A deep-fried egg with lime chilli dressing, garam masala & crispy shallots

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Preparation info

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Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey


By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

I’ve had a version of this dish on the menu at the Tapa Room since the day we opened in August 2001. However, what I like about this one in particular is the addition of garam masala, a spice mix from India. I’ve eaten deep-fried eggs similar to this in South-East Asia (without the garam masala), but have also read about a Moroccan/Egyptian version, Baid Mutajjan, in a cookbook by one of my favourite authors, Claudia Roden - A New Book of Middle Eastern Food. In this version, the eggs are hard-boiled before frying them and then serving them as an accompaniment to a main meal.


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 juicy limes
  • 10 g (1 Tbsp) grated pale palm sugar (if it’s a soft sugar just measure it out)
  • ½ bird’s eye chilli, thinly sliced (more or less to taste) or any other red chilli
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • a small thumb of ginger, peeled then finely julienned or chopped
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying the eggs
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • a small handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbsp crispy shallots (buy these from Asian food stores or make them yourself)


Bring a pot of water to the boil then carefully lower the eggs in on a slotted spoon and bring back to the boil. For a medium-sized egg, boil 4½ minutes. Take the eggs from the boiling water and place in a bowl, then take to the sink and run cold water over them for 2 minutes to cool them down. Leave the eggs in the water for a few more minutes, then peel them. Once peeled, place back in the bowl of water - this stops them collapsing on themselves if their yolks are still quite soft.

Meanwhile, finely grate the zest from half of one of the limes into a bowl. Add the palm sugar and chilli and mash it together. Squeeze the juice from the limes over this mixture, you need 40-50 ml, and mix until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the fish sauce and ginger and leave for a few minutes.

Heat 6 cm of vegetable oil to 180°C. I find it best to deep-fry the eggs in a medium-sized deep pan as the eggs can splatter a bit. Carefully remove the eggs from their bath and lay on kitchen paper, then roll them around a little to remove excess water. Carefully lower them into the oil and move them around a little to colour them evenly. They’re ready when they turn a dark golden brown. Remove them from the oil, place on fresh kitchen paper briefly to absorb excess oil, then roll on a plate scattered with the garam masala.

To Serve

Place the eggs on 4 individual plates and scatter with the coriander and spring onion. Drizzle on the lime chilli dressing and finish with the crispy shallots.