Subtropical Egg Curry (Revised)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

In Kerala, this is a light meal often served with appam (Appam (Sourdough Rice Pancakes)) or idyiappam. It is also good with roti, tortillas, or rice. The optional ingredients are healthful and delicious, but it is still tasty without them. Curry leaves and sub-tropical spices (cloves, black cardamom, pepper) contribute the quintessential flavor of the Indian subtropics, but you can substitute other herbs for another flavor. Revision: Corrected the water, ingredients, and thickening instructions for making the gravy. This version is meant to have a semi-smooth consistency and whole eggs. These are similar examples:

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Hardboiled eggs: Select the smallest heavy bottomed sauce pan you have that will hold your eggs in a single layer. Place the eggs in the saucepan. Add enough water so that there is an inch of water covering the eggs. Heat the water until it's just about to boil, then take the pot off the heat and cover it. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 25 minutes, then plunge them in cold water.
  2. Meanwhile, assemble the other ingredients, starting with the onions.
  3. To maximize healthful chemicals in onions: Remove the skin from the onions, discarding as little of the outer layers as possible. Cut the onion in half lengthwise (from end to end). Slice each half into long thin strips. The finer you slice, the quicker it will cook. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
  4. Prepare garnish: Add 1 tsp oil to saucepan, then heat on medium-low.
  5. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Toast until they crackle and pop. Set aside in a small bowl with other garnishes.
  6. Begin curry: Heat 1 tsp oil in saucepan on medium-low. Add the fenugreek seeds and dal. Cook until toasted.
  7. Once toasted, add ginger and curry leaves. Saute just until ginger is no longer raw and curry leaves are a little crisped.
  8. Add onion. Saute until translucent. Do not caramelize.
  9. Meanwhile, peel and score the hard boiled eggs. Using a paring knife, score incisions in the egg whites lengthwise all around creating 4 incisions. Incisions should be deep enough to allow spices in, but not so deep that the eggs will fall apart when cooking.
  10. Stir in the spices and salt.
  11. Add ~ 230-350 ml (8-12 oz) water. Bring to a low-simmer.
  12. Add the eggs. Poach (just below a simmer, 165-175*F) and stir gently until the gravy reduces to the desired consistency. (A little thicker for eating with roti or tortillas than appam or rice.).
  13. Garnish and serve.
  14. Variations for a smoother, creamier consistency: (a) Increase tomato or onion, according to taste and how much gravy you like. (b) Grate the onions before cooking, or grind in a food processor. (c) Puree the onions after cooking with an immersion blender. (d) Cut the eggs in half to expose more surface area to the sauce. (Warning: They will break up more easily). (e) Stir in 1/2 cup coconut milk a couple of minutes before garnishing. Heat but do not simmer. (f) Beat together 1 egg yolk and 1/2 cup coconut milk. A couple of minutes before garnishing, gradually stir 1 cup of the curry into this mixture. Stir the mixture into the curry. Heat but do not simmer.
Most Helpful

3 5

This recipe was easy and pretty tasty. The spices had excellent flavor. I found the end result very watery, though. The instructions say to add enough water to half cover the eggs, and my pan must have been wider than the one used originally for the recipe. I ended up pouring out alot of water. Next time I will probably slice the eggs as well.