Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dimer Jhol......Boiled Egg curry

Daddy D loves eggs.My mother in law tells me that when Daddy D was a little boy,his birthday breakfast was "double dimer omelette"(omelette made with 2 eggs),regular days it was one egg omelette:-).
"Dimer jhol" always comes to rescue my week when I am out of poultry,fish or meat.We are never out of Eggs.It makes the grocery list along with Milk and Bread.
In bengali cooking, we curry the eggs after frying the boiled eggs.I am very used to it.I could never understand ,why weren't the boiled eggs fried before currying it in my college canteen in Maharashtra,egg biryani in Chennai railway station,or lunch tray at my office food court in Bangalore.They taste and look a lot better once they get the nice reddish golden color on them.The outer skin gets a crispy layer but it's still soft inside.I do recommend frying.
I made the dimer jhol with 6 boiled eggs.For currying 6 eggs you will need
Potatoes boiled and quartered-2 large
Onion-1 large finely chopped
Tomato-1 medium chopped
Green chili-1-2 (depending on how hot you want)
Ginger paste-1 tablespoon
Garlic paste-1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds-1 teaspoon
Cinnamon stick-2-3 sticks
Bay leaf-1 large
Green cardamom-2-3
Red chili powder-1 teaspoon(My chili powder packs a lot of heat so I used 1/2 teaspoon.)
Cumin power-1 tablespoon
Coriander powder-1 tablespoon
Turmeric-1 teaspoon
Sugar-1/2 teaspoon
Mustard oil-4 tablespoons
Ghee-1 tablespoon
Salt-to taste

First make little slits on the body of the egg with a knife, 2-3 longitudinally.This will let the heat to escape when the eggs are fried,otherwise the eggs might burst a little.Now sprinkle turmeric and salt on to the eggs and rub the spices to form a coating.Let it rest for 5-10 mins before you fry them.
 Now in a pan,I prefer a kadhai or a wok heat the mustard oil and fry the eggs on medium high heat till they acquire a reddish golden hue.If  your pan is big,you can put all the eggs at one go.On medium high heat it takes about 4 mins to get to the reddish hue.Once they are done,take them out of the oil and keep them aside.

In the remaining oil in the pan,add in the sugar and put the heat on low.As soon as the sugar starts caramelizing,add in the bay leaf,the cumin seeds,the whole garam masala-cardamom,cinnamon,cloves.Be careful not to burn the sugar or the curry will acquire a bitter taste.A lot of people wonder why bengalis add sugar to all their cooking.I can give you 2 good reasons-A little bit of sugar enhances the other tastes just like a pinch of salt in baking enhances the taste of all the baked goodies.The caramelized sugar gives a nice red color to the gravy when it floats to the top.Depending on whether you are from erst while East Bengal (Bangal) or West Bengal(Ghoti) the amount of sugar in cooking varies. Bangals put less quantity of sugar compared to their Ghoti counterparts.
Take care not to burn the cumin seeds.Heat on low is a good idea.Once the whole spices have released their flavors,add in the chopped onion.Now you can raise the heat to medium and saute the onions till they start to leave oil.Now add the green chilies slit lengthwise or just snap them in two.Add in the ginger-garlic paste.After a minute add the chopped tomatoes.Let the tomatoes melt and cook down a bit,now add the chili powder,cumin powder,corriander powder and about a tablespoon of salt. Fry for a couple of minutes till the dry spices are absorbed in the masala. Now add in the boiled potatoes.Fry for 5 more minutes so that the potatoes get a light color on their exterior.Now add in the fried boiled eggs and about a cup of water to make the gravy.Once the gravy starts boiling you can add a tablespoon of ghee on top and garnish with chopped fresh coriander.Dimer jhol is ready to be had with plain rice or pilaf.If you are having it with any Indian bread I suggest you can add just 1/2 a cup of water to make the gravy thicker.

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