Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Global Dinners: Sri Lankan Egg Curry

Dinner today was a tried and tested favorite. I have made it for everyone I know and they all love it. When my dear friend Megha tasted it, her first remark was that it tasted like the beach, which just about nails it.

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 12 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 4-5 fenugreek seeds
  • 12 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves (dried on a low heat)
  • 1 tbsp. dry coconut flakes
  • 1 12 tsp. raw rice

Egg Curry with a Sri Lankan Spice Mix
  1. Saute 2 medium sliced onions and 1 sprig of curry leaves in 1 tbsp. oil
  2. Add salt, pepper, turmeric, red chilli powder (all to taste), Sri Lankan curry powder (entire recipe above) and stir fry for a minute.
  3. Add 1 cup tomato puree and saute for 10 minutes.
  4. Add a can of coconut milk  (about 1 to 2 cups) and a handful of minced cilantro. Simmer for a few more minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, boil 5 eggs. Peel and quarter them, stir into the curry. Taste the curry.
  6. 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.


  1. Hi Nupur,

    Yum!! This sounds sooo good. Reminds me of the egg curry mom used to make back home. Eggscellent!!! ;-) Lame, I know but I couldn't resist throwing in a egg pun.

  2. Boy! After trying out your dodka recipe, I am reading through your blog and am very very impressed.

    You seem meticulous, take the time to get your ingredients together and try it out. You also have interesting links to related things.

    Like I said before your flikr are pictures get me hungry all the time!

    As for egg curries, I myself like when I break the eggs in boiling curry so that they cook in there, instead of boiling eggs separately.

    I am going to try this Sri Lankan stuff out!


  3. Really fab recipe :) Everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing.


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