onions, finely mince the ginger and garlic. For spicier curry slit or chop the green chilies otherwise leave them whole or avoid altogether.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter add 2 C of the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, and the green chilies. Keep the heat at medium. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over the onions. Cook till the vegetables are soft, 4-5 minutes, stirring a few times in between.
Once the onions become soft add the turmeric powder and mix well. Pour 1 & 1/2 C of the thin coconut milk or water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the vinegar (optional). Slowly break the eggs into the pan , one by one. Cover and turn the heat to medium and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
Open the lid and check on the eggs. If the eggs look runny flip them gently place the lid back on and cook for a few more minutes, or scoop a little of the curry and pour over the eggs to let firm up.
Add the (thick) coconut milk, reduce heat and stir or swirl the pan to mix . Taste and adjust salt. Turn off the heat and let rest a few minutes before serving .
- If using fresh coconut milk use the thin coconut milk instead of water and
finish off the dish with the thick milk.
- Vinegar is added to help coagulate the egg whites. It helps the eggs to stay in place and not spread too much.
- You can optionally add tomatoes (to avoid vinegar), cilantro and other aromatic spices according to your taste.
Here are a few variations –
- Add chopped tomatoes to softened onions and cook for a minute – in this case there is no need to add vinegar.
- Add 1 tsp of garam masala along with turmeric.
- Add chopped bell pepper(capsicum) or cilantro as per your taste.