A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with a Charlie, an industry veteran who continues to make huge impact in food television. As we spoke, the conversation went from New York to London and then to an amazing egg and potato dish prepared by a notable Indian chef. At this moment, my curiosity was in full activation. I have eaten potato and peas and egg and peas – but never potato and egg. For reasons different to mine, Charlie was just as enchanted. For him, the magic lay in the simplicity whilst for me, it was in the obvious partnership of 2 ingredients that I had never seen paired together in an Indian context.
Beyond our conversation, I had never really thought about egg and potatoes again. That was until I was faced with a barren kitchen with just a few eggs, potatoes and two starving kids to feed. In that moment, Charlie’s dish rose from buried depths of my mind. Whilst I didn’t recreate the dish he ate in London, it inspired me to make curried egg and potato. The dish pulled from traditional North Indian flavors with the classic ‘tadka’ of cumin, ginger-garlic, fried onions and deglazed with tomatoes. Within a few basic steps, this dish certainly impressed my kids palate. The tang played with sweetness and tender boiled eggs and potatoes bask in their newly acquired flavors.
In no way did this dish look like an after thought and nor should it. Brought together in fragrant gravy this dish is forgiving in it’s very preparation and provides a whole lot of soul to the person eating it.
After having made the dish, it prompted me to do a quick search on the internet to see who else was eating this. Apparently, this dish is very popular amongst many families around India and perhaps the tradition of making this happened to skip my family.
Recipe For Egg And Potato Curry
4 eggs, soft boiled and peeled
2 russet potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tbsp. oil
¼ tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. ginger
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 large fresh tomatoes, diced
5 grape tomatoes (optional)
A few sprigs of fresh cilantro
Salt to taste
4 cups water or chicken stock
1) Heat the oil in a deep pan (to accommodate the water). Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds begin to sizzle, add the onions and sauté until they become golden. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until they become turn brown. Season with salt, cayenne, black pepper and turmeric
2) Add the tomatoes and cook on high heat until the tomatoes are soft and the oil separates. Add the water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the eggs and potatoes and allow the eggs to fully cook through. Once the gravuy has reduced by ¼ .and potatoes and eggs are tender, adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove from heat and add the grape tomatoes (they will soften slightly in the heat). Serve hot and garnished with cilantro
Saira Malhotra, is of British–Indian descent and is a chef, food writer and cooking instructor based in New York City. Raised in Hounslow, U.K, or rather ‘Little India’, where the air is aromatic with roasted spices, little did Saira know these moments would follow her from being a student in France and Italy to residing in NYC with her husband and kids and parlay themselves unexpectedly in to a culinary career. She is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York City. Come visit her at her food blog: www.passportpantry.com where she shares approachable and international recipes