Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meatless Monday #6: Hard-boiled Egg Masala

Taz came home last night for his "summer vacation" and I wanted to welcome him back with a home-cooked meal. Even though I'm married to an Indian guy, I still haven't managed to learn to cook very many Indian dishes. Lately, I've been trying to change that, and Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking has been an absolute godsend. This Hard-boiled Egg Masala (which we just call "unda curry" around the house) is one of the first dishes I learned to make, and it seems to improve a bit every time. I can't share the recipe on my blog--you'll have to get the book for that--but here are some modifications I've found helpful:
  • Don't drain the tomatoes. In fact, rinse out the can with water, and add that too. Things can get too dried out after the recommended amount of simmering, so be prepared to add even more water after that stage.

  • It's ok to supplement the canned tomatoes with fresh, if you have some you need to get rid of, or if you don't have a big enough can.

  • Use more cilantro than you think you'll need, and set some aside for garnish.

  • You'll probably need more liquid in the spice paste than called for, too.

  • Save prep time by boiling (and even peeling) the eggs ahead of time.

  • Put out a dish of plain yogurt on the table for those with a lower spice tolerance to quench the flames.

Most Indian food, I've found, ages just fine, and a stay in the refrigerator overnight or even for a couple days will not hurt the flavor of this dish at all. I often cook this on a weekend, leaving only the rice cooking for the night I plan to serve it. I doubled the recipe this time, and that was enough for a dinner for two, plus two lunches for me.

My other Meatless Monday fare was much less impressive this week: raisin bran with soy milk for breakfast, overpriced organic grapes for a snack, and really awful leathery veggie gyoza-style dumplings from the gourmet-ish market around the corner from work. We also had red wine with dinner, but managed to open not one but two corked bottles before we found one that was good. Looks like it might be time to replenish the wine supply...

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