Sri Lankan cuisine conjures up images of fragrant spices blended with frothy coconut milk. Some day soon I will try my hand at making a full Sri Lankan supper, with appams and all, but for now, let's stick with this egg curry made from simple pantry ingredients.
I got the recipe for the Sri lankan curry powder from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, a fat and lovely cookbook full of unusual regional recipes. In the book, Jaffrey calls it Sri Lankan Raw Curry Powder- the ingredients are toasted gently over an hour in a very low oven before being ground. She recommends it for vegetable dishes. I have adapted the curry powder for this coconut-based egg curry.
Madhur Jaffrey's Sri Lankan Curry Powder
To make this curry powder, toast the following ever so slightly and then grind them to a fine powder:
- 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. cumin seeds
- 4-5 fenugreek seeds
- 1⁄2 tsp. mustard seeds
- 3 sprigs curry leaves (dried on a low heat)
- 1 tbsp. dry coconut flakes
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. raw rice
- Saute 2 medium sliced onions and 1 sprig of curry leaves in 1 tbsp. oil.
- Add salt, pepper, turmeric, red chilli powder (all to taste), Sri Lankan curry powder (entire recipe above) and stir fry for a minute.
- Add 1 cup tomato puree and saute for 10 minutes.
- Add a can of coconut milk (about 1 to 2 cups) and a handful of minced cilantro. Simmer for a few more minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil 5 eggs. Peel and quarter them, stir into the curry. Taste the curry.
- Serve the curry on a bed of freshly steamed rice.
- To make regular egg curry (without making the spice mix), add ginger, garlic and garam masala instead of the Sri Lankan curry powder.
- You could use vegetables like peas, carrots, cauliflower and potato instead of eggs to make an equally delicious vegan curry.
- If the curry tastes a little bitter, balance the flavor with some lemon juice and a pinch of sugar/jaggery.