Mughlai Egg Curry
EVENT: SUNDAY FUNDAY
THEME: HOLIDAY DINNERS THAT ARE NOT TURKEY OR HAM
RECIPE: MUGHLAI EGG CURRY
Mughlai Egg Curry is an aromatic, rich, creamy, delectable curry that one can proudly serve during any festival or holiday. Spices, nuts, dried fruit makes this so different from the normal onion tomato curry based versions.
What is Mughlai Style Curry?
Mughlai Style of cooking or cuisine as it is more popularly known as, makes use of nuts, dry fruit, a variety of spices, dairy products to prepare food. Though a variety of spices are used, the overall flavour of the mixture is aromatic, delicate and not chilli hot. Curries or sauces tend to be thick and creamy.
Mughlai Cuisine and India
Northern India was ruled by the Mughal dynasty from early 16th to mid 18th century. Also spelled as Mogul, Mughul, Mongol, they were the Muslim dynasty of Turkic- Mongol origin. Considering they were present in India for a long time, undoubtedly over time their cooking style spread far and wide across the country. With them came many spices, different styles of cooking from kebabs, biryanis, curries and desserts.
Though most dishes were meat based (pork and beef were never used), rulers requested their chefs (khansama) to prepare vegetarian versions whenever they had vegetarian dignitaries visiting them. The most common replacement for any meat dish tends to be paneer or koftas that are prepared using mixed vegetables.
Some of the most common Mughlai dishes are traditional dishes include Mughlai chicken, Mughlai Paratha, Mughlai biryani, Kadhai Gosht, Murg Tandoor, Malai Kofta, Reshmi Kebab, Kulfi, Shahi Tukra, Falooda, Barfi.
Not only did the Mughal Dynasty leave behind a whole new cuisine in the Indian Sub Continent as we know it today but also left a different food culture which till today the Indian Sub Continent and its people, whether at home or abroad are well known for. For the Mughals food was a part of the gift giving culture. It also laid the rules for diplomatic etiquette. Gifting and sharing food was considered as a message of friendship and goodwill. These food practises and culture shaped the food scene of the Indian Sub Continent.
I first made Mughlai Egg Curry when my son came home from Dubai. I wanted to prepare something special and this curry was on my ‘to try list’ for a long time. Wanted to replace the chicken with either paneer or eggs. Eggs was strongly suggested by hubby and rightly so. Since then this curry is not only a family favourite, but a popular request by friends whenever they are invited to my place for a meal.
Like any typical Indian mom, I want to feed my son all his favourite food. Indian mums have a tendency of showering love with food! I am no different. My son’s girlfriend warned him not to come back with a belly! But he too is a foodie like me so that is going to be tough, resisting some home cooked food and his favourite Mombasa Street Food.
I have over time made a few minor changes in the method but the list of ingredients remains the same.
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THEME: HOLIDAY DINNERS THAT ARE NOT TURKEY OR HAM
Frankly, it was not difficult for me to decide what I would like to share for this theme. As I don’t prepare or consume meat, it had to a vegetarian or an ovo vegetarian dish. We generally associate Turkey or Ham with a Holiday dinner. When Sue Lau who blogs at Palatable Pastimes suggested that we post a recipe that someone could create for their holiday dinner that is not the usual turkey or ham, that got me thinking. Realized that perhaps not everyone like turkey or ham. In fact a few weeks ago celebrated the Canadian Thanks Giving Day with an all vegetarian meal.
Sunday Funday: Holiday Dinners that are not Turkey or Ham
Some Ideas For Holiday /Festival Dinners:
Kundan Kaliya – a paneer dish cooked in a rich cream curry. Usually it is a mutton baswd dish but I replaced it with paneer.
Ingredients Required For Mughlai Egg Curry:
- Boiled Eggs – boil the eggs and peel them. Can add whole boiled eggs or halved ones into the curry. Sometimes I like to coat them with either turmeric or red chilli powder for that special festive look. Add 1 tsp oil in a wide pan and heat it over medium heat. Take the pan off the heat, add about ½ tsp turmeric or red chilli powder. Mix well. Add the peeled eggs and roll them to coat.
- Onion – this dish calls for extra bit on onion. Use a large one, which when roughly chopped is about 1½ cups. Use any onion of your choice, red, yellow or white.
- Tomato – fresh tomato puree (passata). I make mine at home. Cut 3-4 large tomatoes into halves. Add them to a pot with little water. Cover and cook till done. Puree the cooked tomatoes.
- Garlic – peeled and chopped up roughly.
- Almond or Cashew Nut Powder – roast the nuts lightly and process them into a powder. Use either a mixture or either.
- Poppy Seeds – optional. Roast them in a pan over low heat, till they begin to pop. Process them with the nuts.
- Green Chillis – either roughly chopped or paste.
- Ginger – peeled and chopped roughly or paste.
- Oil – any vegetable oil of your choice. I usually use sunflower oil.
- Ghee – clarified butter. Or can replace with unsalted butter.
- Plain Yogurt – thick.
- Coconut Milk or Fresh Cream
- Spices – fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, star anise. There are two ways I add them. Sometimes I roast them separately in a pan over low heat and grind to a powder. Or I add them along with the onion and then puree the mixture. These days, the food processor is more powerful and the spices get ground without a problem.
- Coriander Powder
- Garam Masala – easily available ready made.
- Turmeric Powder – haldi
- Red Chilli Powder – add according to your taste.
- Salt – add according to your taste.
- Saffron – a few strands
- For Garnishing:
- Chopped Nuts of your choice.
- Raisins/ Sultanas/ Dried Cranberries – use any of your choice.
- A few saffron strands
- Fresh Coriander/ Cilantro – chopped
MUGHLAI EGG CURRY
- 6 large Eggs boiled and peeled
- 1 large onion 1½ cups
- 6-8 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 1-2 green chillis chopped or minced
- 1 inch ginger chopped or minced
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
- 1 star anise
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves
- 3 cardamoms
- 8 peppercorns
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ - 1 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ cup fresh tomato puree
- ⅛ tsp saffron strands
- 1½ cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt thick
- 1 tsp salt
- 20 almonds or cashew nuts lightly roasted
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds lightly roasted
- ½ tbsp almond slivers or chopped
- 1 tsp pistachio chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander/cilantro chopped
- few saffron strands
- 1 tsp raisins/ sultana
PREPARATION OF NUT AND POPPY SEEDS POWDER
- Roast poppy seeds in a wide pan over low heat till it begins to pop. Remove from the pan into a plate and allow it to cool.
- Lightly roast the nuts in a wide pan over low heat till they are a bit crunchy. Remove from the pan into a plate and allow it to cool.
- Process the nuts and poppy seeds into a powder.
PREPARATION OF THE EGGS
- Boil and peel the eggs.
- If you want to coat the eggs with turmeric or red chilli powder for that festive look, then heat 1 tsp oil in a wide pan. Take the pan off the heat. Add the turmeric or red chilli powder (about ½ tsp). Mix well. Add eggs to the pan and roll them till coated.
PREPARATION OF THE SPICES
- There are two ways you can do this: 1) roast the whole spices and 1 tsp cumin seeds in a wide pan over low heat. Allow them to cool and then grind them into a powder.
- Or add the spices along with the onions and stir fry them. Then process them in the food processor along with the onion mixture.
PREPARATION OF THE MUGHLAI CURRY BASE:
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil and ghee in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the whole spices if you have not ground them into a powder.
- Add the onion and stir fry till it becomes soft.
- Add the garlic, ginger and green chillis. Stir fry for 1 minute.
- Process the onion mixture into a paste in a food processor.
- Add 1 tbsp oil in the pan. Add remaining cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle in the oil.
- Add the paste. Stir fry till it turns pinkish or light brown in colour.
- Add the nut powder and mix well.
- Add turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powders, saffron and garam masala. Mix well.
- Add the yogurt and mix well.
- Add the tomato puree and salt. Cover the pan and allow the onion tomato mixture to cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, mix well. Cover the pan and allow the curry to simmer over low heat for 7-10 minutes. Stir in between so that the curry does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the eggs to the curry base. Can leave them whole or cut them into halves.
- Garnish Mughlai Egg Curry with the chopped almonds, pistachios, raisins, saffron and fresh coriander.
- Serve it with naan, paratha, roti or rice.
- Adjust the spices and salt according to your taste.
- If you have a good curry powder or garam masala which has most of the spices in it, then you don't need to use the whole spices.
- Can use fresh cream instead of coconut milk. If you do so, then add only ½ cup cream and add water too.
- Adjust the thickness of the curry base according to your preference. Usually Mughlai Curry is thick and creamy.
- Replace the egg with paneer, chicken, or any meat of your choice.
- You can prepare the curry a day or 2 ahead and leave it in the fridge till you need it.
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