It might come as a surprise to those of us used to our local Indian curry house menu, but eggs are actually an intrinsic part of the daily diet for many people living in India. Perhaps we do not see as many Indian egg dishes over here as in our culture eggs are not often utilised as the star ingredient of a main dish.
Of course, eggs are popular as a breakfast food, prepared in a plain and simple fashion and served alongside toast or bacon. Sometimes they are used as a sandwich filling or as an old-fashioned British treat such as a scotch egg or the unusual egg custard tart (which frankly, doesn’t taste of egg at all).
It is not an ingredient we would necessarily associate with sophisticated cuisine, curries or strong spices. And yet there are a range of delicious and inventive Indian dishes that feature eggs. Eggs are enjoyed at any time of day and are a cheap and convenient ingredient packed with protein and vitamins. Convinced? Just take a look at a few of the top ways to cook eggs in India:
1. Kodi Guddu Gasagasala Kura
This dish is an Andhra speciality with whole, boiled eggs submerged in a curried gravy, rich with poppy seeds. A variety of spices are used to give the dish some heat and flavour and the soft texture of the eggs works well with some warm roti or other Indian flat-breads.
2. Nargisi Kofta
The kofta meatball is a popular Indian dish, usually made from spiced lamb or mutton minced meat. This Awadhi recipe coats boiled eggs in kofta mince until cool, before slicing them neatly in half and cooking, yolk-side up, in a thick, tomato-based gravy. A sprinkling of chopped cilantro completes the meal.
3. Baida Roti
The ideal Indian breakfast, a baida roti is a warm paratha stuffed to bursting with scrambled eggs, minced meat and spices. This street food is particularly popular in Mumbai where the paratha is folded into a parcel and shallow fried on a tava. Squeeze a little lime juice over the dough before serving and don’t forget a selection of chutneys!
4. Nadan Mutta
This Keralan dish is extremely easy to make at home but will you choose to flavour it to the same degree of spicy heat they favour in India’s southern region? The eggs are marinated in a variety of spices before they are simmered in a tomato and onion sauce. Nadan mutta is often eaten as a side dish but also makes a great breakfast or lunch snack.
5. Mutta dosa
The famous dosa of South India is eaten at all times of day, but is a particular favourite at breakfast time or as a snack from a streetside vendor. This variation, mutta dosa, involves cooking the dosa batter until it is soft but not crispy, before filling it with scrambled egg and rolling it up into a cylinder. Mutta dosa can be sliced up and served as smaller portions, ideal for sharing.
With the mix of traditional and unusual ingredients found on the menus of some of London’s best Indian fine dining restaurants, you may be surprised at just how interesting and delicious the humble egg can become.