This recipe really tastes best with the addition of fresh curry leaves. Most decent supermarkets stock tubs or sachets of at least the dried ones these days, and remember: if your local grocery store doesn’t stock something, ask the manager to order some for you. I have, in the past, made this curry with fresh fenugreek leaves, which was truly delightful. Fenugreek is an astringent herb with a uniquely nutty, citrussy note. Hard to describe it, but if you’ve ever had it fresh, you’ll eagerly fall upon it the next time you see it for sale.
Kids love this curry, especially if made with tinned cherry tomatoes. Kids who love eggs, that is. I can’t really think of a substitute for the eggs if you don’t like them, except perhaps paneer or tofu. You could even try chunks of chicken breast, lightly simmered. Serve it with the microwaved spice rice if you’re not on a low-carb diet, otherwise try some caulirice. Make the recipe even faster by using tinned tomatoes flavoured with Indian spices. You can also serve this to vegetarians who include eggs in their diet.
TOMATO EGG CURRY
2T (30ml) sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2t (10ml) grated fresh ginger
2t (10ml) crushed garlic
2t (10ml) mild curry powder
½ t (2.5ml) cinnamon powder
½ t (2.5ml) turmeric
410g can plain chopped tomatoes (or with Indian spices)
2 cups (500ml) water
12 curry leaves
½ cup (125ml) red lentils, rinsed
½ cup (125ml) frozen peas (optional)
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish
Poppadums, to serve
- Place the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. As soon as water begins to boil, put lid on and remove pan from heat. Let stand for 15 minutes before shelling eggs.
- Cook the onion, ginger, garlic and spices in the oil for 3-4 minutes, until aromatic. Add the tomatoes, water, curry leaves and lentils and simmer for 20 minutes, until lentils are soft.
- Add shelled eggs and peas, simmer for 10 minutes and serve garnished with coriander, with microwave spicy rice and poppadums. (If the sauce becomes too thick, add ¼ cup (60ml) water and stir well.
COOKS’ TIP: For low-fat poppadums, cook individual ones on high for 18 seconds in the microwave and let harden before serving.
This recipe first appeared in my cookbook Luscious Vegetarian, co-authored with Jade de Waal. Published by Random House Struik 2012.