Muttachar

Spiced Eggs

My step-grandfather was a Sephardic Jew from Calcutta, with the splendid Biblical name of Ezechial Manasseh. When he went to handle the family’s jute interests in the Far East, his mother sent him a cook called Fuzdah who was a ‘black Jew’ from Cochin. This recipe, for which I searched long and hard, is one of Fuzdah’s Cochin dishes. The unusual aspect is that where most recipes use hard-boiled eggs, this dish allows as an alternative that the eggs be poached in the liquid.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 ripe tomato, sliced
  • ½ green mango, sliced (optional)
  • 600 ml/1 pint coconut milk and water, mixed half and half
  • ¼ tsp each turmeric, paprika and ground coriander
  • salt
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • a handful of chopped fresh coriander
  • juice of ½ lemon

Method

In a heavy frying pan heat the oil and sauté the onion till golden. Add the chilli, tomato and mango and fry a little longer. Pour in the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil. Add the turmeric, paprika, ground coriander and salt to taste, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Rub the curry leaves between your palms to release the flavour, and add them and the fresh coriander to the mixture. Add the lemon juice and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

If you are using the eggs hard-boiled, add them to the sauce and heat through for about 5 minutes. If to be poached, break the eggs gently into the mixture and cook for about 3 minutes.

This dish can be served with rice or with snippets of toast or good bread to mop up the delicious juice.

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