Hyderabadi Egg Masala
It's been over 2 months since I stepped into a restaurant or had commercially produced food . I miss KFC, Dum Biryani, Ramzan stalls, a nice hot Andhra meal and Chinese soup - which are some of my favourites. That said and done, this lockdown has also given me loads of time and an opportunity to hone up on my cooking and baking skills at home. And mom's fully loaded pantry has been such a boon in times like these!! In the initials days, getting frozen or fresh meat was a big challenge, until the government started allowing online orders and home delivery. I'm personally not a big fan of eggs until there's a good gravy/ curry to go with it or a fully loaded omelette works as well. That's when this recipe was tried and adapted from Your Food Lab.
Don't get scared by those chillies or the long list of ingredients. Trust me this gravy is super delicious, lip-smacking and as good as the restaurant-style ones which you would normally order with butter kulchas. If you are a vegetarian replace the eggs with Paneer cubes, they taste equally good as well with the same gravy base. The main trick to get this recipe right is to ensure that the pureed masala base is cooked completely through with very little addition of water and retaining that nice green colour by blanching your spinach leaves right.
Here's what you need to make Hyderabadi Egg Masala - Serves 4
For the masala base :
Spinach - whole bunch
Cloves - 4
Bay leaf - 2
Green Cardamom - 3
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Oil - 2 tbsp
Black cardamom - 1
Garlic Cloves - 7
Ginger - 1 inch
Onion, medium size, sliced - 2
Tomatoes, medium size - 2
Green Chillies - 2
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
For Gravy :
Oil - 4 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger, finely chopped - 1 inch
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tbsp (adjust as per preference)
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Curd - 3 tbsp
4 Boiled eggs, halved
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Kasuri Methi - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
1. Blanch the entire bunch of spinach leaves until they're cooked with a pinch of salt and immediately rinse them in cold water. Drain excess water and set aside.
2. For the base masala: In a kadhai or wok, heat oil, add the whole spices listed under masala base and fry them for 2mins on a medium simmer.
3. Add ginger, garlic, green chillies and onions, cook until the onions turn golden brown.
4. Next, add chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn mushy with 1/4 tsp salt.
5. Let the above mixture cool down, add 1/2 cup water, blanched spinach leaves, fresh coriander leaves and grind it into a fine paste. Set aside.
6. For Gravy: Heat oil in a deep vessel/pan, add cumin seeds and let it splutter. Next, add finely chopped ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Next, add the finely ground base masala, and mix well. Start adding the dry spice powders - chilli, turmeric and coriander and stir it into the mixture. Cook on low flame for 3-4minutes.
8. Once the oil slightly starts to separate from the masala, add curd, salt to taste and stir immediately to blend it into the gravy.
9. Add water basis the consistency required (optional) and cook with a closed lid on for 4-5mins on a low flame with intermittent stirring.
10. Post which, add your boiled eggs or cubed paneer, garam masala, Kasuri methi and gently stir them to avoid breakage and coat the pieces with gravy. Cook for another 4-5minutes.
Serve hot with rotis, naan or ghee rice.