I thought the Hindi name for this dish sounded better than "Hard-Boiled Eggs Masala." This is adapted from Quick and Easy Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey, a cookbook I had been wanting to get ever since I made another recipe, Stir-Fried Cabbage, which I loved immediately. When I finally got the cookbook about a year ago I decided to try EVERY RECIPE... well, except for the ones with chicken liver and cauliflower. There's only about 70 recipes, so the undertaking didn't sound that daunting. But after about 8 recipes, I had a bit of Indian overload. So I'm taking a break, but the mission will resume shortly!
The one recipe I kept thinking about in the meantime though, was this humble sounding entree. I don't usually think of hard-boiled eggs as part of an entree, but it works! I recently served this over some boiled potatoes and spinach and it made for quite a robust meal. The sauce is really astounding, in my opinion.
One unfortunate thing about this cookbook, however, is that even though it was recently re-issued with a spiffy new design, I don't thing the original 1996 text was updated. So they always put in parentheses after cilantro "Chinese parsley, fresh green coriander;" who the hell doesn't know what cilantro is in this day and age?! One of the recipes is called "The Most Delicious Meat Cubes," which is just wrong. And the amount of onion in this recipe is listed as "5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces)." Who measures an onion that way? I'm just going with one small onion!
OK, enough making fun of the text and on to this most delicious recipe...
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
Combine all of the above with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into halves or quarters
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds. Cook for 10 seconds, then add the onion and ginger. Cook and stir for a few minutes until onions start to brown, then add spice paste. Cook for 15 seconds, then add tomatoes and sugar. Turn down the heat, cover, and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and add the cilantro, then gently drop in the eggs and spoon some sauce over them. Simmer for 2-3 more minutes, then serve.
I suppose a typical accompaniment would be rice, though, like I said before, I like it with potatoes and spinach--as if I was having a bit of samosa as well.