Eggplant and egg curry (Begun aur dim tarkari)
I am partial to egg curries, the combination of a spiced gravy and the creamy yolk makes it special. I have been experimenting with them from around the world and here is one from Bangladesh that is wonderful.
This curry stays true to its roots, it is a beautiful flash of spice and flavors that hit your palate. The soft eggplants are complimented by the yolks, giving a wonderfully creamy texture to the curry. Simple, yet elegant, this curry will definitely be the highlight of the table. The unique blend of Bangladeshi spices makes this curry distinct and delicious. This will be the dish on the table that folks will go back to for seconds, it disappears fast.
This is a wonderful cookbook on Bangladesh cuisine, filled with authentic recipes. The cuisine is very similar to Indian cuisine, but the dishes do have their specific nuances and flavors. I have just begun to cook from here and learn about the flavors, and you will see me cook from this book again, soon. I recommend this cookbook fro those who want to experiment with and learn from this cuisine.
For more recipes from this beautiful cookbook, click here.
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, finely minced
2 green cardamom pods
1 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
1 small bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, minced and pasted
1/2 tablespoon ginger paste
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 cup water, + as needed
1 large or 4 baby eggplants
2 fresh green chilies, halved longitudinally
Cilantro, minced, to garnish
Boil the eggs for 8 minutes, cool and peel. cut in half longitudinally and set aside.
While the eggs are boiling, heat the oil in a wok on medium heat. Add the onions and fry till a light golden color. Add the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook for another 1 minute to flavor the oil.
Add the garlic, ginger and tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds till the ginger smells fragrant. Add the salt, sugar, cumin, turmeric and the coriander and sauté for 20 seconds mixing the spices into the onions well.
Add the water and bring to a boil on medium heat. If using a large eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes. If using baby eggplants, cut into quarters with the stem on. Add to the curry, bring to a gentle simmer and cook on low heat covered for 20 minutes. Check that there are enough liquids in the wok ever so often, you do not want the spices to burn.
Once the eggplants are very soft, the curry should also be quite thick and the oils should be floating on te surface. Remove from the heat.
To plate, arrange the eggs, yolk side up in the middle of a plate. Arrange the eggplants on the sides and drizzle the thick curry over the eggplants. Garnish with the chilies and the cilantro.
Serve immediately with parathas or rice.