This weekend was a welcome respite from the bitter cold of the past few months. Temperatures soared to the 50s (watch out LA, we’re catching up). I refused to wear socks…despite that fact that all the snow hadn’t fully melted. We took it all in. Enjoyed our walks instead of rushing from building to car to store then back.
But now the week has begun and and with it, freezing temps. So you can imagine my efforts to avoid multiple trips to the store. I’m pulling out all the stops to use up pantry ingredients. And I know how my readers love a CHEAP, QUICK and DELICIOUS weeknight meal.This doesn’t look like your usual curry (for lack of liquid). This type of dish is called a bhuna: where the liquids are allowed to evaporate for the most part, leaving a concentrated flavor enhanced usually by a large amount of caramelized onions. Most Bengalis would leave a dish like this for special occasions, typically shunning the high amount of cholesterol by the egg and coconut milk combination. Except now, according to recent studies, the cholesterol/fat found in both is good for you (but perhaps not for South Asian populations??). Who knows what to believe anymore with studies constantly disproving what we thought to be true for so long. I’m going to go with my usual wisdom: enjoy in moderation!
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 12 oz can coconut milk
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp coriander
- a pinch of turmeric (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 green chilis (or more if you like)
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (or white pepper for a more mild heat)
- Place the eggs gently into a small saucepan and add enough water to cover the eggs. Bring to a boil over hight heat, then put the lid on and turn off the heat. Let sit for 6 minutes. Then run under cold water to help cool down enough to peel. PEELING TIP: crack on the counter and roll around. That helps loosen the shell.
- In a small nonstick saute pan, heat a tablespoon of oil over high heat. While it heats, toss the eggs with a pinch of turmeric and salt. Once hot, add the peeled eggs and let it sear on one side, after 30 seconds or so, stir to brown the flip side (do the best you can with this). Remove from heat.
- In a large saute pan, heat the remaining oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute until they are brown around the edges (8 to 10 minutes). Add the coconut milk, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric (if using), bay leaf, chilis, salt and pepper. Let it simmer over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, toss to combine, and check for seasoning.
Simple bhuna: ditch the coconut milk for water. Increase turmeric to 1/2 tsp.
Tomato and cilantro: use 1 cup water instead of coconut milk and add 1 tomato, diced. Garnish with 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.
Korma: Ditch the turmeric. Use milk or half and half in lieu of coconut milk. Garnish with raisins and slivered almonds.