Monday, December 1, 2008

Home alone with a spicy stand-in

Suffice it to say, I have a highly international kitchen. It's just me and my roommate, but between the two of us we've lived in India, Mexico, Indonesia, and Spain, travelled extensively in Thailand, Singapore, Costa Rica, France, Malaysia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and England, and dated at least two Austrians and two South Africans. Ok, so I'd be lying if I said I were responsible for most (or even half) of the aforementioned adventures, but that's not to say I haven't benefited from them. As it turns out, my roommate has logged more international experience than the average collegiate study abroad department. Having been born in the West Bengal state of India, and coming most recently from living in Indonesia, this girl knows a thing or two about good food. For the first few weeks that we lived together, I could often be found hovering over her bubbling concoctions on the stove, poking tasting spoons into her spicy sauces, and watching avidly as she pulled yet another perfect pot of rice off the stove.

And then one day it happened...she went to North Carolina for Thanksgiving, leaving me alone in our apartment for a week.

Suddenly there were no stove-top bubbling concoctions over which to hover, no spicy sauces into which I could poke a spoon, and no perfect pots of rice to pull off the stove. In short, I was roommate-sick, and there was only one thing left to do. I pulled out my library copy of "The Spicy Food Lover's Bible" and flipped to the tricky-looking curry recipe I had been eying for some time. My day had come, and it was time to get cooking.

The resultant dinner may not have filled the void left by my traveling roommate, but the mouthwatering and mind-numbing spiciness of this Indian curry certainly dulled the pain.

Mottai Koambu
(Egg Curry in Coconut Gravy)

Recipe from "The Spicy Food Lover's Bible" by Dave DeWitt & Nancy Gerlach
Serves 4

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp. grated ginger
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 to 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 cup roasted cashew nuts
1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro or mint
salt to taste

Step One: Cut the eggs in half and arrange them in a serving dish.

Step Two: Heat a heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the oil, and when hot, add the onions and saute until they are soft. Add the ginger and saute for a couple of minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Stir in the tomatoes, cayenne, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the mixture thickens.

Stir in the coconut milk and lime juice, and continue to simmer to thicken the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Add the cashew and fresh cilantro or mint, reserving some of the latter for a garnish. Simmer the sauce for an additional 2 minutes.

To serve, pour the curry sauce over the eggs and garnish with the reserved herbs.

1 comment:

  1. Aw, I missed you too! And I'm REALLY sorry I missed your egg curry concoction ... we'll have to make it again sometime :)



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Adriana Willsie and Kylie Springman ©2009