One such of my classmates was a Telugu girl who had some family connection to Bengal, I think her grandparents had worked there; I remember that much about her though I don’t remember where she herself came in from. She was not like the others, spoke Telugu quite well, but constantly referred to Bengal, aloo dum and curds mixed with sugar. To put it mildly, that last thing took us some getting used to, but it was also my first exposure to Bengali cooking, if only in hearsay.
It was not till about seven or eight years ago that I found my first Bengali cookbook – not a very slick production, the author didn’t even sound Bengali (though there’s no rule that ethnicity determines authenticity), but the recipes worked very well. Though I have added another book or two on the cuisine to my collection since then, I always turn to this book when I look for Bengali recipes because the tastes of whatever I made from this were the same that I experienced in an ethnic Bengali feast I was lucky enough to sample a few years later (ratification, I mean).
However, I have to admit that this recipe sounded most un-Bengali to me, though I do know that coconut milk is used now and then. Only, I was familiar with chingri malai curry, not with egg malai curry – well, either I’ve not been reading the Bengali blogs too attentively or I haven’t been cooking or eating enough Bengali food, but this curry seemed as South Indian as it could get.
IF you don’t count the deep-frying of potatoes and egg yolks that is prescribed.
However, in the interests of our arteries, we can safely avoid this portion and go ahead with the discovery of Bengal.
This, of course, goes to RCI-Bengal, hosted by Sandeepa.
Egg Malai Curry
Eggs – 5, yellows only
Tomatoes – 3, big; blanched and sliced
Onion – 1, big
Garlic – 2 cloves
Ginger – ½ inch
Sugar – ¼ tsp
Potatoes – 2, medium-sized, boiled, peeled and quartered
Coconut Milk: 1 cup
Ground cumin – 1 tsp
Bay leaves – 2
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste
Chilli powder – to taste
Coriander leaves, chopped – to garnish
Oil, to deep fry
Ghee, to sauté – 3 tbsp (I used oil, and only 1 tbsp)
Grind onion, ginger and garlic to a paste.
If you want to be true to the recipe, deep fry the egg yolks and potatoes on both sides. If not, you can use the boiled potatoes and fried eggs (a bulls eye, fried both sides, no runny yolk).
Heat the oil, add the bay leaves and onion-ginger-garlic paste.
When that seems well-fried (changes colour, loses smell is my cue), add the blanched tomatoes, salt, sugar and all the spices. Fry till dry.
(Well, dry isn’t exactly what I noticed, but it does become thick and concentrated.)
Turn down the heat, add the potatoes, then the coconut milk. Let simmer.
Once it begins simmering, add the yolks.
Simmer for five more minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.
You can use the egg whites to make an omelette or scrambled eggs. Here’s an idea.
I'm away for a week or more, so until then, Ugadi greetings!
Regional Cuisines of India Bengal Bengali Potatoes Eggs Coconut Milk RCI Bengal Tomato Telugu